What is Liposuction?
Liposuction, also known as lipo or lipoplasty, is a body contouring surgery that sculpts areas of your body and eliminates localized pockets of fat that are resistant to diet and exercise. Common areas that liposuction treats are the abdomen, hips, love handles, upper arms, thighs, neck and chin, and calves and ankles. Liposuction surgery is often combined with other procedures, such as a tummy tuck, to create a more sleek contour.
Am I a Candidate For Liposuction?
Liposuction surgery is ideal for patients who struggle with stubborn areas of fat that will not go away with diet and exercise. Good candidates for liposuction also have:
- A minimal amount of excess skin
- Excellent skin elasticity
- Good muscle tone
- Isolated areas of excess fat
- A stable weight and are in good physical shape
- General good health
- Realistic expectations for the procedure and a positive outlook
Liposuction is not an alternative for weight loss and may not be for you if you are 20 pounds overweight, plan on losing a significant amount of weight, or plan to gain weight (pregnancy).
What to Expect During a Liposuction Consultation
During your liposuction consultation, Dr. Spiro will talk to you about your surgical goals, surgical treatment options, potential outcomes, and risks of the procedure, and recommend other procedures to combine with your liposuction surgery if necessary. You can also expect Dr. Spiro to:
- Take photographs of the areas you would like to improve
- Talk to you about your ideal weight and current weight
- Evaluate your skin elasticity and perform measurements to determine skin laxity
- Determine an approach to your surgery and create a surgical plan
- Discuss your medical history, previous surgeries, current medications, and drug allergies
- Show you before and after photographs of similar liposuction cases
- Answer questions you may have about the procedure
- Discuss your options for anesthesia and location for surgery
- Review financing options and payment plans
How Much is Liposuction?
During your first consultation, you will receive a personalized liposuction quote that is specific to your surgery and desired results. Liposuction costs can vary considerably depending on the size and location of the targeted areas of the body and a variety of factors:
- Anesthesia fees
- Hospital fees
- Surgeon’s fee
- Medical tests
- Post-surgical garments
Although most health insurance plans do not cover liposuction, Dr. Spiro offers financing plans to patients.
How to Prepare for Liposuction
Dr. Spiro will provide you with clear preoperative instructions and may ask you to do the following before your liposuction surgery:
- Quit smoking weeks or months before surgery
- Exercise, eat healthy, and meet doctors recommended weight benchmarks
- Avoid taking anti-inflammatory medication and supplements that may increase bleeding
- Not shave the treatment area prior to surgery as ingrown hairs can increase the chance of infection
- Wear loose and comfortable clothes that will not cause friction
- Make arrangements for someone to drive you home after surgery
How Does Liposuction Work?
During the liposuction procedure, a long cannula, or thin tube, is inserted through small incisions in the skin to loosen up excess fat. Once the fat is dislodged, the cannula suctions out the fat from your body through a syringe vacuum attached to the tube. Fewer and smaller entrance sites are needed during the procedure, which yields smoother and more natural results.
Types of Liposuction
The following are different types of liposuction techniques that can be used during your procedure.
Suction-Assisted Liposuction (SAL) with Tumescent Fluid
Suction-assisted liposuction is the most common type of liposuction. This technique draws out localized fat deposits through a small tube with a vacuum syringe. Tumescent liposuction uses tumescent fluid, which is a dilute solution containing epinephrine and lidocaine, for excess fat removal. The solution is injected before surgery, causing your blood vessels to shrink down or constrict. The wetting solution also acts as a local anesthetic, minimizing blood loss and reducing post-surgical pain and bleeding.
Liposuction Recovery Time
The recovery period for liposuction is gradual, but most patients can return to work after two weeks and resume normal activities within four to six weeks. After your surgery, you may have bandages or a compression garment wrapped around your treatment areas to help control swelling and compress your skin to your new body contours. During the first 48 hours of your recovery, you may experience varying degrees of swelling and bruising. Bruising typically starts to disappear within seven to 10 days and swelling generally disappears within four to six weeks, however, you may still experience residual swelling for up to four months. Dr. Spiro will also give you post-operative instructions to follow, including:
Recovery: Weeks One – Two
- Rest and elevate your treated body part for the first three days after surgery
- Do not drink alcohol for at least seven days after your procedure
- Do not smoke for the first month to prevent coughing, bleeding, and fibrosis
- Do not take anti-inflammatory medication
- Avoid bending over, lifting, or straining
Recovery: Weeks Three – Six
- Avoid strenuous exercise for four to six weeks after surgery
- Wait six weeks before exposing yourself to sun or heat to prevent further swelling
- Wear a compression garment for four to six weeks to control swelling
How Long Do Liposuction Results Last?
It may take four to six months for you to see the full results of your procedure, but the results of liposuction surgery are permanent as your fat cells have been removed. However, your new shape and contours may be affected if you gain weight, get pregnant, or continue unhealthy eating habits. It’s crucial that you maintain a stable weight and healthy habits to maintain your results. If you continue to eat unhealthily, fat will end up being stored in other areas of the body and may affect your new contours.
Liposuction Before and After
View before and after photos of our liposuction procedures performed by Dr. Spiro to see our patients’ improved body contours and shape.