Liposuction is an incredibly versatile body-slimming technique that is used to selectively remove fat. As one of the most popular cosmetic surgeries performed worldwide, liposuction can extract fat cells in regions of the body that prove resistant to dieting and exercise. This type of body surgery is integrated into numerous procedures, including breast reduction, tummy tuck, arm lift, body contouring, and facial rejuvenation. Liposuction can be performed almost anywhere on the body to achieve a leaner appearance in regions prone to fat buildup.
Because liposuction is such a common and popular procedure, some people have begun to think of it as a weight loss solution. This, however, is not the case. Good candidates for liposuction are healthy and already at a stable body weight. Individuals who undergo liposuction share some of the following characteristics:
If you’re frustrated by stubborn pockets of fat that are resistant to dietary changes and exercise regimens, liposuction may be able to help you achieve your cosmetic goals. Once again, liposuction is not a treatment for obesity, but it can address small to moderate areas of excess fat. Candidates for this procedure should be in good overall health and have a reasonable expectation for the outcome. Smokers will need to quit for several weeks before and after the operation. Other considerations can be determined during your initial consultation with Dr. Neal Goldberg.
Liposuction can be performed on virtually any area of the body that is prone to excess fat accumulation. These regions are typically the most difficult to shape and tone naturally, making them excellent treatment sites for surgical fat reduction. Depending on your aesthetic goals, liposuction can help improve the:
Patients often utilize liposuction to smooth bulges of fat colloquially known as “love handles,” “bra rolls,” and “muffin tops.” Facial liposuction to reduce a double chin can also be an effective treatment to attain an improved contour underneath the chin. While this technique has been proven to minimize fullness in the neck area, it should be noted that the procedure is not designed to tighten lax muscles or address excess skin—any neck laxity can often be improved with a neck lift rather than liposuction.
Another technique available at our NYC-area practice is known as “Lipo 360°,” which simply refers to a standard liposuction procedure performed circumferentially around a patient’s midsection. While liposuction is usually designed to target a single treatment site (such as the abdomen or hips), Lipo 360° aims to address the abdomen, waist, “love handles,” and lower back for a comprehensive “360 degree” improvement. This approach not only allows patients to enhance their abdominal region circumferentially, but it can also help to highlight their natural curves. Dr. Goldberg would be happy to discuss this technique with you during an initial consultation if desired.
There are many different types of liposuction that can safely and effectively remove pockets of stubborn fat. Generally speaking, potential liposuction techniques include:
The most common liposuction procedure utilizes the tumescent technique. Tumescent liposuction differs from standard liposuction due to the injection of fluid and anesthetic before fat is removed, which can provide patients with less discomfort during the recovery period. Dr. Goldberg will let you know which approach is ideal for your needs and goals.
As two leading body contouring surgeries, liposuction and a tummy tuck are both popular treatment options that can help you attain a slimmer and smoother look in the abdomen. However, there are key differences between the procedures that may help you determine the most beneficial technique for your unique concerns and aesthetic goals. Liposuction is generally intended to help patients who have pockets of localized fat and little to no excess skin. The procedure is designed to remove stubborn fat alone; therefore, good skin tone is essential to achieving smooth, natural-looking liposuction results. Unfortunately, it can be difficult for skin that is loose or inelastic to “snap” back into place after fat is removed.
In contrast, tummy tuck surgery can be an optimal procedure for individuals who struggle with excess skin and/or stretched abdominal muscles. A tummy tuck is designed to correct loose skin and separated musculature, which can both lead to a hanging or protruding abdominal appearance. Since the procedure is usually more comprehensive than liposuction, patients who have undergone pregnancy or massive weight loss achieve superior results with a tummy tuck. That said, certain patients may benefit from a dual liposuction and abdominoplasty procedure. Rest assured that Dr. Goldberg will listen to your concerns and suggest the best possible surgical plan to achieve your desired outcome.
When performed by an extensively trained plastic surgeon on a good surgical candidate, liposuction can be a safe and effective procedure; however, any surgery comes with some degree of risk. Reducing these risks is a high priority for our medical team, and we will discuss your cosmetic plan in detail with you so that you are well-prepared for the most common contingencies. Dr. Goldberg will evaluate your health, medical history, current medications, and other factors to determine if liposuction is a suitable treatment for you. If you are pregnant, breastfeeding, have certain medical conditions, or take certain medications, liposuction is not recommended. Some of these factors can change with time and may simply require you to wait until a better opportunity arises. For other cases, we can help you select an alternative procedure that may be able to achieve your goals.
Tumescent liposuction usually takes place either in an outpatient center or a hospital. The surgery by itself can take 45 minutes to two hours. Local anesthesia and intravenous sedation are usually used for minor procedures, and general anesthesia for major procedures.
Once the anesthesia has been administered, Dr. Goldberg will make small incisions near the target areas. Next, the tumescent solution containing diluted lidocaine is injected into the area. A cannula (thin tube) is then used to break up or dislodge the fat. The cannulas used in tumescent liposuction are even thinner than those utilized in other liposuction approaches, and the incisions made are also smaller. The fat is suctioned out through a plastic tube with the assistance of a high-pressure vacuum mechanism.
You can expect to be somewhat sore after the surgery. Numbness, burning, and swelling are common post-operative effects. Dr. Goldberg will probably advise you to walk around shortly after the procedure. After two days, the small drainage tube that was inserted beneath the skin to prevent fluid build-up is removed. Dr. Goldberg will likely recommend that you continue to wear the elastic compression garment for about 2-3 weeks. Additional liposuction treatments may be recommended as only a certain amount of fat can be removed during one procedure.Most patients will need a week or two off from their normal activities. You should listen to your body to determine when you’re ready to return to your work schedule, especially if your job or duties require manual labor. Everyone heals at a different rate, and your recovery may be quicker or slower compared to someone else. You should also avoid strenuous exercise and high-impact activities for about a month to a month and-a-half. Dr. Goldberg can provide more specific instructions during your initial consultation.
Some patients will be able to see results immediately after the procedure; however, swelling can continue for six months to a year. Most noticeable swelling will subside within a few months, at which point you should have an excellent idea of your final outcome. Dr. Goldberg can provide additional information and a more specific estimate based on your treatment plan and unique rate of healing.
Virtually every type of surgery comes with some short-term side effects, and liposuction is no exception. You should expect some swelling and bruising in and around the treated area while healing, and these effects should subside over time. Minor discomfort is also common, although we will provide prescription medication to manage your pain. Long-term side effects occur very infrequently. Our medical team works diligently to reduce the risk of complications for every procedure and to provide an exceptional experience for our patients from beginning to end, consultation to completion. Please don’t hesitate to contact us about any questions you may have during your journey.
Liposuction can provide a lifetime result as long as patients maintain their weight after their procedure. Once fat cells have been removed from an area of the body, they do not regenerate; therefore, the final outcome of liposuction should last indefinitely. However, the procedure cannot prevent fat cells surrounding the treatment site(s) from enlarging or shrinking with additional weight gain. Dr. Goldberg advises committing to a healthy lifestyle after liposuction to help minimize the risk of developing disproportionate body contours in the future.
Liposuction uses a series of small incisions, so the resulting scars should be quite small. Most patients find that these tiny marks heal very well and can be relatively unnoticeable. Dr. Goldberg strives to create results that are as natural as possible, including placing incisions in inconspicuous locations. The specific entry points will vary depending on your unique treatment plan and area of concern.
The price of liposuction will vary from person to person based on the unique details of their treatment plan. According to statistics from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, liposuction typically costs about $3,500 per treated area. This number doesn’t necessarily reflect the prices at our practice, and it’s important to understand that this estimate is just for the surgeon’s fee and does not include all standard fees. We want you to feel informed and knowledgeable about your options, and during your initial consultation we will go over all the anticipated expenses for your procedure, including the anesthesiology and hospital facility fees. To further assist you, we work with plastic surgery financing companies that offer qualified candidates appealing loan terms. You’re welcome to ask for more information during your first meeting with the doctor.
Since liposuction is relatively less invasive than other cosmetic surgery procedures, some patients choose to combine their liposuction with additional treatment options designed to sculpt the body. A combination treatment plan can give men and women the opportunity to improve more than one region of the body while only contending with a single recovery period. Procedures that are commonly performed in conjunction with liposuction include:
If desired, Dr. Goldberg will go over potential treatment options that can pair well with liposuction and help you better achieve your aesthetic goals. If you’re interested in reversing changes that have occurred due to past pregnancy, a Mommy Makeover may be the ideal surgical plan for you.
For more information about liposuction, call our office for a consultation at 866-481-5585.