Liposuction is an incredibly versatile body-slimming technique that is used to selectively remove fat. 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.
- Liposuction Candidates
- Liposuction Treatment Areas
- Types of Liposuction
- Liposuction vs. Tummy Tuck
- Liposuction Safety
- Liposuction Procedure
- Liposuction Recovery
- Liposuction Side Effects
- Liposuction Results
- Weight Gain After Liposuction
- Liposuction Scars
- Liposuction Cost
- Liposuction Alternatives
- Liposuction FAQs
Who is a Candidate For Liposuction?
3704 View Gallery 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 following characteristics:
- Persistent fat deposits
- Good skin elasticity
- Realistic expectations
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.
Every time a patient comes to my office, they’re going to see me. That’s every step of the way, from the initial visit to having their stitches removed and everything in between.
– Dr. Goldberg
Liposuction Treatment Areas
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:
- Upper arms
- Inner knees
- Submental area (neck)
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.
Types of Liposuction
There are many different types of liposuction that can safely and effectively remove pockets of stubborn fat. Generally speaking, potential liposuction techniques include:
- Traditional: Uses suction-assisted technology to remove fat
- Tumescent: Administers a solution of medications to the blood prior to fat removal to decrease swelling, bleeding, and bruising
- Ultrasound-Assisted Liposuction (UAL): Employs ultrasonic vibrations to more easily dislodge and remove excess fat
- Laser-Assisted Liposuction (LAL): Liquefies fat cells via laser energy to encourage the smoother removal of excess fat
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.
Liposuction vs. Tummy Tuck
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.
IS LIPOSUCTION SAFE?
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.
WHAT CAN I EXPECT DURING LIPOSUCTION TREATMENT?
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.
What is the Liposuction Recovery Period Like?
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.
ARE THERE ANY SIDE EFFECTS TO LIPOSUCTION?
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.
How Long Does Liposuction Last?
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.
WHAT HAPPENS IF I GAIN WEIGHT AFTER LIPOSUCTION?
We encourage patients to maintain their results by following a healthy lifestyle and keeping a stable weight. Minor fluctuations should have a limited effect; however, weight gain can cause fat to return to another area, which may change the contour of your body. In the event that this occurs, a second procedure may be able to help you restore your appearance to the previous outcome.
WHAT WILL MY LIPOSUCTION SCARS LOOK LIKE?
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.
HOW MUCH DOES LIPOSUCTION COST?
The price of liposuction will vary from person to person based on the unique details of their treatment plan. According to 2016 statistics from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, liposuction typically costs about $3,200 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.
ARE THERE ALTERNATIVES TO LIPOSUCTION?
Liposuction can be an excellent way to reduce excess fat in targeted areas, but there are also other options for patients who are not candidates or prefer another method. Patients who suffer from a “double chin” may benefit from KYBELLA®, a non-surgical injectable solution that can reduce fatty tissue from under the chin. Dr. Goldberg will be happy to discuss your options based on your characteristics and cosmetic goals during your initial consultation.
Additional Liposuction FAQs
How do I prepare for liposuction surgery?
If you decide to undergo liposuction, Dr. Goldberg will provide you with the necessary pre-operative instructions before your procedure. Since liposuction is usually an outpatient surgery, you should arrange for a friend or loved one to drive you home on the day of your liposuction. You may need to undergo lab testing or medical evaluations prior to surgery, which Dr. Goldberg will discuss further when he meets you in a consultation. If you smoke, he will instruct you to abstain for at least four weeks before and after surgery to reduce the risk of possible complications during the recovery period. It’s also standard practice to refrain from taking aspirin or other anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs) before your procedure, as they can increase bleeding at the time of surgery.
Can I get neck liposuction to get rid of a double chin?
Yes, neck liposuction can be incredibly effective in reducing a double chin or eliminating excess fullness altogether. This region—known as the submental area—is often difficult to target with dieting and exercise alone, making the neck one of the most popular treatment sites for liposuction. The most successful results are usually seen in patients whose skin is able to easily contract around their new neck contours following fat removal. For individuals who prefer to avoid surgery, KYBELLA® is a non-surgical injectable treatment that’s FDA-approved to gradually reduce a double chin in the months following injections.
How much fat can be removed in a single procedure?
Previously, liposuction guidelines advised removing no more than 11 pounds of fat during a single procedure. However, new research backed by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) suggests that the maximum amount of fat removed during liposuction should be determined based on each person’s individual BMI rather than a universal limit. Dr. Goldberg can evaluate your concerns and anatomical indicators to confirm the amount of fat that can be safely extracted during your surgery. It’s important to note that liposuction is not a weight loss procedure and the technique is solely intended for body contouring purposes.
How old do you have to be to get liposuction?
Liposuction can be safely performed on adults who are 18 and older. While the procedure is considered among the more low-risk cosmetic surgeries available for those who are good candidates, liposuction is still a major surgery that requires a level of physical and emotional maturity to achieve a satisfactory outcome. This maturity is typically achieved at the time of adulthood.
For more information about liposuction, call our office for a consultation at 914-840-5999.
*Individual Results May Vary