Liposuction: 10 Things to Know and 10 Questions to Ask

Liposuction is a cosmetic surgery procedure that removes fat from specific areas of the body to improve its shape and contours. It can be used to target stubborn areas of fat that do not respond to diet or exercise, such as abdomen, hips, thighs, buttocks, arms and neck. Liposuction can also reduce bulges in the skin caused by aging or weight loss. The procedure has been around for decades and has seen many advances in technology over the years, making it safer and more effective than ever before.

The best candidates for liposuction are generally healthy individuals who have realistic expectations about what the procedure can achieve. It is important to remember that liposuction is not a weight-loss solution but rather a way to reshape problem body areas. Your surgeon will discuss your goals and help you decide if liposuction is right for you.

The actual liposuction procedure involves making small incisions in the area to be treated, then inserting a thin tube called a cannula which is connected to a vacuum device. The cannula is moved back and forth through the fatty tissue to break up the fat cells before they are suctioned out of the body.

Recovery time after liposuction varies depending on how much fat was removed and how extensive the treatment area was. Generally speaking, patients can expect some bruising, swelling and soreness following their procedure that should resolve within several weeks or months. Post-surgical care involves wearing compression garments, taking medications as prescribed by your doctor and avoiding strenuous activities until fully healed.

Choosing an experienced plastic surgeon is key when considering any type of cosmetic surgery procedure like liposuction. Make sure to ask questions about their qualifications, experience with this type of surgery, results achieved by past patients and any other information you need to make an informed decision about your care provider. Costs for liposuction vary depending on factors such as geographic region and expertise of the surgeon performing the procedure. Financing options may be available if needed.

In some cases, combining liposuction with other plastic surgeries may be recommended in order to better meet your aesthetic goals. Your surgeon will discuss all available options during your consultation so you can make an informed decision about what’s best for you.

What is traditional liposuction?

Traditional liposuction is a type of cosmetic surgery which involves the removal of excess fat from specific areas of the body. It is usually performed on areas such as the abdomen, hips, thighs, buttocks, arms and neck. The procedure involves making small incisions in the skin and then inserting a thin tube (cannula) into the area. The cannula is connected to a vacuum device which suctions out the fat. traditional liposuction can be done under local or general anesthesia depending on the size and number of areas being treated.

Types of Traditional Liposuction

There are several types of traditional liposuction techniques including tumescent liposuction, power-assisted liposuction (PAL), ultrasound-assisted lipoplasty (UAL), laser-assisted lipoplasty (LAL) and water-jet assisted lipoplasty (WAL). Tumescent liposuction is the most commonly used technique and involves injecting a solution containing lidocaine and epinephrine into the area before suctioning out the fat. This helps to reduce bleeding and discomfort during and after the procedure. PAL uses a vibrating cannula to break up fat cells before they are removed while UAL uses sound waves to liquefy fat cells before they are removed. LAL uses laser energy to melt away fat cells while WAL uses high-pressure jets of water to break up fat cells before they are removed.

Benefits of Traditional Liposuction

The main benefit of traditional liposuction is that it can help remove stubborn pockets of fat which are resistant to diet and exercise. It can also help improve body contours by removing unwanted fat from certain areas such as love handles or saddlebags. Additionally, traditional liposuction can be combined with other plastic surgeries such as breast augmentation or tummy tuck for more dramatic results.

tumescent liposuctionLocal or GeneralRemoves stubborn pockets of fat
power-assisted liposuction (PAL)Local or GeneralBreaks up fat cells before removal
Ultrasound-Assisted Lipoplasty (UAL)Local or GeneralLiquefies fat cells before removal
Laser-Assisted Lipoplasty (LAL)Local or GeneralMelts away fat cells before removal
Water-Jet Assisted Lipoplasty (WAL)Local or GeneralBreaks up fat cells before removal
Combination Procedures (e.g. Breast Augmentation/Tummy Tuck)Local or GeneralMore dramatic results

Who are the best candidates for liposuction?

The ideal candidate for liposuction is someone who is in good physical health and has realistic expectations about the outcome of the procedure. Generally, you should be close to your ideal body weight and have localized areas of fat that are resistant to diet and exercise. Liposuction can remove fat from areas such as the abdomen, thighs, hips, buttocks, arms, neck, chest and back.

Ideal Candidate Characteristics

The best liposuction candidates have firm, elastic skin with good muscle tone. Candidates should also be non-smokers or willing to quit smoking prior to their surgery. It is important to understand that liposuction is not a weight loss solution and will not address cellulite or loose skin.

Age Considerations

Most surgeons prefer patients between 18-50 years old for traditional liposuction procedures since younger patients tend to have better skin elasticity resulting in smoother results after surgery. However, some surgeons may perform liposuction on older patients if they are healthy enough to undergo anesthesia and surgery.

Health Considerations

Patients should be in good health prior to undergoing any surgical procedure including liposuction. This means that you should be free from any major illnesses or medical conditions that could potentially put you at risk during surgery or recovery. Your surgeon will review your medical history with you before the procedure in order to determine your eligibility for liposuction.

Liposuction is best suited for candidates who are in good physical health, have realistic expectations and firm elastic skin. Age and health considerations should be taken into account.

How is it performed?

Traditional liposuction is usually performed under general anesthesia in an outpatient setting. A small incision is made in the area being treated, and a thin tube called a cannula is inserted into the incision. The cannula is then connected to a suction device that removes fat cells from the body. Depending on the amount of fat being removed, the procedure can take anywhere from one to several hours.

Tumescent Technique

The most common technique for liposuction today is known as tumescent liposuction, which involves injecting a large quantity of an anesthetic solution into the area before beginning the procedure. This solution helps to reduce bleeding and bruising during and after surgery while also helping to make fat easier to remove. After this solution has been injected, the surgeon begins using the cannula to break up and remove fatty tissue from beneath the skin.

Ultrasound-Assisted Liposuction (UAL)

In some cases, ultrasound-assisted liposuction (UAL) may be used instead of traditional liposuction techniques. During UAL, an ultrasound probe is used to liquefy fat cells before they are removed with a cannula. This technique can be useful for removing large amounts of fat or for targeting areas that are difficult to reach with traditional liposuction techniques.

Laser-Assisted Lipolysis (LAL)

Laser-assisted lipolysis (LAL) is another type of liposuction technique that may be used in some cases. During LAL, a laser fiber is inserted through a small incision and used to heat and melt away fatty tissue before it is removed with a cannula. This technique can help reduce bleeding and bruising during and after surgery while also making it easier to target specific areas for treatment.

TechniqueAnesthetic SolutionCannula UsedTime to Complete
Traditional LiposuctionYesYes1-several hours
Tumescent LiposuctionYesYes1-several hours
ultrasound-assisted liposuction (UAL)NoYes1-several hours
Laser-Assisted Lipolysis (LAL)NoYes1-several hours

What is the recovery and post-surgical care?

Recovery from liposuction surgery usually requires a few days to a week of rest. During this time, patients should avoid strenuous physical activity and wear a compression garment to reduce swelling and help the skin conform to the new contours of the body. It is also important to drink plenty of fluids and follow all instructions given by your doctor.

Pain Management

Pain management during recovery is an important part of post-surgical care. Patients may experience some discomfort or pain in the areas where liposuction was performed. Your doctor will prescribe medications to help manage any pain or discomfort you may have.

Follow-up Visits

Your doctor will schedule follow-up visits with you after your procedure to monitor your progress and ensure that everything is healing properly. During these visits, your doctor will check for signs of infection, assess the healing process, and make sure that there are no complications.


Scarring is a common side effect of liposuction surgery, but it usually fades over time. Your doctor can recommend treatments such as laser therapy or topical creams to help reduce the appearance of scars.

It is important for patients to follow their doctor’s instructions closely during recovery and post-surgical care in order to ensure a successful outcome from their liposuction procedure.

How do you choose a Surgeon?

When considering liposuction, it is important to choose a surgeon that is experienced and qualified. The best way to find a qualified surgeon is to do research. Start by looking for board-certified plastic surgeons in your area who specialize in liposuction. Ask friends and family for recommendations, or look online for reviews and ratings of local surgeons.

Once you have narrowed down your list of potential surgeons, schedule consultations with each one. During the consultation, ask questions about their experience with liposuction, as well as any other procedures you may be interested in. Be sure to also inquire about the risks and benefits associated with the procedure.

In addition to their qualifications and experience, it is also important to consider the level of comfort you feel with the surgeon. You should be able to openly communicate your goals and expectations, and trust that they will provide you with honest information about what can realistically be achieved through liposuction surgery.

Finally, make sure that you understand all of the costs associated with the procedure before making a decision on which surgeon you would like to use. It’s important to ask if there are any additional fees or charges that may not be included in the quoted price.

Choosing a qualified surgeon is an important decision when considering liposuction surgery. Doing research ahead of time will help ensure that you find a surgeon who meets your needs and offers quality care.

What are costs and is financing available?

Liposuction is a surgical procedure and the cost of the surgery can vary significantly depending on the area to be treated, the amount of fat to be removed, and other factors. Generally, liposuction costs range from $2,000 to $7,000. In addition to liposuction costs, patients should consider additional fees for anesthesia, medications, operating room facilities and other expenses.

Financing Options

Most plastic surgeons offer financing options so that patients can pay for their liposuction in installments. Financing plans may include no-interest or low-interest loans as well as payment plans that allow you to spread out payments over time. It is important to review all financing options carefully before deciding which one is best for you.

Can liposuction be combined with other plastic surgeries to better meet goals?

Liposuction can be combined with other plastic surgery procedures in order to achieve the desired results. For instance, a tummy tuck can be combined with liposuction in order to remove excess skin and fat from the abdominal area. Additionally, liposuction can be used in conjunction with breast augmentation or reduction to improve the shape of the breasts. It can also be used to contour the face or neck area, as well as other body areas such as the arms, thighs, and buttocks.

Combining liposuction with other plastic surgeries can provide an overall more comprehensive result than just performing one type of procedure alone. However, it is important to note that combining different types of surgery carries a greater risk of complications than performing just one type. Therefore, it is important to discuss all options thoroughly with your surgeon before deciding which approach is best for you.

Advantages of Combining Liposuction With Other Procedures

One advantage of combining liposuction with another procedure is that it allows for a more complete transformation. For example, a patient may want both their stomach and their thighs contoured. By combining liposuction with a tummy tuck or thigh lift, they can achieve this goal in one operation instead of having separate procedures for each area. Additionally, combining two procedures into one surgery often reduces recovery time since multiple operations are not necessary.

Another advantage of combining liposuction with another procedure is that it can help reduce costs associated with multiple surgeries. This is because most surgeons offer discounts when patients opt for multiple procedures at once rather than scheduling them separately.

Disadvantages of Combining Liposuction With Other Procedures

The primary disadvantage associated with combining different types of plastic surgery is increased risk for complications such as infection or excessive bleeding. Additionally, since multiple procedures are being performed at once, there is an increased risk for anesthesia-related issues such as respiratory depression or allergic reactions. Finally, since multiple areas are being operated on at once, there may be an increased amount of post-operative pain and swelling compared to if only one procedure were performed.

Overall, while there are advantages and disadvantages associated with combining liposuction with other plastic surgery procedures, it is ultimately up to the patient and their surgeon to decide if this approach is right for them based on their individual goals and needs.


Liposuction is a safe and effective procedure that can be used to remove excess fat from areas of the body that have not responded to diet and exercise. It is important for patients to do their research when choosing a surgeon, as well as understanding the risks and benefits associated with the procedure. Liposuction can be combined with other plastic surgery procedures to meet individual goals, however it is important to discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor before deciding on any additional treatments. With proper care, liposuction can help individuals achieve their desired body shape.