Liposuction has been one of the most popular cosmetic surgeries for decades and is a great complement to a number of other procedures and treatments. Spectrum Plastic Surgery offers liposuction for virtually every part of the body, ensuring permanent* and immediate fat removal particularly in areas that are resistant to diet and exercise. Here are some of the most popular questions related to liposuction to help determine if it’s the right procedure for you. However, keep in mind the best way to learn about liposuction is with a consultation at Spectrum Plastic Surgery.

Who’s a good candidate for liposuction?

Just like any cosmetic surgery, it’s important to have realistic expectations. Liposuction removes fat, but it doesn’t address cellulite or improve skin appearance. Ideal candidates are those individuals within 30% of their ideal weight, have firm and elastic skin, and don’t smoke.

Why do I need elastic skin or to quit smoking?

Any time a person loses weight, whether from liposuction or a diet, the skin needs to “snap back” to the new slimmer body shape. Skin that doesn’t have the right amount of elasticity might sag after experiencing a sudden weight loss. It’s a requirement to stop smoking before any cosmetic surgery for your own safety, and those with certain health issues including heart disease, blood flow issues, or diabetes are usually not a good candidate for this elective surgery.

What does “surgery day” look like?

Liposuction is an outpatient procedure, so you won’t spend the night at the hospital. You must have someone drive you home after the procedure. Immediately prior to your surgery, your doctor will mark the treatment areas of your body and take before photos for comparison purposes. Anesthesia is usually used during liposuction, meaning you won’t be awake for the procedure or feel any discomfort.

Are there different types of liposuction?

All liposuction techniques use a “cannula,” or a thin tube, that’s connected to a special vacuum to remove fat from the body. The most common technique is tumescent liposuction, in which a sterile solution is first injected to the treatment area. This solution is made up of saline solution and a numbing agent such as lidocaine. This approach makes it easier to remove fat with minimal post-operative pain and blood loss. Ultrasound-assisted liposuction (UAL) is less common and uses sound waves to break up the cell walls of adipocytes, liquifying them for removal. There’s also laser-assisted liposuction, or SmartLipo, that uses a laser to liquefy fat.

How long is the recovery period?

In most cases the bruising, swelling, and soreness is completely gone in a few weeks after the surgery. Some patients need to wear compression garments for 1 – 2 months to reduce swelling. Antibiotics are often prescribed to lessen the risk of infection. Most patients return to work a few days after liposuction and to normal activities about two weeks post-operation.

Are there any risks with liposuction?

Liposuction is a surgery, albeit a relatively minimal one compared to other plastic surgeries, and there are risks with any surgery. However, you can minimize these risks by carefully following your doctor’s directions and only trusting a board-certified plastic surgeon with your procedure. Risks can include anesthesia complications, bleeding, fluid accumulation, numbness, infections, and fat embolisms.

How long do the results last?

Once fat is removed from the body, it’s permanently gone. Diet and exercise can reduce the size of the fat cells, but do not actually remove those fat cells. However, it is possible to gain weight and for fat cells near the liposuctioned area to increase in size. Liposuction is a means of addressing stubborn areas of fat that can’t be “spot reduced” with diet and exercise alone.

Will insurance cover liposuction?

Liposuction is a cosmetic procedure and almost never covered by insurance. Millions of people have undergone liposuction, and when they work with a reputable surgeon they enjoy results that last a lifetime. However, choosing the right surgeon is just as important as choosing the right surgery. There is a technique involved with liposuction that can only be garnered through years of experience, a highly developed skill, and ongoing education. Liposuction results can and should look natural, and the scarring is virtually non-existent since the cannulas are so small.

If you’re interested in learning more about liposuction and seeing the before and after galleries at Spectrum Plastic Surgery, take the first step on your journey to a more confident you. Call Spectrum Plastic Surgery at (480) 579-2090 to schedule your liposuction consultation today.