What Is Liposuction?

Liposuction is a popular body contouring procedure that can remove unwanted fat from nearly any area of the body. Liposuction is not designed to achieve dramatic weight loss. Instead, liposuction is intended to reduce fat deposits at areas that have proven resistant to traditional weight loss methods. After liposuction, patients can often enjoy a slimmer, more proportionate, and toned-looking silhouette.

What Areas of the Body Can Liposuction Treat?

Liposuction is an extremely versatile procedure that Dr. Andrew Cohen uses to target a wide range of body areas, including the following:

  • Abdomen
  • Flanks (love handles)
  • Lower back
  • Buttocks
  • Thighs
  • Knees
  • Ankles
  • Upper arms
  • Chin

During your consultation, Dr. Cohen will evaluate your areas of concern to determine if liposuction can provide the desired contouring effect, or if another treatment is more appropriate for your needs.

Who Is a Good Candidate for Liposuction?

Candidates for liposuction will have one or more areas of the body with stubborn fat accumulation. Since liposuction is not meant for significant weight loss, ideal candidates for the procedure are already at or near their target weight. Good candidates for liposuction lead a healthy lifestyle, eat a nutritious diet, and exercise regularly. Women and men who choose to undergo liposuction should be in good overall health and maintain realistic expectations regarding the results the procedure can achieve. Patients who also wish to address excess skin around the abdomen may choose to combine liposuction with abdominoplasty for a more comprehensive body rejuvenation. The best way to determine your candidacy for liposuction is to schedule a consultation with an experienced plastic surgeon.

What Does the Liposuction Procedure Involve?

Dr. Cohen customizes each liposuction surgical plan to meet the unique needs of the individual. The incisions required for most liposuction procedures are very small and made only near the area being treated. Whenever possible, these incisions are concealed in the natural folds or creases of the body. A thin tube, known as a cannula, is inserted at the point of incision. Through the cannula, unwanted fat can be gently removed. Dr. Cohen uses one of two main types of liposuction, depending upon the patient: tumescent liposuction or ultrasound-assisted liposuction.

Dr. Cohen may use the tumescent technique, which is where the fat is pre-injected with a solution of salt water, local anesthetic and small amounts of adrenaline. The other type of procedure is the ultrasound-assisted lipoplasty. This is a two-step procedure that uses ultrasound waves for energy, liquefying the fat that is then suctioned out.

During the consultation, Dr. Cohen will review the benefits of each procedure type and determine which method of liposuction is best suited for you. Liposuction is an outpatient procedure that is typically completed within two hours.

What Can I Expect During Liposuction Recovery?

Mild swelling or bruising can be expected immediately following liposuction, which may last for several weeks. Depending upon the area of the body that is treated, Dr. Cohen may recommend wearing a compression garment to facilitate the healing process. Compression garments may also help achieve the most even contour once the healing process is complete.

Most liposuction patients return to work or their normal daily activities within one week of surgery. Dr. Cohen suggests patients wait several weeks before resuming vigorous exercise. Post-operative instructions will be provided to each patient prior to their procedure to ensure they understand what to expect and can prepare for their recovery.

What Will My Liposuction Scars Look Like?

Scarring from liposuction is typically minimal, as the cannulas used to remove fat are very small and, therefore, require short incisions. In addition, Dr. Cohen places the incisions in inconspicuous areas to allow for them to easily be concealed. Over the course of the first year after liposuction, your scars should gradually fade, becoming lighter in color and flattening. He will advise you on proper wound care after your procedure, as well as recommend scar treatments to further address your post-operative scarring.

How Long Do Liposuction Results Last?

Liposuction results can be long lasting, since the fat removed during the procedure cannot regenerate. However, the remaining fat cells in the area can fluctuate in size with weight gain or weight loss. As a result, it is important that you maintain a stable weight by eating a healthy diet and regularly exercising. By doing so, you can expect your contouring results to be more or less permanent. As you age, your body can gradually change in shape, but you can still expect to have a more contoured figure, if you maintain a stable weight.

Keep in mind that after your liposuction procedure, your results can take several months to fully appear. This is because of residual swelling and fluid buildup that take time to subside. After the first six months to a year, you can enjoy the full effects of your liposuction procedure.

Are There Any Risks to Liposuction?

As with any surgical procedure, there are some risks associated with liposuction. Some patients may experience temporary numbness around the target area or areas. Additional risks may include infection, bleeding, hematoma, or contour irregularities. In very rare cases, blood clots may develop. Dr. Cohen carefully reviews the medical history of each patient and prioritizes safety when determining candidacy. He also recommends all candidates stop smoking several weeks before and after their surgery to further reduce the risk of any complication.

How Much Does Liposuction Cost?

The surgical plan for liposuction varies greatly from patient to patient. The total cost of liposuction depends upon how many areas are treated and the amount of time in the operating room. The average cost of liposuction can range from $3,000 to $10,000 or more. At the conclusion of your first consultation, Dr. Cohen will quote you the price for your procedure and its associated fees. Many of our patients choose to take advantage of our plastic surgery financing options, which can offer low monthly payment plans.

For more information about liposuction, or to get started with your custom treatment plan, please contact us to schedule a consultation.