Most of us have areas of our body that we wish would be a different contour or smaller in size, and no matter how healthy we eat or how consistently we exercise, we can’t seem to make any significant improvements. For some of us, these small pockets of fat may negatively affect our confidence and body satisfaction. If that sounds familiar to you, liposuction could be the solution.
The modern liposuction procedure dates back to 1974, though the surgery has seen innovations and improvements throughout the past 40-plus years. According to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, liposuction is the single most common plastic surgery procedure in the U.S., with more than 400,000 liposuction procedures being performed each year.
When you see the results of expertly performed liposuction, it’s easy to see why the procedure is so popular. This minimally invasive treatment removes unwanted fat from almost any area of the body, including the abdomen, flanks, chin, hips, knees, neck, thighs, upper arms, and chest (for example to treat gynecomastia in male patients). The result is improvements in overall body contours.*
Liposuction can be a standalone procedure, but it also can be done in combination with another cosmetic procedure, such as a tummy tuck, breast augmentation, face-lift, mommy makeover, neck lift, or Brazilian Butt Lift (BBL).
Who Is An Ideal Candidate?
This body-contouring technique is not meant as a weight-loss treatment, despite targeting fat throughout the body. In fact, Dr. David Sieber does not recommend liposuction for individuals who are more than 10-15 pounds from their ideal weight.
Instead, this procedure is most effective for healthy individuals close to their target weight. It is intended to re-contour areas with small amounts of unwanted bulk to be more refined and in proportion to the rest of the person’s body.
Liposuction remains the most popular cosmetic surgical procedure for both men and women. While the areas of the body targeted may slightly differ between the sexes, both genders frequently target the abdomen and flanks. Men may be more likely than women to focus on the love handles and chest, while women are more likely than men to focus on their arms and abdomen.
Does Liposuction Permanently Remove Fat?
The fat cells that are suctioned out and removed from the body via liposuction are gone permanently. Liposuction is intended to be a virtually permanent solution, even in the event of minor weight regain. New fat cells that do grow should hold the same contours created during the liposuction procedure because less fat will accumulate in the areas that were treated. However, if the weight gain is more than 10% of the body weight, one can expect to grow more fat cells throughout the body. This can certainly impact the results of the surgery, so it’s important to continue to live a healthy lifestyle after liposuction to maintain a stable weight.
Dr. Sieber has completed advanced training in all of the latest fat-loss technologies and brings his artistic eye to every patient he sees. Liposuction is one of the most versatile body enhancement procedures that Dr. Sieber performs. With just a single procedure, you can expect noticeable improvements and changes to the contours of the body.*
- More contoured, slender appearance
- Definition of neck and jawline
- Aesthetic balance of arms and thighs
- Removal of fatty deposits resistant to diet and exercise
- Smooth shape of abdomen, waist, hips, and flanks
- Treatment of gynecomastia in male patients
- Length: 1-4 hours
- Anesthesia: General
- Surgery Type: Outpatient
- Side Effects: Swelling, bruising, temporary numbness
- Recovery: 3-7 days
To find out more about liposuction with Dr. David Sieber at Sieber Plastic Surgery, call us today at: 415-915-9000 or schedule a consultation here.
During your consultation, Dr. Sieber will discuss with you which areas on your body you want to target and will take time to understand what your ideal aesthetic outcome is. He will advise you on what is achievable with the liposuction procedure and will develop a surgical plan for reshaping and contouring those areas to create the outward appearance you desire.
On the day of your procedure, Dr. Sieber will make markings on your body using a special pen. These markings will be a guide for where the body will be contoured. During the liposuction procedure, Dr. Sieber will make a series of small incisions in the areas that will be treated.
Once the incisions are made, fluid is placed through the openings to numb the area and make removal of the fat easier. Fat removal is then done using a narrow, blunt-tipped tube called a cannula which is attached to a vacuum that sucks the fat and fluids out of the body. Sometimes, only one area is targeted, but oftentimes several areas of the body will be liposuctioned to create balance and achieve the best aesthetic outcome.
Dr. Sieber will closely monitor exactly how much fat is being removed to achieve the shape and contour you desire. Once Dr. Sieber has completed the liposuction, the cannula is taken out and the incisions are closed with sutures that will be removed in the office one week after your surgery.*
Preparing for Liposuction Surgery
As with any major surgery, you should stop all medications and supplements that can increase your risk of bleeding at least two weeks before the surgery. You should check with your primary care provider before stopping any medication.
Please reference our list of medications and supplements to avoid. Many common and popular over-the-counter health supplements, such as fish oil, St. John’s wort and Ginkgo biloba, are believed to raise the risk of bleeding in certain individuals.
While you shouldn’t smoke at all, smoking (and vaping) can be particularly problematic when undergoing and recovering from a surgical procedure. Studies have shown that smoking can impede healing and increase risk of postoperative complications, so if you do smoke or vape, it’s best to quit at least four weeks before surgery.
Recovery from Liposuction Surgery
Immediately following your surgery, you’ll be put into a compression garment to help reduce the accumulation of fluid beneath the skin where the fat was removed. You’ll need to wear this garment both day and night for the first two weeks, after which you may switch to a lighter compression garment for the next eight weeks. Wearing a compression garment will not only aid the healing process by reducing swelling and the buildup of fluid, but it also will help maintain the contours achieved during surgery while the body heals.
Recovery from liposuction can be relatively quick, and many patients are ready to return to work within a few days, particularly those who work in offices or desk jobs. While you will likely experience some pain as with any surgical procedure, pain after liposuction is usually minimal and can be easily controlled with medication.
Swelling and bruising is to be expected, and may be moderate to severe and noticeable for at least a few days and perhaps for as long as several weeks after the procedure. This is normal and will gradually subside over time.
You should be up and walking after surgery as best as you can, although it’s important to listen to your body and take care to avoid overexertion which could make you feel worse and lengthen your recovery timeline. You should be able to ease back into your normal routines, possibly including working out, within a couple of weeks after surgery, though it would be wise to avoid heavy exercise for at least 6 weeks.
Although patients will notice changes in contour immediately after their surgery, they can expect to see their final results as soon as three months after surgery. It can take up to six months for the body to be fully healed from swelling and the benefits of the procedure to be fully realized.*
Q: Is liposuction meant for weight loss?
A: Liposuction is not a procedure designed for weight loss. It’s a body-contouring procedure to remove stubborn pockets of fat that are resistant to diet and exercise. Despite the fact that the procedure targets pockets of fat, most patients do not lose significant amounts of weight from this procedure.
Q: Are overweight individuals good candidates for liposuction?
A: For individuals who are slightly overweight (within 5-10 pounds of their ideal weight), liposuction can help in smoothing out certain areas of the body that don’t respond to regular exercise or healthy eating. However, those who are more than 10-15 pounds overweight are not ideal liposuction candidates, and they should consider attempting to lose additional weight before seeking liposuction.
Q: What happens to the extra skin after liposuction?
A: The amount of skin contraction that occurs after liposuction depends on the age of the patient and the condition of their skin. Those with firm healthy skin with no stretch marks may see adequate contraction in their skin. Those with skin that is thin, sun damaged and/or with stretch marks may notice that their skin looks deflated and loose after surgery. Dr. Sieber will assess the condition of your skin to determine whether liposuction is the ideal procedure or if it’s recommended to add an additional procedure to remove or shape excess skin.
Q: What areas of my body can be improved with liposuction?*
A: Virtually any area of the body with stubborn fatty deposits can be reshaped and contoured through liposuction, but the most commonly liposuctioned areas are the abdomen, hips, thighs, arms, back, chest, neck, and love handles.
Q: How permanent is liposuction?
A: Liposuction permanently removes fat cells from areas of your body to create a new appearance, so as long as you maintain your weight through eating a healthy diet and exercising regularly, the shape achieved by your liposuction should remain.
Q: If I gain weight, will my fatty areas return?
A: While it’s possible that gaining a significant amount of weight will increase the fat in your body, the fat you gain should be distributed proportionally to the new shape of your body. In other words, while you will likely get larger due to a large weight gain, the overall shape should remain. Still, to maintain the optimal look that you and Dr. Sieber worked to achieve through liposuction, it’s best to eat healthy and exercise regularly.
Q: How much does liposuction cost?
A: Each treatment plan is uniquely created for each patient, including which areas of the body to target and how much fat to remove, so it’s necessary to meet with Dr. Sieber for an in-person examination to receive an accurate price quote. However, liposuction does tend to be one of the more affordable procedures on the plastic surgery spectrum. In fact, according to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, the average liposuction procedure is more affordable than the average face-lift, butt lift, or breast reduction.
Q: Why do I need to wear compression garments after my surgery?
A: Compression garments are necessary for a few reasons. They help reduce swelling and bruising in the areas treated during surgery, compression garments also help ensure the shape and contour achieved during surgery is maintained while the body heals itself, and helps the skin to retract. It’s important to wear the right type of compression garment, however. Too little compression will allow fluid to accumulate within the space created where the fat was removed, while too much compression can prolong swelling and bruising.
Q: What is a liposuction cannula?
A: A cannula is a small tube developed specifically for liposuction procedures. This thin, stainless steel tube is inserted under the skin through an incision. The cannula is connected to a vacuum, which suctions fat and fluid from the body.
Q: Is liposuction the same as a tummy tuck?
A: While both procedures can help to create a flatter and more toned stomach, liposuction simply removes unwanted abdominal fat and does not address loose or excess skin. A tummy tuck, on the other hand, is a more invasive surgery that removes excess skin and if necessary, repairs abdominal muscles that have been stretched from pregnancy. During your consultation, Dr. Sieber will assess your anatomy and goals, and make a recommendation for which procedure(s) would be best to achieve your desired aesthetic outcome.
Q: Will I have scars?
A: Modern liposuction procedures use tiny incisions and very thin instruments to remove fat from specific, targeted areas. The appearance of the scars after surgery depends on several factors, such as genetics, surgical technique, and incision care. Although liposuction incisions are usually less than 1cm, Dr. Sieber takes care to place the incisions in the most inconspicuous areas on the body as possible.
*Disclaimer: Results may vary from person to person. Editorial content, before and after images, and patient testimonials do not constitute a guarantee of specific results.