San Francisco Liposuction
What is Liposuction?
Liposuction is a type of cosmetic surgery that involves making small incisions near an area of the body where excess fat is desired to be removed, inserting a hollow cannula into the incisions, and removing the fat before closing the incisions. 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).
The modern liposuction procedure dates back to 1974, although the surgery has seen innovations and improvements throughout the past 40 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 amazing overall body contour improvement.*
Why Choose Dr. Sieber for Liposuction?
Dr. Sieber is one of the only double-board certified plastic surgeons in the San Francisco Bay Area who specializes in liposuction. He has unique experience performing highly successful liposuction on a range of patients. In addition to his extensive training and experience, throughout his career, he has given multiple lectures, both nationally and internationally, to other plastic surgeons on the techniques he uses for hi-definition liposuction, his advanced post-operative protocols, and how he came to incorporate this type of liposuction into his practice.
To find out more about liposuction with Bay Area Plastic Surgeon Dr. Sieber, call us today at 415-915-9000, or schedule a consultation here.
Unfortunately, in the United States today, general liposuction training for surgeons tends to lack detail. Surgeons are taught only to remove areas of stubborn fat but are never taught to give patients shape and definition through liposuction. Dr. Sieber eschewed this mentality from the start, and aimed to learn and perform the art of liposuction with more attention to detail and sculpting.
To accomplish this and ultimately learn how to perform hi-definition liposuction, Dr. Sieber traveled to Bogota, Colombia to train with Alfredo Hoyos and Humberto Uribe Morelli. Dr. Hoyos is considered the creator of hi-definition liposuction, and through his training, Dr. Sieber was able to take his liposuction techniques to an entirely new level that is not commonly found in the United States.
Liposuction for a New You
Liposuction can be a life-changing surgery for many patients. Generally speaking, individuals are interested in this procedure for one of two reasons. First, it’s not uncommon for someone to want to remove excess fat because they’ve recently gone above their goal weight. This might be due of a lifestyle change, pregnancy, or something else. No matter the cause, these patients desire to achieve a better overall shape and appearance. The second group of patients are fairly fit and active already, yet they still have small pocket(s) of stubborn fat they can’t seem to get rid of. These patients are good candidates for hi-definition liposuction.
No matter the group you’re in, rest assured you’re not alone. Hundreds of thousands of people undergo successful liposuction every year. The procedure can boost your confidence, improve your comfort, and help you start fresh with a “new you”.
It’s one of the most fulfilling procedures for Dr. Sieber as well. He commonly receives text messages from individuals who’ve recently undergone liposuction. They are ecstatic to experience how much better their clothes fit and how much more confident they feel in their bodies after liposuction. These patients commonly say they don’t even recognize themselves when they get out of the shower and see themselves in the mirror. Many even have a renewed outlook on their diet and overall lifestyle after surgery. In turn, this may encourage them to become more active and improve their habits — not only to maintain their results, but to further improve their new bodies as well.
Liposuction Before & Afters
These Liposuction before and after pictures represent actual patients from Dr. Sieber. They will help to assist you in understanding your various options and enable you to set realistic goals for your own surgical outcome.
Who is an Ideal Candidate for Liposuction?
Despite targeting fat throughout the body, liposuction is not meant as a weight-loss treatment. In fact, Dr. David Sieber does not recommend liposuction for individuals who are more than 10 to 15 pounds from their ideal weight.
Instead, this procedure is most effective for healthy individuals close to their target weight. It is intended to recontour areas with small amounts of unwanted bulk. This can then help those areas be more refined and in proportion with the rest of the person’s body.
Liposuction remains the most popular cosmetic surgery for both men and women. While the areas of the body targeted may vary slightly 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.
Still, if the weight gained equals more than 10% of the overall 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 and 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 he performs. With just a single procedure, you can expect noticeable improvements and changes to the contours of your body. *
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During your consultation appointment, Dr. Sieber will discuss with you which areas of your body you would like to target with liposuction. Rest assured, he will take the time necessary to understand your concerns and what your ideal aesthetic outcome is. From here, Dr. Sieber will advise you on what is achievable with liposuction, and together, you’ll develop a surgical plan for reshaping and contouring these areas in order to achieve 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 surgery. Once you are in the operating room, a solution containing a numbing agent with epinephrine will be infiltrated in the target area. This helps to both relieve pain and minimize blood loss after surgery. Next, Dr.Sieber will make a series of small incisions in the target areas.
Unlike other plastic surgeons, Dr. Sieber aims to contour and shape the body through liposuction — not just remove the stubborn fat and end the procedure there. In order to achieve this, in nearly all circumstances, Dr. Sieber uses a technology called VASER for his liposuction patients. VASER uses ultrasonic energy to break up fat prior to removal. Once the fat is liquified, it is removed from the body using a cannula and power-assisted liposuction.
Dr. Sieber will closely monitor exactly how much fat is being removed to achieve the shape and contour you desire. Once he has completed the liposuction, the cannula will be taken out, and the incisions will be closed with sutures. These sutures dissolve on their own after about a week and do not require removal.
Dr. Sieber’s experience, training, and expertise helps to reduce the risk of complications during liposuction. In addition, Dr. Sieber adheres to an extremely regimented post-operative protocol. This not only helps patients heal fast, but it also further minimizes any risks associated with invasive procedures.
Preparing for Liposuction Surgery
As with any major surgery, at least two weeks prior to the procedure, patients should stop all medications and supplements that might increase their risk of bleeding. Of course, it’s important to check with your primary care provider before stopping any medication. You may 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.
Finally, one of the main things that can help you prepare for surgery is making sure you’re paying attention to your nutrition. Many people do not consume enough daily protein to be sufficient for healing in the post-op period. I recommend that patients try and consume at least 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight daily for the month leading up to surgery. That means if you weight 140 lbs., you should be eating 140g of protein a day!
Recovery from Liposuction Surgery
Immediately after surgery, you will be placed into a foam vest and compression suit to help reduce the accumulation of fluid beneath the skin where fat was removed. This will also help maintain the contours achieved during surgery while the body heals. The vest and compression suit must be worn 24 hours a day for the first month. After that, the foam vest can be removed, and a tighter compression is to be worn for 12 hours a day (day or night) for another two months.
There will also be two drainage tubes (one in the front and one in the back) which will be removed in 7 to 10 days after surgery. In addition, all patients should start receiving lymphatic drainage massages starting the day after surgery. Patients will typically need to receive 2 to 3 massages a week in the first 30 days.
Please keep in mind that although patients will generally be able to go home on the same day as their surgery, they should have a trusted relative or friend there to take them home, and someone should be home with them for the first 1 to 2 days to help with things around the house as well.
Recovery from liposuction can be relatively quick, and many patients are ready to return to work within a 5-7 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 are to be expected and may be moderate to severe and noticeable for several weeks after the procedure. This is normal and will gradually subside over time. It may take 3-6 months for all of the swelling to resolve completely. In revision liposuction patients or patients who have had previous CoolSculpting, full recovery may take 6-12 months.*
You should be up and walking after surgery as best as you can, although it’s important to listen to your body and to 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. *
San Francisco Liposuction Frequently Asked Questions
View our before-and-after photo galleries to see the results our liposuction patients have achieved.
Is liposuction the same as a tummy tuck?
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.
What areas of my body can be improved with liposuction? *
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, thighs, arms, back, chest, neck, and love handles.
How much does liposuction cost?
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.
What should I look for when choosing a plastic surgeon?
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. Make sure you’re undergoing liposuction with someone who knows what they’re doing. Once liposuction is poorly performed, it is very difficult (if not impossible) to fix certain related complications.
Start by looking at the surgeon’s before and after photos. Liposuction, like any other procedure, necessitates an artistic eye. Each surgeon has a different eye for the aesthetic results they achieve for their patients, so look for a surgeon whose results you find pleasing. Remember, surgeons only post their best results on social media and their website.
What choices will I have to make before surgery?
Your biggest decision will be regarding where on your body you’d like to eliminate stubborn fat, keeping in mind multiple areas can be targeted at once. At your consultation, Dr. Sieber will also discuss which of the two main types of liposuction would be best for you: traditional liposuction or VASER-assisted liposuction.
Can you get liposuction under local anesthesia?
There are a lot of surgeons who advertise liposuction under local anesthetic. These procedures are often called fun sculpting, air sculpting etc. All of these types of liposuction typically result in a poor aesthetic result. Dr. Sieber tends to see a lot of patients who’ve undergone these types of liposuction only to be displeased with the amount of fat removed and their end results.
How common are liposuction complications?
The most common complications after surgery are seroma (fluid collections), hyperpigmentation, contour irregularities, and fibrosis. These can happen for a variety of reasons and may be due to a patient’s own course of healing, not following post-operative protocols, or due to surgeon technique.
Complications can happen with any surgeon, so you’ll want to choose a surgeon who can minimize the risk of complications as much as possible. The three things that help minimize complications the most are training, experience, and post-operative protocols. Dr. Sieber’s experience, training, and expertise help to reduce the risk of complications as much as possible. Dr. Sieber adheres to an extremely regimented post-operative protocol as well, which not only helps patients heal faster, but also minimizes any associated risks.
Is liposuction meant for weight loss?
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.
Are overweight individuals good candidates for liposuction?
For individuals who are slightly overweight (within 5 to 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 to 15 pounds overweight are not ideal liposuction candidates, and they should consider attempting to lose additional weight before seeking liposuction.
What happens if I gain weight after surgery?
Gaining weight after surgery will not look good. In order to maintain the optimal look that you and Dr. Sieber worked to achieve through liposuction, it’s best to eat healthy and exercise regularly. Maintaining a weight within 5 to 10 lbs. is very important for the best long-term outcomes.
At the same time, it is possible to gain a significant amount of weight and have that fat not go directly to the areas treated with liposuction. Instead, in most cases, the fat you’d gain would be distributed proportionally to the new shape of your body. In other words, while you would likely get larger due to a large weight gain, the overall shape should remain.
How permanent is liposuction?
Liposuction permanently removes fat cells. So long as you maintain your weight through a healthy diet and exercising regularly, the shape achieved by your liposuction should remain.
How long after liposuction can you see results?
In patients having liposuction for the first time, final results will be seen in 3 to 6 months. Patients who have had previous CoolSculpting and/or previous liposuction might need to wait 6 to 12 months to see their final results. These patients may also require additional massages and/or more time wearing the foam vest for better compression.
Can you see scars from liposuction?
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.
What can I do to get the best lipo results?
Patients who have the best results after surgery adhere as closely as possible to the prescribed post-operative protocols. Simply follow these protocols. Each one is specifically designed to not only minimize complications, but to also maximize healing.
When patients wear poorly fitting garments or do not get massages, they tend to get more fibrosis and poor aesthetic results. Dr. Sieber also recommends a good diet and exercise regimen after surgery. Patients who get in even better shape after liposuction end up with even better results.
- American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, 2016 Cosmetic Surgery National Data Bank Statistics. (2016.) Retrieved from https://www.surgery.org/sites/default/files/ASAPS-Stats2016.pdf
- Lipo.com, History of Liposuction. (Undated.) Retrieved from https://www.lipo.com/liposuction-information/history-of-liposuction/
*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.