Liposuction is a cosmetic procedure performed to improve the shape of the body by removing excess fat. This procedure is ideal for men and women who are at or near their ideal body weight but experience stubborn, excess fat deposits in particular areas of the body.
Liposuction is one of the most multi-faceted cosmetic procedures, as it can improve multiple areas of the body at one time. Liposuction is most commonly performed on the following areas:
Liposuction can remove the stubborn “lower pooch” many women experience on their abdomen after pregnancy. Fat can also be removed from the upper part of the abdomen for an overall flatter, firmer abdominal appearance.
Liposuction of the arms can remove excess fat, but it will not remove excess skin. Those who experience the best results have good skin elasticity and do not have existing sagging skin beneath the arms.
Liposuction is often performed in selected areas of the buttocks to improve its overall shape. The size of the buttocks can also be reduced with this procedure.
Flank liposuction can improve or eliminate the appearance of a “muffin top” or “love handles” on either side of the body to produce the desired hourglass shape for women and a masculine “V” shape for men.
Fat in male breasts caused by gynecomastia or excess weight can be reduced with liposuction to provide a flatter, more masculine chest appearance.
Liposuction of the neck can improve the appearance of a “double chin” by removing fat and defining the area between the lower face and neck.
Excess fat on the outer thighs, commonly known as "saddlebags," can be streamlined, along with fat on the inner thighs to provide smoother, leaner looking legs.
Liposuction can help smooth the curve of the hips to create a natural-looking, feminine silhouette.
A: Those who experience the best results with liposuction are at or near their ideal weight and have maintained it for at least two months. The best candidates also have good skin elasticity without a significant amount of excess skin in the area to be treated. Patients who wish to remove excess skin are better candidates for skin removal surgery like a tummy tuck or arm lift.
A: Several small incisions are made in the chosen area, and a solution is administered that reduces bleeding, pain, and bruising. This is called the tumescent technique. A thin, hollow tube called a cannula is inserted through each incision to remove the fat permanently. Depending on the size of the area to be treated, either local or general anesthesia can be used. The length of the procedure varies; it can be broken into several stages to help minimize complications. Liposuction may be an inpatient procedure if a large volume of fat must be removed.
A: Liposuction is not a weight loss procedure; it is designed to sculpt the body and improve its overall shape. The average person only loses about half a pound to three pounds of fat during one liposuction session.
A: The length of recovery from liposuction will vary depending on the area or areas treated and on the patient’s ability to heal. Most patients can return to work after one or two days, but they should avoid exercise or other strenuous activity for two weeks.
A: Liposuction will not improve the appearance of cellulite or sagging skin. The best candidates should be near their ideal weight and have good skin elasticity since removing too much fat can lead to excess skin in the area. Liposuction can significantly improve the shape of the body, streamlining the areas that tend to bulge or do not fit easily into clothing. Liposuction patients experience firmer, more defined body contours and an overall improved self-esteem.
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Élan Institute for Plastic Surgery
2010 East First Street, Suite 270
Santa Ana, CA 92705