Lipoplasty, also named liposuction or liposculpture,
is a surgical procedure designed to remove deposits
of excess fat to create a desired body contour. This
procedure permanently removes fat cells from areas including
the neck, face, arms, chest, back, hips, thighs, buttocks,
knees, calves, and ankles. Although liposuction is not
a weight loss technique, it can effectively eliminate
excess fat deposits in particular areas of the body,
restoring a more proportionate and healthy body contour.
Women and men who are of relatively normal weight but
have isolated pockets of fat, which cause certain areas
of their body to appear disproportionate, take advantage
of this procedure. These localized fat deposits may
sometimes be genetically inherited and are not responsive
to dieting or exercise. Liposuction is often the only
means of eliminating these types of fat deposits.
How is liposuction performed?
In general, liposuction procedures use small incisions
in selected areas with a high vacuum to remove fat cells.
After the fat is removed, sutures (stitches) will be
applied to the areas treated. Thereafter a bandage or
garment will be applied to wrap the skin and minimize
The "tumescent technique" involves injecting
a solution with a local anesthetic into the areas to
be treated prior to suctioning. An incision is made
near the area from which the fat is to be removed; and
a specially designed surgical tube, called a cannula,
is placed through the incision into the fat. The cannula
is attached by flexible tubing to a vacuum pump that
removes the fat by suction as the cannula is manipulated
beneath the skin. Compared to other conventional liposuction
techniques, the tumescent technique is more precise
and accurate. This procedure minimizes blood loss, removes
more fat and has a faster recovery time.
Ultrasonic Assisted Lipoplasty (UAL) is a new method
of liposuction that uses ultrasound energy to liquefy
fat before it is suctioned. Because the fat is liquid
at the time that it is removed, UAL is smoother and
mechanically more efficient. In the United States, ultrasound
has been used for surgical removal of tissues, other
than fat, for more than twenty years. UAL has been used
in Europe for more than ten years. UAL also minimizes
trauma, resulting in less bruising and blood loss. UAL
is particularly useful on fibrous areas of the body,
such as the male breast, the upper abdomen and the upper
back, which are difficult to treat with traditional
How long does liposuction take?
Liposuction generally takes between one to four hours
depending on the particular areas treated.
What type of anesthesia is used?
Liposuction is usually performed using local anesthesia
along with a light sedative to make you feel drowsy
and relaxed. When treating larger areas, general anesthesia
is typically used causing you to be asleep during the
Where is the procedure performed?
Liposuction is usually performed on an outpatient basis,
in the surgeon's office-based surgical suite, an outpatient
surgery center or hospital.
When can I return home and resume
If you are having a small liposuction procedure, you
may return home the same day, however you have to make
arrangements for someone to drive you home and assist
you with your daily activities for the first 24 hours.
For larger liposuction procedures you may have to stay
overnight for observation. Depending on the extent of
the areas treated, most people return to work and normal
activities within a week.
How do I prepare for liposuction?
During your initial consultation, your surgeon will
discuss the changes that you would like to make to your
appearance. Since the appearance of your body is a matter
of personal perception and preference, you will need
to discuss your concerns in detail so your surgeon can
determine the appropriate alternatives. You also should
make arrangements ahead of time for someone to drive
you to and from your procedure and to assist you with
your daily activities during your recovery period.
Prior to your surgical procedure, the surgeon will
perform a complete health history and physical examination
to evaluate your overall weight, your skin and muscle
tone and the overall distribution of fat deposits. In
particular your surgeon will ask you about any problems
you have had with high blood pressure, blood clotting
or a tendency to develop large scars.
Knowledge of your allergies, medications and previous
surgeries should be brought to your surgeon's attention
at this time. Specific instructions to assist you in
preparing for this procedure will be given to you after
the health history and physical is complete. Depending
on your individual health status, the instructions may
include guidelines regarding your diet, alcohol intake,
smoking and which medications to take or avoid. Your
experience will be much smoother if you remain compliant
with your surgeon's instructions.
What precautions are necessary during
Immediately after surgery, you will need to continuously
wear a support garment for one to three weeks. Please
be sure to follow your surgeon's instructions regarding
deep breathing exercises, diet, bandage care, bathing,
showering, driving and exercising.
What are the possible complications
Serious complications are uncommon with this kind of
procedure. Generally, bruising lasts two to three weeks,
but sometimes longer. A certain amount of numbness or
reduced sensation in the treated area is to be expected.
Some people may experience shaping irregularities in
the treated areas following the procedure. Usually this
is temporary, but may be permanent. As with any surgical
procedure, bleeding, infection and other complications
are possible. It is always important to be informed
about the possible complications before any surgery.
Be sure to discuss any concerns you may have with your
What results can I expect after liposuction?
You will experience some discomfort for an hour after
the procedure, which may be relieved by medication.
Your stitches are painlessly removed five to seven days
after surgery. It may take two to four months for the
swelling to completely disappear. In most individuals,
liposuction scars are about one to two millimeters in
length and barely visible. Your scars will be red or
pink for six months and will gradually fade. However,
all scars are permanent and their height, width, and
final color are never completely predictable. Five percent
of men and women have an additional liposuction procedure
or a "touch-up" after six months. It is important
to understand that it will take some time before you
will see the dramatic final result of your new sculptured
Choosing the right surgeon
To obtain further information regarding ear surgery,
we advise you to consult with a qualified and experienced
board-certified plastic surgeon. Regardless of the type
of procedure you are considering, it is crucial to choose
the right surgeon for your individual goals. To receive
a complimentary consultation with a specialist in your
area, simply fill out our Online
Referral Form or call Toll