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Liposuction eliminates stubborn fat from areas that are difficult to target with diet and exercise. It is effective at sculpting the body, eliminating unwanted pockets of fat from the buttocks, hips, “love handles”, “saddlebags", thighs, calves, ankles, breasts (including male breasts), back, arms and neck. Liposuction is often combined with other procedures to create a more desirable shape and is one of the safest and most popular cosmetic procedures.

Patients sometimes think that liposuction is a substitute for weight loss, but of course, it is not. If an individual is overweight and that fat is well distributed, then liposuction simply will not work in the long run. If someone eats more calories than they expend after liposuction, over time the body will store those fat cells, just in a different location than where the liposuction was done.

Liposuction works well for areas of disproportion. That does not mean that a patient has to be thin; but that there needs to be an area that is disproportionate such as a bulge or a shape that does not flow harmoniously with the surrounding areas. Ideally, this procedure achieves the best results in people who are within 10 to 15 percent of the ideal weight for their height.


Liposuction best addresses regions that contain "blocked fat, such as “saddlebags” and “love handles”. These areas cannot be well controlled by diet and exercise, as the fat cells they contain are highly resistant to being broken down for energy and are therefore referred to as “blocked.”A person has to lose six pounds of normal fat in order to lose one pound of blocked fat, so often, no matter how hard they try, abnormal bulges remain prominent. When attempts at controlling fat by diet have failed, it is best to address problem areas with liposuction as soon as possible. The longer skin remains stretched out, the less able it will be to tighten spontaneously following liposuction. Anticipating how the skin will retighten is an imprecise process, but it must be done and discussed with the patient in order to plan the surgery.

How it works

Liposuction removes fat from the body using suction. Small, thin, blunt-tipped tubes (cannula) are inserted through small cuts in the skin. The surgeon then moves these tubes under the skin to target fat deposits and then suction them out.

The incisions of liposuction are usually less than a quarter of an inch long and disappear over time. Recent advances in liposuction technology, including the evolution of very thin cannulas and minimally invasive methods such as liposculpture, allow the surgeon to sculpt and contour abnormal fat deposits without leaving significant indentations.

How long will it take?

Most liposuction operations take between one and four hours and are performed under general anesthetic.



In advance of your procedure, your surgeon will ask you to:

  • Stop smoking before undergoing surgery to better promote healing.

  • Avoid taking aspirin, certain anti-inflammatory drugs and some herbal medications that can cause increased bleeding.

  • Regardless of the type of surgery to be performed, hydration is very important before and after surgery for safe recovery.

  • If your surgeon recommends weight benchmarks or lifestyle changes, do your best to achieve them to ensure the best results and minimize the chance of complications.

When liposuction is done as a stand-alone procedure, it relies on the elastic properties of the skin to contract and conform to the reduced volume. During a pre-operative examination of the patient, the surgeon can determine how much the skin is likely to tighten post-operatively and whether or not an additional skin-tightening procedure might be necessary.


Liposuction generally takes two weeks of recovery before you can return to normal daily activities, although there are people that work desk jobs who are able to return to work several days after the procedure. However, athletics may be resumed only after four to six weeks.

While the incisions made in the skin during lipo are very small, the internal wound is large, depending on what area and how much one is having suctioned. The local anesthesia remains in the treated tissue, which helps minimize discomfort, but you will be sore for several days. You may have bruising or swelling, but scarring is minimal due to the tiny size of the incisions.

It takes up to two to twelve weeks for the skin to shrink completely and the liposuctioned area to reach its final form. In younger women who are neither extremely overweight nor post-partum, the results are generally very good. The skin overlying the liposuctioned area can be recontoured to achieve a near-perfect shape. However, if the skin is very lax or the cellulite is severe, some surface irregularities may remain after liposuction. 

Non-invasive treatments like Endermologie, along with diet and exercise, can help deal with the problem. Older patients or others with significant extra skin might need an additional skin-tightening procedure, or lift. This can be done at the same time the fat is suctioned.


The results of liposuction surgery are technically permanent because the fat cells have been removed. However, your body shape and contours might be affected by weight gain, aging, pregnancy, family genes, and lifestyle factors.

Chances are, you probably won't see the results you want right after your procedure. While liposuction can remove up to 10 pounds of fat cells during a procedure, fluid retention and swelling can cause you to look bloated. As the swelling goes down, you can begin to see results.

Depending on how much fat is removed, you can expect to see final results between 1-3 months after the procedure. It is crucial to maintain healthy habits and a stable weight to maintain liposuction results. Following liposuction, if you continue to eat excess calories, fat will no longer be stored in the cells that have been removed but will be stored in other body areas.

There is no way to predict where your body will store new fat. What's more, your surgeon will not remove all of the fat cells from your target area, so you could still increase the size of remaining fat cells in that area, which is why it is so important to maintain a healthy lifestyle with regular diet and exercise post-procedure.

Before & After

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