Liposuction or “lipo” is one of the most popular procedures in plastic surgery for men and women who want to remove unwanted, stubborn fat from areas such as the double chin, the neck, arms, stomach, waistline or thighs. Liposuction is a safe procedure which can make a very noticeable change to a person’s body contour and for many, be the catalyst to maintaining a slimmer body and healthier lifestyle.
Liposuction is an ideal procedure to remove the stubborn fatty deposits that do not improve with diet and exercise.
What is liposuction?
Liposuction is a surgical procedure done under local (awake) or general anesthesia to remove the stubborn fatty deposits that do not improve with diet and exercise. It can also create definition of the muscles and sculpt the body, also known as liposculpture, medium definition liposuction or high definition liposuction.
The following are some of the most common areas for the removal of excess fat:
- Liposuction on the chin (“double chin”)
- Liposuction on the arms
- Liposuction on the stomach and waistline
- Liposuction on the face
- Liposuction on the thighs
- Liposuction on the buttocks
- Liposuction on the breast
Liposuction can be done by itself, or along with another procedure such as breast augmentation, breast lift, eyelid surgery, facial contouring or a tummy tuck.
How is a liposuction surgery performed? What are the different techniques for liposuction?
Liposuction surgery is performed under local anesthesia or general anesthesia depending on the type of procedure. We start with very small incisions in hidden areas near the body part we want to treat. A thin cannula is inserted, with or without local anesthetic, and tumescent infiltration is injected to facilitate the procedure and reduce bleeding. Then the liposuction cannula is introduced into the fatty area and the unwanted fat is sucked out by a tube connected to the liposuction machine.
The most common techniques we use for liposuction are:
- Power-assisted liposuction (PAL)
- Ultrasound-assisted liposuction (UAL)
If you would like to know more about how liposuction might be the procedure for you to remove unwanted, excess fat, I would love to see you for a consultation to answer any questions you have.
Liposuction for men
Liposuction is a good procedure for men who want to remove unwanted fat, reshape the body or improve the muscle definition by removing superficial fat.
Will liposuction remove the double chin?
Yes, liposuction can remove fat from the central neck area, improve facial contouring and enhance the jawline area.
Do I need to be sedated during a liposuction?
The liposuction procedure can be performed while the patient is awake or under general anesthesia. These options are discussed with the patient once the type of procedure is decided on.
Is liposuction painful?
There is no pain during the surgery as we numb all areas where the procedure is performed. Patients may feel some mild pain after the surgery but will receive anti-inflammatory and pain medications to speed up recovery and comfort after the procedure.
How long will liposuction last?
A liposuction is a permanent change, however, fat can return. We encourage patients to combine the liposuction procedure with a healthy diet and lifestyle, and that is always the best long-term recommendation. However, if needed, liposuction can be repeated.
Will there be visible scars after the liposuction surgery?
In general, scars should not be visible over time. Very small incisions are made in inconspicuous areas, and they usually heal very well.
Will there be swelling after liposuction surgery?
Yes, there will be noticeable bruising and swelling after the surgery for about 2 weeks. Some mild swelling may continue for another 8-12 weeks depending of the extent of the liposuction.
What is the liposuction recovery time?
The average downtime is about 1-2 weeks after the procedure, depending on how many areas of the body have had the liposuction. Most patients feel really well after about 3 days and can return to their normal activity in 7-10 days weeks with little to no discomfort.
How much does liposuction cost?
There are several factors which make up the cost of liposuction. It varies depending on the goals of the patient and the type of liposuction procedure.
Am I a good candidate for liposuction?
You may be a good candidate if you would like to remove stubborn excess fat from the body. Liposuction is not meant to correct obesity or to replace diet and exercise measures for weight loss. Patients can be above their ideal weight to have the liposuction procedure, but the best results are seen in patients with localized fat only. If you have good skin elasticity, the skin will be smooth after the procedure. Skin with less elasticity may become loose in the areas after the fat is removed.
How can I get started to learn more?
If you are interested in liposuction, it would be my pleasure to see you in the office for an in-person consultation. We can talk about what you want to achieve, go over the specific areas you are looking to improve, and I will answer any questions you have.
Plastic surgery through a woman’s eye
Dr. Gabriele Miotto, Atlanta plastic surgeon known for her beautiful, natural results and high patient satisfaction.
Surgery and Recovery Information
After the Liposuction procedure
Liposuction is an outpatient surgery done under general or local anesthesia. After the procedure, there will be visible bruising and swelling for a few weeks.
Liposuction is not a painful procedure, but mild discomfort and tenderness in the operated areas are expected for a few days to a few weeks after surgery. It can be treated with preoperative and postoperative medication and supplementation, ice and anti-inflammatories. Swelling can be minimal or more intense depending on how many procedures need to be done in surgery to make the results the most beautiful and natural possible. Frequently combined procedures liposuction with a fat exchange to the face, breast and buttock. There are many options for us to use to achieve the best results. Return to normal daily activities between 1-2 weeks. We are all different, so it is hard to predict who will get more or less swelling and bruising.
General preoperative recommendations for liposuction:
What to avoid before surgery:
- DO NOT take any aspirin for 7-10 days before your scheduled procedure. Do not take NSAIDS (Aleve, Motrin, Ibuprofen) for 5 days before surgery. You may take Tylenol (Acetaminophen) if needed for aches or pains. Please contact the office at if you have any questions about any medications that you are taking or if you are prescribed aspirin by your cardiologist or Primary Care Provider (PCP).
- Discontinue Vitamin E 10 days before surgery.
- Avoid the following herbal supplements for 10 days before surgery: Echinacea, Ephedra / Phentermine (used for weight loss), Feverfew, Fish Oils, Garlic, Ginkgo Biloba, Goldenseal, Kava-Kava, Licorice, Saw Palmetto, St. John’s Wort and Valerian.
- Stop Smoking. The harmful effects of smoking can cause tissue death, infection, and open wounds. It also makes you age faster!
- Alcohol can promote swelling of the surgical area and it is best to avoid alcohol intake for at least one week before surgery.
What to take before surgery:
- Dr Miotto will recommend some medications and supplements to help speed up recovery after surgery.
General postoperative recommendations after liposuction surgery:
- If your surgery was done with sedation or general anesthesia, you must have a responsible adult to transport you home and stay with you for a full twenty-four hours after your surgery.
- You will be unable to drive if you are taking narcotics.
- It is common to feel sluggish for a few days as the anesthesia works its way out of your system.
- It is recommended to elevate the head with two to three pillows after all facial procedures.
- Your initial post-operative appointment will be scheduled by your Patient Care Coordinator
- Please refrain from physical activity that will increase your heart rate or blood pressure for 1-2 weeks after surgery. However, bed rest is NOT recommended, and you should be walking at normal pace after the procedure.
- Frequent walking will decrease the risk of post-operative blood clots (mostly after general anesthesia).
- You can shower twenty-four hours after surgery. You may clean the incisions as instructed by Dr Miotto or her nurses after the procedure.
- Do not submerge yourself into a tub/pool until all wounds have healed (usually in 3 weeks).
- Do not scrub the surgical sites, however you can allow soapy water to run over them.
- Avoid lotions on the surgical sites for 2 weeks, but you can moisturize any other areas as desired.
Returning to Work:
- Recovery time will vary; however, most patients return to work within one to 2 weeks after the procedure, within one week you will have a feel for your specific limitations and will be able to determine how comfortable you will be with resuming your daily activities and workload.
- Immediately following surgery, it is best to eat bland, easily-digested food and avoid excess sugar and salt. Healthy proteins (eggs, lean meat, beans, nuts), rice, fruits and cooked vegetables (broccoli, peppers, sweet potatoes) will provide your body with nutrients essential for healing.
- Eat a few bites of food before taking pain medications as these can cause nausea.
- A diet low in sodium will help minimize swelling and water retention.
- Drink plenty of water! Drinking low sugar sports drinks and protein shakes are recommended.
- Keep in mind that our goal in aesthetic surgery is improvement and not perfection. You will be followed closely after surgery to assure that you heal well and have the best possible results.
- It can take months for the very final results of your surgery be apparent. After 12 weeks, you can expect your results to be mostly permanent. Expect subtle changes in swelling and healing (including the appearance of scarring) to continue to appear for up to twelve months.
- It is important for you to keep open communication with your physician and return for your follow up visits. We will take pre and post pictures along the way and look at the final results together.
GABRIELE C. MIOTTO MD, MEd., is a Brazillian-American plastic surgeon specialized in aesthetic surgery and minimally invasive procedures, specially of the face, eyes, nose, breasts and liposuction.[testimonials category=”liposuction” orderby=”menu_order” order=”ASC” style=”” hide_photos=”1″]