What Areas Can Liposuction Treat?
Excess fat around the abdomen can make it difficult to have the flat, lean belly you desire. If there is droopy or stretched skin and stretch marks from pregnancies or significant weight loss, many patients will need to consider a tummy tuck.
Hips & Thighs
Unwanted fat accumulation around the hips and thighs can affect how your clothing fits. Patients with poor skin quality and no elasticity, especially on the upper inner thighs, may want to consider a thigh lift that removes fat and tightens the skin as well.
Fatty tissue can cause your buttocks to lack the attractive definition and shape you desire. Many times, contouring the hip rolls, saddlebags, upper inner thighs, and triangle above buttock crease will enhance the look of the buttocks.
Flabby arms can lack tone or definition, making you feel uncomfortable in many types of shirts and dresses. However, if you have very stretched skin and poor elasticity, the more appropriate procedure would be an arm lift to remove skin that does not contract well.
Stores of fat under the neck can create a double chin, which robs you of a lean facial appearance. This is fine for relatively young patients with good skin tone. However, if you have prominent muscle bands and excess skin, the neck lift will attain more dramatic results.
Back & Chest
Fat may obscure the definition along your back. Fatty tissue can create the appearance of breasts in men. However, in men with both fat and breast tissue, this is called gynecomastia and may require more than just liposuction.
Before Your Procedure
Before the procedure, it is recommended that you do the following:
- Do not take any anti-inflammatory drugs, such as aspirin or ibuprofen (Advil or Motrin) for at least two weeks
- Refrain from smoking for at least two weeks (long-term smokers, even when they stop, have a higher rate of complications with healing)
- Refrain from drinking alcohol for at least one week (excessive alcohol consumption can slow blood clotting and may result in more bruising or even hematomas)
- Shower the morning of surgery, but do not apply any lotions or other moisturizers
- Arrange to have someone drive you home after the procedure
While Undergoing Liposuction
Liposuction is usually performed on an outpatient basis with general anesthesia. Very minor touch-ups can be done under local anesthesia. With a specialized suctioning device, excess fat deposits are permanently removed through small incisions using a thin, hollow tube called a cannula.
Some liposuction procedures are performed to harvest fatty tissue for a fat transfer procedure. Fat transfer may be used in combination with liposuction to improve the appearance of cellulite. In other cases, fat harvested through liposuction can be used to restore volume to the face, improve the size of the breasts, and enhance the shape of the buttocks.
Your Transformation Is Under Way!
After a couple of weeks, swelling and bruising will subside and the contours of your body will be noticeably slimmer and more defined. Long-term results typically take four to six months for final contouring. The results of liposuction are generally permanent, and patients can maintain their results by following a healthy diet and exercise regimen. Remember that you can still regain fat in the areas suctioned since the remaining fat cells can enlarge with excess caloric intake. However, you don’t grow new fat cells.
Frequently Asked Questions
Am I a good candidate for liposuction?
Ideal candidates for liposuction are close to their ideal weight with stubborn areas of fat that have been difficult to eliminate with diet and exercise. Liposuction candidates are in good overall health and do not have any pre-existing health conditions. It is important to have realistic expectations of the procedure and to understand that liposuction is not a weight-loss procedure.
Will liposuction improve the appearance of cellulite?
Although liposuction removes excess fat and usually provides the skin with a smoother appearance, it is not considered a standalone treatment for cellulite. Liposuction can sever the bands that attach to the skin and cause the dimpling (viewed as cellulite), but to maintain an improvement, you must fill these released dimples, typically by fat grafting (fat transfer). Together, the two procedures can achieve the best improvement for cellulite.
Will liposuction address excess skin?
Liposuction addresses excess fat only. Body contouring procedures address excess skin on various areas of the body, such as the abdomen, thighs, and arms. Liposuction is commonly combined with body contouring in patients who have excess fat and sagging skin. While in the office, you can have a discussion with Dr. Karp about the benefits of combining body contouring surgery with your liposuction.
How much does liposuction cost?
The total cost of liposuction depends on the number of areas treated and the amount of fat removed.
Is liposuction covered by health insurance?
Health insurance providers do not typically cover the cost of liposuction because it is considered an elective cosmetic procedure.
How long will the results of liposuction last?
Liposuction permanently removes fat cells. However, the remaining fat cells in the treated area(s) can still increase in size with weight gain. Therefore, maintaining a stable weight by following a healthy diet and exercise regimen will preserve the results.