How Does Liposuction Work?

Each human body is different, and we all hold onto stubborn fat in different areas. Whether you are frustrated with fat around your abdomen, thighs, or even under your chin, liposuction can eliminate it. This procedure breaks up and removes excess fat almost anywhere on your body, allowing your surgeon to sculpt the figure you have worked to achieve.

What is Liposuction?

Often shortened to “lipo,” liposuction is a body sculpting procedure that uses small incisions to remove unwanted fat. Your surgeons at Specialty Aesthetic Surgery use their eye for artistry as well as their skill and experience to shape your problem areas and provide you with a more defined, contoured shape. Liposuction can be used on large areas, such as the abdomen, or smaller areas, such as under the chin. This procedure can be performed alone but is often used to provide additional shaping and slimming during other procedures.

How Does Liposuction Work?

Depending on the area of your body and your comfort level, liposuction can be performed using general or local anesthesia. The length of the procedure depends on the size and number of the areas being treated but typically lasts between one to five hours. Our accredited surgical facilities provide the optimal environment for your treatment. 

Your surgeon performs liposuction by making small incisions in the skin and inserting a thin, blunt-ended tool called a cannula. The cannula does two jobs at the same time. First, the blunt tip gently breaks apart layers of fat cells without damaging the surrounding tissues. The cannula then uses suction to remove the fat cells from your body. Liposuction targets subcutaneous fat, the fat under the skin and above the muscles, where your results are most visible. 

Liposuction removes fat cells so gently that they can then be transferred to other areas of your body. Facial fat transfer uses these fat cells to restore lost facial volume and achieve a naturally rejuvenated, youthful appearance. 

Where Can Liposuction Be Used?

Your Specialty Aesthetic Surgeon can perform liposuction almost anywhere on your body that you have stubborn fat. Ideal locations are those where the removal of a relatively small amount of fat can provide dramatic results, but most areas are suitable. The most popular body areas for liposuction include:

  • Abdomen
  • Waistline
  • Hips
  • Thighs
  • Upper arms
  • Under the chin
  • Neck
  • Chest
  • Back

Liposuction is often used as part of another procedure, such as a tummy tuck or thigh lift, to remove excess fat and achieve optimal results. This versatile procedure can be used in a variety of ways. However, you should keep in mind that it is not an overall weight loss tool and should only be used to treat specific areas of resistant fat.

What is Recovery Like After Liposuction?

Recovery depends on the details of your procedure. However, you can expect some swelling and soreness in the treated area. Your surgeon will prescribe pain medication as needed. You will have a compression garment to wear for several weeks after liposuction.

Most people can return to work in one to two weeks, depending on how they feel and how much activity their job requires. You can return to your usual routine, including strenuous exercise, after four to six weeks. You will have follow-up appointments to monitor how you are healing. The small incisions will heal into almost invisible scars. Swelling improves within a week after liposuction but can take a few months to fade entirely. 

How Much Fat Does Liposuction Remove?

While liposuction does remove fat, you should not consider it a weight-loss procedure. Your surgeon usually removes only enough fat to create your desired results. Removing too much fat can leave the area looking uneven or lumpy, or it can affect your harmonious proportions. The appropriate amount of fat to remove depends on your goals, the size of the treatment area, and how much fat is safe to remove. 

Most people find that removing fairly small amounts of fat can result in impressive results. Our focus at Specialty Aesthetic Surgery is always on your safety and providing your best results with the smallest amount of risk. When performed correctly as a body sculpting procedure, liposuction is very safe and effective. 

Am I a Candidate for Liposuction?

Only a consultation and review of your medical history can determine whether liposuction is a good choice for you. Candidates for this procedure should have reasonable expectations and be in overall good health. You will see the best results from liposuction if you are close to your goal weight and targeting specific problem areas. However, liposuction can provide results for almost anyone, especially in areas such as under the chin or around the neck. Talk to your surgeon about all your concerns. 

Take the Next Step – Request a Consultation

Want to learn more about liposuction? Schedule your consultation online or by calling Specialty Aesthetic Surgery at (212) 737-8700. We look forward to working with you!

Specialty Aesthetic Surgery serves the greater NYC metro area.

About Our Surgeons

Bruce Moskowitz is an experienced and board-certified oculoplastic surgeon. His practice encompasses all areas of oculoplastic cosmetic and reconstructive surgery. He has a well-known reputation for revision surgery, and a large portion of his practice comes from other colleagues to revise sub-optimal outcomes.

Grigoriy Mashkevich is an experienced and double-board certified facial plastic surgeon. He belongs to a highly select group of surgeons with a focused specialization in cosmetic and reconstructive surgery of the nose, face, and neck. 

Dr. Anna Frants is a board-certified facial plastic surgeon who is experienced in cosmetic and reconstructive surgery. Her areas of expertise include surgery of the face, neck, nose, eyelids, eyebrows, and ears. 

*Individual results may vary

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