Liposuction, also called lipoplasty or liposculpture, is a minimally-invasive surgical procedure used to remove localized pockets of fat from various areas of the body. The treatment is designed to improve overall body contour by removing areas of fat that have not responded to diet and exercise. Liposuction is the most common cosmetic treatment performed in the United States, and is used for both male and female patients.
The best candidates for liposuction are individuals of average weight with localized pockets of fat that have not been reduced through a diet and exercise program. Patients should be in good overall health, with skin that features elasticity and firmness. Liposuction is commonly used to treat the following areas:
- Hips, thighs and buttocks
- Waist and abdomen
- Upper arms, back and chest
- Ankles, inner knee and calves
- Face and neck
Liposuction is not considered a weight loss procedure, and should only be performed on patients who are already at a healthy weight or slightly overweight. If a patient plans to lose a significant amount of weight, it is best to meet those goals before having a liposuction procedure.
About the Procedure
Dr. Geoffrey Leber—our board-certified plastic surgeon—performs liposuction as an outpatient procedure under either local or general anesthesia. A narrow tube called a cannula is inserted into the fat pocket via a tiny incision. The cannula effectively loosens the fat and a gentle suction device attached to the cannula removes it from the body.
There are a number of different types of liposuction procedures that might be performed, including:
- Suction-Assisted Liposuction (SAL) – traditional liposuction procedure using suction to remove fat,
- Tumescent Liposuction – uses a solution prior to the procedure to shrink blood vessels for less bleeding during the procedure.
- Power-Assisted Liposuction (PAL) – utilizes a tool to move the cannula inside the fat pocket for quicker fat removal.
- Laser-Assisted Liposuction (LAL) – laser is used to disrupt the fat cells and loosen them for easier removal.
- Ultrasound-Assisted Liposuction (UAL) – ultrasound energy is used to loosen fat in larger fat pockets for easier removal.
Recovery and Results
After the procedure, patients may be given a compression garment to minimize swelling in the treatment area. Discomfort after liposuction can be managed with oral pain medication. Most patients take a few days after the procedure to rest and heal before returning to work and regular activities.
Results of liposuction may be seen right away, although swelling may impair the full effect for a number of weeks. Small incisions leave virtually no scarring afterward. As long as a patient maintains a healthy weight after the procedure, liposuction is considered a permanent solution to unwanted areas of fat.
Dr. Leber has ample experience with various liposuction techniques to ensure the best possible results for each patient. Contact our practice today to schedule a consultation or learn more about this fat reduction treatment.