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Liposuction is the process of surgically eliminating extra, unwanted fat deposits that have built up over time. Oftentimes, these fat deposits have proved tricky for individuals to burn or reduce through traditional exercise and dieting. There are many reasons why someone may consider liposuction as a viable option for cosmetic enhancement. Each individual has their own unique challenge when it comes to fighting off extra weight gain and their own struggle with body image. Some may seek to change their body shape due to excess fat pockets in one singular area or a variety of places on the body. Individuals may be experiencing the development of isolated pockets of excess fat due to the natural aging process, weight fluctuations over time, a recent pregnancy, or other factors. Liposuction can target a wide range of areas to help you enhance your body contours with beautiful results.

What Are the Benefits of Liposuction?

Liposuction can target specific locations of excess fat deposits and remove fat cells from the region, ultimately creating new contours in the area. The treatment has significantly evolved since its inception and surgeons now have the ability to apply it to almost every area of your body. Common targets for liposuction include:

  • Arms
  • Back
  • Flanks/Love handles
  • Hips
  • Abdomen
  • Neck
  • Thighs
  • Knees
  • Breasts
  • Buttocks

During your first consultation, you and our board-certified plastic surgeon, Dana Coberly, MD, will discuss your needs and goals and decide what areas of your body you want to target with the liposuction procedure. Once all your questions have been answered, Dr. Coberly will create a comprehensive treatment plan based on your input and desires for the final results.

Liposuction vs. CoolSculpting®

Many patients have two distinct options when seeking to eliminate excess fat deposits: liposuction and CoolSculpting®. Traditional liposuction is a surgical procedure that uses strategic incisions to remove targeted areas of fat cells, while CoolSculpting® is a non-surgical procedure. With CoolSculpting®, the goal of reducing unwanted, extra fat remains the same, but the treatment does not require surgical incisions or general anesthesia. Isolated fat groups in the abdominal region and various regions throughout the body can be targeted with this method. Using a special applicator, fat cells can be “frozen” via a controlled cooling process, causing them to slowly break down. The body naturally filters out the unwanted fat cells through the metabolic process. CoolSculpting® may be recommended for individuals with mild to moderate cases of excess fat. It may not be the best solution for patients who would like to address larger or more severe cases of excess fat. While liposuction is a surgical procedure and will require a period of recovery, CoolSculpting® offers more immediate results with less downtime and fewer side effects. You can continue to work and exercise during your treatments, and no special compression garments are required.

During your initial consultation, Dr. Coberly will evaluate your needs to determine whether surgical liposuction or non-surgical CoolSculpting® is the more ideal option.

What is the Difference Between Liposuction and
Tummy Tuck Surgery?

For many individuals considering procedures that can address abdominal aesthetics, liposuction and tummy tuck surgery (abdominoplasty) share a common goal to enhance the abdominal region and recontour the midsection for a firmer, slimmer appearance. However, each treatment uses a different technique, and is designed to address distinct concerns.

For patients who struggle with excess fat that has accumulated in isolated body areas (such as the abdominal region), liposuction is focused on removing fat cells and getting rid of stubborn fat pockets that have not responded to diet and exercise. Alternatively, for those with loose abdominal skin or a “protruding” abdomen, a tummy tuck targets that particular area to remove excess skin around the stomach, tighten abdominal muscles, and smooth out the remaining skin. If a patient is affected by both of these concerns, there is also the option to undergo both procedures at the same time. In fact, there is often a liposuction component added to tummy tuck surgery in cases where the concerns are caused by both excess fat and excess skin. During your consultation, Dr. Coberly will discuss a personalized treatment plan for liposuction, a tummy tuck, or a combination of both procedures depending on your needs and goals.

What Does the Liposuction Procedure Involve?

The process of liposuction begins before the operation. It is recommended that you make efforts to reach your ideal weight (or close to the average healthy weight for your body type) before surgery as liposuction is not a substitute for traditional weight loss efforts. Instead, the procedure is designed to target specific areas of the body where there is an unwanted buildup of fat deposits.

There are a variety of techniques Dr. Coberly can utilize for liposuction. The best technique for your needs will be determined during your consultation and incorporated into the customized treatment plan. Generally, the liposuction procedure involves the insertion of thin cannulas through very small incisions to gently suction out the excess fat cells. The length of the treatment will depend on the size and number of areas being targeted; however, liposuction is typically performed on an outpatient basis and should not require an overnight hospital stay. General anesthesia or sedation is usually required for this treatment.

What is the Recovery Time for Liposuction?

The recovery time following a liposuction procedure will depend on how much excess fat was removed and how many areas were targeted. In many cases, those who have rather small amounts removed can return to work and regular life in a few days. With larger amounts being removed, the recovery time is often a week or longer. Medication can often be prescribed to ease patients through recovery and help manage discomfort. Immediately after surgery, many patients are required to wear recovery compression garments that assist with healing and help the area maintain its new contour immediately following the procedure. Usually, it is recommended that patients who have had liposuction wear their garments for at least four weeks.

Will I Have Scars from Liposuction?

As with any surgical procedure involving incisions, there will be scarring to some degree. However, Dr. Coberly is a board-certified plastic surgeon surrounded by a high-level team who have years of experience administering liposuction procedures. Dr. Coberly is strategic with where incisions are made in order to reduce the visibility of residual scarring. The incisions themselves are generally small in size regardless of how much excess fat is being removed, which allows for less noticeable scarring. Additionally, certain areas allow for less visible scars. Your post-operative lifestyle is always kept in mind when the treatment plan is being developed.

Will I Experience Side Effects After Liposuction?

Overall, side effects from liposuction tend to be mild. Patients may experience temporary swelling, redness, soreness, and bruising around the affected area. Symptoms generally ease during the recovery process within a few days to a week (or more) depending on the extent of the surgery.

Although not as common, some patients may experience spots of numbness, infection, blood clots, and fluid accumulation, which are possible with virtually any incisional procedure. However, under the care of a board-certified plastic surgeon like Dr. Coberly, these risks can be reduced. Prior to treatment, patients will learn about recovery recommendations, as well as receive home-care instructions following the procedure. To lessen recovery time and ease associated discomfort, it’s best to carefully follow these directions in order to maximize the potential of achieving a safe recovery and the full benefits of the treatment.

Can I Expect Long-Term Results from Liposuction?

After the liposuction procedure, patients may begin to see initial improvements within one week, followed by more prominently visible outcomes within about six weeks. Final results are expected at around six months. Liposuction can help eliminate stubborn fat deposits and enhance body contours with very long-lasting results. While these purged fat cells will not grow back, it’s important to understand that significant weight fluctuations or weight gain may affect other regions, produce new fat growth, and lead to unbalanced contours in the treatment areas. Therefore, it is important that patients commit to maintaining a healthy diet and exercise regimen after the procedure. Setting a long-term plan to sustain a stable and healthy lifestyle is the key to long-term, beautiful liposuction results.

What is the Cost of Liposuction?

The cost of liposuction at our practice usually ranges between approximately ​​$2,300 and $5,500, depending on the area. However, because liposuction procedures are custom-tailored for each patient, the cost will vary from one individual to another. After you have developed a treatment plan with Dr. Coberly during your initial consultation, you will have a better idea of what the cost of your liposuction procedure will be. Contributing factors such as how many areas are being targeted and how much fat buildup is being removed can impact the overall price of the treatment. We’re more than happy to answer any and all questions about the cost of liposuction and help you determine the best method of payment for your budget. Our practice accepts a range of convenient payment methods, and we work with plastic surgery financing companies such as PatientFi™ and CareCredit®. These reputable agencies offer numerous financing plans for patients who qualify.

Additional Information

If you have additional questions about liposuction, or if you are ready to schedule a consultation with Dr. Coberly, please contact us today.