What is liposuction?

Liposuction, also called lipoplasty, suction lipectomy or liposculpture, is a surgical procedure to sculpt the body by removing unwanted fat from the abdomen, love handles, muffin tops, back, hips, buttocks, thighs, fatty knees, cankles, upper arms, chin, cheeks and neck. Liposuction can emphasize muscle tone. Liposuction will remove stubborn areas of fat that fail to respond to traditional weight loss methods. The fat cells that are removed are permanently gone.

The goal of liposuction to define, refine and improve your body contours and eliminate isolated areas of body fat. And it is not just for women! Men may seek liposuction to remove “man boobs”, to sculpt the abdomen, remove love handles and sculpt six-pack abs.

It is an outpatient procedure that is performed using local anesthesia, IV sedation or a combination. Tumescent liposuction is safe and effective, and avoids the use of a general anesthetic and the attendant risks.

The thing about fat

Fat occupies a large volume under the skin, but it doesn’t weigh much, sort of like the stuffing in a pillow. Liposuction isn’t about removing the largest amount of fat, because that alone will not produce the results you are seeking. Rather it is the removal of stubborn fatty deposits and body sculpting that produce a toned, sculpted figure.

What liposuction is not:

  • Liposuction is not a treatment for obesity. Patients should not expect a loss of more than 5 to 10 pounds from liposuction.
  • It doesn’t treat cellulite, stretch marks or sagging skin.
  • If there is excessive skin and/or fat, other surgical procedures may be better options for achieving the results you seek. For example, a tummy tuck may be more effective if you have flabby skin and fat. Liposuction may also be combined with a tummy tuck.

Who is a good candidate?

People choose liposuction for personal reasons like wanting to look better in clothes, or a swimsuit or to enhance other procedures. Perhaps reducing excess fat in one or several areas can create a more well-balanced silhouette. Perhaps you are fit and want to remove fat that is hiding a great six- pack, or to redefine your waist. Perhaps you have flabby upper arms and feel you need to hide them behind long sleeves. Or, perhaps you have always hated your fat knees.

The best liposuction candidates are within 30% of their ideal weight and have firm, elastic skin and good muscle tone with undesirable fat bulges. Skin elasticity is key to being a good candidate, because fat removal will leave skin that must retract to conform with the body.

As we age, the skin loses elasticity and doesn’t bounce back after being stretched so those patients who have liposuction may be faced with sagging skin after liposuction. Dr. Powell always checks for skin elasticity to determine whether you are a good candidate.

The best candidates are younger, non-smokers with good skin elasticity.

The procedure

Conventional liposuction is often called tumescent liposuction. Tumescent liposuction involves injections of a local anesthetic solution (a tumescent solution) into the areas to be treated. This minimizes bleeding and discomfort. Dr. Powell will make tiny incisions in the areas to be treated and insert a cannula (a small thin tube) to loosen and remove excess fat beneath the skin.

What does it cost?

The average cost in 2017 was $3400.00 (the surgeon’s fee), and does not include anesthesia, operating room fees, medications, medical tests, and post-surgery garments. Costs also vary depending on the number of locations being treated.

The key to a great outcome is a cosmetic surgeon who understands anatomy, tissues and muscles, is highly skilled, with analytic sense combined with an artistic eye to create the aesthetic results that you desire. Dr. Carl Powell at Powell Cosmetic Surgery in San Diego combines the art and science of cosmetic surgery to produce youthful, natural results. He strives to help his patients to look like the best version of themselves.

A better shape is within reach with liposuction by Dr. Carl Powell. Schedule a consultation and learn how you can get that fabulous body you have dreamed of.