What Is Liposuction?

Eating right and exercising are the healthiest ways to lose weight, but many people retain problem areas of fat in certain regions of the body regardless of healthy eating and a proper exercise regimen. Because of this concern, Plastic Surgery of the Carolinas offers liposuction to patients who may be good candidates for the procedure. Liposuction is a treatment that surgically removes problem areas of fat. The best candidates for liposuction are already at or near their ideal weight and typically lead an active, healthy lifestyle. Liposuction is not intended for dramatic or significant weight loss; it is designed to slim areas of the body that have proven resistant to change even after optimizing one’s weight.

Liposuction at our practice is performed at the skilled hands of Dr. Ram Kalus and Dr. Craig Rowin. Depending on a patient’s needs, our plastic surgeon can target many body areas with liposuction, including the legs, buttocks, hips, stomach, arms, back or “bra roll”, chin, neck, and ankles.

What Are the Benefits of Liposuction?

The primary benefit of liposuction is the removal of excess fat from isolated areas of the body. This versatile procedure can be applied to nearly any part of the body that is storing pockets of stubborn fat. Once the liposuction procedure is complete, many patients can enjoy these additional benefits:

  • A more slender, fit appearance in the treated areas
  • Minimal downtime
  • Long-lasting results

In addition to the many advantages that liposuction can bring as a stand-alone procedure, the treatment can be combined with tummy tuck surgery and other cosmetic surgery options for a more comprehensive body makeover. In addition, the fat that is removed can be transferred in the form of fat injections to other areas such as the face, breasts, or buttocks.

Liposuction vs. Weight Loss Surgery

Although liposuction can remove fat, the procedure differs significantly from weight loss surgery, or bariatric surgery. Liposuction is a body contouring treatment that is intended to improve the shape of the body once individuals reach a healthy weight. The purposes of this selective fat removal treatment are cosmetic in nature as opposed to medical, allowing patients to attain a smoother and slimmer appearance in the area of treatment. In contrast, bariatric surgery is considered a medical procedure to treat obesity. This procedure is designed to restrict a patient’s caloric intake in order to catalyze the weight loss process, with the surgery affecting an individual’s appetite, digestion, and metabolism. The goals of bariatric surgery are generally oriented around a patient’s health and well-being, rather than their cosmetic appearance.

Ultimately, liposuction can be effective for men and women as long as they are near their ideal weight and simply wish to smooth stubborn fat bulges. For those who have already undergone significant weight loss and struggle with excess skin around the body, other body contouring treatments like a tummy tuck or an arm lift can be utilized to help tighten the region and restore the desired proportions.  

Is Liposuction Safe?

As a popular aesthetic surgery that has been performed safely for decades, liposuction is considered a safe way to remove localized fat pockets with relatively predictable results. Drs. Kalus and Rowin perform tumescent liposuction, a technique that injects a solution of medications and local anesthesia prior to treatment. This can minimize blood loss, as well as reduce patient discomfort during and after the procedure. With that said, liposuction—like all surgeries—does include a risk of potential complications, some of which include indentations, contour irregularities, hematoma or seroma, and negative reactions to the anesthesia. While these events are rare, it is essential to select a qualified and experienced liposuction surgeon who you can trust with your safety and appearance to minimize the risk of adverse outcomes.

How Is the Liposuction Procedure Performed?

Liposuction is be performed using only a small incision at the treatment site. A thin tube called a cannula is then inserted to remove the excess fat. Dr. Kalus and Dr. Rowin use a technique called tumescent liposuction to perform the procedure. By injecting a local anesthetic solution with adrenaline at the treatment area, our plastic surgeons can bloodlessly remove the fat. This technique can also reduce post-operative bruising and pain. Liposuction is typically completed while the patient is under anesthesia, which generally makes the actual procedure painless. This outpatient surgery may last one to two hours or longer, depending on the desired results and the extent of liposuction required.

What Is Liposuction Recovery Like?

Patients can expect to experience some level of discomfort and swelling, which should fade during the brief healing period. Our plastic surgeons may recommend that patients wear a compression garment to enhance the final outcome, depending upon which area of the body is treated. Most liposuction patients return to work or their normal daily activities after one week. Dr. Kalus or Dr. Rowin will provide detailed post-operative instructions and recommendations that take each individual patient’s recovery needs into account.

How Long Do Liposuction Results Last?

The fat that is removed during liposuction is unable to regrow or return. However, the remaining fat cells are still able to increase or decrease in size depending upon factors such as calorie intake and activity levels. Therefore, to best maintain the results of liposuction, patients are encouraged to eat a nutritious, healthy diet and exercise regularly. Patients who are diligent in taking good care of their overall health can typically enjoy the results of liposuction for many years.

Are There Any Side Effects From Liposuction?

Some degree of bruising, swelling, tenderness, or general soreness should be expected during the recovery process. These reactions should dissipate as your body continues to heal after liposuction and can be managed well with oral pain medication. Since the fat cells in the treated area(s) are removed and cannot regrow, a long-term effect of liposuction may involve additional weight gain being distributed elsewhere on the body. Drs. Kalus or Rowin will inform you of what to expect during and after recovery at your consultation.

What Will My Scars From Liposuction Look Like?

Since liposuction uses very small incisions, the resulting scar is also usually modest in size. Whenever possible, Drs. Kalus and Rowin place incisions in discreet locations to camouflage scars within the natural contours of the body. As time passes, any visible scarring should begin to turn pink and fade. Most patients report that their scars are virtually imperceptible once fully healed and consider any post-surgical scarring well worth the body contouring results achieved with liposuction.  

How Much Does Liposuction Cost?

The price of liposuction is dependent on a number of variables. Factors such as the location of the treatment area, the volume of fat to be removed, the number of total treatment areas, and the experience of the plastic surgeon can all impact the final cost of liposuction. Each liposuction procedure at Plastic Surgery of the Carolinas is customized to meet the individual needs of the patient. At the end of your initial consultation with Dr. Kalus or Dr. Rowin, you will be provided with a price quote for your procedure based on a customized treatment plan. You will also hear about the many options for payment available at our practice that can help make the cost of treatment as financially convenient as possible.

“I am just thrilled with the success of my recent liposuction. Your surgery flattened my abdomen and gave me the motivation to take better care of myself through diet and exercise.”*

*Individual Results May Vary

Please contact Plastic Surgery of the Carolinas online or by phone to discuss your liposuction options today. We will be happy to answer your questions or assist you with scheduling a consultation.

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