Frequently Asked Questions




Q1- What is Liposuction?

A- The Liposuction is a surgical technique that improves the body's contour by removing excess fat from deposits located between the skin and muscle. Liposuction involves the use of a small stainless steel tube, called a cannula (from the Latin word for reed, tube, cane). The cannula is connected to a powerful suction pump and inserted into the fat through small incisions in the skin. Fat removal is accomplished as the suction cannula creates tiny tunnels through the fatty layers. After surgery, these tiny tunnels collapse and thus result in an improved body contour.


Q2- Who is a good candidate for liposuction?

A- Any one or combination of the following conditions may indicate that you are a good candidate for liposuction surgery:
  • Adults within 30% of their ideal weight who have firm, elastic skin and good muscle tone.
  • Areas of fat deposits that are out of proportion with the rest of your body and do not go away with diet and exercise – so called “diet resistant fat”
  • Areas with minimal amounts of excess skin (Liposuction removes fat not skin) and good skin elasticity.
  • You should be in good health and have realistic expectations of what liposuction can accomplish.
  • Non-smokers.
Liposuction surgery may be considered to treat areas of excess fat in the stomach, buttocks, hips, love handles, saddlebags, thighs, calves, ankles, breasts (including male breast enlargement), back, arms and neck Liposuction is equally effective in both men and women.


Q3- Who is not a good candidate for liposuction?

A- A person who expects absolute perfection is not a good candidate for liposuction. Excessively obese patients are usually not good candidates for liposuction. A person who has a serious medical problem is not a good candidate for liposuction.


Q4- Is liposuction a reasonable treatment for obesity?

A- Liposuction is not a good treatment of obesity. Liposuction is not effective, even as a last resort, for people who are unable to lose weight by dieting and exercise. Obese patients almost always regain the weight that is removed by liposuction unless there is a dramatic reduction in calorie intake (by dieting) or a significant increase in calorie expenditure (by exercising). Whenever large-volume liposuction has been used in an attempt to treat obesity by surgery, there has been a significant increase in the incidence of serious surgical complications. It is not safe to remove huge amounts of fat by liposuction. It is dangerous to remove more than 10% of body weight or 8 to 10 pounds of fat by liposuction in a single day. Thus, liposuction will not be of any significant benefit for an obese patient who believes that liposuction will aid in the effort to lose weight.

On the other hand, an overweight person whose weight has been stable for many years and has certain problem-areas of fat may be a good candidate for liposuction. Liposuction in an obese patient is reasonable when the goal is to improve a troublesome body contour area. It is not reasonable to use liposuction as a surgical technique for weight loss.


Q5- What I need to do before liposuction?

A- If you are a smoker, it is recommended to stop smoking well in advance of surgery since smoking can impair the healing process. Certain medications that increase the risk of bleeding such as Aspirin, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications, and some vitamins/homeopathic regimens and certain herbal preparations should be discontinued before undergoing liposuction surgery.


Q6- How Is Liposuction Done?

A- Depending on the type of liposuction you are undergoing, the procedure may be performed as an outpatient procedure at the doctor's office or surgery center, or if large amounts of fat are being removed, the procedure will be done in a hospital and may require an overnight stay.
Before the procedure begins you will be given an anesthetic. Again, depending on the degree of fat being removed and the type of liposuction being performed, anesthesia varies. It may only be locally applied or you may require a general application in which case the surgery will be done while you are sleeping.
Once the anesthesia has taken effect, the liposuction procedure is performed using a suction device attached to a small, stainless steel instrument called a cannula. Through small incisions, the cannula is inserted into fatty areas between skin and muscle where it removes excess fat either using a suction pump or a large syringe. This results in a smoother, improved body contour. The length of the procedure will vary with the amount of fat needing removal.


Q7- How Long Does Recovery After Liposuction Last?

A- Under most circumstances, when liposuction is an outpatient procedure, recovery is usually quick. Most people can return to work within a few days and to normal activities within about two weeks. You should expect bruising, swelling, and soreness for a least a few weeks. However, every person's outcome will vary based on factors such as volume of fat cells removed and area of removal. Your doctor will discuss what results you can expect to achieve and how to best maintain your new body shape.


Q8- What is a successful liposuction surgery?

A- A liposuction surgery is a success when the patient is happy with the results. The surgeon's goal is to obtain an optimal aesthetic result rather than to maximize the amount of fat removed. One of the most common causes for disappointment in the results of liposuction surgery is the removal of too much fat, which produces an abnormal or unusual appearance. The cosmetic success of a liposuction surgery is often the result of removing an amount of fat equivalent to less than a pound or two of butter from a woman's saddlebag area or from a man's love handle area. While this amount of fat is relatively small compared to a person's total body weight, it does produce a dramatic change in the patient's silhouette.


Q9- Does liposuction always remove cellulite?

A- Liposuction improves the silhouette of the body, but does not necessarily eliminate the pre-existing subtle "puckering" of the skin that is often referred to as "cellulite." Liposuction does reduce the degree of cellulite to a minor degree but it is unlikely to produce a significant improvement or to completely eliminate cellulite.


Q10- Does liposuction produce permanent results?

A- After liposuction the body's new shape is more or less permanent. If a patient does gain a moderate amount of weight after liposuction, then the figure will simply be a larger version of the new body shape. Fat cells that are removed by liposuction do not grow back. As long as the patient does not gain excessive amounts of weight, the new, more pleasing silhouette is permanent. Of course after liposuction the clock keeps ticking, and advancing age will produce the usual changes in the shape of the body associated with the aging process. If a person gains weight after liposuction, she/he will not accumulate as much fat in the treated areas as would have happened if liposuction had not been done.


Q11- Does the fat come back in other spots after liposuction?

A- If a patient does not gain weight after liposuction, than fat does not accumulate in other areas of the body. However, if a patient gains a significant amount of weight, say more than 10 pounds (5 kg), after liposuction, than the fat must go somewhere. In fact, the fat accumulates in every area of the body in proportion to the amount of fat cells in each area. Areas where fat cells have been removed by liposuction will accumulate relatively little fat, while areas not treated by liposuction will collect relatively more fat. For example, if a woman gains weight after liposuction of her hips, outer thighs, and abdomen, then most of the fat will be deposited elsewhere such as the woman's breasts, face, back and legs.


Q12- What are the risks?

A- As with any surgical procedure, liposuction is associated with certain common side effects such as bruising, swelling, and temporary numbness. Although irregularities of the skin are possible following liposuction, this side effect is minimized by the tumescent technique. When larger cannulas are used, occasionally there are patients with an irregularity of the skin. Since smaller, microcannulas became available, noticeable irregularities are very rare. Because of the slow resolution of post liposuction swelling, the ultimate results following liposuction usually require 12 to 16 weeks to become fully apparent. Nevertheless, patients can usually see dramatic improvements within two to four weeks after surgery.
Although the results of liposuction are often quite spectacular, it is not realistic to expect perfection. Liposuction of the thighs, while improving the silhouette, does not necessarily eliminate the subtle “puckering” of the skin that is often referred to as “cellulite.” Liposuction with the tumescent technique does reduce the degree of cellulite but it is unlikely to eliminate it. Rare problems that can potentially occur with any surgical procedure include infections, bleeding and nerve injury, The Tumescent technique, however, minimizes these risks.


Q13- What Alternatives Are There to Liposuction?

A- Liposuction is never absolutely necessary. If you decide that liposuction is not for you, then you may consider the following alternatives to liposuction. Weight loss without liposuction can produce excellent aesthetic results. Weight loss can be achieved by dieting (decreased calorie intake) or by increased exercise (expenditure of calories). An alternative to abdominal liposuction is a tummy tuck.