What Is Liposuction

Liposuction-ProcedureLiposuction is a procedure whereby fat is removed from the body. It can be performed on its own or as a part of an overall body contouring set of procedures for both men and women.

Body Contouring

Body contouring is any procedure that alters the shape of different areas of the body. Liposuction, arm lifts, neck lifts, breast lifts, and breast removal (Gynecomastia) are all options when the goal is body contouring. Male body contouring has become an increasingly popular procedure.

The Liposuction Procedure

Before surgery the areas to be treated are carefully examined and marked to guide Dr. Goldberg during the procedure. Liposuction can be done under general or local anesthetic depending on the areas being treated and the extent of the procedure. The duration of the procedure also depends on the extent of the surgery. It is performed through small incisions about 5mm long (3/16”). Each area being suctioned may require one or two such incisions. Fluid is pumped into the fat using a small tube inserted through these incisions. The fluid has local anesthetic in it to reduce discomfort after surgery, and also some medication to minimize bleeding and bruising. It also helps to break up the collections of fat, making it easier to remove. After the fluid has been injected, another small tube is inserted to suck the fat out. This is done with care to create a smooth and even contour that blends with the adjacent areas. The small incisions are then stitched closed and a garment is placed that applies pressure to the operated site.

Recovery From Liposuction

You will probably be able to go home the same day of surgery. If the surgery is more extensive and a large volume of fat is being removed, then you may need an overnight hospital stay for safety. Dr. Goldberg prescribes several medications to ensure your comfort. These usually include Celecoxib and Percocet to control inflammation and pain. There will be a garment over the operated site that applies pressure over the area in order to minimize bruising and fluid collection. There is often some minor fluid drainage from the incision sites. This is mostly just some of the fluid that was injected at the time of surgery. You can return to light activity right away. However, you must wear the compression garment and avoid strenuous activity for 4 weeks after surgery.

Risks From Liposuction

There are general risks with Liposuction such as bruising, bleeding, infection, and risks associated with general anesthetic. There are also some specific risks. Because a lot of fluid is injected during surgery to help with fat removal, and also a lot of fluid is suctioned out, there can be problems of too much or too little hydration. Preventing these fluid problems requires good coordination between the surgeon and the anesthetist, and is only an issue if large amounts of fat are being removed. There is a small risk of blood clots in the legs, which in the worst case can cause breathing problems if some of this clot moves to the lungs. Rarely, some fat can get into the circulation and go to the lungs, which can also cause breathing problems. It is an extremely rare complication that the tube used for removing fat can injure a vital underlying structure such as a blood vessel. There can be some contour irregularity or skin excess at the sites of Liposuction. There can be some bruising or fluid collection at the sites of Liposuction, which may take weeks to resolve. Minor numbness over the operated sites is common and resolves quickly. However, altered sensation can last for months, and very rarely may be permanent. These and other more minor risks should be carefully discussed with Dr. Goldberg prior to surgery.

Non Surgical Alternatives To Liposuction

The best non-surgical alternative to plastic surgery such as liposuction is weight loss, fitness, and a healthy lifestyle. Small deposits can be partially treated with non-invasive ultrasound treatments. Liposuction is effective at removing fat, but overlying skin has only a limited ability to contract and shrink at the site of surgery. If the area you are concerned about has excess skin, then a reduction procedure may be more appropriate, where fat and skin are removed. The decision between Liposuction and reduction procedures such as Tummy Tuck (Abdominoplasty) requires careful discussion with Dr. Goldberg.

Benefits Of Liposuction

Liposuction is a safe, quick, and effective way to remove specific areas of unwanted fat that just won’t respond to diet and exercise. It requires minimal downtime, and is extremely safe in the hands of an experienced and properly trained plastic surgeon.


Before and after liposuction by Dr. Cory Goldberg: