With age, many men and women will begin to notice stubborn pockets of fat accumulating in various regions of their bodies. Despite efforts to eat healthily and exercise on a regular basis, these fat buildups often remain immune—even when surrounding areas show signs of improvement. Liposuction is one of the most common cosmetic surgery procedures available, and it can be used to eliminate diet- and exercise-resistant fat tissue for a slimmer, more toned profile. With the advanced liposuction techniques available at our practice, New Jersey plastic surgeons John T. Cozzone, MD and Luis A. Zapiach, MD can help you attain your aesthetic enhancement goals with natural-looking results.
For more information about liposuction, we encourage you to continue reading the information provided below. If you have any questions, or if you would like to set up an appointment with one of our doctors, please contact Art Plastic Surgery today.
What Are the Benefits of Liposuction?
Liposuction is designed to improve body contour by eliminating stubborn, isolated fat pockets that can be extremely difficult to get rid of through traditional means of diet and exercise. The liposuction procedure can remove excess fatty tissue from a number of areas on the body, including the:
- Love handles (flanks)
In addition to sculpting these regions by themselves, liposuction can also be used to complement or even enhance the results of treatments such as abdominoplasty, facelift surgery, male breast reduction, and more.
Who Is a Candidate for Liposuction?
Liposuction has helped many individuals attain the leaner, more toned figure they desire. Good candidates for this body sculpting treatment typically include women and men who:
- Have localized fat accumulations in one or multiple areas of the body
- Are relatively healthy and at (or near) their ideal weight
- Have no medical or health problems that are unmanaged
- Have good skin elasticity
It is important to note that liposuction is not a weight loss treatment—it is designed to address localized pockets of fat that remain immune to one’s diet and toning efforts. Patients who have a body mass index (BMI) of greater than 35 will generally not be considered good candidates due to an increased risk for complications and/or a poor outcome.
How Is the Liposuction Procedure Performed?
At Art Plastic Surgery, our doctors employ the latest liposuction procedures using the most state-of-the-art technology available. Both liposuction treatment options offered at our practice are highlighted below, and the most appropriate technique for your needs and goals can be determined during a consultation.
VASER liposuction is an innovative technique that utilizes sound waves to liquefy fat cells during the liposuction process. Our plastic surgeons will insert a thin metal tube (cannula) into the areas targeted for fat removal. The excess fat cells are then melted by sound waves and extracted. This makes it possible to leave blood vessels, nerves, and surrounding tissues unharmed during the procedure. VASER liposuction also typically results in less bruising, swelling, and postoperative discomfort when compared with other, more traditional liposuction methods.
Smartlipo™ is an advanced liposuction technique that uses laser energy to get rid of stubborn excess fat in virtually any body region. What sets Smartlipo™ apart is that it is very useful for treating localized pockets of fat that can be more difficult to remove with other liposuction methods. Using a handheld laser, Dr. Cozzone or Dr. Zapiach will liquefy fat cells in the targeted area. Depending on the amount of fat being extracted, the excess can either be suctioned out or it may leave the body on its own through natural processes over the next few days. Smartlipo™ also helps stimulate the growth of new collagen in the treated area, helping the skin to tighten and appear more contoured.
What Is Recovery from Liposuction Like?
Following liposuction, there may be some degree of swelling and/or bruising in the treated area, though these symptoms are typically minimal due to our surgeons’ meticulous technique and should resolve relatively quickly. While significant pain is very rare, any potential discomfort can usually be controlled with over-the-counter medication. After approximately seven days, most patients look and feel well enough to resume non-strenuous daily routines such as office jobs, school, or running errands. That said, any activities requiring physical exertion—e.g. heavy lifting, vigorous exercise, etc.—should be avoided for a minimum of a few weeks to help ensure proper healing. In the end, the exact liposuction recovery experience and timeframe will depend on how much fat is removed, how many areas were treated, and how each patient heals naturally.
Other Liposuction FAQs
Can liposuction help me lose weight?
Liposuction should never be considered a weight loss solution. Although removing fat tissue may slightly reduce one’s overall weight, liposuction is intended to sculpt and tone areas that have proven resistant to traditional weight loss efforts, helping to achieve a slimmer, more desirable aesthetic in the treatment area. The procedure will not—and should not—provide a significant decrease in one’s weight.
Would liposuction or tummy tuck be a better option for me?
The answer to this question will depend on the specific concern a patient wishes to address. For individuals bothered solely by an accumulation of stubborn fat in and/or around the abdomen, liposuction will be the more appropriate treatment. In contrast, those who are troubled by loose, excess skin in the abdominal region will be better served by tummy tuck surgery. In the event both fat and extra skin are present in the abdomen, liposuction and tummy tuck surgery can usually be performed in conjunction with one another to comprehensively treat one’s aesthetic concerns.
How many areas can be treated during one liposuction session?
The number of areas from which fat can be removed during a single liposuction session is not usually as important as the total amount of fat extracted. The American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) recommends that no more than five liters of fat be withdrawn during one liposuction procedure, no matter the number of regions being addressed. What this means is that an individual whose goals can be met by extracting less than five meters of fat will generally be able to have all problem areas treated during one session. Contrarily, someone whose body contouring goals require more than five liters of fat to be removed will usually need multiple sessions to safely achieve their desired result, even if they only have a limited number of areas they wish to address. All that said, it is important to note that this limit of five liters is a “recommendation” for most patients, and there are certain exceptions to this rule of thumb that can be discussed at the time of the consultation.
Are liposuction results permanent?
Results achieved with liposuction can be extremely long-lasting—if not permanent—as long as a relatively stable weight is maintained after the procedure. Fat tissue extracted during treatment is eliminated for good, but the remaining cells in the targeted area have the ability to grow in size to store excess fat in the event a notable amount of weight is gained postoperatively. Should this occur, an accumulation of fat and/or an undesirable contour may again be apparent in the region. To help prevent this from occurring, our doctors recommend that patients strive to eat nutritiously, exercise regularly, and live an overall healthy lifestyle following their liposuction procedure.
Will I have liposuction scars?
Liposuction is performed through tiny incisions, so any resulting scarring should be quite small and inconspicuous. Though the exact location will depend on one’s unique treatment plan, our plastic surgeons aim to place incisions where they will be well-hidden by articles of clothing and/or other body/skin features in an attempt to further diminish the potential for noticeable scarring. When all is said and done, most patients report that the results they achieved greatly outweigh any reservations they previously had about liposuction scars.
Please contact Art Plastic Surgery with any additional questions you may have about liposuction, or to schedule a confidential consultation with one of our board-certified plastic surgeons.