Liposuction and Its Benefits
Liposuction (also known as lipoplasty or body contouring) is a cosmetic surgery technique that uses suction to remove excess fat from under the skin. A Board-certified plastic surgeon applies the suction via a very thin tube made of stainless steel that is inserted into the area where you want to get rid of extra body fat.
What are the benefits of liposuction?
- It’s minimally invasive – No needles, scalpels, or sutures are used.
- There’s no need for general anesthesia or IV sedation – Local anesthetics are used.
- Recovery is quick.
- Patients don’t usually require pain medication in recovery.
45-54 year old woman treated with Brazilian Butt Lift, 360 IDEAL lipo, and Mini Tummy Tuck
Patient is 5’7”, 180 lbs. She had this procedure in combination with liposuction and a Mini Tummy Tuck for a full Mommy Makeover! This procedure is ideal for patients who want to get their pre-baby body back, and give them rounder, fuller buttocks than they had previously. It can also be repeated, for patients that want a further increase in size. We use a proprietary technique called IDEAL Lipo as the cornerstone of our liposuction and fat grafting procedures. First off, these procedures use all-FDA approved surgical and fat transfer instrumentation. They are typically performed in the office, with only local anesthesia (although patients can request deeper sedation, if they so desire). We typically use Smart / Laser Liposuction or VASER (ultrasound) to reduce dense, fibrous fat, and stimulate collagen formation; Radiofrequency-based skin tightening (like Body Tite, or Thermi) to maximize skin contraction; and Ultrasound, RF, or subcision (Z Wave, Venus, Cellfina) to treat cellulite. Patients go home the day of surgery; typically do not use any narcotics postop for pain control, and are back to light exercise and work 48 hours after their procedures. In my practice, we specifically evaluate patients for these additional treatments, and select the appropriate treatment based on their skin quality, amount of fat, previous treatment(s), and surgical goals. Combining IDEAL Lipo with fat transfer and a mini tummy tuck is a total mommy makeover!
What Can Liposuction Accomplish?
Liposuction techniques can help improve your body image by helping you achieve the shape and size you want.
Different people choose liposuction for different reasons. The most common ones are:
- To enhance the shape and contour of the body
- As a form of male breast reduction (removing the fatty breast tissue of gynecomastia, a condition in which men develop excessive fat deposits in breast tissue)
- To improve the appearance of the body by giving it a more natural look
- To boost a person’s self-esteem by improving imbalances and abnormalities in the body
- To collect fat as part of fat transfer, where it is used for a breast augmentation or a Brazilian butt lift
Before & After
Areas of the Body That Liposuction Can Treat
Many people have fat in parts of their bodies that, try as they might, they can’t get rid of. Liposuction can help, and it’s able to target many different areas, including (but not limited to):
- Bra roll
- Inner thighs
- Chin and neck
- Male breast tissue
Eligibility for Liposuction
The best candidates for liposuction are those who have deposits of body fat that can’t be shed through diet or exercise. These stubborn, localized areas of fat could be a result of your genetics, rather than lifestyle.
Good candidates for liposuction have firm, elastic skin. Skin with good elasticity can shrink following the procedure, which will give you the best results. If you’ve lost some of skin elasticity due to age, stretch marks, or other causes, don’t worry! Dr. Ver Halen can correct for this with an energy-based liposuction technique (such as Smartlipo), which allows the skin to contract again.
When you come in for a consultation, Dr. Ver Halen will determine your eligibility based on the above and your overall health and weight. Most liposuction patients are already within 10% of their ideal weight. If you have more excess fat, a mini tummy tuck or tummy tuck might be a better option.
How Is Liposuction Different Than Other Fat-Removal Procedures?
Liposuction is different from other fat-removal methods, like CoolSculpting®, truSculpt®, and Zerona®, which are non-surgical body contouring procedures:
CoolSculpting uses a specialized device to cool and destroy fat cells. The surrounding tissue isn’t affected. Once the fat cells are destroyed, they are removed from your body in the days and weeks following the procedure
During a truSculpt procedure, a plastic surgeon uses controlled radiofrequency technology to get rid of fat cells in your hips, thighs, buttocks, and abdomen. The treatment takes around one hour to complete. Some patients need two treatments to see noticeable results.
Zerona is a cold laser technique that targets fat cells. This causes the storage form of fat to leak out into the space between the cells. A plastic surgeon then flushes this fat out of your system, which shrinks the fat cell itself. With this form of treatment, patients can see results in several weeks or less.
The Differences Between Liposuction and a Tummy Tuck
Many people who come to Ver Halen Aesthetics aren’t sure whether liposuction or a tummy tuck is right for them. A tummy tuck is best for people who want to remove large deposits of fat. Liposuction is recommended for people who are within 10% of their ideal body weight.
There are other important differences between the two procedures:
A tummy tuck (or abdominoplasty) is more invasive but removes both excess fat and excess skin. Dr. Ver Halen makes an incision along the lower abdomen, from one side of the hip to the other, and around your belly button.
The soft tissues are redraped (pulled tight) and excess fat and skin are removed. Liposuction only removes the fat.
The method of fat removal is different too. During a tummy tuck, Dr. Ver Halen cuts away the fat, rather than using suction.
How Long Do Liposuction Results Last?
You can keep the fat off permanently if you follow up your procedure with a healthy diet and regular exercise. Liposuction can greatly improve your body proportions and shape, but it’s not a magic bullet for weight loss. Patients who maintain lifestyles with healthy diets and exercise can achieve long-lasting or permanent results.
Liposuction Procedure at Ver Halen Aesthetics
During your liposuction consultation, Dr. Ver Halen will spend time talking with you about:
- The reasons you want liposuction
- Your expectations
- Your desired results
- Any medical conditions you have, as well as allergies and previous medical treatments
- Medications, vitamins, and herbal supplements you’re currently taking
- Your alcohol, tobacco, and drug use
IDEAL Liposuction at Ver Halen Aesthetics
Dr. Ver Halen performs hundreds of traditional liposuction procedures every year, but for 12 years, he has studied advances in liposuction to develop and trademark a new technique. It combines a few methods for amazing results.
IDEAL Liposuction consists of:
- Smartlipo (laser liposuction) or VASERlipo® (ultrasound) – These reduce dense, fibrous fat, and stimulate collagen formation. Collagen helps your skin appear more youthful and may reduce cellulite.
- Radiofrequency-based skin tightening (like BodyTite, or Thermi) to maximize skin contraction
- Acoustic/shock wave therapy, radiofrequency, or subcision to treat cellulite
At Ver Halen Aesthetics, we evaluate patients for these additional treatments. We’ll select the appropriate treatment based on your:
- Goals for your procedure
- Skin quality
- Amount of fat you’d like removed
- Previous treatment(s)
Length of Surgery
The liposuction procedure typically takes two to three hours to complete. Patients are generally in our surgery facility in Plano or our office in Colleyville for three to four hours, including prep for the procedure.
Before your liposuction treatment takes place, you will schedule a post-surgery follow-up. Your first follow-up will most likely be a few days after the procedure. Dr. Ver Halen will take a look at your liposuction site and ask how you’re recovering. We don’t use any stitches, so you won’t need to have anything removed.
Most of our patients are able to return to work and light exercise within 48 hours and will be able to resume all other activities within two weeks. Bruising, swelling, and soreness shouldn’t last longer than a few weeks.
The Risks of Liposuction
There are some risks associated with liposuction. According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, these include:
- Anesthesia risks
- Irregular pigmentation
- Change in skin sensation that may persist
- Poor wound healing
- Damage to deeper structures (blood vessels, nerves, muscles, abdominal organs, lungs)
- Deep vein thrombosis, cardiac, and pulmonary complications
- Fluid accumulation
- Need for revision surgery
- Persistent swelling
- Loose or rippling skin
- Thermal burn or heat injury from ultrasound with ultrasound-assisted technique
Combining Liposuction with Other Procedures
There are multiple ways that you can pay for your liposuction treatment. Use a credit card that covers cosmetic surgery—offered by Comenity® Capital Bank (Alphaeon Credit®) and Synchrony Bank (CareCredit®)—or a specialized, efficient loan company like Enhance Patient Finance or United Medical Credit.
Other payment options include:
- Credit card
- Cashier’s check
- In-house financing
- Other types of loans
We want you to get the look and confidence you’ve been dreaming of, so don’t hesitate to talk to us about financing options!