Learn the about the surgery, candidates, and costs of liposuction

By Sarah Leavitt, Medical Research EditorLast modified: October 11, 2011


Liposuction is a plastic surgery procedure that removed pockets of fat cells from the body to give patients a slimmer and smoother figure. Surgeons separate fat tissue from underlying bodily tissues and, from a number of liposuction techniques, suction the excess fluid from the body.

Liposuction is one of the most popular cosmetic procedures and patients almost always report satisfying results.

What is Liposuction?

Liposuction is a solution for people unable to rid of fat deposits in certain places of the body. Liposuction can occur in a number of places on the body, most commonly on the abdomen.

Preparing for Liposuction

Your doctor will provide specific guidelines on preparing for your surgery. Be prepared to make certain adjustments to your habits in the days leading up to surgery. For example, smokers will have to quit smoking several before undergoing surgery.

Liposuction Surgery

There are a number of different liposuction techniques that patients can undergo. Nonetheless, every liposuction procedure involves a wet solution and fat sculpting to remove excess fat from the body. The length of the surgery depends on the extent of the procedure and the specific technique being used. Liposuction surgery continues to be refined and improved as new advances in technology make treatment easier and more effective.

A Good Candidate for Liposuction

Good candidates for liposuction recognize that liposuction is not a solution for unhealthy living. Rather, candidates are healthy individuals who, despite diet and exercise, cannot rid of stubborn pockets of fat on their bodies. 

Cool Lipo

As the plastic surgery industry grows, new technology appears; some good, some bad, some for marketing purposes. Cool Lipo or laser-assisted liposuction, has been touted as simple liposuction with minimal to no downtime or recovery and it does live up to its reputation for most patients.

Liposuction Around The Body

Liposuction can take place all over one’s body, including the abdomen, back, face, and legs. Liposuction can take place in large quantities or merely removing small bits of fat from specific areas. Regardless of your needs, you have a number of options for using liposuction to your benefit.

Abdominal Etching

Abdominal etching is the easiest way to achieve a sculpted, washboard stomach with defined abs. Loosing weight and exercise alone can often leave a stomach that is flat but not taut. Plastic surgeons are able to tweak your hard work to make your abs look surfboard perfect, accentuating existing muscle by removing an overlying layer of fat. A six-pack is achievable with abdominal etching.

Vaser Liposelect

Vaser Liposelect is an alternative to traditional liposuction that produces enhanced results with minimal bruising. Vaser Liposelect, also known as liposelection, can be used to target excess fat in all areas of the body including the face, arms and abdominal region.

Body Fat Transfer

Many patients who are unhappy with the shape of their body wish they could loose an inch from one area and gain in another. Using liposuction to perform body fat transfers, plastic surgeons offer people unhappy with their appearance to do just that. Body fat transfers remove excess fat from one area of the body (commonly the thighs or abdomen) and moves the fat to another area (commonly the lips, breasts and buttocks) as an alternative treatment to body implants.

Liposuction Techniques

Procedures for liposuction are continually being refined and improved as medical advances make treatment easier and more effective. Liposuction techniques differ based on the wet solution being used as well as the method for which the surgeon removes the fat. Wet liposuction and tumescent liposuction are two techniques that differ based on the wet solution. Suction-assisted liposuction is the traditional method of fat removal where surgeons use a cannula to break up the fat layer before removing it from the body. There are a number of different liposuction techniques. Be sure to discuss the different techniques with your surgeon.

Liposuction Recovery

Patients can see the results of their surgery within a few days. However, the final results will not be apparent until the swelling and bruising subsides, which generally does not occur for 2 to 3 months after surgery. Rest and relaxation are crucial components to a healthy liposuction recovery.

Risks and Side Effects of Liposuction

The risks and side effects of liposuction need to be discussed in advance with your doctor. Liposuction rarely involves complications; however, there are always risks in any cosmetic procedure.

Cost of Liposuction

The cost of liposuction surgery depends on the amount of fat being removed, the location on the body, and the technique used. In addition, the individual doctor’s fee can range dramatically. Anesthesia fees and facility fees also add to the total cost of liposuction.

Zerona Liposuction

Zerona is an FDA approved method of laser liposuction that safely removes the bodies layers of subcutaneous fat by emulsifying it. Patients may choose Zerona over other more invasive treatments because it slims the body within six forty minute treatments and detoxifies the fat cells within the body.

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