30 January 2009

How Thermage Treatments Work: What to Expect

As the skin ages, the collagen that gives the face its structure and youthful elasticity starts to deteriorate. This is why unsightly wrinkles and fine lines start to form in the skin. Thermage works to reenergize the skin and promote the gradual increase in newly developed collagen. Through this procedure, wrinkles are temporarily decreased and the face begins to adhere to its former, youthful structure.

When undergoing a Thermage treatment, you will become rather acquainted with a tool called ThermaCool, which is used to tighten the skin, as well as give your face that extra lift.

The ThermaCool device uses what is called the ThermaTip, which produces the RF energy needed to penetrate the skin. It is a doctor that controls how much RF energy enters the skin by weighing your personal comfort with how to provide the best results. The treatment will be conducted in a comfortable office setting.

As the ThermaTip makes contact with the skin, a high level of heat penetrates the deeper layers of collagen. Although a hefty amount of heat is used to encourage collagen growth, there is also a cooling effect that covers the outer layers. This effect also offers protection. As time passes, the skin will continue to tighten and after awhile, a more healthy, smoother-looking appearance is achieved.

Good news for health and safety conscious consumers: the ThermaCool device is approved by the FDA for the effective non-evasive treatment for wrinkles and beyond.

Need to know before considering Thermage
Although thermage is called a "non-surgical face lift," it is not a substitute for a face lift. It will give a portion of the improvement that a facelift will give in many people. There are, however, some people who will see no improvement following Thermage (especially those who have very loose skin and are really ready for a facelift, or those with very heavy faces). For these people, a second treatment may be performed six months after the first. This second treatment may or may not yield improvement. Thermage seems to work best in people with thin faces who are just on the verge of needing a facelift and want to put it off for a few years. In other words, if you have looses skin, sagging jowls, and a turkey gobbler, you can try thermage, but you may not see much improvement.

Does Thermage Generate Any Side Effects?

Thermage has currently already been done on more than 75,000 people. Among these patients, only a minority - less than just one percent to be precise – are said to have experienced any side effects.

Side effects are rare (less than 1%) and include swelling, redness, bumps and blisters on or around the treated area. These side effects usually disappear in a few days or weeks. Even more rare but longer lasting is a side effect that leads to a depression in the skin. The risks and benefits of thermage need to be discussed in detail with your physician.

Ask your plastic surgeon about these complications from Thermage
  • Burn : There is a small risk of burn, blistering and scarring associated with this procedure.
  • Discoloration : It is possible that the skin may turn lighter or darker after any skin procedure. This has not been a problem after Thermage.
  • Pain and tingling : Pain is uncommon after the procedure is over. No pain medication is necessary.
However, some people experience tingling, burning or soreness for a few days or weeks, especially along the jaw line.

How Much Does Thermage Cost?

The costs are variable. Charges may be based on the number of areas treated, the level of training of the person who treats you, and market conditions. For a single treatment, Thermage may cost as low as $2000 but may go up to as much as $5000. A partial face treatment (forehead, cheeks, or neck) varies from $1000 - $3000.

These prices may change over time, so it is best to call a qualified doctor to see what they are charging for a single procedure. Sometimes, financing is available for this face-lifting choice of treatment.

The Difference Between Thermage and Surgical Facelifts

Thermage is a temporary, quick, easy and convenient technique that does not cut into the skin. There is also no downtime involved with this procedure This means no lost wages from taking time off from work. Although the results of Thermage bring about healthier, younger skin, they do not last as long as a surgical facelift. But, this is a small price to pay for not cutting into your skin. Typical facelifts can last anywhere from 5 to 10 years, whereas Thermage has a shelf life of about two years. Thermage treatments still last longer than costly injectable fillers that use fat or collagen. These approaches only enhance the skin and face for only 4 to 6 months.

Conventional methods for decreasing wrinkles and appearing younger, such as facelifts and other types of cosmetic surgery, are both pricey and hazardous. Topical treatments, such as face creams and masks, are frequently rather unsuccessful.

It is estimated that more than 100,000 people rush to cosmetic surgeons to undergo the common procedure of having their face lifted. In the United States, this is one of the most popular cosmetic procedures for both females and males. The reason facelifts are so popular is because the technique wipes years away from the appearance of the face. The results amount to a thoroughly younger look in the skin. But, this is not always the way individuals wish to go especially those who are afraid of having surgery.

Facelifts require incisions that are made in the skin around the scalp, forehead and around the ears. Not only does this approach offer the threat of infection and throbbing pain, but it also takes time from the things you love to do or have to accomplish. Although the procedure lasts about 1-2 hours, the aftermath takes much longer to bear. Sometimes people recuperate for about a month or so, taking time off from work to recover from their facelift.

The Procedure of Thermage

What is a Usual Thermage Procedure Like?

Clients can expect Thermage procedures to last a mere 15 to 90 minutes, depending on the treatment area. General anesthesia is not required, but to make sure you are comfortable the doctor may offer light pain medications prior to treatment. During the treatment, you'll feel a brief, heat sensation each time Thermage delivers radiofrequency energy to the underlayer of your skin. This indicates that your collagen is being stimulated and tightened.

Upon completion of just a single treatment, you will already see remarkable results. Your skin will appear more taut and more refined. As an extra bonus, because Thermage is focused on extended development of skin, you can expect the results to refine as the months pass. In terms of recovery, patients who come in for Thermage can walk out of the physician’s office and resume their daily activities right away.

After treatment, your skin may be slightly red for a day or two. But most people resume regular activities immediately after treatment, with no downtime or special follow-up care.

What About the Pain?

There is less pain with Thermage when compared to a facelift. Although you may feel a fleeting sensation of heat, the discomfort is brief. If you have sensitive skin, you may want to later apply a topical anesthetic to the treatment surface. One principal concern of individuals interested in Thermage is the level of discomfort involved in the procedures. Individuals who have gone in for Thermage procedures have said that the procedure is not painful at all. They report to have only felt a minimal heating sensation throughout the treatment. This warmth is held at a pleasant level through a invigorating spray discharged by the ThermaTip. The spray is also used to safeguard the skin’s surface.

As with the common facelift, the risk of infection or scarring is present and, depending on the skill of your surgeon, you may have paid a bundle for something that does not even meet your expectations. With Thermage, some of the potential side effects include bumps, redness, swelling and blisters; all of which will usually disappear in a couple of days.

Thermage Doctors

Thermage doctors often consider Thermage to be the top of the line treatment for smoothing and contouring skin. This is because it provides subtle, yet visible results that can last up to two years.

Thermage doctors can perform the treatment in a single session that lasts about an hour or in several sessions. Thermage has been used in more than 450,000 procedures and over 2,200 medical practices worldwide. It is preferred by doctors because there is no cutting, no injections, and no downtime in recovery.

How Can Thermage Reduce the Effects of Aging?

Thermage employs a patented Capacitive Radio Frequency (CRF) technology, which aims to tighten facial tissue. Throughout the course of a Thermage treatment, a doctor employs a wand called the ThermaTip, which transmits energy from the radio frequency into the individual’s skin. This energy then warms the skin layers.

The heat produced in Thermage procedures is precisely what is needed to reduce the effects of aging in the lower layers of the skin. As we age, our collagen fibers in the skin’s inner layers are prone to thinning and shortening. As a result, the outer layers of our skin start to wrinkle and droop. With the correct level of heat, such as that which is created by way of the Thermage radio frequency, the development of collagen fibers can be promoted. Accordingly, the skin is tightened and unpleasant wrinkles are reduced.

Benefits and Results of Thermage

The Benefits of Using Thermage

Thermage is best suited for those who are starting to see signs of aging: early jowling, loose skin, creases around the nose and mouth, and wrinkles around the nose and mouth. Besides not having to deal with painful incisions to the face and taking time from everyday activities, Thermage allows patients to accomplish a tighter appearance in their skin. This is what gives the look of youthfulness to the face. For some, it is the eradication of wrinkles that proves most helpful. If your decision is to undergo a Thermage treatment, you will be pleasantly pleased with the results. Thermage will also help people with active acne and acne scars. Just one treatment will give visible improvement in most people.

Thermage Results

After having a Thermage treatment, you will immediately feel slightly tighter and smoother skin. Results are seen at different times for different people. Some start to see improvement as soon as one month after Thermage. Others begin to see improvement after 2-3 months. Depending on how fast your skin responds increased results may occur sooner. The results are different in each and every patient. All continue to improve for a total of six months after the treatment. As noted above, a few people fail to see substantial improvement after the first treatment and are encouraged to have a second treatment six months later.

How long the treatment will last also varies per patient. You will find that the aging process is different for every person. For the maintenance of Thermage results, additional visits are needed. If not, the face will gradually slip back into the way it looked before treatment.

Thermage has been in existence since 2000. Those who were treated at that time have shown consistent results with no deterioration since then. So, we know that Thermage lasts at least this long. It is projected that the benefits from Thermage may last as long as 5-10 years, but there is no way of knowing this yet. Time will tell.

Thermage: Looks 10 Years Younger In Only 1 Hour

A Miracle of Radio Waves

Thermage treatment is an non-surgical, FDA approved procedure that offers an innovative way to rejuvenate your face which involves the application of radio frequency energy to your face. This energy strategically heats collagen, which composes your skin. Thermage unique deep-heating technology stimulates and renews your own collagen, resulting in tighter, smoother skin. Thermage can only be performed by qualified Thermage doctors or other personnel who has been specifically trained in the Thermage procedure.

The Thermage procedure involves Thermage doctors using infrared rays to heat the dermis (deep layer) of the skin, resulting in tightening and smoothing of the skin. When your doctor performs a Thermage treatment, collagen may also be increased in the skin. While it is possible that skin damage can occur with Thermage, it is usually only a temporary redness and swelling that will occur.

With facial Thermage, there may be mild soreness of the jawbone too. Compared to traditional plastic surgery, the side effects are quite minimal, though the results are similar.

09 January 2009

Mechanism of Liposuction

Suction Assisted Liposuction (SAL)
Suction-assisted liposuction is the standard method of liposuction. A small cannula is inserted through a small incision. It is attached to a vacuum device. The surgeon pushes and pulls it carefully through the fat layer, Laser Assisted Liposuctionbreaking up the fat cells and drawing them out of the body by suction.

Laser Assisted Liposuction (LAL)
Laser assisted liposuction which uses thermal energy to affect lipolysis has involved either of the Erchonia or Nd:YAG powered devices.

Ultrasound Assisted Liposuction (UAL)
Ultrasound Assisted LiposuctionAlso referred to as ultrasonic liposuction. A specialized cannula is used which transmits ultrasound vibrations and heat into subcutaneous fat. This vibration bursts the walls of the fat cells, emulsifying the fat (i.e. liquefying it) and making it easier to suction out.
  • UAL is a good choice for working on more fibrous areas, like the upper back, or male breast area
  • It takes longer to do than traditional liposuction, but not longer than tumescent liposuction
  • There is slightly less blood loss
  • So far, there appears to be slightly more risk of seromas forming (pockets of fluid) which may have to be drained with a needle
Internal UAL is the term used to describe the technique where a long metal probe, which may be solid or hollow, is inserted into fat through a large incision. Among those surgeons who do internal UAL, most rely on the use of general anesthesia or heavy IV sedation. Internal UAL has largely been abandoned because of the risk of full-thickness skin burns and severe scaring. The initial reports of internal UAL were unrealistically enthusiastic. After ultrasonic liposuction, it is necessary to perform suction-assisted liposuction to remove the liquified fat.

Power Assisted Liposuction (PAL)
Power Assisted LiposuctionPower Assisted LiposuctionPAL devices use power supplied by an electric motor or compressed air to produce either a rapid in-and-out movement or a spinning rotation of an attached liposuction cannula (specialized cannula with mechanized movement), so that the surgeon does not need to make as many manual movements. Otherwise it is similar to traditional UAL.

Twin-cannula (assisted) Liposuction (TCAL or TCL)
Twin-cannula Assisted LiposuctionTwin cannula (assisted) liposuction uses a tube-within-a-tube specialized cannula pair, so that the cannula which aspirates fat, the mechanically reciprocated inner cannula, does not impact the patient's tissue or the surgeon's joints with each and every forward stroke. In doing so it is gentler on both patient and surgeon by nature of design.

It allows decreased bleeding and bruising, faster recovery and reduced blood loss. The aspirating inner cannula reciprocates within the slotted outer cannula to simulate a surgeon's stroke of up to 5 cm. (2") rather than merely vibrates 1-2 mm (1/4") as other power assisted devices, removing most of the labor from the procedure.

Superficial or subdermal liposuction is facilitated by the spacing effect of the outer cannula and the fact that the cannulas do not get hot, eliminating the opportunity for burns.

External ultrasound-assisted liposuction (XUAL or EUAL)
XUAL is a type of UAL where the ultrasonic energy is applied from outside the body, through the skin, making the specialized cannula of the UAL procedure unnecessary.
It was developed because surgeons found that in some cases, the UAL method caused skin necrosis (death) and seromas, which are pockets of a pale yellowish fluid from the body, analogous to hematomas (pockets of red blood cells).
XUAL is a possible way to avoid such complications by having the ultrasound applied externally. It can also potentially :
  • Cause less discomfort for the patient, both during the procedure and afterwards
  • Decrease blood loss
  • Allow better access through scar tissue
  • Treat larger areas
At this time however, it is not widely used and studies are not conclusive as to its effectiveness.

Water-assisted liposuction (WAL)
Water Assisted LiposuctionWAL uses a thin fan-shaped water beam, which loosens the structure of the fat tissue, so that it can be removed by a special cannula. During the liposuction the water is continually added and almost immediately aspirated via the same cannula. WAL requires less infiltration solution and produces less edema from the tumescent fluid. The utility of this technology is under study and is currently not widely used.

SuturesSince the incisions are small, and since the amount of fluid that must drain out is large :
  • Some surgeons opt to leave the incisions open, the better to clear the patient's body of excess fluid. They find that the unimpeded departure of that fluid allows the incisions to heal more quickly.
  • SuturesOthers suture them only partially, leaving space for the fluid to drain out. Others delay suturing until most of the fluid has drained out, about 1 or 2 days.
In either case, while the fluid is draining, dressings need to be changed often. After one to three days, small self-adhesive bandages are sufficient.

Liposuction Types And Techniques

There are several types of liposuction procedures available, all of which use a wand-like instrument called a cannula to remove unwanted fat. Tumescent liposuction involves the injection if a large amount of anesthetic into the area being treated; the wet and super-wet techniques are variations of this type of liposuction. In ultrasonic assisted liposuction (UAL), sound waves are used to liquefy the fat before it is removed. Power assisted liposuction (PAL) employs a motor-powered cannula, which allows the surgeon to use smaller movements and make the experience more comfortable for the patient.

In general, fat is removed via a cannula (a hollow tube) and aspirator (a suction device). The vast majority of these procedures are conducted using "reusable" cannulas. The same reusable cannula is often used over many years and on dozens if not hundreds of different patients. The reusable cannula is cleaned and sterilized before each use by the doctor or his/her staff. One time use disposable cannulas are also available for these procedures. These devices are provided to the doctor in sealed and sterilized packages. They are intended to be used on only one patient and for only one procedure and then discarded. One time use disposable cannulas are disposed of in the same manner that other one time use medical devices are disposed of, such as needles and syringes.

Liposuction techniques can be further categorized by the amount of fluid injection and by the mechanism in which the cannula works.

Amount of Fluid Injection

Dry liposuction
The dry method does not use any fluid injection at all. This method is seldom used today. Dry Technique Dry Technique (no longer used) required general anesthesia. The dry technique derived its name from the fact that it did not use injections of local anesthesia into the fat before liposuction. This technique was abandoned because of the excessive blood loss it caused. Blood composed approximately thirty percent (30%) of the tissue that was removed by liposuction using the dry technique.

Wet liposuction
Wet Technique required general anesthesia. A small amount of fluid, less in volume than the amount of fat to be removed, is injected into the area. It contains :
  • Lidocaine as a local anesthetic (about 100 ml)
  • Epinephrine to contract the blood vessels and thus minimize bleeding
  • A salt solution to make it saline, like our body fluids
This fluid helps to loosen the fat cells and reduce bruising. The fat cells are then suctioned out as in the basic procedure. Although the wet technique caused less blood loss than the dry technique, blood loss with the wet technique was still excessive and dangerous. Blood composed approximately 15% to 20% of the tissue removed by liposuction using the wet technique.

Super-wet liposuction
Super Wet Technique also requires general anesthesia. The infusate volume is in about the same amount as the volume of fat expected to be removed. This is the preferred technique for high-volume liposuction by many plastic surgeons as it better balances hemostasis and potential fluid overload (as with the tumescent technique). It takes one to three hours, depending on the size of the treated area(s). It may require either :
  • IV sedation as well as the local lidocaine, or
  • Complete anesthesia
The super wet technique requires the injection of a volume of dilute local anesthesia that is less than half the volume used for the tumescent technique. Surgical blood loss with the super wet technique is greater than the tumescent technique but significantly less than the wet technique. Approximately eight percent (8%) of the fluid removed by super wet liposuction is blood.

Tumescent liposuction
Tumescent liposuction is the precursor of wet liposuction. Tumescent liposuction refers to a technique that uses large volumes of very dilute local anesthesia and vasoconstrictor that is injected into the fat causing the targeted areas to be come tumescent, or swollen and firm; at a volume of roughly three parts liquid to one part tissue. The technique eliminates the need for general anaesthetic, blood products and intravenous fluids. The high volume of fluid creates a space between the muscle and the fatty tissue allowing more room for the cannula. The procedure requires more time than comparable techniques but can provide smoother results. Despite a large total volume of anaesthetic injected into the tissue, absorption by the body is spread over 24-36 hours because of the vasoconstrictors used. The procedure was developed in 1985.

Modified Tumescent Liposuction
Modified tumescent liposuction refers to a combination of tumescent local anesthesia plus some form of systemic anesthesia (general anesthesia or heavy IV sedation). Because general anesthesia or heavy IV sedation can be dangerous, they must be administered by an anesthesiologist.

08 January 2009

Does The Tumescent Technique The Safest Procedure For Liposuction?

Tumescent means swollen and firm. By injecting a large volume of very dilute lidocaine (local anesthetic) and epinephrine (capillary constrictor) into subcutaneous fat, the targeted tissue becomes swollen and firm, or tumescent.

TumescentTumescent Technique is Safest
The tumescent technique is the safest form of liposuction. When tumescent liposuction is done correctly, it is a very safe procedure. There have been no reported deaths associated with tumescent liposuction totally by local anesthesia. Even when general anesthesia is combined with the tumescent technique, liposuction is quite safe provided the volume of fat removed and the number of areas treated during a single surgery is not excessive. The dilute epinephrine contained in the tumescent anesthetic solution profoundly shrinks capillaries and thus virtually eliminates surgical blood loss.

Mechanism of Tumescent : Dilution & Vasoconstriction Produce Safety
The explanation for this remarkable safety is the extreme dilution of the tumescent local anesthetic solution. Large volumes of dilute epinephrine produce intense constriction of capillaries in the targeted fat, which in turn greatly delays the rate of absorption of lidocaine and epinephrine. Undiluted lidocaine and epinephrine is absorbed into the bloodstream in less than an hour. Tumescent dilution causes widespread capillary constriction which causes the absorption process to be spread over 24 to 36 hours. This reduces peak concentration of lidocaine in the blood, which in turn reduces the potential toxicity of a given dose of lidocaine. Dentists typically use concentrated epinephrine which may cause a rapid heart rate if the epinephrine is rapidly absorbed. When very dilute tumescent epinephrine is used, the wide spread vasoconstriction slows the rate of epinephrine absorption, which in turn prevents an increase in heart rate.

Vasoconstriction Prevents Blood Loss
Profound vasoconstriction (shrinkage of capillary blood vessels) results from the tumescent infiltration of a large volume of dilute epinephrine into subcutaneous fat. Tumescent vasoconstriction is so complete that liposuction can be done with virtually no blood loss. In contrast, the older forms of liposuction used before the invention of the tumescent technique were associated with so much surgical blood loss that autologous blood transfusions were often routine.

Vasoconstriction Prolongs Local Anesthesia
Because the vasoconstriction delays lidocaine absorption, the local anesthetic remains in place in the fat for many hours. This prolonged anesthesia permits surgery for up to 10 hours after infiltration, and provides 24 to 36 hours of significant postoperative analgesia.

Recommended Lidocaine Dosage
Maximum recommended lidocaine dosage is 40 mg/kg to 50 mg/kg for tumescent liposuction when lidocaine is greatly diluted. This is a relatively large dosage compared to the 7 mg/kg which is widely accepted as the "safe maximum dose for lidocaine with epinephrine" that anesthesiologists use. They use non-diluted lidocaine for nerve blocks such as epidural blocks.
Depending upon the clinical requirements, a tumescent anesthetic solution may contain a 5 to 40 fold dilution of lidocaine found in commercially available formulations of local anesthesia. Commercial solutions of lidocaine used by dentists and anesthesiologists typically contain 1 gram of lidocaine and 1 milligram of epinephrine per 50 milliliters of saline. In contrast, tumescent solutions of local anesthesia contain approximately 1 gram of lidocaine and 1 milligram of epinephrine in 1,000 milliliters of saline. This is a 20 fold dilution of the commercial version of lidocaine and epinephrine.

MicrocannulasA liposuction cannula is a stainless steel tube which is inserted into subcutaneous fat through a small opening or incision in the skin which in turn yields smoother cosmetic results. A microcannula has an outside diameter of less than 3 millimeters (mm). The diameter of microcannulas range from 1 mm to 3 mm. With special designs, microcannulas can remove fat very efficiently and allow fat to be removed in a smoother and more uniform fashion. The use of larger cannulas, for example those having an outside diameter ranging from 3 mm to 6 mm require larger incisions which usually leave visible scars. Some surgeons prefer larger cannulas because it allows liposuction to be done more quickly.

Adits are small holes in the skin made with round, skin-biopsy punches. Adits are used as access sites, in which the liposuction cannula is passed in and out of during the liposuction process. Adits also facilitate the drainage of blood-tinged anesthetic solution after liposuction. Because of the skin's ability to stretch, microcannulas can usually fit through a 1.0 mm, 1.5 mm, or 2 mm round hole made in the skin with a skin biopsy punch. Such tiny holes usually disappear without scars after liposuction. Adits are so small that it is not necessary to close them with sutures. Because adits are not closed with sutures, they promote copious postoperative drainage of blood-tinged tumescent anesthesia, which in turn reduces post-operative bruising, tenderness and swelling. Larger cannulas require larger incisions. When larger incisions are closed with sutures, there is delayed drainage, and prolonged swelling, bruising and pain after liposuction.

Smoother Liposuction ResultsSmoother Liposuction Results
Smoother liposuction results can be achieved by using microcannulas which allow a more gradual and controlled removal of fat. This improves the ability of the surgeon to achieve smoother results. Larger cannulas are associated with an increased risk of liposuction producing skin depressions and irregularities. Larger cannulas may remove fat so quickly that there is a risk of removing too much fat. It is also more difficult to precisely control the direction of a large cannula. With any attempt to make a small incremental change in the direction of a large cannula there is tendency to re-enter a pre-existing tunnel within the fat. This lack of precise control contributes to the risk of skin irregularities associated with liposuction when using large cannulas.

The Advantages of Tumescent Anesthesia
Because tumescent local anesthesia lasts so long, tumescent liposuction is less painful and more pleasant than liposuction under general anesthesia or IV sedation. With tumescent local anesthesia, patients are able to avoid the post-operative nausea and vomiting associated with general anesthesia. Tumescent anesthesia is so efficient at providing fluid to the body that it is unnecessary to use IV fluids. There is a risk of dangerous fluid overload if excessive IV fluids are given to a tumescent liposuction patient.

How Much Will Liposuction Cost?

Prices for liposuction can vary widely. A surgeon’s cost for liposuction may vary based on his or her experience, the type of procedure used, as well as geographic office location.

Many plastic surgeons offer patient financing plans, so be sure to ask.
DollarCost may include :
  • Surgeon’s fee Hospital or surgical facility costs
  • Anesthesia fees
  • Prescriptions for medication
  • Post-surgery garments
  • Medical tests
Factors That Determine Cost
  • The size of the patient
  • Amount of time and effort required of the surgeon
  • Cost of anesthesiologist's services
  • Operating room
  • Preoperative laboratory fees
  • Other related expenses, such as elastic compression garments, etc
  • experience of the surgeon
  • geographic location of the surgeon
An expert liposuction surgeon who has done thousands of liposuction procedures, who consistently achieves outstanding results, and who is in great demand, will often charge more than a less experienced surgeon. Surgeons who are not busy may offer discounts, or entice prospective patients by offering free consultation. Surgeon's who have had unhappy patients and who do not have a good reputation might also lower prices in order to attract new patients. In geographic areas where rents and labor costs are high, one can expect higher fees for liposuction.

Expected Time and Effort
The expected time and effort that is required to accomplish a liposuction surgery is the most important factor in determining the cost of liposuction. Factors that typically affect the surgeon's time and effort include :
  • Number of areas being treated
  • Size of the patient
  • Anticipated degree of difficulty
Thus, cost of liposuction of the abdomen alone is less than the cost of doing liposuction on both the abdomen as well as the inner thighs and knees. Similarly the cost for abdominal liposuction on a patient who weighs 80 kilograms (176 pounds) might be more than the cost for liposuction of the abdomen of a patients who has never weighed more than 60 kilograms (132 pounds). The cost of liposuction can vary greatly depending on the type you chose, the area(s) of the body you want to target, and your surgeon. Procedures such as tumescent liposuction can be more costly due to its use of new technology. Generally, liposuction procedures run anywhere from $1,500 to $7,500, your total cost depending on the number of treatments you undergo. Except in very rare cases, liposuction is not covered by insurance, and must be paid in full by the patient. There are many financing options available for plastic surgery through national credit companies such as CareCredit®, Capital One® Healthcare Finance, or Unicorn® Financial.

Lowest Price Can Be Most Expensive
Choosing a surgeon based on the lowest price might ultimately be the most expensive choice if the initial cosmetic results are so bad that another surgeon must be paid to repair the work of the first surgeon. Among the most common undesirable outcomes of liposuction are :
  • incomplete liposuction with very little evidence that liposuction was actually done
  • excessive liposuction producing an unnatural or disfigured appearance
  • irregular and uneven results with unsightly depressions in the skin, and
  • large scars that reveal that the patient has had liposuction. Caveat emptor (Buyer beware)
How to Use Fee Table (Below)
The total cost for a surgery is the sum of the non-surgical fee plus one or more surgical fees. The non-surgical include the cost of the operating room, nursing staff, pre-operative laboratory tests, post-operative garments and supplies. The surgical fees represent the cost for surgery of each individual area. For example, the total cost for liposuction of the hips, outer thighs and buttocks might be the sum of the surgical fees for hips ($2400), outer thighs ($3000), and buttok ($1800), plus non-surgical fee ($1600), which equals $8,800.

The following table is merely a rough estimate of the possible fees.
Table of Approximate Surgical Fees in the United States of America
Body AreaApproximate Lower End of Range of Surgical Fee ($)Approximate Upper End Range of Surgical Fee ($)
Abdomen, upper & lower
Abdomen, lower
Back, female
Breasts, female
Breasts, male
Chin, Cheeks, Jowls, Neck
Flanks, male
Anterior Thighs & Knees
Inner (Thighs & Knees)
Outer Thighs
(Total fee = All Surgical Fees + Non-Surgical Fee). If an anesthesiologist is required, then an additional fee must be anticipated.

Written Estimate
Written estimate of total cost for the liposuction surgery is essential. Beware of any surgeon who is not completely candid, open and honest about all of the associated fees.

Financing and Loans
Financing and loans for cosmetic surgery are available through private finance companies. Often, one can also pay for liposuction surgery using a credit card. Liposuction is generally regarded as a luxury and thus going into debt to have liposuction requires careful consideration.

The Safety, Side Effects And Risks of Liposuction

Side Effects
LiposuctionA side effect, as opposed to a complication, is medically minor, although it can be uncomfortable, annoying, and even painful.
  • Bruising can be painful in the short term, and should fade after a few weeks.
  • Swelling should subside gradually over a month or two.
  • Scars will vary in size depending on the particular procedure, and should fade over the weeks. Scarring is an individual thing, partly dependent on heredity. For some, scar healing may take as long as a year.
  • Pain should be temporary and controlled by either over-the-counter medication, or by a prescription.
  • Numbness sometimes persists for a few weeks.
  • Limited mobility will depend on the exact procedure.
There could be various factors limiting movement for a short while, such as :
  • Wearing a compression garment
  • Keeping the head elevated
  • Temporary swelling or pain
The surgeon should advise on how soon the patient can resume normal activity.

Possible Risks of Liposuction
  • Uneven contours
  • Rippling or loose skin
  • Skin or nerve damage
  • Irregular pigmentation
  • Infection
  • Fat clots
  • Blood clots
  • Excessive fluid loss or fluid accumulation
  • Unfavorable scarring
  • Thermal burn or heat injury from ultrasound with the ultrasound-assisted lipoplasty technique
  • Anesthesia risks
  • Bleeding (hematoma)
  • Change in skin sensation
  • kin discoloration or swelling
  • Asymmetry
  • Pain, which may persist
  • Damage to deeper structures such as nerves, blood vessels, muscles, lungs, and abdominal organs
  • Poor wound healing
  • Persistent swelling in the legs
  • Deep vein thrombosis, cardiac and pulmonary complications
  • Possibility of revisional surgery
In order to minimize the risk of liposuction, the patient must be aware of the following facts :
  • Too much liposuction is an excessive volume of aspirated fat, or an excessive number of areas treated. Excessive liposuction is dangerous and is an important cause for serious liposuction complications.
  • Unrelated surgical procedures on the same day as liposuction are unnecessary. Prolonged exposure to anesthesia is dangerous and is an important cause for serious liposuction complications.
  • he three types of excessive surgery include 1) removal of an excessive volume of fat by liposuction on a single day, 2) liposuction of an excessive number of body areas on the same day, 3) combinations of liposuction and other unrelated surgical procedures which involves excessive surgical trauma and prolonged exposure to general anesthesia.
  • Disfiguring skin irregularities and depressions are frequently the result of the surgeon's inattention to detail. For example, if a liposuction surgeon attempts to do too much on a single day, and becomes fatigued, the result may be an inattention to detail, and undesirable cosmetic results. A liposuction cannula is a stainless steel tube inserted through an incision in the skin that is employed to suction the fat. The size of the liposuction cannula can influence the smoothness of the skin after liposuction. The use of large cannulas tend to create irregularities more commonly than microcannulas (outside diameter less than 3 millimeters). Surgeons who do total-body liposuction tend to use larger cannulas.
The more serious possible complications include :
  • Allergic reaction to medications or material used during surgery.
  • Infection. Any time the body is incised or punctured, bacteria can get in and cause an infection.
  • Damaging the skin. Most surgeons work on the deeper levels of fat, so as to avoid wounding the skin any more than they must for the insertion of the cannula. Sometimes the cannula can damage tissue beneath the skin, which may show up as a spotted appearance on the skin surface.
  • Skin necrosis (dead skin) is a rare complication, in which the skin falls off in the necrotic area.
  • Internal organ puncture. Since the surgeon can't see the cannula, sometimes it damages an internal organ, such as the intestines during abdominal liposuction. Such damage can be corrected surgically.
  • Contour irregularities. Sometimes the skin may look bumpy and/or withered, because of uneven fat removal, or poor skin elasticity.
  • Thromboembolism and fat embolisation.
  • Burns. Sometimes the cannula movement can cause friction burns to skin or nerves. Also, in UAL, the heat from the ultrasound device can cause injury to the skin or deeper tissue.
  • Lidocaine toxicity. When the super-wet or tumescent methods are used, too much saline fluid may be injected, or the fluid may contain too high a concentration of lidocaine. Then the lidocaine may become too much for that particular person’s system. Lidocaine poisoning at first causes tingling and numbness and eventually seizures, followed by unconsciousness and respiratory or cardiac arrest.
  • Fluid imbalance. Since fat contains a lot of fluid and is removed in liposuction, and since the surgeon injects fluid for the procedure, even a very large amount of it for tumescent liposuction, there is a danger of the body’s fluid balance being disturbed. This could happen afterwards, after the patient is at home. If too much fluid remains in the body, the heart, lungs and kidneys could be badly affected.
Risks of Local Anesthesia
Lidocaine is the safest of local anesthetics available for liposuction. At lidocaine concentrations in the blood exceeding 6 milligrams/liter, patients might experience some toxicity. Blood concentrations of lidocaine in excess of 12 milligrams/liter can produce serious cardiac toxicity. The maximum recommended dosage of lidocaine for tumescent liposuction is 50 mg/kg (50 milligrams/kilogram of patient weight). The most extraordinary aspect of the tumescent technique is its unprecedented safety record when used as directed. Most liposuction surgeons know that it can be dangerous to give a patient a dosage of tumescent lidocaine that exceeds 50 mg/kg. All liposuction-related deaths have been associated with either the use of general anesthesia, or IV sedation, or lidocaine doses in far in excess of 75 mg/kg. The tumescent technique is dangerous in the hands of surgeons or anesthesiologists who have not had specific training in the technique. There has never been a reported death associated with tumescent liposuction totally by local anesthesia.

Risks of General Anesthesia
General anesthesia for liposuction can be considered safe when 1) the general anesthesia is administered by a board certified anesthesiologist, 2) liposuction is not performed with other unrelated surgical procedures, and 3) there is no excessive liposuction. The most dangerous aspects of general anesthesia are respiratory depression and impairment of protective airway reflexes. The risks of general anesthesia include human error, unsuspected inherited hypersensitivity to anesthetic drugs, accidental overdose of anesthesia, any undetected airway disconnection or airway blockage. General anesthesia, which increases the risk of vomiting and impairs protective airway reflexes, can cause aspiration of stomach contents. Because general anesthesia impairs the ability to breathe, when a complication does occur it can lead to disaster.

Drugs That Increase Bleeding
Drugs that increase bleeding, if taken by a patient soon before having liposuction, can cause liposuction complications such a hematoma (a large collection of blood trapped beneath the skin), or excessive bleeding that might require hospitalization. Among the more common drugs that can interfere with normal clotting of blood are aspirin, ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil), and warfarin (Coumadin). Even vitamin E, red wine, and some herbal remedies can cause prolonged bleeding. You are provided with a long list of prescription drugs and non-prescription drugs that interfere with bleeding.

Dangers of Ultrasonic Liposuction
Ultrasonic Assisted Liposuction (UAL) requires the use of tumescent fluid and uses either a metal probe or metal paddle to deliver ultrasonic energy and heat into subcutaneous fat. Internal UAL has largely been abandoned because of the risk of full-thickness skin burns and severe scaring. The initial reports of internal UAL were unrealistically enthusiastic. Some authors did not report their complications, and others have learned of major UAL complications after publishing their articles. Because of insufficient proof of safety, UAL devices have not been approved by the FDA for use in doing liposuction.

Liposuction and Other Procedures Combination

Liposuction and Tightening / Lifting Skin

Liposuction is not a good tool for tightening the skin. The removal of quantities of fat from under the skin can leave the skin even more loose. When drooping skin and fat are the issue, then lift such as a rhytidectomy (facelift), mastopexy (breast lift), abdominoplasty (tummy tuck), or lower body lift, thigh lift, or buttock lift are better tools and may include liposuction during surgery to refine the sculpture. SAL in combination with other surgery is common, but may have higher complication rates. When done simultaneously, SAL is done minimally in the areas of the undermined tissues to minimize further insult to the blood supply.

Post Operative Care For Tumescent Technique

The tumescent technique for liposuction uses a large volume of a dilute solution of lidocaine and epinephrine. The tumescent technique for liposuction has become the worldwide standard of care for liposuction because it has eliminated the common problem of surgical bleeding associated with older techniques.

Open Drainage and Bimodal Compression
It provides improved patient comfort, shortens the healing time, and decreases the number of postoperative visits to the surgeon. Open-drainage with bimodal compression is a modern technique that greatly reduces the degree of pain, swelling, bruising and convalescence time. Many surgeons and nurses continue to use antiquated post-liposuction care techniques that were used before the invention of the tumescent liposuction.

Minimizing Swelling, Bruising, & Tenderness
Swelling, bruising, tenderness are the result of 1) persistent blood-tinged tumescent anesthetic solution trapped under the skin after liposuction, and 2) injury to subcutaneous lymphatic capillaries caused by the liposuction procedure. Lymphatic capillaries are small vessels that drain fluid away from injured body tissues. Temporary injury to lymphatic capillaries as a result of liposuction cannot be avoided. However the persistence of blood-tinged tumescent solution trapped under the skin can be prevented. Older techniques for post-liposuction care do not facilitate rapid drainage of this blood-tinged anesthetic solution. The newer technique known as "open drainage" diminishes the swelling and speeds recovery after tumescent liposuction.

Prolonged High-Compression In the Old Days
Prolonged High-Compression in the old days was necessary. Before the tumescent technique for liposuction, bleeding was the major problem associated with liposuction. After a liposuction had been completed, patients had to wear a high compression garment for many weeks in order to minimize the problems caused by so much bleeding. Immediately after surgery the high compression garments were required to compress the bleeding vessels and stem the loss of blood. Patients continued to wear high compression garments for up to six weeks in order to decrease the swelling caused by the blood trapped beneath the skin.

Prolonged Compression Now Makes Matters Worse
Now that tumescent technique has become the standard of care, the traditional post-liposuction techniques, established before the invention of the tumescent technique, may now contribute to delayed healing and prolonged swelling. With tumescent liposuction there is no need for prolonged high compression because there is no significant bleeding during surgery, and virtually no blood remains trapped beneath the skin. After tumescent liposuction, closing incisions with sutures will prevent drainage of residual blood-tinged anesthetic solution, and encourage swelling. In addition, the prolonged use of excessive compression after tumescent liposuction will compress the subcutaneous lymphatic capillaries and impair the lymphatic drainage system that is responsible for removing fluid from injured tissues. After tumescent liposuction, the goal is to maximize the rate of drainage of residual blood-tinged tumescent anesthetic solution.

Preventing Swelling
Preventing swelling, bruising and inflammation before they occur by removing the subcutaneous blood-tinged fluids and encouraging lymphatic drainage is the ideal method for post-liposuction care. The method known as Open-Drainage achieves these results by encouraging open drainage by not closing incisions with sutures. The use of special pads that both absorb the messy blood-tinged drainage and reduces bruising by uniformly distributing the compression of elastic garments and using special elastic compression garments designed for optimal drainage as well as patient convenience and comfort.

Open DrainageOpen-Drainage
Open-Drainage after tumescent liposuction refers to the technique for maximizing the drainage of blood-tinged tumescent solution by using small adits which are tiny round holes (1 mm, 1.5 mm or 2 mm in diameter) made by skin-biopsy punch to facilitate postoperative drainage and placing adits in strategic locations in order to maximize gravity-assisted drainage. Allow the adits to remain open instead of being closed with sutures.

Fewer Postoperative Visits
Fewer postoperative visits to the surgeon's office can save time and hassle for the patient and the patient's family. Because there are no sutures to be removed, the patient can eliminate the need to return to the surgeon to have the sutures removed. Because there is less swelling, and pain with Open-Drainage, there is less need for the patient to return to see the surgeon in the early postoperative period for time-consuming follow-up examinations.

Super-Absorbent PadsSuper-Absorbent Pads
These prevent staining clothes and furniture, and to avoid the "sight of blood" that would otherwise accompany the drainage of blood-tinged tumescent fluid. For example, the HK Pads that measure 12 x 20 inches weigh just 6 ounces and have the capacity to absorb more than a liter (two pounds= 32 ounces) of water, or more than 5.5 times their own weight. In practice, the absorbent pads have two distinct functions. First, they absorb the large volume of tumescent drainage to improve patient comfort and hygiene, and secondly the pads distribute the elastic garment's compressive force more uniformly. This uniform compression narrows the gaps between interstitial collagen bundles in the dermis and prevents red blood cells from moving toward the skin surface where it appears as a bruise. HK Pads (US Patent 6,162,960) are the only commercially available pads of this type.

Adhesive Foam Pads
Adhesive foam pads such as Reston foam can decrease bruising, but not swelling, when applied to the skin over an area treated by liposuction. Reston foam has been associated with an increased risk of infection, skin ulceration and skin necrosis. Some surgeons continue to use Reston foam after liposuction.

Bimodal Compression
Bimodal Compression refers to the sequential use of two different stages of post-liposuction compression. During the first stage of bimodal compression, a high degree of compression is maintained for as long as drainage persists, plus an additional 24 hours past the time when all drainage has ceased. The second stage of bimodal compression begins 24 hours after all drainage has ceased, and employs either moderate compression or no compression. Optimal compression garments should maximize the rate of open drainage, while minimizing the risk of complications due to excessive compression such as blood clots in the legs and lungs. An ideal garment must also be able to accommodate bulky absorbent pads, and be easy for the patient to apply and remove without assistance.

Compression GarmentThe Ideal Elastic Compression Garment
The ideal elastic compression garment must be easily put-on and taken-off by the patient without assistance, and it must easily accommodate the use of bulky super-absorbent pads that are necessary when open-drainage is used to accelerate healing.

Traditional Elastic Compression Garments
Traditional garments usually have a zipper on the side and are made of an elastic cloth that is relatively resistant to stretching. Traditional garments are relatively difficult to put-on or take-off without assistance. This difficulty is especially troublesome for someone who has just had liposuction and is sore, swollen and unable to easily bend-over and wiggle into a tight garment.

GarmentGarments Designed for Open-Drainage
HK garments produced by HK Surgical, Inc., are examples of elastic compression garments that provide high compression, that are designed to accommodate bulky super-absorbent pads, and that are easy to put-on and take-off without assistance.

HK Torso Garments are elastic garments worn over the torso with additional elastic binders to provide adjustable compression after liposuction of the abdomen, hips, waist, or breasts HK Over-all Garments, are usually worn two at a time, one on top of the other, and are used after liposuction of the thighs or hips, or abdomen.

Each garment when worn alone provides a moderate degree compression, but when two garments are worn at the same time, their compression is additive, and together they provide a high degree of compression. It is much easier for a patient to put on two moderate-compression garments which can be done without assistance, than it is to apply a single high-compressive garment that often requires the assistance of a spouse or friend.

Recovery After Liposuction

Liposuction RecoveryDepending on the extent of the liposuction, patients are generally able to return to work or school between two days and two weeks. A compression garment or bandage is worn and cover the treatment areas for two to four weeks. These help to control swelling and compress the skin to your new body contours. If non-absorbable sutures are placed, they will be removed after five to ten days. In addition, small temporary drains may be placed in existing incisions beneath the skin to remove any excess blood or fluid.

Secondary procedures may sometimes be recommended to reduce excess skin. Special considerations are needed when large amounts - usually more than 5 liters of fat - are suctioned.

Be sure to ask your plastic surgeon specific questions about what you can expect during your individual recovery period.
  • Where will I be taken after my surgery is complete?
  • What medication will I be given or prescribed after surgery?
  • Will I have dressings/bandages after surgery? When will they be removed?
  • Are stitches removed? When?
  • When can I resume normal activity and exercise?
  • When do I return for follow-up care?
When You Go Home

If you experience shortness of breath, chest pains, or unusual heart beats, seek medical attention immediately. Should any of these complications occur, you may require hospitalization and additional treatment.

The practice of medicine and surgery is not an exact science. Although good results are expected, there is no guarantee. In some situations, it may not be possible to achieve optimal results with a single surgical procedure and another surgery may be necessary.

Expediting Recovery
  • Liposuction RecoveryDrink enough water to prevent dehydration.
  • Avoid using heating pads on the treated areas.
  • Postpone soaking the wounds until they are sealed (usually 48 hours for sutured wounds and a little longer for unsutured ones).
  • If any dizziness is experienced, the patient should take it easy: stand up slowly, get some help for the shower, remove the compression garment slowly, etc.
The suctioned fat cells are permanently gone. However, if the patient does not diet and exercise properly, the remaining fat cell neighbors could still enlarge, creating irregularities.

During Consultation For Liposuction

The success and safety of your liposuction procedure depends very much on your complete candidness during your consultation. You’ll be asked a number of questions about your health, desires and lifestyle.

What Thing Should Be Discuss?
  • Liposuction ConsultationWhy you want the surgery, your expectations and desired outcome
  • Medical conditions, drug allergies and medical treatments
  • Use of current medications, vitamins, herbal supplements, alcohol, tobacco and drugs
  • Previous surgeries
  • You surgeon will evaluate your general health status and any pre-existing health conditions or risk factors
  • Take photographs for your medical record
  • Discuss your options and recommend a course of treatment
  • Discuss likely outcomes of liposuction and any risks or potential complications
Preparing for Surgery
  • Liposuction SurgeryGet lab testing or a medical evaluation
  • Take certain medications or adjust your current medications
  • Stop smoking well in advance of surgery
  • Avoid taking aspirin, anti-inflammatory drugs and herbal supplements as they can increase bleeding
  • The use of anesthesia during your liposuction
  • Post-operative care and follow-up
Your plastic surgeon will also discuss where your procedure will be performed. Liposuction may be performed in an accredited office-based surgical center, outpatient or ambulatory surgical center, or a hospital.

If your liposuction is performed on an outpatient basis, be sure to arrange for someone to drive you to and from surgery and to stay with you for at least the first night following surgery.

Post Operative Care and Follow Up
The recovery period is often uneventful, but should any of the following occur be certain to have learned from your plastic surgeon how to help improve the final outcome, including :
  • Liposuction Follow UpBruising. The extent of bruising varies among patients due to a variety of factors. Bruises are more likely to occur in patients with certain medical conditions such as low blood-platelet levels or poor nutrition resulting in inadequate nutrients for the body. Plastic surgeons provide a list of preoperative instructions prior to surgery so liposuction patients can be equipped to fight off bruises. They may recommend the use of Arnica and/or Bromelain to prevent and reduce the risk of bruising.
  • Raised Scars. Plastic surgeons use tools to reduce the risk of raised scarring. After liposuction surgery, they may apply silicone or hydrogel sheets to reduce the risk of raised scars. Plastic surgeons may also advise the use of scar creams, gels or ointments. In fact, liposuction incisions are usually placed in inconspicuous locations should a raised scar develop after surgery.
  • Irregular Body Contouring. This may occur in a small number of liposuction patients. It is important to be properly fitted for the garment that is required to be worn following surgery. The garment helps to properly mold the refined body contour. Tightening of the garment which may be the result of swelling should be reported to your plastic surgeon. He or she may advise medications to reduce swelling or may recommend an alternative garment for the time being. Finally, the garment must be worn for the time period that is directed by your plastic surgeon.
It is important for people interested in liposuction to be prepared to receive a wealth of information about liposuction at the time of an initial consultation with a plastic surgeon.

What Is The Liposuction Procedure?

Liposuction Area DrawingThe candidate and the surgeon will agree ahead of time on exactly which area(s) will be treated and both will discuss what outcome to expect. The targeted areas are marked on the body while the candidate is in a standing position. Sometimes photos will be taken of the area to be treated, so the patient will have before and after photos.

Step 1 : Anesthesia
  • AnesthesiaMedications are administered for your comfort during the surgical procedures.
  • Local anesthetic is injected and the patient may be given a sedative, either orally, or through an IV injection.
  • Your doctor will recommend the best choice for you.
Step 2 : The Incision
  • Liposuction is performed through small, inconspicuous incisions.
  • Incisions are small, about a quarter to a third of an inch.
  • IncisionThe patient will probably have an IV fluid line, since they will be losing fluid with the fat, and the fluid balance must be kept intact.
  • Then a thin hollow tube, or cannula, is inserted through these incisions to loosen excess fat using a controlled back and forth motion.
  • The dislodged fat is then suctioned out of the body using a surgical vacuum or syringe attached to the cannula.
  • There will be some monitoring devices attached to the body to keep track of the blood pressure, heart rate, and blood oxygen level.
  • The patient will feel only a scraping or rasping sensation from the cannula movement.
Step 3 : The Results
  • Liposuctino ResultUsually the patient can get up, walk around, and go home the same day if they did not receive general anesthesia, although they’ll need someone else to drive.
  • With continued practices of healthy diet and fitness, the loss of excess fatty tissue should be permanently maintained. However, substantial weight gain can alter an otherwise permanent result. Your improved body contour will be apparent when the swelling and fluid retention commonly experienced following liposuction subside.

How To Prepare Liposuction?

1. Schedule a Consultation With a Liposuction Surgeon
To prepare for liposuction surgery, your doctor will require you to meet for an in-depth planning session.
  • Liposuction ConsultationDiscuss the entire procedure.
  • Risks and limitations.
  • All steps you need to take prior to the operation.
  • Kind of anesthesia he or she will use.
  • Type of facility where the liposuction procedure will take place.
  • The costs involved.
  • Any medications or supplies you will need to pick up beforehand.
  • Medical history and lifestyle to determine your risk during liposuction surgery.
  • You will be asked about the drugs you are currently taking (prescription, over the counter, recreational, or herbal supplements), whether or not you smoke or take oral contraceptives, and any medical conditions you may have.
2. Two Weeks Prior to Liposuction Surgery
  • Stop taking all forms of aspirin, as well as any medication and vitamins that could interfere with your blood’s clotting ability
  • If you smoke, you should attempt to stop
3. The Day Before the Liposuction Procedure
Packing loose and comfortable clothing, getting adequate sleep the night before, and arranging a ride home.

4. The Day of Liposuction Surgery
  • Liposuction FormYou’ll be asked to sign a consent form that ensures your understanding of the risks, benefits, possible outcomes, and all liposuction alternatives prior to the procedure.
  • Your physician will likely draw on your skin to mark the areas to be treated, take a “before” picture to compare with your results after liposuction, and provide you with a dressing gown to change into before surgery.
  • You’ll be required not to eat or drink anything for at least six hours before surgery if you are undergoing general anesthesia.

Choose a Surgeon You Can Trust

DoctorsThere are many types of doctors and surgeons that advertise and perform liposuction. In fact, there are many short term continuing education courses offered through independent firms that will certify most every doctor interested in performing liposuction. Physicians can be trained to perform liposuction in as little as one day’s time. Plastic surgery involves many choices. The first and most important is selecting a surgeon you can trust.

Choosing an ASPS Member Surgeon ensures that you have selected a physician who :
  • ASPS LogoHas completed at least five years of surgical training with a minimum of two years in plastic surgery.
  • Ongoing Education : Most leading surgeons continue with ongoing education after receiving their medical degree. They most often achieve this through residency programs that provide up to five years or more years of training in a specific area of expertise.
  • Medical Organization Membership : Medical organizations set criteria in order to become eligible for membership in the organization. Some organizations have more stringent requirements than others. For example, the American Society of Plastic Surgeons and the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery are recognized by the American Board of Plastic Surgery. The American Board of Plastic Surgery is the highest governing board in plastic surgery.
  • Board Certification : The type of board certification that a surgeon has contributes to the qualifications of the surgeon. For example, the American Board of Plastic Surgery is the only board recognized by the American Board of Medical Specialties of over 150 self designated boards.
  • Experience : The surgeon’s experience in the area of liposuction, body contouring and the volume of liposuction achieved is critical in the decision for a particular surgeon. In addition, liposuction surgeons usually know the number of procedures they have performed over the course of their career and can share that information with interested parties. They can provide before and after photos to help identify the quality of their work as well.
  • SurgeonHospital Privileges : Some surgeons have earned hospital privileges to perform liposuction in an accredited hospital. In order to obtain hospital privileges to perform liposuction in a hospital, the surgeon must meet specific criteria such as peer review of the surgeon’s technique and skill in live liposuction surgery.
  • Is trained and experienced in all plastic surgery procedures, including breast, body, face and reconstruction.
  • Adheres to a strict code of ethics.
ASPS Member Surgeons are your partners in cosmetic and reconstructive plastic surgery.

Here are some question as a guide during your consultation with your surgeon :
  • Are you certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery?
  • Are you a member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons?
  • Were you trained specifically in the field of plastic surgery?
  • How many years of plastic surgery training have you had?
  • Do you have hospital privileges to perform this procedure? at which hospitals?
  • Is the office-based surgical facility accredited by a nationally- or state-recognized accrediting agency, or is it state-licensed or Medicare-certified?
  • Am I a good candidate for this procedure?
  • What will be expected of me to get the best results?
  • Where and how will you perform my procedure?
  • What surgical technique is recommended for me?
  • How long of a recovery period can I expect, and what kind of help will I need during my recovery?
  • What are the risks and complications associated with my procedure?
  • How are complications handled?
  • How can I expect my body to look over time? After pregnancy?
  • What are my options if I am dissatisfied with the cosmetic outcome of my liposuction?
  • Do you have before-and-after photos I can look at for this procedure and what results are reasonable for me?

Are You a Good Candidate for Liposuction?

If you are considering liposuction, it is important that you have realistic expectations of the results that can be achieved through the procedure and should be in good physical and mental health. Although dramatic results can be achieved, they may not be as immediate or obvious as you would like.

Realistic Expectations
Liposuction ExpectationsLiposuction should not be expected to help you lose a substantial amount of weight, nor can it eliminate stretch marks and cellulite from the skin. Liposuction can only remove small, localized concentrations of fat. In most cases, 10 pounds of fat or less will be removed from the treated area. If you expect liposuction to dramatically change your appearance, you will probably be disappointed. Because liposuction removes fat but does not tighten skin, patients with good skin elasticity will experience the most aesthetically pleasing results. Older patients typically have less elastic skin than younger patients.

As with all plastic surgery, the success of liposuction will depend on a number of individual factors, such as age, skin elasticity, weight, and overall health.

You are a good candidate for liposuction if you have :
  • Liposuction CandidateOver 18
  • Non-smokers
  • Healthy individuals who do not have a life-threatening illness or medical conditions that can impair healing
  • Adults within 30% of their ideal weight who have firm, elastic skin and good muscle tone
  • Deposits of fat that have not responded to diet or exercise
  • Specific “trouble areas” such as the tummy, thighs, and butt that will not respond to changes in diet and exercise
  • Tried a diet and exercise regime, and find that the last 10 or 15 pounds persist in certain pockets on the body
  • Individuals with a positive outlook and specific goals in mind for body contouring
Liposuction is not appropriate for people with :
  • A weakened immune system
  • Diabetes
  • Heart or artery problems
  • Pregnant or lactating women
  • History of blood clots or restricted blood flow
  • Lidocaine anesthesia is used in liposuction, and those with lidocaine allergies will be unable to undergo the procedure
Anyone who is taking blood-thinning medication such as aspirin, ibuprofen, or any non-steroidal anti-inflammatory must discontinue use of the medication before and after surgery.