Liposuction is the process of removing excess fat in order to slim, reshape, and improve contour of specific areas of the body. Liposuction is useful to treat a number of areas, including the neck, hips, thighs, buttocks, abdomen, arms, back, and calves.
Liposuction is not a treatment for obesity, nor is it a substitute for diet and exercise. This procedure is most often used to eliminate stubborn fatty deposits on the body that do not respond to weight-loss measures.
A candidate for liposuction should be in generally good physical health, a non-smoker, and lack any medical conditions that may hinder the ability to heal properly. Ideal candidates are also within thirty percent of their target weight for their height, age, and gender.
As your body ages, it is natural to lose some firmness and begin to accumulate deposits of fat in some areas of the body. Liposuction can be an ideal way to get rid of unwanted excess fat, and the results can be long-lasting with a stable diet and general physical fitness.
Though liposuction is a safe and consistent way to treat problem areas, patients should be aware that liposuction is not a solution for excess or sagging skin, or cellulite. Depending on your desires, your plastic surgeon may suggest additional procedures to help you reach your full aesthetic goals.
During your consultation, your plastic surgeon will review your medical history, including any known allergies or previous surgeries, to determine if you are a good candidate for liposuction. A board-certified plastic surgeon will review the entire process of liposuction with you, including recovery time and potential associated risks. If you have any questions about the procedure, you should not hesitate to ask during your consultation.
Liposuction is performed through small incisions that, whenever possible, are placed in well-hidden areas of the body. After general anesthesia is administered and the incisions are made in the target areas, a thin hollow tube (cannula) is inserted to loosen excess fat. This technique uses a controlled motion to dislodge the fat deposits, which are then suctioned out of the body through the cannula.
Once the desired results are achieved, the incisions are closed with sutures and elastic bandages are applied to the site, both to reduce swelling and to compress the skin to the new contour.
Liposuction is an outpatient procedure, so in the majority of cases patients are allowed to return home the same day of surgery after recovering from anesthesia. Your plastic surgeon will prescribe pain medications and give you specific instructions for care of the surgical site.
Some swelling and bruising is normal in the weeks that follow liposuction; it may take a few months to fully dissipate and for the newly-shaped contours to develop, but results will be apparent shortly after the procedure is performed.
As with any surgical procedure, there are potential risks associated with liposuction, which may include:
- Bruising and swelling
- Changes in skin sensation
- Asymmetrical contours
- Fluid accumulation
To minimize risk, you should always ensure that your plastic surgeon is board-certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery, and that the procedure is being performed at an accredited hospital or surgical facility.
According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, the national average cost for liposuction in the United States is approximately $3,200. However, this figure will fluctuate depending on your location, the surgeon performing the procedure, the surgical center at which it is carried out, and your aesthetic goals. Your plastic surgeon should review the entire costs for liposuction during your consultation.
If you believe you may be an ideal candidate for liposuction, or if you have any questions about the procedure, please contact the Plastic Surgery Clinic of Chicago to schedule a consultation. We will review your medical history to ensure that you are a good candidate for liposuction, and will be happy to discuss any and all aspects of the process with you.
All surgical procedures by the Plastic Surgery Clinic of Chicago are performed at top hospitals in Chicago and CMS or AAAASF-certified surgical centers for safety.