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What is Liposuction
Liposuction is a surgical procedure that removes fat in the subcutaneous layer using a metal cannula introduced through small incisions in your skin. Many areas of the body can be treated with liposuction. Commonly treated areas include: chin, jawline, neck, arms, abdomen, back, flanks, inner and outer thighs, and around the knees. The procedure is considered surgery and is done with some level of anesthesia depending on the location and extent of the procedure.
Liposuction permanently removes unwanted fat in the subcutaneous layer(s), providing a degree of body contouring and skin contraction during the healing process. With stable weight, the results of liposuction can be maintained.
It can take time for swelling to resolve and skin to contract, but the removal of unwanted fat occurs immediately with surgery.
Traditional liposuction utilizes small incisions, about the diameter of the cannula, which are usually quick to heal and easy to hide.
As soon as you feel well enough, you are able to increase your activity with minimal restrictions.
The ideal candidate for liposuction is of a stable, healthy weight and has localized area(s) of unwanted fat with little to no loose skin. As with other cosmetic procedures, if interested in liposuction you should be in good health and have realistic expectations. Liposuction helps reduce subcutaneous fat and provide better overall contour but is not a weight loss procedure or substitute for proper diet and exercise. Ideal candidates for liposuction will have the best results.
Liposuction is an operative procedure that is performed with sterile technique. Traditional tumescent liposuction utilizes small access incisions that are somewhat hidden within the area(s) to be treated. After sterilely cleansing the skin, small stab incisions are made and a tumescence fluid is infiltrated into the treatment site(s). Infiltration of tumescence helps to pre-tunnel the treatment area, provide localized anesthesia, and reduce blood loss. After the tumescent fluid has had time to take effect, the liposuction cannula is then introduced and the adipose tissue is suctioned out. In traditional liposuction, the fat is freed by the mechanical action of the operator moving the cannula and forcefully breaking down the fat into a less dense and more liquefied state. In the power-assisted liposuction technique, the back-and-forth motion of the liposuction wand is powered. This decreases surgeon fatigue and potentially enables the surgeon to achieve better results. In some cases, the liposuction sites are also treated with a combination of Renuvion® (“J Plasma”) and radiofrequency microneedling to encourage more collagen formation and soft tissue / skin tightening.
Liposuction vs Abdominoplasty
Abdominoplasty is a surgical procedure that removes loose, hanging skin of the abdomen through a transverse incision made across the lower abdomen. This excisional approach removes skin excess and allows the surgeon to plicate the abdominal wall for a tighter, flatter abdomen. Liposuction does not expose the abdominal wall or treat loose skin directly. Removal of excess fat through liposuction can create a flatter, more contoured appearance if the cause of the abdominal bulge is solely due to excess subcutaneous fat. Whether abdominoplasty or liposuction is a better option for you will depend on findings during an in-person consultation with the plastic surgeon. He or she will examine your belly, assessing for the amount and location of fat and quality and amount of loose skin. During this evaluation, your options will be discussed and a plan for surgery can be made.
Liposuction Treatment Areas
- Chin / Neck / Jawline
- Flanks / Back
- Inner / Outer thighs
Your Initial Liposuction Consultation
During your initial consultation at Plastic Surgery of Westchester, you will meet with a board-certified plastic surgeon. Your complete medical and surgical history will be reviewed including any medications you currently take and allergies / adverse reactions you have had to medication or surgery in the past. Your surgeon will need to examine the areas of concern in order to assess the anatomy, distribution of fat, and quality of skin. Any additional procedures are also discussed. Measurements and photos will be taken. After all your questions and concerns are addressed, you will be given information on pricing and scheduling.
Pre-Procedure preparation for Liposuction
There are only a few basic things needed to prepare for liposuction. On the day of your surgery, plan to wear loose, comfortable clothing, such as a button-up shirt (nothing that goes over your head) and stretchy sweat pants or similar bottoms. All nail polish and jewelry should be removed. Choose to wear glasses instead of contact lenses. Please leave any valuable items at home. A few days before your surgery, we will order your post-operative medications. For many patients, a pain medication is needed for only a few days. If you are having another procedure done such as a fat transfer, for example, you may also be prescribed an antibiotic. You will wake up from surgery in your compression garment / faja, so there is no need to purchase any special post-operative garments right away. If you are on certain medications there may be specific instructions on how to take them prior to surgery. Please notify your surgeon if there is a change in your medical history or new medications.
What to expect during Liposuction procedure
On the day of your surgery, you will be checked-in at the same location as your initial consultation and brought to a quiet exam room. After changing into a surgical gown, a nurse will take your vitals and review your health history. Additional photos may need to be taken. Your surgeon will then answer any questions and review the procedure and plan. He / she will re-examine you and likely place some markings with an indelible marker on your body for reference. You will meet with a nurse anesthetist prior to being escorted to the operating suite. Liposuction surgery can take anywhere from 45 minutes to several hours. After the surgery, you will spend about 1-2 hours in recovery before going home.
Recovery after Liposuction procedure
There will be some period of healing and discomfort after liposuction surgery. You should expect bruising and swelling of the treated areas. You may require narcotic pain medication in the first 1 to 3 days. If you were prescribed antibiotics, you will need to take these for the full course; please notify us if you cannot tolerate the full course of antibiotics. Although it is natural to rest as part of recovery, we encourage you to get up and move some, if even just inside your house to get a glass of water or to use the bathroom. You will be able to function without assistance but may feel more tired than normal. This gets better as you heal over the next 3-4 weeks. It is recommended that you wait until the initial bruising and swelling have resolved before resuming more regular exercise. You will be asked to wear a compression garment / faja in the first 1-3 months depending on the type of surgery and your surgeon’s recommendation. He / she will also counsel you on the appropriate time to start post-operative lymphatic massages, if indicated.
You will likely notice a nice change in the contour of the treated area immediately after the procedure. However, bruising and swelling continue to increase in the first three days and will take time to resolve. Because of this, it is not possible to predict the final result immediately. The first 1/3rd of swelling decreases within the first month; the second 1/3rd of swelling by the end of the second month; and the final 1/3rd of swelling will take up to 3 months or more. If additional treatments were added to treat skin laxity, then the final results can take up to 9 to 12 months to be fully realized. Maintaining a stable, healthy weight is also a necessary component to maximize and maintain your post-operative results.
Liposuction can be performed awake, with sedation, or with general endotracheal anesthesia. The type of anesthesia is decided with the help of your surgeon and depends on how comfortable he /she thinks you may be during the desired procedure. If you receive some form of sedation or general anesthesia, you will need an adult over 18 years of age to accompany you home and sign off on your discharge paperwork. Expect 1-2 hours in the recovery area before you will feel ready to go home with your chaperone.
In order to minimize complications or unwanted outcomes, liposuction should be performed by a board-certified plastic surgeon who is well-versed in aesthetics and anatomy. You should expect bruising and swelling after surgery. Occasionally, healing fluid can build up in the space that remains after removing fat, and this is called a seroma. Seromas are usually easily treated by aspiration in the office setting at one of your follow-up visits. Contour irregularities or a cosmetic result that requires revision liposuction for improvement can also occur; hence, additional procedures or revisions are not uncommon. More serious complications such as bleeding, blood clots, fat embolism, tissue loss, damage to internal structures, or infection are rare.
Liposuction cost and financing
Liposuction is considered an elective, cosmetic procedure. This procedure is not covered by insurance. The cost for liposuction depends on the number and location of area(s) to be treated as well as any treatments recommended for additional skin tightening. The typical base price for one area starts at $4500 which includes the surgeon’s fee, facility, and anesthesia charges. The add-on charge for Renuvion starts at $3500. Your pre- and post-operative visits are also included in this price. If you need financing, Plastic Surgery of Westchester can assist you in applying for Care Credit.
After surgery, you will be placed in a compression garment, and you will continue to wear this for up to 3 months. In the immediate post-operative period, you may experience drainage from the small incisions, bruising, swelling, and numbness at the operative sites. By the end of the second week, most of the initial bruising and swelling will have resolved and your contour will start to improve. The final result takes 3 months.
Liposuction is most effective if you have localized areas of fat but overall good skin quality and body shape. Loose or overhanging skin, stretch marks, and generalized obesity or collections of fat may limit the amount of skin tightening and prohibit the overall improvement in contour. As with most cosmetic procedures, the best candidate is of a stable and ideal weight.
Aside from bruising and swelling, which are temporary and resolve after a few weeks, there are other less common complications that can occur. These include contour deformities, asymmetry, areas of firmness, fluid collection (seroma), and need for revision procedures. Rare complications include wound healing problems, tissue loss, bleeding or blood clots, infection, and perforation of internal structures.
The cost of liposuction varies on the number of body areas to be treated and whether additional treatments are added on for skin tightening or other purposes. The cost for liposuction for one area starts at $4500; the cost for Renuvion starts at $3500. The cost includes all of your pre- and postoperative visits, surgeon’s fee, facility fee, and charge for anesthesia.
In general, yes, it may be possible to use your own body fat to augment or fill other areas of your body. This would have to be discussed with your plastic surgeon at the time of your consultation. If you are a candidate for liposuction with fat transfer, the fat would then be harvested using a special technique during your surgery to sterilely separate and prepare it for fat transfer. This would add additional time and cost to your surgery. Common areas that can be addressed by fat transfer include the face, hands, hips, and buttocks. Fat transfer is not currently used solely for breast augmentation but in some cases can be used in small areas of the breast or as an adjunct to breast reconstruction.
Call us today at (914) 771-7373 for a FREE Liposuction consultation!
Our board certified plastic surgeons are happy to assist you with your specific questions and concerns.
Facilities & Hospital Affiliations
Our surgeons have privileges at White Plains Hospital, New York Presbyterian – Lawrence Hospital Center, Montefiore – New Rochelle Hospital, Westchester Medical Center, and Jacobi Medical Center. They also perform procedures in their fully accredited operating room in Harrison, NY. Our state-of-the-art facility is professionally designed and decorated for your comfort. We are always interested to know if there is anything we can do to enhance your experience. We appreciate your suggestions and pledge to work as a team to make your time here a rewarding experience.
- White Plains Hospital
- New York Presbyterian – Lawrence Hospital Center
- Montefiore – New Rochelle Hospital
- Westchester Medical Center
- Jacobi Medical Center
Accreditation and Associations
We maintain an AAAASF accredited surgical suite, equipped like a hospital operating room with the privacy and ease of an office setting, offering full general anesthesia for more complex procedures as well as sedation and local anesthesia for other procedures. We enjoy a strong relationship with some of the finest hospitals in the area, offering overnight and extended post-operative stays if medically advisable. This is ideal for our out of town patients, those with little post-operative help, or those desiring a more private recovery. We can also arrange your recovery with a nurse at a luxury hotel located within minutes of our facility.
Schedule your Liposuction Consultation
Please contact us with any questions or if you would like to setup a time for a one-on-one consultation with one of our surgeons.