Your Top 5 Liposuction Questions Answered

Treadmills, gym memberships, expensive equipment and strict diets — you’ve tried it all to lose weight. Despite feeling healthier than ever, you still notice those pesky, unwanted areas of fat that just won’t get with the program. No matter what targeted workouts you do or which fat-burning products you use, nothing seems to work. After a lot of research and soul searching, you learned that you probably have your parents, stress and the march of time to thank for your stubborn belly fat and relentless love handles. Genetics, hormones and other factors out of our control play a big role in how our bodies store fat and make it extremely hard to lose, even when doing everything else right.

So what can you do to reach your weight loss goals and love what you see in the mirror? Among the various treatments for fat reduction and body contouring, liposuction is perhaps the most well-known and effective. Liposuction is a minimally-invasive procedure that can target and remove stubborn pockets of fat, eliminating those unwanted pounds. If you’ve been considering liposuction, you likely have questions about the kind of results you can expect and how long the procedure takes. Board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Christopher Verbin and his team at South Bay Aesthetics Plastic Surgery Center in Torrance, California, have answered some of your questions regarding liposuction to help you learn more about this procedure and what it can do for you.

1. What areas can be treated with liposuction?

Liposuction is a surprisingly diverse procedure that can be used to remove fat in a number of areas. Although you may associate liposuction with the hips, thighs or stomach, fat can also be removed from the buttocks, arms, cheeks, neck, chin, knees, back, flanks and more. Basically anywhere on the body where there is an accumulation of unwanted fat, liposuction can be used. It all depends on what your cosmetic goals are and which areas you’re looking to improve.

While liposuction is extremely effective in helping you achieve the slim, toned body you’ve always dreamt of, it cannot drastically improve cellulite or tighten your skin. Although Dr. Verbin is a master in the craft of body sculpting, blending technical skill with an artistic eye to produce the best possible results, it’s important to have realistic expectations and know what liposuction can and cannot do. The good news is that liposuction can be performed with other procedures such as a tummy tuck, thigh lift or skin tightening treatments to help you reach your goals.

2. How much fat can liposuction remove at one time?

Although liposuction is a fat-reduction procedure, it’s not an effective weight-loss treatment or a cure for obesity. There’s a limit to how much fat can be safely removed in a single procedure before complications and side effects become a concern. A number of factors such as your BMI, overall health and aesthetic goals are carefully considered, but many surgeons follow guidelines that allow them to remove up to 5 liters or 11 pounds of fat at once. Dramatic improvements can be seen at this volume and your doctor will generally remove the smallest amount that will produce your desired results. Liposuction is meant to remove the diet-resistant fat that you can’t seem to shake so you can reach your weight loss goals and improve your body contours. If you’re looking to have a large amount of fat removed, it may be recommended that you reach your goal weight first or split the procedure into two stages.

3. How long does the procedure take?

The length of your liposuction procedure depends on what areas are being treated and how much fat is being removed. Smaller areas like the chin or knees can be done in under an hour, but more extensive liposuction that covers a larger treatment area can take up to four hours or longer. Multiple treatments and whether or not you’re having liposuction combined with other procedures will also affect how long it will take.

Speaking of time, your expected recovery period will also depend on the extent of your procedure. Although it varies, most patients can comfortably return to work within a few days following Dr. Verbin’s advanced liposuction techniques and experience only minor bruising or swelling. You will have to avoid strenuous activity for a few weeks and wear a compression garment, but the post-operative healing is surprisingly quick and easy with minimal discomfort.

4. Will I have scars after my liposuction procedure?

Liposuction is a minimally-invasive procedure, meaning that the number of incisions needed are limited and placed in inconspicuous areas to minimize visibility. The tube-like tool used during liposuction, known as a cannula, is also quite small. The tumescent technique used by Dr. Verbin is praised by medical experts as being the safest and most effective liposuction method and will further reduce your risk of scarring, bruising or swelling after the procedure.

The general appearance of your skin after liposuction doesn’t only depend on your surgeon’s superstar techniques — things like elasticity and good skin tone are also a factor in your final results. Firm, elastic skin that isn’t loose or sagging will look smoother and more natural after liposuction, although the procedure can be combined with other treatments to give you the best results possible.

5. How long do the results last? Is liposuction permanent?

Liposuction permanently removes stubborn fat cells from treatment areas, but that doesn’t mean you can stop dieting and exercising! Maintaining a stable, healthy weight is key to preserving your liposuction results. If you put on a few pounds after your procedure — those peanut butter crispy bars and homemade cookies your co-worker keeps bringing into the office can be hard to resist — your results can be negatively impacted, but it won’t completely undo them. Any weight gain is likely to be evenly distributed throughout your body and tends to accumulate less in treated areas. Significant weight gain will drastically diminish your results, however, and cause new fat cells to grow, so it’s something to keep in mind. Try to think of your liposuction procedure as an investment in not only your overall appearance but your health as well. For many patients, liposuction is the driving factor that motivates them to stay in shape and develop healthier habits.

Contact South Bay Aesthetics Plastic Surgery Center

South Bay Aesthetics Plastic Surgery Center is committed to helping our patients look and feel their best. With decades of experience in plastic and reconstructive surgery, we can help you achieve the sculpted body you’ve always wanted. Board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Christopher Verbin and his team utilize the latest technology and most effective liposuction techniques to ensure you’ll feel satisfied with your results for years to come. Contact or call us today at 310-539-6500 to schedule a consultation and learn more about liposuction today!