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Home/Surgical Procedures/Body/Liposuction

Length of Treatment: 1-2 hours (depending on area)
Anesthesia: Epidural and/or IV Sedation
Inpatient/Outpatient: Outpatient
Potential Side Effects/Risks: Bruising, temporary numbness, slight irregularities in contour
Principal Benefits: Flatter appearance in areas of previous fat bulging
Time off Work: 3-5 days
Physical Activity: Resume light activity (treadmill, bike, leg exercises) within 7-10 days; routine workout within 3-6 weeks

Liposuction is an exceedingly common body sculpting procedure that Dr. Carrie Houssock performs at our plastic surgery practice. The reason for liposuction’s popularity is quite simple—it is a quick and effective method of eliminating stubborn excess fat from almost any area of the body. The majority of patients use liposuction to remove fat deposits that have proven difficult or impossible to lose by means of dieting or exercise. Liposuction performed by an experienced plastic surgeon can create smoother, leaner contours for a more proportionate figure.

To learn more about liposuction, we invite you to contact our practice or explore the informative sections provided below:

What Areas of the Body Can Liposuction Treat?

For men or women who are close to or moderately above their ideal body weight, liposuction can often be a perfect way to remove isolated areas of fat in the buttocks, thighs, hips, knees, breasts, abdomen, flanks (love handles), neck, and almost part the body! Many of our patients desire to improve their appearance in bathing suits, clothing, and even without clothing. The briefs we use for medical photography allow us to closely determine and analyze which areas need liposuction as well as to assess post-operative results! That is why the liposuction before-and-after photos you see are taken in these “revealing” garments.

Who Is a Candidate for Liposuction?

If you are considering liposuction, a personal consultation with Dr. Houssock can determine whether this technique or another form of body contouring is most suitable for achieving your goals. You will undergo a comprehensive health evaluation and medical history review, as well as a physical examination of the areas of your body that you want to sculpt. If you are in good overall health and have reasonable expectations about the results that can be achieved with liposuction, then you may be a good candidate for the procedure.

In our practice, we specialize in the tumescent liposuction technique, which allows us to remove more fat, minimizes blood loss, and affords you a more rapid recovery. Using this technique, liposuction can be applied to almost any area of the body where there is unwanted fat. Ultrasonic Liposuction (UAL) and the use of a reciprocating cannula are other techniques available, but they are infrequently used. During your consultation, we will be happy to discuss these liposuction options with you and help you choose the technique that will best enhance your result.

Your liposuction procedure can be performed alone or in conjunction with other procedures such as tummy tuck, breast augmentation, or facial cosmetic surgery, if desired. Combining surgical procedures into one operation is a great way to reduce costs and consolidate your recovery period.

How Is the Liposuction Procedure Performed?

Liposuction is an outpatient procedure that can be performed with a combination of local anesthesia and intravenous sedation. To perform the procedure, small incisions are made in the treatment area so that your plastic surgeon can access the fat tissue. The liposuction cannula is then inserted through the incisions to break down fat cells and suction them from the body. As the body is sculpted, your plastic surgeon is mindful of creating balanced, symmetrical results. Once the desired results have been achieved, the incisions are sutured closed, and you are placed in a special compression garment.

What Is Liposuction Recovery Like?

You will likely have moderate soreness after liposuction for a few days, but this discomfort should improve quickly thereafter. The majority of patients take off one week from work to recuperate from liposuction. Bruising is to be expected, and typically lasts for about two to three weeks. For this procedure, drains are not used during recovery. Your liposuction garment is to be worn on the treated areas of your body for about three to five weeks to keep the skin compressed and help remold the region to a more trim appearance.

Are There Any Liposuction Side Effects?

There will be some side effects following liposuction; however, in most cases, they are normal and should dissipate with the passage of time. Swelling and soreness in the treatment areas are the most common side effects, and some degree of bruising or numbness in these areas may also occur. In rare instances, a collection of fluid called a “seroma” may appear under the skin where liposuction was performed. It is also important to note that future fat redistribution may be a possible long-term side effect of liposuction. The excess fat cells that are extracted during the liposuction process will not grow back; therefore, if significant amounts of weight are gained later in life, fat that may have affected the treatment areas will likely go to other body regions instead. The best way to prevent this from happening is to keep weight fluctuations to a minimum by maintaining a healthy diet and fitness routine in the years following liposuction surgery.

With strict adherence to post-operative guidelines, the temporary side effects of liposuction can be well managed and the healing process can be smoother and more effective.

Are Liposuction Scars Noticeable?

The incisions required to accomplish body sculpting with liposuction are very small (about an eighth of an inch or smaller) and inconspicuous. Once they have completely healed and the scar tissue matures, liposuction incisions may be virtually undetectable. In order to minimize the potential for visible scarring, it is important to keep your incisions clean and protected from sunlight during the healing process.

Is Liposuction Safe?

Liposuction can be exceedingly safe and complication-free when performed by a qualified surgeon in an accredited surgical facility. Our plastic surgeon—Carrie Houssock, MD, FACS—is qualified, experienced, and highly trained in liposuction. Our facility is also fully certified! The majority of dangerous complications are associated either with the removal of too much fat and/or fluid from the body, or procedures that are performed by inexperienced or unqualified liposuction surgeons.

Are There Any Liposuction Alternatives?

Individuals who would like to achieve effective reduction of excess fat pockets but wish to avoid surgery to accomplish these goals may be candidates for an alternative procedure called CoolSculpting®. While CoolSculpting® is not ideal for patients who are experiencing significantly large amounts of excess fat in isolated body areas, it can often be advantageous for those who have concerns that are of a mild to moderate degree. CoolSculpting® is completely non-surgical—the treatment does not even require needles or anesthesia. A special applicator is placed in the area targeted for fat removal, which will create a “cooling” effect among the excess fat cells. This leads the cells to break down and gradually exit the body via natural metabolic processes over the next few months, ultimately creating an improved contour.

If you are interested in finding an alternative to liposuction, our plastic surgeon can evaluate your needs and goals to determine whether CoolSculpting® may be an appropriate option.

How Much Does Liposuction Cost?

At our practice, the average price for liposuction of the body falls between $6,800 and $9,000, while neck liposuction generally costs between $6,500 and $6,800. It is important to keep in mind that these price ranges are very general estimates, and we encourage you to receive an accurate price quote for your personalized liposuction plan following a consultation with Dr. Houssock. Pricing can fluctuate based on several factors, including:

  • Area of the body being treated
  • The size/number of proposed treatment areas
  • The quantity of fat removal
  • Complexity of the procedure

When you review your cost quote, a knowledgeable member of our office team can answer any questions you may have about fees, payment options, and/or financing. Several plastic surgery financing options are offered through third-party lenders who aim to provide affordable loans and flexible payment plans to qualified applicants. With the help of financing, getting the liposuction treatment you desire may be more budget-friendly than you imagine.

Our plastic surgery practice is happy to answer your questions on liposuction by email or by phone at 410-484-8860. As with our other procedures, a detailed consultation with Dr. Houssock is necessary for you to be fully informed about the procedures, alternatives, and risks.

Additional Liposuction FAQs

I work out a lot and eat right but cannot trim my thighs or waistline; will liposuction help?

Liposuction is ideal for people who have isolated areas of fat that persist in spite of a good diet and exercise. If you live in or near Baltimore, Maryland and would like to learn more about liposuction, we would be happy to discuss your options.

I need to lose a lot of weight in a hurry. Can liposuction help?

Liposuction can remove localized pockets of fat. There is a limit to the amount of fat that can be safely removed during one operation. Therefore, liposuction is not a diet or exercise substitute. It is simply intended to eliminate unsightly fat deposits in unwanted areas.

Do I need to lose as much weight as possible before having liposuction?

In general, it is preferred but not always necessary. Each case must be individualized. There are two reasons for this answer. First, even with general weight loss, some fat remains in the deep pockets of the thighs, hips, love handles, and tummy; liposuction is ideal for these areas. Second, realistically speaking, it can be tough to lose those final pounds and liposuction can provide that incentive to lose additional weight and keep it off.

Since I had my children, my stomach makes me look fat. Am I a candidate for liposuction?

A protruding stomach after childbirth is usually due to the stretching of the abdominal skin and muscles. Liposuction may not be an effective treatment for this problem. A tummy tuck, which would eliminate excess skin and tighten the stomach wall, would be a better treatment choice.

Can liposuction get rid of cellulite?

No, it cannot. However, our practice offers Endermologie®, an FDA-approved, minimally invasive technique designed to visibly reduce the appearance of cellulite.

Can I speak to some of your previous patients who had this surgery and get a reference?

Absolutely, we would encourage this. Our past patients are our greatest endorsements. Our staff will gladly arrange this for you.

Contact Us

If you would like to learn more about liposuction, please contact our practice today.