Procedure: 1-2 hours
Recovery: 5-7 days

Do you have fatty areas on your body that are resistant to diet and exercise? These stubborn areas usually include the thighs and hips for females and waist and back for males, as well as the face, neck, abdomen, back, buttocks, legs, and upper arms. If you are near your goal weight and wish to reduce fat in any of these areas, liposuction may be able to help.

What is liposuction?

Liposuction eliminates stubborn fat from many areas of the body using suction. During the liposuction treatment, Dr. O’Brien will insert small, blunt-tipped tubes called cannulas through small incisions at the treatment site. Excess fat is suctioned out through these cannulas as they are moved around under the skin to target specific deposits of fat.

There are several newer techniques that make liposuction safer, easier, and less painful. Dr. O’Brien may use one of the following:

  • Tumescent liposuction: With this technique, a local anesthetic is used to numb the treatment area. Then, anesthetic solution mixed with lidocaine and epinephrine is injected into the treatment area, after which liposuction is performed. This technique may not require general anesthetize.
  • Ultrasound-assisted liposuction: With this technique, a special handpiece is used that transmits energy. This helps to liquify the fat, making it easier to remove with liposuction. This option is often done to help remove fat from the upper abdominal area, flanks, and back.
  • VASER-assisted liposuction: With this technique, an ultrasonic cannula is used to evenly disperse ultrasound energy to loosen fat, making it easier to remove.

Directly after liposuction, some people may be able to see an improvement in their body shape. However, improvements will continue for many weeks and even months following surgery as the swelling resides. Final lipo results may take up to a year to become visible, after which patients can enjoy their newly contoured figure.

Am I a good candidate for liposuction?

Ideal liposuction candidates will be healthy, nonsmokers, and be near their ideal body weight. The sole purpose of liposuction is to reshape areas of the body, not to help those who are obese lose weight. Liposuction is usually a great option to combat areas of that that cannot be eliminated with diet and exercise. Candidacy can be determined through a consultation with Dr. O’Brien.

How long is recovery from liposuction?

Most people are able to get up and move around as soon as the treatment is finished and after the effects of the anesthesia and any sedation have worn off. You can return to your normal activities as instructed by Dr. O’Brien.

Following liposuction, the body area that was treated is wrapped in a compression garment to diminish swelling, bruising, and pain. Patients may be required to wear this compression garments for three to four weeks. Swelling and bruising usually last 7-10 days before diminishing.

What is the difference between liposuction and Liposculpture?

While liposuction is known to be a body contouring procedure, liposculpture is more of a body sculpting procedure. The difference is that liposculpture can be used to remove small amounts of fat to improve muscle tone and appearance in particular areas of the body, such as the abs, and liposuction is used to help contour the overall body silhouette.

What are the Benefits of Liposuction?

There are many benefits to liposuction, including the ability to remove areas of fat that are resistant to diet and exercise to improve the body contour. The procedure can also help people to achieve a sleeker appearance and healthy figure for a boost in confidence. Plus, incisions used during liposuction are very small, so scarring is minimal.

Frequently asked questions about Liposuction

What body areas can be treated by Liposuction?

Liposuction can be used to eliminate stubborn pockets of fat on many areas of the body, including neck, arms, back, breasts, buttocks, hips, love handles, saddlebags, thighs, calves, ankles, and more.

Which method of Liposuction is best for me?

There are several liposuction techniques that can be used today. These include

  • Tumescent liposuction
  • Ultrasound-assisted liposuction
  • VASER-assisted liposuction

The contouring technique that is right for you will depend on your individual body anatomy and desired results. This can be discussed with Dr. John O’Brien during a consultation at his St. Petersburg practice.

Can Liposuction treat obesity?

Liposuction is a body shaping procedure for those who are close to their ideal body mass index (BMI). It is not a weight loss solution for those who are obese. If you are obese and wish to receive liposuction, you should discuss weight loss options to help you get to a healthy weight where liposuction may then be an option.

How much does Liposuction cost?

The cost of liposuction varies based from region to region and depends on the area of the body being treated, the amount of fat being removed, and your individual anatomy. Pricing details can be discussed during your liposuction appointment consultation with Dr. O’Brien, MD.

What can I expect from Liposuction surgery?

Liposuction can remove fat deposits from many areas of the body to help patients achieve a slim physique. While this is a body enhancement treatment, it is not an obesity treatment, and should not be used as the primary solution for weight loss. It is also important to understand that liposuction is not a solution for skin removal and cannot eliminate excess skin from the body.

Does Liposuction hurt?

Just like any type of invasive surgery, this contouring procedure is associated with some discomfort during recovery. However, pain medication and elastic compression garments can help to minimize discomfort and swelling to make your recovery more comfortable.

Does Liposuction leave scars?

Like any surgical procedure, liposuction does carry the risk of some scarring. However, because only small incisions are needed to insert the cannula during liposuction, scarring should be minimal, and when healed, hardly visible. Most patients do not have issues with noticeable scarring following their liposuction procedure.

What is a liposuction cannula?

During liposuction for body shaping, a cannula will be used to suction out fat cells. This small, thin, blunt-tipped tube is inserted through tiny incisions in the skin to help perform this fat reduction surgery.

What are Compression Garments?

Following your procedure, you will need to wear a liposuction compressive garment. This prescribed garment helps to minimize swelling during the recovery period, as well as ensure that the procedure site is healing correctly.

What are the risks of Liposuction?

Like all cosmetic or plastic surgery procedure, liposuction comes with some risks. Some potential complications include infection and bleeding, scarring, allergic reactions, sensation changes, hematoma or seroma, and damage to underlying structures. Any concerns that you may have will be discussed during your consultation with Dr. O’Brien.

How is Liposuction different from a Tummy Tuck?

While liposuction is done to remove unwanted fat from targeted areas of the body, a tummy tuck is a procedure done to remove excess skin from the abdomen, as well as restore weakened or separated abdominal muscles. Both procedures are known for body reshaping, but use different techniques to achieve their desired results.

No matter how much I exercise, my muscles still lack definition. Does Liposuction provide more muscle definition?

Liposculpture can remove fat from specific areas of the body to better contour muscles for a more defined body shape. This form of liposuction can help those who are already thin to sculpt their bodies to show off their muscle definition in areas such as the abs, calves, arms, and more.

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