Fat deposits in the deepest layer of the skin are the most resistant to diet and exercise. Unmoving pockets of fat often obscure the idyllic body contours our patients work hard at the gym to showcase. For this reason, they come to Blue Lagoon Plastic Surgery's office in Miami for liposuction. While it is not a weight loss surgery, liposuction can remove stubborn fat from your problem areas in just one session! Our board-certified surgeons recommend the best liposuction techniques for your body type and beauty goals.
Liposuction, also known as lipo or liposculpture, is a surgical procedure that uses suction to remove stubborn fat deposits in the subcutaneous fat layer (the deepest layer beneath the skin). If you are looking to tone up or slim down stubborn body areas where diet and exercise have not prevailed, liposuction is your answer. Lipo reshapes and contours the body's form in just a single session. Contrary to widespread assumption, liposuction is not incredibly invasive. During this procedure, a qualified surgeon creates tiny punctures in the skin, loosens the fat under your skin through different methods, and suctions it out with a thin tube called a cannula. A liposuction procedure can take under an hour or 2+ hours, depending on the number of treated areas and fat density in each. Lipo yields permanent results with a brief downtime making it one of the most highly requested procedures at Blue Lagoon Plastic Surgery in Miami.
Liposuction is suitable for removing fat cells from nearly any area of the body. Women more commonly undergo lipo since they have less fibrous fat than men; they also experience more dramatic body changes after childbirth. However, while male-centric liposuction does not receive as much public notice, men regularly visit our Miami plastic surgery center requesting a more sculpted look. With liposuction, men and women alike can safely and effectively remove fat cells from body areas such as the:
Tumescent Liposuction: The term tumescence means "to swell," indicating how this liposuction technique is performed. During a tumescent liposuction procedure, the surgeon makes small incisions in the skin and directly applies a sterile anesthetic solution into the fatty area. This tumescent solution not only numbs the region but also binds the fat cells, making them swell and stiffen. Once firm, a slender medical tube called a cannula is inserted into the fat to absorb it from the area. This method removes more significant amounts of fat compared to other liposuction techniques.
Power-Assisted Liposuction (PAL): Power-assisted liposuction utilizes a specialized cannula that vibrates to disintegrate and suction out the fat tissue. This liposuction technique is significantly faster than its counterparts and is excellent for sculpting around sensitive areas such as the chest, thighs, and belly button. There is often less bruising and increased precision with power-assisted liposuction since it does not require as many manual movements on behalf of the surgeon.
Laser-Assisted Liposuction or SmartLipo: Unlike traditional liposuction, laser-assisted liposuction is performed under local or general anesthesia according to the amount of fat extracted. SmartLipo is a type of laser-assisted lipo that uses highly concentrated laser light to soften or liquefy the fat, making it easier to remove with the cannula. In addition to melting fat, the laser also tightens the skin and seals blood vessels, alleviating bleeding, swelling, and bruising. This versatile lipolysis technique is performed on various body areas like the abdomen, hips, thighs, arms, buttocks, etc.
Ultrasonic Liposuction or VASER lipo: VASER liposuction is a type of ultrasonic liposuction initiated by pressured ultrasound waves. Like laser-assisted lipo, ultrasonic lipo liquefies fat so that it may be smoothly suctioned from the body. Yet, it does so using ultrasonic energy instead of laser light. A special cannula vibrates rapidly, giving off ultrasound energy that melts the fat so the surgeon can easily vacuum it. This liposuction technique allows for heightened precision that works best for intricate body areas such as the face, neck, chin, arms, thighs, or delicate parts of the back. Ultrasonic lipo is not as invasive as more traditional liposuction methods. However, it does not typically remove as much fat in one session.
While deciding which liposuction technique works best for you, there are several factors to consider, such as:
Liposuction is a same-day procedure that can be safely performed using local anesthesia or intravenous sedation, depending on the scope of work. While it is minimally invasive and has a rapid healing time, liposuction requires some preparation beforehand. Your surgeon may ask you to get a physical or undergo lab testing before having lipo. You must quit smoking at least one month before your liposuction surgery. Also, avoid aspirin, anti-inflammatory drugs, and herbal supplements for at least one week prior since they increase bleeding. Make sure to fill your pain medication prescription the day before your surgery and stock up on low sodium, high protein foods. Healthy foods to eat after lipo include:
Fix a meal plan of easy-to-prepare foods and store water in places accessible to you. Hydration is fundamental to achieving optimal results. Arrange for a friend or family member to drive you back home and care for you after your liposuction surgery. If you do not have friends or family nearby, the staff at Blue Lagoon Plastic Surgery can recommend some aftercare options.
Liposuction recovery times depend on the size of the treated area and chosen liposuction technique. On average, it takes a week to return to routine tasks and approximately 4-6 weeks before bruising and swelling subside. During the first 72 hours, patients must wear their compression garments 24/7 to accelerate the drainage of anesthetic fluid. We often recommend wearing the body garment for the first 3-6 weeks, depending on the procedure and extent of surgery. Wearing the body garment reduces pain and swelling while also improving the body's contour and final appearance.
Other tips for managing pain and swelling include:
Liposuction is generally considered a low-risk procedure. However, since it is a surgery, complications are possible during and following the procedure. Patients can have an adverse reaction to anesthesia or slight burns and nerve damage from the equipment during the procedure.
Risks following the procedure include:
Since this is not a comprehensive list of risks, it is essential to disclose your entire medical history to your surgeon at your initial consultation. By doing so, you will receive individualized counsel before your liposuction surgery that will help avoid certain complications.
As soon as the swelling goes down, you will begin to notice your liposuction results. Depending on how many areas were treated and the fat index of each, it can take up to a full year after surgery before you notice the final liposuction results. Smaller areas with less fat removed will typically reflect final results 2-3 months after the procedure. Since swelling reduces considerably around this timeframe, some patients assume that they have seen their final results, only to notice more streamlined results several months later.
Liposuction works best for individuals with sufficient skin elasticity. Patients with loose or hanging skin should opt for a tummy tuck instead, seeing as skin must be able to mold into new contours after lipo. Individuals must be over 18 and in good general health to undergo liposuction. We recommend patients be within the range of their ideal weight to avoid safety hazards or having to repeat sessions. Potential candidates should refrain from smoking at least four weeks before the procedure to help the body heal and recover quickly. Patients with blood circulation problems, diabetes, coronary artery disease, or a weakened immune system should speak to their surgeon before undergoing liposuction.
The cost of liposuction varies depending on the areas treated and elected techniques. Generally, smaller areas with less fat cost less than more extensive areas. The American Society of Plastic Surgery states,
“The average cost of liposuction is $3,637, according to 2020 statistics… This average cost is only part of the total price – it does not include anesthesia, operating room facilities or other related expenses.”
At Blue Lagoon Plastic Surgery, the average cost of a liposuction procedure ranges from $2,500 to $7,000USD per area. We do provide financing plans to help manage this expense. Blue Lagoon offers an in-house layaway plan that requires a minimum deposit of $500 at a 0% interest rate! This plan allows you to lock in the price for up to two years through low monthly payments. Patients can also seek pre-approval from providers we accept, such as Care Credit, Alphaeon Credit, and United Medical Credit.
Liposuction may be right for you if you:
All liposuction techniques have their benefits and drawbacks. The board-certified surgeons at Blue Lagoon Plastic Surgery are experienced in all the methods currently offered on the market. However, the one that will benefit you ultimately depends on your current situation and your desired result.
Absolutely! The liposuction procedure is incredibly versatile and can be performed in conjunction with other procedures such as facelift, breast augmentation, breast lift, and even fat grafting. Because this cosmetic surgery aims to remove fat from undesired areas, it is most commonly performed with a fat transfer or a Brazilian butt lift. These procedures allow you to take the fat extracted from the problem areas and insert it into other body parts, such as the buttocks or the breasts. For an individual to undergo two procedures at a time, several medical evaluations and exams will be required to ensure maximum safety before, during, and after the surgery takes place.
Liposuction is performed with anesthesia so it will not hurt during the procedure. However, patients encounter pain and swelling in the healing process that are easily managed with pain medication. We recommend filling your prescription beforehand to be prepared for recovery.
On average, patients will lose approximately 2-5 pounds with liposuction. The ideal candidates for lipo are typically within their ideal weight range and want to remove any residual pockets of fat that are not disappearing with diet and exercise.
Liposuction alters the way fat is stored in the body. If you gain considerable weight, new fat cells develop throughout your body, including the areas treated with liposuction. Since fat cells in the treated area have been directly removed through lipo, new fat cells in the treated areas will be minimal and your body will store most of the current fat in nearby areas. Consequently, this creates entirely new problem areas. We strongly recommend that patients be within their ideal weight before liposuction and have a manageable diet and exercise plan to avoid undergoing multiple procedures.
Liposuction can somewhat improve the appearance of cellulite but is not altogether effective in eliminating stretch marks or cellulite in the skin. Cellulite occurs when bands of fibrous tissue push fat into lumps, causing the overlying skin to appear dimpled and irregular. Because lipo only treats fat, it is not a practical solution for cellulite. The proper treatment for cellulite depends on your unique figure. If you have a lot of cellulite, a tummy tuck or leg lift might be the only method to remove excess skin and cellulite. If your cellulite is less severe, liposuction bundled with specialized laser treatments can remove it. These laser treatments should be repeated annually to maintain optimal results.
Liposuction is an ideal procedure for individuals near their goal weight but whose bodies have not responded accordingly to exercise and proper nutrition. If your skin laxity is very tight and you are willing to remove unwanted fat from trouble areas, we recommend liposuction. If you have loose skin, we recommend you speak to our experienced surgeons at Blue Lagoon about a tummy tuck procedure instead.
Liposuction is associated with cosmetic procedures, but it also treats certain health conditions such as:
The surgeons at Blue Lagoon Plastic Surgery agree that incorporating routine lymphatic massages into your aftercare routine reduces swelling and hastens your recovery. Liposuction disrupts the body's lymphatic channels; it takes these channels approximately 2-3 months to make new connections. Lymphatic massages allow the lymphatic fluid to be massaged into the tissue and absorbed by the body, promoting quicker healing.