Liposuction Overview

Liposuction is a procedure that removes fatty deposits under the skin using a suction device. The cannula is inserted into small cuts in the skin, and fat is suctioned out of the body to reform and reshape the area. Liposuction is generally performed as an outpatient procedure, and may be used to remove fat from problem areas of the body that do not respond to diet and exercise. Liposuction is not recommended for weight loss, but rather should be used as a method for contouring the body.

The Procedure

Liposuction is performed to remove fatty deposits from the abdomen, thighs, sides, back, buttocks, and even from areas of the face, like under the chin. In recent years, new liposuction techniques have been introduced that make the procedure less painful and safer. A few of these techniques are:

– Ultrasound Assisted Liposuction

With Ultrasound Assisted liposuction, the surgeon uses ultrasound to break down and liquefy the fat under the skin. This technique makes the fat easier to remove with suction, and it is optimal for areas like the sides, back and upper abdomen.

– Laser Assisted Liposuction

Laser Assisted liposuction is conceptually similar to the Ultrasound Assisted procedure, however, with the Laser Assisted procedure, the fat is dissolved with a laser instead of ultrasound waves. The dissolved fat is removed using a small cannula.

– Tumescent Liposuction

With a standard tumescent liposuction procedure, local anesthesia is applied to the incision areas and to the fatty tissue under the skin. The fat is then extracted using a cannula. This procedure may require general anesthesia if a large amount of fat will be removed, although in most cases, the procedure is performed with local anesthesia only.


During and After the Procedure

The liposuction procedure lasts approximately one hour, and is performed in an outpatient surgical setting. When the procedure is complete, the patient is fitted with a surgical garment that must be worn for up to one month. The patient may experience some pain and discomfort during the recovery period, and infection is a risk, as with any surgery.

Optimal Candidates

The optimal candidate for liposuction is an adult within 30 percent of her ideal weight, with skin elasticity and sufficient muscle tone. The individual is healthy, does not smoke and has no chronic medical conditions. The candidate should also have specific goals and a positive attitude about body shaping, toning and contouring.


The cost of liposuction depends on the areas of the body on which the procedure is performed. Each area of the body carries a separate cost. The cost of each area is summed, and then added to the non-surgical fees to arrive at the total cost of the surgery. Generally, the cost of a single area ranges between $1,500 and $5,000. You can expect the non-surgical fees to range between $1,000 and $3,000.

Additional Articles: