Liposuction or CoolSculpting®: Which Fat Reduction Option is Right for Me?
Liposuction and CoolSculpting® are exceptional options for body contouring, offering both women and men the chance to finally get rid […]
Liposuction is a surgical procedure designed to reduce excess fat deposits that have proven extremely challenging to eliminate with diet and exercise. Some of us are cursed with a genetic program for our shape. It is the same shape that we might see in our parents, whether it be large “saddlebags,” shapeless legs, or a double-chin. Others experience the collection of excess fat pockets in certain body areas due to weight fluctuation, recent pregnancy, the natural aging process, or other factors. Liposuction can re-sculpt the body in a well-proportioned manner. Our skilled plastic surgeon, Dr. Semira Bayati, offers advanced liposuction techniques that can effectively address your concerns and renew your appearance with beautiful results.
For decades, liposuction has been an effective way to help individuals eliminate stubborn fat deposits and recontour their bodies. Over the years, this treatment has advanced in many ways, and it remains one of the most commonly performed cosmetic enhancement procedures in the U.S.
Liposuction can remove excess fat deposits from virtually any body area, including:
When you come in for your initial consultation, Dr. Bayati will evaluate your needs and answer all of your questions. If liposuction is right for your goals, Dr. Bayati will create a customized treatment plan designed to provide you with the best possible results.
If you are at or near your ideal weight and can’t seem to get rid of excess fat in certain areas via diet and exercise, liposuction may be the right treatment for your goals. Good candidates for liposuction should be generally healthy and have reasonable expectations for results. If you are a smoker, you will need to stop smoking for a number of weeks both before and after the liposuction procedure. Dr. Bayati will conduct a thorough examination during the initial consultation and talk with you about your needs. If you are an ideal candidate for liposuction, she will create a customized treatment plan designed to achieve the best possible results.
It is important to note that liposuction is not a weight loss treatment. This procedure is primarily for patients who are at a relatively ideal weight for their height and body type, but are experiencing stubborn, excess fat in specific areas that they are having trouble eliminating on their own.
Liposuction can be a very safe procedure when performed by a highly-qualified plastic surgeon who utilizes customized treatment plans and advanced techniques. With that in mind, as with any surgical procedure, liposuction surgery does come with inherent risks. Certain complications such as hematoma (significant bruising), seroma (subcutaneous fluid buildup), and negative reactions to anesthesia are some of the risks associated with this surgery; however, Dr. Bayati performs this procedure utilizing techniques designed to reduce the potential for complications as much as possible. She has also performed this procedure many times and will carefully examine your medical history and current overall health before moving forward with treatment in order to reduce your risk of complications.
Liposuction is a popular selection to include in our advanced Mommy Makeover procedure. For women who would like to reduce the common effects that pregnancy and raising children can have on the body, a Mommy Makeover offers a comprehensive solution. This customized procedure can combine a variety of cosmetic enhancement options to provide comprehensive rejuvenation for a full aesthetic makeover. In addition to liposuction, treatments such as breast augmentation, breast lift, tummy tuck surgery, and other options can be part of a Mommy Makeover.
Find out more about Mommy Makeover procedures.
Both liposuction and tummy tuck surgery can provide significant body contouring benefits in the abdominal area, but there are important differences between these two options. Liposuction is designed to remove excess fat that has collected in particular body regions. Patients who experience a collection of excess fat in the abdominal area may be able to achieve the desired results with liposuction alone; however, if the concern is primarily being caused by loose, excess skin and/or abdominal muscles that have become stretched or torn, liposuction will not be able to correct those issues. In those cases, a tummy tuck surgery is typically the more ideal option. Tummy tuck (abdominoplasty) procedures are designed to reduce excess abdominal skin, pull the abdominal muscles taut, and redrape the remaining skin to create a firmer result and a flatter contour.
For some patients, liposuction and tummy tuck surgery in a combined procedure is necessary to successfully achieve their goals for abdominal contouring. When you meet with Dr. Bayati for your initial consultation, she will examine your areas of concern and help you determine whether liposuction and/or tummy tuck surgery is more appropriate for your needs.
Dr. Bayati often performs a procedure called fat grafting (fat transfer) with liposuction treatments. Autologous fat grafting is the harvesting of excess fat cells from liposuction for transfer to another area of the body targeted for rejuvenation. This technique can be a very good option as a long-lasting dermal filler for patients who wish to smooth out facial wrinkles or add volume to the lips or other facial features. It can also be very effective for buttock enhancement, helping patients attain a fuller, more contoured look. Fat grafting with liposuction has become a very popular option at our practice because of the many additional benefits it offers patients who are looking to address multiple issues they may be having with their appearance.
While liposuction can effectively reduce large amounts of isolated fat, it is not designed to remove cellulite (signs of “dimples” or skin depressions” on the skin). If you are concerned about cellulite in certain body areas, Dr. Bayati can recommend other treatment options that may be more ideal for improvement of that condition. If you are interested in a procedure to reduce cellulite, feel free to discuss the matter with Dr. Bayati during your initial consultation.
It is important to be close to or at your ideal weight at the time of this surgery. Weight loss after liposuction is inconsequential; however, excessive weight gain in the range of 10-15 pounds can diminish the results. Therefore, a healthy weight should be maintained before and after surgery.
There are several liposuction techniques that can be utilized. The best technique for your needs will ultimately depend on the area of the body being addressed and the quality of fat targeted for extraction; however, Dr. Bayati typically uses the Power-Assisted Liposuction (PAL) technique because she has found that it often provides a smoother result. Power-Assisted Liposuction also lessens the time in surgery for many patients and reduces tissue trauma. During your consultation, Dr. Bayati will talk with you about your options and determine the liposuction technique that is best for your unique needs.
With Power-Assisted Liposuction, a thin metal tube called a cannula will be inserted into small incisions created in the area targeted for treatment. The cannula will gently vibrate to separate excess fat cells in the area without causing extensive harm to the tissues surrounding them. A vacuum technique will then suction out the fat cells from the targeted areas. Any residual scarring from the procedure is typically very light and often fades over time.
In order to assist with shrinking of the skin in the areas of liposuction after surgery, you will wear a compression garment for six to eight weeks after this procedure. The garment is discreet and often fits perfectly under clothing without being noticeable. Most people who have had small volumes of fat extracted can return to work in a few days. Those who have larger volumes of fat removed often return to work after one week. You should avoid exercise for three to four weeks following liposuction, but walking is allowed within a week. Medication can be prescribed to alleviate discomfort during the recovery period.
“Dr. Bayati and staff were great. The staff is very knowledgeable and professional. After my liposuction surgery, I was finally able to wear a red and white polka-dot bikini for the first time when my husband and I went on vacation.”
R.E., Liposuction Patient, Orange County
Swelling and bruising in the areas that were treated with liposuction are common side effects of this procedure. Some soreness, and possibly some degree of numbness, in the treatment areas will also be present following surgery. All of these effects should dissipate over the course of recovery as the areas continue to heal. A possible long-term side effect of liposuction includes the potential for weight redistribution in certain areas—since the excess fat cells that are removed cannot grow back, future weight gain that may have previously become apparent in the treatment regions may ultimately affect different areas. This is why we typically recommend that patients maintain a stable weight as much as possible by eating a healthy diet and exercising regularly in order to minimize significant weight fluctuations after liposuction surgery.
Dr. Bayati will provide precise post-operative instructions that can help aid the healing process and reduce discomfort from any temporary liposuction side effects.
Since liposuction is a surgical procedure, there will be some level of scarring. With that in mind, the technique that Dr. Bayati traditionally utilizes generally requires very small incisions that can often be placed in inconspicuous areas of the skin. In most cases, liposuction scars are quite small and often barely noticeable once they have healed. They should also fade somewhat over time. Dr. Bayati is highly experienced with liposuction procedures and will work diligently to ensure that scarring is as light as possible.
With a healthy diet and stable weight, the results of liposuction can last for many, many years. A mild level of weight fluctuation may not significantly affect the outcome of liposuction; however, excessive fat accumulation in surrounding regions may ultimately have an effect on the new contours created by liposuction in the treatment area. This makes it important to maintain a healthy lifestyle in order to keep the positive benefits of liposuction going for as long as possible.
For individuals who are not candidates for liposuction, as well as those who may not need liposuction to achieve their goals or are simply looking for a less invasive treatment option, Dr. Bayati offers an advanced procedure called CoolSculpting®. This option involves no needles or surgery of any kind. CoolSculpting® involves the application of a special device that targets specific body areas and initiates a process that can destroy excess fat cells, which are then filtered out of the body naturally. For patients with mild to moderate levels of excess fat in isolated areas, this treatment may serve as an effective alternative to liposuction. Dr. Bayati will explore your options with you during the initial consultation and determine whether liposuction or CoolSculpting® is best for your needs.
The cost of liposuction is often quite different for each patient since the treatment is customized based on an individual’s unique concerns. Once your liposuction treatment plan is designed during the initial consultation with Dr. Bayati, a member of our plastic surgery team will compile an estimate of all costs associated with your procedure to provide you with the total price. Factors that affect the overall cost of liposuction surgery include the number and the size of the targeted areas, the technique utilized, the surgeon’s fee, surgical facility and anesthesia fees, and other components. We will be happy to discuss the many convenient forms of payment we accept at our practice, or answer any questions you may have about plastic surgery financing options. Our office works with renowned companies such as CareCredit® and ALPHAEON™ Credit. These popular lending firms offer a vast selection of low- and no-interest payment plans that can help qualified applicants pay for their liposuction procedure over time.
Liposuction is generally considered by insurance companies to be an elective cosmetic procedure; therefore, this treatment is not usually a covered expense. With this in mind, it is important to remember that our practice offers a number of convenient payment options. We also accept financing plans (described in the above section) that have helped many patients bring plastic surgery procedures into their budget.
Although there are very rare exceptions depending on certain individual circumstances, the minimum age requirement for liposuction is 18 years old.
Liposuction procedures can remove mild amounts of excess fat or large amounts located in isolated body areas. This treatment’s ability to remove significant amounts of excess fat is one of its advantages over a non-surgical procedure such as CoolSculpting®, which is generally more ideal for mild to moderate fat pockets. While liposuction is certainly capable of extracting excessive degrees of fat, it’s important to note that the risk of complications increases when the amount of fat is particularly large. In these cases, Dr. Bayati may advise patients to have the fat removed in a staged series of liposuction procedures in order to reduce associated risks.
One of the best ways patients can preserve their results from liposuction is by maintaining a healthy diet and exercising regularly to limit the possibility of repetitive weight fluctuations. Drinking plenty of water, balancing your diet with healthy meals, and getting enough exercise to maintain roughly the same weight following liposuction surgery can go a long way toward helping you preserve the outcome long into the future.
One of the most critical aspects of liposuction that patients must understand is that it is not designed to serve as a weight loss solution. In fact, in terms of actual weight lost after a liposuction procedure, the amount is typically very small—even in cases where there has been a large amount of excess fat removed. The primary benefit of liposuction is that it can address isolated pockets of fat located in specific body areas that have not responded to more traditional forms of weight loss. Liposuction is an effective body contouring treatment; however, it is not an effective method for general weight loss. The best candidates for liposuction are often individuals who are already at or near a healthy weight for their height and body type.
Swelling is one of the most common side effects of liposuction and should dissipate as the treatment areas continue to heal during the recovery process. To help control the swelling, Dr. Bayati typically prescribes a compression garment to be worn for several weeks after surgery. Patients may also consider reducing the amount of salt in their diet and abstaining from alcohol consumption during recovery, as these items may exacerbate swelling and inflammation.
Liposuction can help you achieve your goals with immediately noticeable results – often in areas with which you have been struggling for years. If you would like to learn more about liposuction, or if you would like to schedule a consultation with Dr. Bayati, please contact us today.