What is Liposuction?

Liposuction is a surgical intervention also known as lipoplasty (fat modeling or repair). This is a suction-assisted removal of fats that is beneficial as far as cosmetics are concerned. As we hear liposuction, most of the time we attribute it to fat removal of the part of the abdomen. But there are several areas that liposuction can be performed such as the thighs, buttock, neck and elsewhere. This can be performed in one session presumably. But the operation can take to several sessions, depending on the doctor’s advice.

This cosmetic surgery has been developed in the late 1960s from the continent Europe. They used a primitive curettage that was not quite effective for it can cause bleeding and increase morbidity. When a modern liposuction was developed by a French surgeon in 1982, claiming the so-called “Illouz Method”, liposuction paved its way to medical science. This technique involves suction-assisted lipolysis with the use of blunt cannulas and suction. The results were now in favor and presents low morbidity. This also provided open doors to other countries in the development of liposuction.

Another development of the method of liposuction was attained in the late 1990s which involved fat removal through liquefying the fat through ultrasonic energy. This has resulted to some complicated situations, which was therefore unfavorable to many practitioners.

High end methods were developed such as the use of laser tipped probes for the removal of fat. This has given a new image for an improved liposuction method. This has become the surgery of choice of most good surgeons.

Liposuction Cost

The liposuction surgery cost is said to range between $2,000 to $10,000, depending on the amount of fat to be removed and the sessions needed for the surgery. The professional, anesthesiologist and institution fees are factors to be considered in the cost of this procedure. Specific areas of the body also have corresponding costs:

  • Abdomen, upper and lower part: $3,800 -8,700
  • Lower abdomen:$2,500 – 5,500
  • Arms: $2,000 – 5,500
  • Back: $2,000 – 4,500
  • Breasts: $3,500 – 8,000
  • Buttocks$2,000 – 5,000
  • Chin, cheeks, jowls, neck: $2,500 – 5,000
  • Flanks (male): $2,500 – 5,500
  • Anterior thighs and knees: $2,800 – 5,800
  • Inner thighs and knees: $2,100 – 5,500
  • Hips/waist: $2,100 – 5,500
  • Outer thighs: $2,100 – 5,500

Recovery Time

The procedure can take about one hour at the least and five hours at most. This procedure is done through a local anesthesia or sometimes can be in general anesthesia, depending on the amount of fat to be suctioned. The expected recovery time after the procedure is said to be days or even weeks. First thing to do is to allow oneself to heal. The doctor may or may not require the patient to use compression garments after the surgery. This is believed to facilitate and maintain the area from fat as one is still in the recovery process. Compression shorts are provided to patients who have undergone thigh liposuction or buttocks liposuction.

It is normal to experience pain after the procedure and during the recovery phase. Taking some oral analgesic is required. Aspirin is contraindicated for a person can be at risk for bleeding. The patient is advised to take it a habit to urinate more frequently and increase oral fluid intake. This will help eliminate the anesthetic agents from the procedure.

Liposuction Side effects

The side effects of this procedure include:

Post-liposuction swelling

The swelling is an expected side effect of liposuction. The area where swelling takes place is usually at the ankles and areas where the fats were removed. Slowly, the swelling goes away and shall look normal in about six months after the surgery.

Post-liposuction bruises

Areas remain tender right after the surgery. This is a short-lived side effect of liposuction and may vanish in a month.


Skin dimpling can be noticed on the area of surgery. This is more prominent when the fats removed were great in number.


Nowadays, scarring is eliminated or not expected with the innovation of liposuction procedure. But this can also be possible and shall slowly vanish in a weeks.


Thrombophlebitis is mostly experienced by people who underwent thigh liposuction. This condition is the inflammation of the veins and is most probably caused by the trauma that may have been inflicted to the veins. One can slowly recover within a couple of weeks.


Alteration in comfort is expected right after the anesthesia wears off.

Liposuction Procedure

It is important that when you consult for liposuction, questions regarding the procedure and outcome of the procedure are made clear. The patient should have signed a consent form in order to proceed for liposuction.

Prior the procedure, clearing the accounts for the surgery is a must. The doctor shall give the patient an antibiotic prior the surgery or sometimes the doctor shall give the antibiotic after the procedure to avoid development of infections. Photos are then taken on the area for liposuction, for comparing purposes. Marking the areas of liposuction is needed to make sure of a smooth and uninterrupted procedure.

During the procedure, the patient is placed in a patient’s gown and sent to the operating table. In the room, the area for liposuction is sterilized with Betadine. Induction of a local anesthetic agent is necessary to relax the patient and for sedative purposes. As the patient is ready for the procedure, incisions are made but are small for aesthetic purposes and to avoid scarring. It is possible that the patient will be hooked in monitoring devices to have a clear view of the patient’s health condition while the procedure is in progress. Then liposuction is done, while the patient shall feel a rasping sensation from the movement of the cannula that sucks the fat. After the procedure, the patient can go home after a few hours of monitoring, but only from case to case basis.

Liposuction Complications

Complications are rare instances for liposuction. But people are at risk when they are on the table for the procedure. The dangers of liposuction are the following:


The danger of infection can place the patient in a serious condition. This can result to sepsis. But this complication is rare because of the sterile technique maintained during the procedure. Postoperatively, the patient is at risk for this complication.

Allergic reaction to anesthesia

Some patients have different reactions from the inducted anesthesia.

Blood clots

This is a possibility and cannot be ignored for a result of thromboembolism (mobile clot) may reach the heart or brain causing a more severe outcome.


Fluid imbalance can be expected as a complication because a patient is due for removal of fat contents that may include some water of the body.

Friction burns

The cannula movement can be rooted for this complication and negligence in the part of the doctor.

Damage to skin

Skin necrosis is a rare complication that involves falling off of the skin. As this can be attained when the doctor manipulated the cannula for a deeper suctioning.

Damage to vital organs

Puncturing of the vital organs during the procedure is a possibility and should be avoided and not neglected by the doctor. But this can be corrected, but does not leave the condition as a fatal result of negligence.

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