Liposuction

Consultations offered at our three convenient locations in San Diego, La Jolla and Del Mar, CA

liposuction procedure

Liposuction, also called liposculpture, is one of the more popular surgical treatments in aesthetic medicine. It is a surgical procedure that removes localized excess fat from certain areas. The surgery removes these fat bulges to improve the contour of the body creating a more proportionate profile.

The method was popularized in France in 1970 and has been used in hundreds of thousands of patients in the U.S. with excellent results and few complications. Over the years, the procedure has been improving with refined technology. Today, there are different liposuction techniques available. Prime Plastic Surgery offers several liposuction options at our practice, and will discuss these options with you during your consultation and will develop a customized treatment plan to meet your individual goals.

Before and After Photos

About

Because we are a bit more body conscious nowadays, and want to look our best in whatever we wear, there is a growing interest in procedures that can improve the shape and contour of the body. Liposuction is one of the most effective, tried and true body contouring procedures available. However, it is important to understand that this procedure is not intended for weight loss. Liposuction can take inches off your body, but it will not significantly reduce your weight, your BMI or give you the habits that can provide a healthy lifestyle. 

Treatment Areas

Liposuction is a body sculpting surgery that removes localized fat from your body. 

It is often used to sculpt the contours and curves of the:

  • Face
  • Neck
  • Hips
  • Abdomen
  • Buttocks
  • Thighs
  • Knees
  • Calves
  • Ankles

Because liposuction is not a weight loss procedure, candidates should be within 30 pounds of their ideal weight and lead a generally healthy lifestyle. Of note, liposuction can often have a motivating effect on people. We have found that many of our patients are motivated to maintain their results through healthy living because of the self-confidence and body-esteem they have gained after their liposuction surgery.

“This is my second surgery with this practice, and I am more than satisfied. Dr. Singer is always hands-on and always available for preop and postops. I’m especially very very happy with all postop care. Dr. Singer makes himself available in person and my phone. I feel like everybody there is part of my family.”

Real Patient of Dr. Singer

Consultation

The doctors at Prime Plastic Surgery believe in a two-way conversation during your consultation for liposuction. Here, you get to tell him what concerns you might have and ask any questions about the procedure as well. They will listen attentively, answer all your questions, and address all of your concerns. They will also give you his recommendation concerning which liposuction procedure works best for you.

It is important that you and your surgeron are on the same page for the expected liposuction results to ensure your satisfaction. During your consultation, you can review before and after photos of our liposuction patients to get a good idea of what you can expect from your surgery. Additionally, you will receive a thorough medical exam to ensure your suitability and safety. We will also hand out informative instructions on what you should do and the things to avoid before your liposuction surgery.

Ideal Candidates

Patients who have localized fat pads on their body which are resistant to exercise and weight loss efforts are good candidates for liposuction. A good candidate maintains a normal weight, but suffers from one or more areas of excess fat and possesses good skin elasticity.

Good candidates understand the benefit of liposuction is the removal of persistent fat which does not respond to a diet and exercise regimen. Do not confuse liposuction as a weight loss treatment, but rather a body shaping procedure. You should remain close to your optimal weight, and it should remain stable for several weeks before liposuction surgery. You should continue your exercise routine to maintain your results after liposuction.

Good liposuction candidates also:

  • Understand all risks and benefits of liposuction
  • Have realistic expectations
  • Are within thirty percent of optimal weight
  • Don’t smoke
  • Are in good health

Procedure

Liposuction is an outpatient procedure performed in our AAAASF accredited surgery center. If you require an extended correction, your surgeon may suggest you stay overnight at Scripps Memorial Hospital, which is next door.

The quality of your skin is important in determining your desired results from liposuction. If your skin is young and supple, it will be more likely to leave a smooth surface. Older people with poor skin tone are poor candidates for liposuction alone.  They may require a surgical removal of excess skin (abdominoplasty or lifting of the buttocks and thighs done in collaboration with liposuction.)  The results of liposuction are permanent.  Fat cells don’t regenerate.

You can gain weight in the treated area, but it will be proportional to the rest of the body.

Pre-Op Instructions

  1. If you smoke, it would be very beneficial if you refrain from smoking at least one week prior to your surgery. This is to help your lungs and circulation be in their best condition for surgery and to aid in healing.
  2. Please do not take any aspirin or ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil, Aleve) for 2 weeks preceding surgery. These substances can cause excessive bleeding. You may take any Tylenol products if necessary.
  3. No diet pills or herbal supplements two weeks prior to surgery.
  4. On the day of surgery, please do not wear wigs, hairpins, jewelry, false eyelashes, or contact lenses. Wear or bring loose-fitting clothing. It would be a good idea to bring a pillow to make your ride home more comfortable.
  5. If you have long hair, please pull it away from your face with a band.
  6. Please DO NOT EAT OR DRINK ANYTHING after midnight the day before surgery.
  7. Have prescriptions filled before your surgery.
  8. Purchase your garment in our office prior to your surgery. Your garment will be available in the surgery center on the day of your surgery.
  9. On your final shower before surgery, please use Hibiclense antibacterial wash.
  10. If you develop any illnesses prior to your surgery, contact our office as soon as possible.
  11. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to call Prime Plastic Surgery at (619) 466-8851.

Potential Risks and Complications

  • Skin re-draping problems: liposuction is not an exact science and so the skin may not re-drape exactly after surgery.
  • Asymmetry: differences between the areas treated may necessitate further surgery.
  • Scarring: small scars may form where the incisions are made to allow for the liposuction cannula. Scar revision may be necessary after everything is healed.
  • Infection: rare and usually treatable with antibiotics.
  • Bleeding: rare but may require surgical intervention.
  • Deep Venous-Thrombosis/ Pulmonary Embolism: blood clots that form in the legs that may travel to the lungs causing difficulty with respiration and requiring hospitalization. Prevention is key using compression stockings and early ambulation.
  • Need for revisionary surgery: the above complications may necessitate further surgery.

Recovery

During your recovery, you can expect some swelling, bruising, and lumpiness. After liposuction surgery, your doctor will fit you with a surgical garment to wear for a couple of weeks. You may go home in the care of a friend or family member after some time in our recovery room. If you require a personal nurse, we can arrange this.

You can expect some mild pain that is easily managed by prescription pain blockers, and you may experience swelling and bruising as well. The bruising will subside after a week or so, but the swelling could take two weeks to abate completely. Most of our patients take a week off from work, and avoid exercise for at least two weeks.

You should walk short distances for the first few days after liposuction to encourage proper blood circulation which is needed for proper healing. We will monitor your recovery closely after surgery.

Post-Op Care Instructions

LiposuctionPost-Op Care Instructions

  1. Please have someone drive you to the surgery center in the morning for surgery and be certain to have someone scheduled to take you home. Someone must be with you at all times for the initial 24 hours following your surgery.

  2. Take the pain medication every three to four hours, if needed. Ideally, it should be taken with food to prevent nausea. Take the antibiotic every eight hours for 3-7 days. You are NOT allowed to drink alcohol while taking the medications.
    It is also a good idea to record when medications are taken to avoid taking too much or not enough.

  3. Upon leaving the surgery center, you may have small quantities of liquids as desired and tolerated. The following day you may progress to a soft diet. After the above, you may eat as desired. No alcoholic beverages are allowed for one week after surgery and especially while taking the medications.

  4. You will have the garment on for several days. This helps protect and cushion the surgery and also helps to keep mild pressure on the suture lines. Please do not take garments off until your first follow up appointment. Do not wet the areas until garment is removed.

  5. If you had liposuction of abdomen and thighs: Sitting on hard surfaces is not allowed. You may sit on a soft chair.

  6. You should limit your social activities for several days following your surgery. Excessive exercise should be avoided, and no body contact sports are allowed until you are instructed otherwise.

  7. Please report to our office any:
    a) excessive pain
    b) rise in temperature above 100 degrees
    c) excessive bleeding

FAQ

What is the difference between the various lipo procedures?

Some practices use different names which mean the same thing: “lipoplasty” “liposuction” or “suction lipectomy”, “micro-liposuction”, “lipo-contouring, “micro-lipo”” — they are marketing name variations of basically the same procedure.

Is there an advantage of Laserlipo, ultrasoninc lipo, water jet lipo?

While some surgeons utilize these procedures, most of the promises of improved results, less bruising, faster recovery, skin tightening are purely unsubstantiated marketing claims. Most of the scientific studies show no appreciable improvement over standard liposuction. In fact, ultrasonic and laser lipo may produce other complications, including burns and greater scarring.
What is important: individualization, narrow instrument to remove the fat (cannula), wetting solution (tumescence), proper safety precautions, experience and training of individual at the end of the instrument, how much you leave, not just what you take, an appropriate surgical facility that is accredited by a national organization, like AAAASF – not just an office treatment room that may never be examined for standards, and a fully trained anesthesia provider . No matter which technology is used, you need to be realistic about your outcome. It is not a replacement for diet and exercise nor does it replace other surgical procedures for loose sagging skin.

Is liposuction a weight reduction treatment?

No, liposuction is used to get rid of isolated areas of fat which are diet resistant to exercise and diet. It is not a treatment for weight loss.

Who is a good candidate for liposuction?

The best candidates for liposuction are people at their normal weight who have isolated areas of fat. Firm, elastic skin allows for a better outcome. The patient’s age is not a factor, however, older patients have less skin elasticity and may not achieve the same results as younger patients.

How long do I need to be off of work?

It is suggested that you take off of work for 3-5 days after surgery but continue to avoid strenuous activity for 3 weeks after surgery.

When can I get back to my normal routine?

The recovery time differs with each La Jolla – San Diego liposuction Surgery patient. The recovery time will vary depending on how much liposuction was performed and how many areas were treated. Most patients are able to return to work 2-7 days after surgery depending on the areas treated.

When can I resume exercising?

Depending on the areas treated, most patients are able to resume exercise 2-3weeks after the procedure.

Will the fat return to the area that was treated?

If you maintain your weight after the liposuction, your result will be long standing. However, if after liposuction surgery one does not eat healthy and exercise regularly, the fat cells that remain in the treated area and those in other areas will grow. The fat cells that have been removed are gone forever. Liposuction is not meant to be used as a weight loss program.

Can I do multiple areas at the same time?

Yes. Your doctor will discuss which procedures may be performed at the same time while still being safe. Many patients will opt to have liposuction and breast augmentation surgery or liposuction and tummy tuck surgery at the same time. Combination surgeries can give dramatic results. In some patients, it is prudent to do several procedures in sequence, rather than all at the same time, to assure the safest outcome.

Will I be wearing any special garments after the surgery?

Yes. When you wake up after the procedure, a garment will be on the treated areas. This compressive garment is there to assist in the healing process and to decrease the amount of swelling. Your doctor will discuss the amount of time you will need to wear the garment – depending on what areas are treated.

What areas of the body can be treated with liposuction?

Liposuction provides excellent results when used on areas in patients where there is skin good elasticity, such as the neck, face, arms abdomen, hips, flanks, thighs.