Liposuction: What You Need to Know Before You Go Under the Knife

By: Dr. J. Timothy Katzen


Discover everything you need to know about liposuction before going under the knife in this witty, educational, and engaging blog. Uncover the truth behind common myths and learn the importance of choosing a plastic surgeon.
Ah, liposuction. The magical wand of the plastic surgery world that has helped countless individuals wave goodbye to their stubborn fat. But before you hop on the lipo train, you should know some crucial details. In this witty, educational, and engaging blog, we'll explore everything you need to know about liposuction before you go under the knife. So grab a snack (or not), and let's dive in!

1. What is Liposuction, Really?
Liposuction, also known as lipoplasty or simply "lipo," is a cosmetic procedure that removes excess fat from specific body areas. Liposuction is not a weight loss solution but a body contouring method to help you achieve a more desirable shape (1). Lipo works for the removal of isolated pockets, not generalized obesity. Liposuction is best for those already near their ideal weight but struggle with stubborn fat deposits that refuse to budge, even with a strict diet and rigorous exercise.

2. Different Types of Liposuction Techniques
Several liposuction techniques are available, each with unique pros and cons (2). Some of the most common techniques include:

  • Tumescent liposuction: The gold standard in liposuction involves injecting a solution containing a local anesthetic and vasoconstrictor into the treatment area, which helps minimize blood loss and post-operative pain.
  • Power-assisted liposuction (PAL): This technique uses a vibrating cannula to break up fat, making removing it more effortless.
  • Ultrasound-assisted liposuction (UAL): As the name suggests, this method uses ultrasound waves to liquefy fat before it's suctioned out.
  • Laser-assisted liposuction (LAL): This technique uses laser energy to break down fat cells, which are then removed through suction.
  • VASER Hi-Def Liposuction: VASER stands for “Vibration Amplification of Sound Energy at Resonance.” This liposuction technique uses ultrasound waves to break up and liquefy fat cells, making them easier to extract. The VASER also emits heat and causes the skin to shrink wrap over the area where the fat was removed.

VASER Hi-Def Liposuction: Why It's Dr. Katzen's Favorite Choice
Liposuction has come a long way since its inception, and VASER Hi-Def Liposuction is one of the most advanced and sought-after techniques available today. With its ability to sculpt the body and create a more athletic, toned appearance, it's no wonder that VASER Hi-Def Liposuction has become Dr. Katzen's favorite choice for body contouring. Let's examine what separates this innovative procedure and why it's so popular with patients and plastic surgeons.
The Science Behind VASER Hi-Def Liposuction
VASER Hi-Def Liposuction utilizes ultrasonic energy to liquefy and remove fat cells, allowing for more precise and controlled body sculpting. This technology, known as Vibration Amplification of Sound Energy at Resonance (VASER), targets and breaks down fat cells while preserving surrounding tissues such as nerves, blood vessels, and connective tissue (1). The result is a smoother, more sculpted appearance. In addition, compared to traditional liposuction techniques, the VASER causes less trauma to the treated area, reduced downtime, less bleeding, and less bruising.
Enhanced Precision and Control
One of the critical benefits of VASER Hi-Def Liposuction is its increased precision and control. The procedure allows plastic surgeons to create more defined contours and accentuate natural muscle definition, resulting in a more athletic and toned appearance. This appearance particularly appeals to patients who have already achieved a significant fitness level and are looking to take their results to the next level.
Faster Recovery Time
Due to the minimally invasive nature of VASER Hi-Def Liposuction and the reduced trauma to surrounding tissues, patients typically experience a faster recovery time than traditional liposuction. While individual recovery times may vary, many patients can return to their daily activities within a week or two, with a complete return to exercise and other strenuous activities within four to six weeks (2).
VASER Hi-Def Liposuction offers numerous benefits, including enhanced precision, control, and faster recovery time. VASER liposuction is ideal for patients looking to achieve a more athletic, toned appearance with minimal downtime. With Dr. Katzen's expertise and commitment to excellence, you can be confident that you're in the best hands regarding this innovative body contouring procedure.

3. The Consultation: What to Expect
Before you undergo liposuction, you will consult with Dr. Katzen or your chosen plastic surgeon to discuss your goals, medical history, and any concerns you may have. The consultation allows you to ask questions, voice your expectations, and learn about the procedure in detail. Your plastic surgeon will also assess your skin elasticity, fat distribution, and overall health to determine if you are a good candidate for the liposuction procedure (3).

4. Preparation is Key
To ensure a smooth liposuction experience, you must prepare yourself physically and mentally. Dr. Katzen or your plastic surgeon will provide you with specific pre-operative instructions, which may include the following:

  • Quitting smoking: Smoking can increase the risk of complications during and after surgery.
  • Adjusting medications: You may need to stop taking certain medications, such as blood thinners or anti-inflammatory drugs, before your procedure.
  • Maintaining a healthy diet and exercise routine: Good overall health can improve surgical outcomes and recovery.

5. The Big Day: What Happens During the Procedure
Typically, liposuction is performed under general anesthesia, although local anesthesia may be used for smaller treatment areas. The procedure usually takes 1 to 4 hours, depending on the size and number of treated areas (4).
Your plastic surgeon will make small incisions in the treatment area and insert a thin cannula tube. Then, using a back-and-forth motion, your plastic surgeon will break up the fat cells and suction them from the body. Once the desired amount of fat has been removed, the incisions are closed, and a compression garment is applied to help minimize swelling and support the healing process.

6. The Aftermath: Recovery and Results
After liposuction, you can expect some swelling, bruising, and discomfort, which usually subsides within a few weeks. Your plastic surgeon will provide you with post-operative instructions to help optimize your recovery and minimize the risk of complications. Items discussed should include:

  • Wearing a compression garment: This helps reduce swelling and provides support as your body heals.
  • Taking prescribed medications: Your plastic surgeon will prescribe pain relievers and antibiotics to manage discomfort and prevent infection.
  • Resting and avoiding strenuous activities: It is essential to give your body time to heal, so take it easy and avoid heavy lifting or intense exercise for several weeks.
  • Attending follow-up appointments: Your plastic surgeon will want to monitor your progress and ensure you are healing well.

Most people can return to work within one to two weeks after liposuction, but it's crucial to listen to your body and follow your plastic surgeon's advice (5).
As for results, you should notice a difference in your body contour within a few weeks as the swelling subsides. However, the final results can take up to six months to become apparent. Remember that maintaining a healthy lifestyle, including a balanced diet and regular exercise, is essential to preserving your newly contoured figure.

7. Debunking Common Liposuction Myths
Myth: Liposuction is a weight loss solution.
Reality: Liposuction is designed for body contouring and is most effective for individuals already near their ideal weight. Liposuction is not a substitute for a healthy lifestyle or bariatric surgery (6).
Myth: The fat will come back after liposuction.
Reality: Fat cells removed during liposuction are permanently gone. The fat cells removed are placed in a medical waste bag and incinerated; they are gone forever!!!! However, if you gain weight after the procedure, the remaining fat cells can expand, affecting your results (7).
Myth: Liposuction can eliminate cellulite.
Reality: Cellulite is caused by scarring of vertical connective tissue bands between the skin and underlying fascia. Liposuction targets fat deposits beneath the skin, not the scar bands of cellulite. Thus, liposuction does not directly address cellulite. However, cellulite can be addressed during liposuction by cutting these internal vertical bands of cellulite (8).

8. The Importance of Choosing a Plastic Surgeon
When considering liposuction, choosing a plastic surgeon with extensive experience in the procedure is crucial. Choosing an experienced plastic surgeon ensures that you are in skilled hands and increases the likelihood of achieving the desired results.
If you are considering liposuction and are searching for a top-tier, experienced plastic surgeon, look no further than Dr. Katzen. With over 23 years of practice, Dr. Katzen is a plastic surgeon and President of the American Society of Bariatric Plastic Surgeons. You can trust his expertise and commitment to excellence in achieving your aesthetic goals. Call 310-859-7770 to schedule a consultation today. For your convenience, Dr. Katzen has offices in Beverly Hills, CA, LAS Vegas, NV, and Dubai, UAE. Physical in-office consultations can be arranged for Beverly Hills and Las Vegas. Additionally, virtual consultations can be arranged for platforms like Facetime, Skype, Zoom, and WhatsApp.

* All information subject to change. Images may contain models. Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary.