Many men and women who have exhausted traditional methods of fat removal, such as diet and exercise, have turned to liposuction to eliminate stubborn fat deposits.

If you’re considering liposuction, it’s important to know all the facts about what to expect before, during, and after the procedure. Here is your ultimate guide to liposuction surgery.

Do you have stubborn fat that you can’t get rid of?

Sometimes, no matter how hard we work, diet and exercise aren’t enough. A lack of results can become frustrating and force you to look for alternatives.

If you’re considering liposuction, you’re not alone. Last year alone, nearly 250,000 liposuction procedures were performed in the United States.

But you need to know all the facts. We’ve broken down the different types of liposuction and explained what you could expect before, during, and after the procedure. Read on to see if this is the right choice for you.

What is liposuction surgery?

Liposuction has been helping people deal with unwanted fat for some time now. You’ve probably heard of it but may not know exactly what it is.

In its most traditional form, the procedure is one in which fat is suctioned out through a vacuum under your skin. While the fat is being removed, your surgeon may also use the instruments to shape and contour your body.

The procedure targets the stubborn fat that diet and exercise cannot eliminate.

If you are considering liposuction, you should have already tried to remove or reduce your excess fat using other methods, as surgery should be a last resort and not the first option.

The procedure can be performed almost anywhere on the body where excess fat is located, but the most common areas are the abdomen, thighs, buttocks, and hips.

These areas, especially in women, tend to be the places where cellulite and fat remain, even with the proper diet and exercise routine.

Over the years, there have been many new innovations when it comes to fat removal that makes the procedure less invasive and sometimes even non-surgical.

Read on to learn more about the different types of liposuction and which one might be right for you.

Different types of liposuction

We already know about the original and most common form of liposuction, also known as SAL or Suction Assist Liposuction, which uses a vacuum to remove the fat. Here’s a newer technology.

Laser Liposuction

The use of lasers has been a hot trend in the world of beauty and plastic surgery lately. Laser liposuction essentially uses the heat and energy of a laser to melt away your fat.

The theory is that if your fat is melted before it is removed, it can be removed in a gentler, less invasive way.

While this sounds like a good option, there are a few things you should keep in mind. Because they use lasers and the procedure is less invasive, many not-so-experienced surgeons get involved in this endeavor and perform the procedure when they shouldn’t.

The laser option allows you to avoid the hospital and only use local anesthesia. That sounds nice, but the reality is that you can use local anesthesia for traditional liposuction as well, so don’t let that fact dissuade you from your choice.

If you do decide to have laser liposuction, make sure you see a qualified surgeon who has experience with this type of procedure.

When a laser is involved, there is a risk of burns and other thermally induced damage.

Keep in mind that studies have shown that laser lipo is not safer or more effective than traditional lipo.

We’re not suggesting you avoid this type of procedure as it has its benefits and has become popular recently. Just make sure you do your research and find a surgeon you trust.


Vaser, also known as Ultrasound Assisted Liposuction, uses ultrasonic energy to break down fat and then a vacuum to remove it.

This is done by making an incision in the area to be treated and placing the ultrasound technology inside the body to reach the fat directly.


The brand claims benefits include less swelling, bruising, and blood loss. They also say that this is a gentler and less complex surgery overall, making both the patient and the surgeon happy.

They claim that they are able to remove fat from more difficult areas such as the back and fat pads.

Even though some patients have success with this type of procedure, it is important that you choose a qualified and experienced surgeon to perform this procedure.

Keep in mind, however, that the incision will need to be larger than a typical liposuction procedure because the ultrasound device is larger, which can lead to more scarring.


This may be the right choice for you if you have a large amount of fat that needs to be removed.

The device works faster and more efficiently to remove excess fat, allowing your surgeon to do a larger job at once without burning out.

It works in the same way as the traditional SAL, but the inserted tube, also called a cannula, vibrates and can break down fat faster than it normally would. However, in terms of results, there is not much difference between PAL and SAL.

Unless you plan on covering large areas of fat, there is no reason to opt for this version as opposed to traditional lipo.


HDL is a much more in-depth procedure that requires two steps.

The purpose of this surgery, as you may have guessed from the name, is to define and chisel the muscles in your body, mainly your core and abdominal muscles that are hiding under your fat.

This means first removing the fat in the traditional way.

The cannula is placed in very specific areas where the surgeon knows significant fat loss will improve the appearance of the muscles.

Next, the muscle is strengthened, and fat is grafted to achieve the six-pack look that everyone strives for.

Since this is a multi-layered procedure, expect both the surgery itself and the recovery time to take longer.

Are you a candidate?

Before you schedule your procedure, it is important to determine if liposuction is the right choice for you.

Always consult your primary care physician before undergoing even a routine procedure.

He or she can tell you if you are at a higher risk for complications or if this surgery should be avoided based on your current health or medical history.

Your surgeon will want to make sure you are not a smoker and do not have any life-threatening or serious illnesses or injuries. You will also need to be sure that you are within about 30% of your ideal weight.

This means that your surgeon may ask you to lose weight if you do not fall within this range.

The reason for this is that while liposuction can help reduce fat, it is not meant to be a replacement for diet or exercise.

Before you undergo liposuction, make sure you are in as good shape as you can get without surgical help. If this is the case, the results of liposuction will be greater and more visible to you.



Choosing a surgeon

Choosing the right surgeon for this procedure should not be taken lightly. First, use the internet as a guide. Well-known and reputable doctors are highly regarded online in their reviews.

On the other hand, when patients have a bad experience with a doctor, they are also inclined to write a review and share their story.

Reading online reviews should help you narrow down a surgeon. See if patients who had the same procedure you’re interested in were satisfied with their results and with the overall demeanor and professionalism of the doctor and practice.

Once you have narrowed down your choices, you should schedule a consultation. Most consultations are free, although some require a small payment due at the time of the meeting. Regardless, a consultation is essential before you choose a surgeon.

Go in with a list of questions or concerns. You may only have a limited amount of time with him or her, so you want to be sure you are making good use of that time. You can learn a lot about a doctor’s practice during an initial visit.

Is the staff organized, helpful, and friendly? Is the practice clean and running smoothly? Pay attention to the doctor’s bedside manner and how quickly they rush you out of the room, or if they take the time to walk you through the steps of the procedure and explain what you can expect.

You also want to be sure that you choose a surgeon who has realistic expectations for you. While liposuction is a great tool for achieving your ideal body, it won’t do all the work. Be leery of any doctor who wants to overdo it with the areas to be treated or who promises life-changing results from the procedure.

What to expect

Now that you’ve chosen your surgeon and decided on the type of procedure you want, the day of surgery has arrived.

So, what can you expect?

If you are undergoing liposuction that requires an incision or anesthesia, you will need to have someone drive you to and from the hotel. Once you arrive, nurses will take you to a room to prepare for surgery.

Your surgeon should come by to check on you and discuss the procedure.

Anesthesia will be administered, and the surgery will be performed. When you wake up after the procedure, you can expect the treated area to be wrapped tightly to reduce swelling and minimize your pain. Do not expect to see results immediately.

Your body will swell because it has just experienced some sort of trauma. You can expect the swelling to last for several days or even weeks.

You should expect to return to your surgeon a few times after surgery to check on your progress and to be sure that healing is proceeding correctly.


Recovery from liposuction is fairly quick. Hopefully, your surgeon did everything he could to make sure the incision was minimal, and the swelling is under control.

If everything went smoothly, you would likely be able to return to your normal life in just a few days.

Your doctor may prescribe pain medication for you to take for a day or two right after surgery, but over-the-counter pain relievers should also work well.

Once the bandages are removed, your doctor will likely give you a garment to wear under your clothes for a period of time.

This garment is made of a compression material that is designed to keep the skin tight and reduce swelling.

Initially, your scars will be visible, but they will fade over time. Once you have recovered and no longer need to wear the compression garment, you can rub vitamin E oil or other scar minimizing serums on the scar to help it fade quickly.

Most people don’t even notice their scar after about a year.

Alternatives to liposuction

If you’re not sure if this procedure is right for you, keep in mind that there are other non-surgical options available to you.

Body contouring and cool sculpting have become popular because they offer fat minimization or reduction without the commitment of surgery.

These techniques typically use heat or cold energy to reduce, but not completely remove, fat cells.

While these newer and less invasive techniques may be the best choice, keep in mind that they will not have the same noticeable results as liposuction.

What’s right for you?

Now that you understand what happens during liposuction, you can decide if this is the right procedure for you.

It can certainly offer great results and get rid of the fat you can’t remove yourself.

Be sure to talk to a doctor before committing to surgery and stay realistic about the results.

We would love to help you feel confident and beautiful in your own skin.

Contact us for a free consultation, and don’t forget to check out our website for more cosmetic tips.

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