Everything You Wanted to Know About Liposuction, Answered by Plastic Surgeons

liposuction before and after photo
Actual PSCHR patient, before & after liposuction to the abdomen and hips.

So you’ve decided that it’s time to do something about aspects of your shape that bother you, and you’ve heard liposuction might be the ticket to a better body shape. You’re probably right—liposuction is tailor-made for reducing unwanted fat bulges and sculpting the body. Still, it’s important to understand the procedure and see if it fits your needs.

We rounded up the board certified plastic surgeons here at Plastic Surgery Center of Hampton Roads and asked them to answer the top questions about liposuction surgery, recovery, and what results are possible. In fact, we’re getting so in-depth that we’re doing a series of three posts for your educational pleasure. This first installment covers what you need to know to help you decide if liposuction is right for you.

Deciding if Liposuction is Right for You

Can liposuction help me?

Liposuction is one of the best tools that plastic surgeons have to spot-reduce fat and reshape an area, as we can sculpt away fat in a very specific pattern to achieve a number of common goals. For example, using lipo we can:

  • Create a more hourglass-like figure
  • Reveal underlying musculature
  • Achieve a smoother silhouette
  • Enhance a feature such the butt, calves, or jawline

However, liposuction isn’t for everyone. It will not help you lose weight; in fact, we can only safely remove about 6 to 8 pounds of fat at most. Liposuction alone will also not improve sagging skin if you have it; you’d need to add a tightening procedure to help with skin sagging. However, if you have specific areas of fat that bother you, or you would like to change your body contours, liposuction could very well help you achieve your goals.

What should I look for in a liposuction surgeon?

First and foremost, make sure they are board certified in plastic surgery and they operate in an accredited surgical facility to ensure you are in safe, qualified hands. Liposuction requires a considerable amount of artistic sculpting skill, so choose a surgeon with extensive experience performing liposuction surgery—particularly the type of liposuction you will be receiving.

To be sure you like the surgeon’s aesthetic sensibilities, look at before and after photos of patients with similar body types to yours in the before image, and pay attention to their results. A large online portfolio of liposuction patients is a helpful start, but ask to see additional photos of patients like you at your consultation (most plastic surgeons only share a portion of their patient photos online for privacy reasons).

Liposuction requires a considerable amount of artistic sculpting skill, so choose a board certified plastic surgeon with extensive experience performing liposuction surgery. Make sure they operate in an accredited surgical facility to ensure you are in safe, qualified hands.

Finally, make sure you feel comfortable being open with the surgeon (you’ll have to disclose your entire health history before surgery) and that you feel they have honestly answered all your questions.

How much does liposuction cost in Hampton Roads?

At Plastic Surgery Center of Hampton Roads, liposuction prices range from $2,290 to $4,580 per area and up. The exact cost depends on what and how many areas you are having treated and other factors. We provide a complete, individualized price quote at the conclusion of your liposuction consultation, which includes surgeon’s fees, operating room costs, anesthesia, post-op visits, compression garments, and all other costs.

At Plastic Surgery Center of Hampton Roads, liposuction prices range from $2,290 to $4,580 per area and up.

When you visit liposuction surgeons in the Hampton Roads area, be sure you understand what is included in any price quotes you receive.

Are there any good liposuction alternatives?

Yes! Today there are several less invasive options to reduce unwanted fat, and we actually offer two liposuction alternatives at PSCHR:

  • CoolSculpting. This non-invasive “fat freezing” procedure sends controlled cold temperatures through to the fat layer, causing a portion of fat cells in the treatment area to die off. It’s best for patients who want to spot-reduce smaller fat bulges in the abdomen, hips, thighs, back, upper arms, chest or chin. CoolSculpting benefits include a quick, 35-minute treatment, no anesthesia, no scars, and little to no downtime. While CoolSculpting has numerous advantages, it is important to note that it can’t achieve the very specific body sculpting results you can get with liposuction.
  • BodyTite (Radiofrequency-Assisted Liposuction). This newer liposuction technology can both remove unwanted fat and tighten sagging skin. The BodyTite procedure involves very tiny incisions and usually can be performed using local anesthesia. In general, it’s excellent for patients with mild to moderate skin laxity who desire mild fat reduction. For these patients, BodyTite can usually achieve better results than traditional lipo, which cannot help tighten loose skin.

Depending on your personal goals and desired results, one of these liposuction alternatives might be a great option for you. An experienced, board certified plastic surgeon can help you choose the best procedure for your needs.

Hope we’ve clarified some key basics about liposuction for you here. Stay tuned for next month’s post with more great liposuction intel you’ll want to know.

If you’re ready to meet with a Hampton Roads liposuction surgeon, give us a call at PSCHR. Our board certified plastic surgeons have decades of experience with a variety of liposuction techniques, along with a reputation for safety—and exceeding our patients’ expectations for care and results. Call 757-873-3500 or contact us online.