What is Liposuction?

Liposuction is a body contouring procedure that works best for patients who have stubborn fat deposits that cannot be addressed by proper diet and exercise. Fat can be removed from the stomach area, back, hips, buttocks, thighs, knees, neck, chin, cheeks, or upper arms. While the procedure can effectively remove localized areas of fat, this is truly a method of body contouring and not intended for overall weight loss. It is important to maintain a healthy diet and exercise plan after surgery to maintain your results.

What Different Types of Liposuction Are Available?

Many different techniques are available with liposuction. Dr. Tiffany McCormack—our board-certified plastic surgeon—will spend time discussing these options during your consultation to help guide and educate you about terms you may be familiar with, such as SmartLipo™, Lipodissolve, liposculpture, tumescent technique, and mesotherapy. She will discuss the benefits and downsides of each to help you make an educated decision.

How is the Liposuction Procedure Performed?

Each liposuction treatment plan is custom-tailored to suit the needs of the patient. In most cases, liposuction necessitates only small incisions at the targeted areas. A long, thin tube called a cannula is inserted through these incisions and utilized to gently suction out unwanted fat cells. With a well-trained artistic eye, Dr. McCormack is able to sculpt and contour the area for a beautiful silhouette. Liposuction is typically performed as an outpatient procedure, and local or general anesthesia can be used depending on the extent of your treatment plan. Most liposuction procedures can be completed within two hours.

Combining Liposuction with Other Procedures

Liposuction is commonly combined with other procedures such as a tummy tuck or breast surgery. We commonly find that patients have small isolated pockets of fat that never seem to go away no matter how much they exercise. It is usually fairly simple to add a small amount of liposuction to another procedure since you are undergoing anesthesia anyway. Larger liposuction volumes are usually not removed in conjunction with other procedures so that we can minimize your surgical risks. Safety is our number one priority for any procedure.

What Is Liposuction Recovery Like?

The swelling can last four to six weeks, while complete healing from the liposuction surgery takes about three months. Dr. McCormack advocates the use of lymphatic massage following liposuction. Lymphatic massage stimulates lymph flow to more rapidly remove fluid, proteins, and toxins from around the cells back into the bloodstream. The end result is less bruising and less edema to help speed the liposuction recovery process. It is normal to have some numbness in the areas treated by liposuction. This is temporary but may take a full year to completely dissipate. This is one surgery we do where we encourage some activity soon after surgery. The incisions are tiny and therefore do not take long to heal. Bruising is common but temporary.

Patients are required to wear a compression garment (a girdle-like garment that is worn under normal clothing) for 6 weeks. This helps minimize swelling and contour deformities.

We are often asked whether patients will gain an inordinate amount of weight elsewhere after liposuction. The answer is generally no. However, some patients find that they do not gain as much weight where the liposuction was performed and therefore, if they gain weight overall, it will show in other places first. We stress the importance of maintaining your weight following liposuction to minimize this.

Liposuction Before & After Photos

If you are interested in liposuction, we invite you to view our results gallery which features many of our Reno liposuction patient results. If you would like to schedule a consultation with Dr. McCormack to discuss your options for body contouring, please call us at (775) 284-2020 or fill out our online contact form.

3D Procedure Animations

Explore procedures using our 3D Animation Gallery

Explore procedures using our 3D Animation Gallery

How Much Does Liposuction Cost?

Dr. McCormack custom-tailors each liposuction procedure to suit the needs and goals of each individual. As a result, there is no one price for liposuction. A number of variables are taken into consideration when calculating the cost of liposuction, including the total number of treatment areas, the volume of fat removed, the geographic location of the practice, and the experience of the plastic surgeon. While the total cost estimate for each patient is dependent on the complexity of their personalized treatment plan, rest assured that a member of our team will fully break down the ultimate cost of surgery prior to the start of any treatment. For patients who could benefit from low monthly payments with low- to no-interest rates, McCormack Plastic Surgery offers several flexible financing options.

What Are the Most Common Liposuction Side Effects?

As with most surgeries, mild swelling, bruising, and soreness can be expected after liposuction. Typically, these side effects dissipate quickly and oral pain medication can be used to easily manage any post-operative discomfort. Though uncommon, patients may experience temporary numbness, changes in skin color, or skin irritation at the incision site. Patients may also notice some scarring, though these marks usually very discreet and should fade with time. Immediately after liposuction, the skin may appear uneven or loose. In most cases, the appearance improves with the skin’s natural contraction around your new body contours.

The best candidates for liposuction are typically at or near their ideal weight. Dr. McCormack cautions patients who are obese or who plan on having large volumes of fat removed that their risk of complications after surgery is increased. Patients who have pre-existing heart or blood conditions may not be good candidates for liposuction. Dr. McCormack will carefully review all the risks of the procedure with each candidate during the consultation process, allowing them to make informed decisions about their health and body.

Are There Any Liposuction Alternatives?

While liposuction can be very effective at excising unwanted fat, Dr. McCormack does offer liposuction alternatives for patients seeking a non-surgical method of fat removal:

  • CoolSculpting®: CoolSculpting® is a popular alternative to liposuction that can be used to treat nearly any area of the body, including the abdomen, flanks (love handles), knees, thighs, buttocks, upper arms, neck, and chin. Designed to remove stubborn fat in targeted regions through controlled cooling technology, CoolSculpting® “freezes” and breaks down fat cells to the point of elimination. Since there is little to no downtime associated with CoolSculpting®, this option may be ideal for patients who wish to remove smaller, isolated pockets of fat without the recovery time liposuction entails.
  • KYBELLA®: KYBELLA® is a liposuction alternative designed to remove excess fat beneath the chin. This injectable procedure can target and reduce this accumulated fat to improve the appearance of a “double chin” and create a more defined profile.

During the consultation process, Dr. McCormack will perform a physical exam, discuss your personal cosmetic goals, and help you determine which body sculpting treatment option might best suit your needs.

To learn more about liposuction, or to schedule a consultation with Dr. McCormack, please don’t hesitate to contact our practice today.