Do you have pockets of unwanted body fat? Liposuction, also referred to as “lipo,” is a common cosmetic procedure for patients wanting to sculpt, tone and slim their bodies. During liposuction, undesired areas of fat are removed from the body, using effective and fine-tuned techniques.
Liposuction is one of the top procedures performed at our office. Dr. Nykiel is an international speaker and physician trainer for liposuction and body contouring. In these roles, he has spoken throughout the United States and traveled to Asia and South America. His excellent natural and balanced results have doctors from throughout the world attending his teaching seminars, lectures and surgeries.
For liposuction performed by a respected industry expert, please contact Butts By Design today.
Liposuction is a method of removing unwanted fat to enhance the natural contour of the body. Although it significantly improves body shape, liposuction is not a weight-loss solution or a treatment for obesity. Weight loss is accomplished via a healthy lifestyle of a balanced diet and exercise.
Liposuction is typically an outpatient procedure, meaning you will go home after the surgery. Sometimes, when a large amount of fat is extracted, the patient needs to stay at the hospital overnight. However, overnight stays are rare, and we only perform liposuction as an outpatient surgery in our practice.
Before your liposuction treatment, we will administer anesthesia. The type of anesthesia used varies based on the type of liposuction, the amount of fat being removed and your preferences. For instance, you can opt to remain awake and sedated during your treatment, or you can be completely asleep with general anesthesia.
After anesthesia is administered, we will make a small incision near the extraction area, dislodge the fat with a variety of tools and techniques, then vacuum or suction out the excess fat. The procedure can take as little as one to two hours, and up to three to four hours for extensive fat removal.
What Are the Most Popular Areas of the Body for Liposuction?
Liposuction is primarily used for cosmetic purposes rather than physical health benefits. It is typically sought by patients who have not achieved their body goals through diet and exercise alone.
Unlike diet and exercise, liposuction allows you to target specific areas of the body where you are storing fat. The most common areas for liposuction are:
- Chin or Submental Region
- Waist or Flanks
- Hips and Buttocks
- Legs or Calves
Liposuction is often used in conjunction with other cosmetic surgeries, like Brazilian butt lifts, other fat transfers, tummy tucks and mommy makeovers. These combination procedures have the most dramatic and harmonious effect on the patient’s physique.
Can Liposuction Get Rid of Belly Fat?
“I want to get rid of this belly bulge.” This is one of the most common requests we hear from patients, and the answer is “sometimes.” A belly bulge can stem from different issues. Typically, the bulge is adipose tissue — commonly called fat. Liposuction treats fat, and therefore it is an effective treatment in these cases.
However, a belly bulge may also be caused by loose abdominal muscles (a condition called diastasis recti) or excess skin. Excess skin and diastasis recti are best treated by tummy tuck surgery (abdominoplasty).
Can Liposuction Be Good for Your Health?
While liposuction is generally used for cosmetic purposes, it can also help treat the following health conditions:
- Lymphedema: Lymphedema is a chronic health condition in which fluid collects in the tissue, leading to excessive swelling in the arms and legs. Liposuction can be used to reduce swelling and treat pain.
- Lipomas: Lipomas are generally harmless fatty tumors that are sometimes treated with liposuction.
- Gynecomastia: Gynecomastia is a medical condition in which fat stores in a man’s chest, creating the appearance of female breasts. It is sometimes treated with liposuction.
- Extreme weight loss after obesity: When a morbidly obese person loses 40% or more of their BMI, it can lead to cosmetic abnormalities. Liposuction can be used to make the patient’s body look more proportional and sculpted.
- Lipodystrophy syndrome: This medical condition occurs when a patient’s fat is stored in one area of the body and lost in another area. Liposuction can sculpt the body for a more equal distribution of body fat.
What Is the Most Effective Type of Liposuction?
Dr. Nykiel is one of the few plastic surgeons in Newport Beach and Upland who offers multiple liposuction techniques so that you can receive a treatment tailored to your unique body type.
Standard liposuction involves removing fat cells under vacuum suction. Suction-assisted liposuction was popularized in 1982 by a French surgeon. While this form of liposuction is effective, new technologies developed over the past four decades have improved fat removal and the results.
Through his experience and expertise, Dr. Nykiel developed a unique sequence and techniques of liposuction. This is what is responsible for his amazing results! In addition, Dr. Nykiel’s approach centers on fat viability, which allows for maximum results when combining liposuction with fat transfers.
Tumescent liposuction is a standard type of liposuction. When this technique is used, fluid is injected into the treatment area prior to liposuction to decrease pain and bleeding. We always utilize tumescent liposuction in our practice.
VASER® or Ultrasound-Assisted Liposuction
During ultrasound-assisted liposuction, we use ultrasonic energy to create micro-bubbles within the tumescent fluid. The micro-bubbles dislodge or saponify the fat cells while creating minimal disturbance to the surrounding tissue. The dislodged fat is then suctioned away. Dr. Nykiel is a key opinion leader for VASER® and also a trainer for surgeons and physicians.
Laser liposuction uses lasers to melt fat before it is extracted from the body. Like ultrasound-assisted liposuction, laser liposuction improves the fat removal rate. However, the complications of burns, fibrosis and contour irregularities are higher in laser liposuction. This technique also presents significant problems if trying to transfer the fat to the butt or breasts because the heated fat is not viable. For these reasons, we do not recommend this type of liposuction.
Power liposuction utilizes a motorized cannula that enhances the back and forth movement created by the surgeon. This allows for larger fat removal from a single liposuction treatment. At our office, we always pair MicroAire® power liposuction with VASER® for our liposuction procedures.
Radiofrequency & Plasma, Also Known as Renuvion® (J-Plasma)
Renuvion® (formerly called J-Plasma) is not a liposuction technique, but we frequently incorporate it into our liposuction procedures. This technology uses energy to tighten the soft tissues (skin and connective tissues), helping them conform to the new body contours shaped by liposuction. On average, the soft tissues tighten by 30% over six months following treatment.
This is a major evolution in body contouring. We are able to decrease fat volume with liposuction and then get the skin and connective tissue to tighten or shrink, improving the elasticity and the body contour shape. Dr. Nykiel is a speaker, trainer and key opinion leader for Renuvion®. He has surgeons travel from throughout the country to learn his techniques.
What Is Liposuction Versus Liposculpture?
Techniques and technologies have advanced over the 40 years since standard suction liposuction was introduced to the world. As liposuction technology improved, so did our body contouring results. In order to describe the improved results, we developed new names for liposuction.
Liposculpture describes the artistic body sculpting that is now achieved with liposuction. In our practice, liposculpture is the preferred technique. We always spend the extra time to sculpt, balance and harmonize body structures and shapes.
What Is High Definition Liposuction, or High Def Lipo?
High definition liposuction is a newer artistic advance in liposuction and liposculpture that highlights body fitness by focusing on sub-units within the treatment area.
In some sub-units, we preferentially remove more fat to create a depression or shadow at the edges of the muscles. In sub-units overlying muscles, we perform slightly less liposuction to allow volume to highlight the muscle. Overall, this creates the appearance of muscle definition and gives the treated area a more fit-looking shape.
In order for high def lipo to achieve realistic results, the patient must have a muscular base or toned muscles. The patient who benefits from this approach has seen significant improvements through diet and exercise, but has “stalled out” with gains and shape.
High definition liposuction focuses on different parts of the body depending on whether the goal is a feminine or masculine body shape. The technique can be tailored to create different degrees of muscular definition, from a soft and toned pilates shape to a defined and shredded weightlifter physique.
How Much Does Liposuction Cost?
Liposuction price varies on a number of factors. The type of liposuction technology, the size of the liposuction area, the amount of fat to be removed and the degree of sculpting all affect the price, because they all affect the result.
In our practice, we utilize a proprietary sequence of liposuction and body contouring technologies. Our unique combination of tumescent liposuction, VASER®, MicroAire® and Renuvion® produces incredible results.
Liposuction is typically priced by the area. In general, a single area of liposuction runs from $4,000 to $6,000. At Butts By Design, we feel results are better when liposuction is performed in aesthetic units and not by specific body parts. We frequently recommend Liposuction 360 for the torso (including the abdomen, waist and back) rather than simply liposuction of the tummy. On average, Liposuction 360 costs $10,000 to $12,500, depending on the size of the area and the amount of fat within it.
How Painful Is Liposuction?
Liposuction is one of our flagship procedures, and we strive to make the experience as enjoyable as possible. Most of our patients transition off traditional pain medication by 48-72 hours after surgery.
Using our protocol developed by Dr. Nykiel, we begin pain treatment medication before surgery. Starting medications that decrease nerve sensitivity and inflammation prior to surgery results in better post-operative pain control. Our complete pain regimen involves:
- COX Pain Pathway - Tylenol and Celecoxib
- Anti-Inflammatory - Celecoxib
- Muscular Pain Pathway - Diazepam
- Neuropathic (Nerve-Generated) - Gabapentin
- Opioid Pain Pathway - Hydrocodone
While we recognize the above outline is medical jargon-heavy, the take-home message is: our office has designed a comprehensive pain treatment plan to minimize discomfort after liposuction procedures. The majority of our liposuction patients describe the pain level as a very intense post-workout soreness.
What Is the Average Recovery Time for Liposuction?
Recovery from liposuction involves two phases:
- Initial post-operative recovery
- Healing from swelling
Post-operative liposuction recovery usually requires one week free from any responsibility (work, children, etc). Full activity exercise release is one week after surgery.
Healing from swelling progresses gradually. Swelling increases over the first week, which translates to less definition and less curves/shape in the treated area. Then, swelling decreases over six weeks. After six weeks, the remaining swelling rapidly decreases from week six to 12.
In general, 80% of swelling resolves by three months. The remaining 20% of swelling resolves over the first year. We typically recommend waiting at least three months from surgery to schedule any important life event, such as a vacation, reunion or wedding.
Does Liposuction Leave Scars?
All surgeries leave scars. Aesthetic plastic and cosmetic surgery is no different.
The first step in minimizing scarring involves placing the scars in hidden areas. In plastic surgery, we attempt to camouflage scars in the belly button, skin wrinkles, hair lines, underwear and bra lines, or natural shadows.
The second step involves treating the scars after surgery. In our practice, we recommend scar treatment with silicone, pressure and massage. We utilize Silagen Scar Therapy starting at three weeks after surgery and continue the treatments for one year after surgery. One year may sound like a long time, but medicine and science support this recommendation.
Scar tissue is largely made up of collagen. Collagen is so abundant in human tissue that there are many different types of collagen! In scar tissue healing, we are mainly concerned with Type 1 and Type 3 collagen.
Type 3 collagen is referred to as immature collagen. It is quick to produce and heals the body rapidly. Therefore, most of the collagen the body makes during the first three months of healing is Type 3. Type 3 collagen production peaks at roughly three months after surgery.
Type 3 collagen is firmer and darker compared to the surrounding tissue. This is why all scars feel firmer and look darker initially. After three months, the body switches and begins to produce more Type 1 collagen. The scars gradually fade, soften and flatten until they reach full maturity.
Can Fat Grow Back After Liposuction?
There is a significant amount of misinformation on this topic. Yes, fat can grow back in areas after liposuction.
This subject can be confusing because liposuction of fat cells is permanent. However, we cannot remove every single fat cell in the area. We must leave a portion of fat cells in order to create a natural look. Fat cells have the unique capacity for near-limitless expansion in size. This means that the remaining fat cells can expand after liposuction, and your body shape can change. Lasting results after liposuction is dependent on diet and exercise.
How Many Sizes Can I Lose With Liposuction?
The change in clothing size depends on how much fat is removed. Individuals with more fat will experience a greater decrease in clothing sizes. Individuals who chose high definition liposuction where there is less fat removed but more muscle definition created will see less of a change in clothing size. On average, waist size decreases by two to four inches.
How Much Weight Can I Lose With Liposuction?
Liposuction removes fat. We measure results by the volume of fat removed (mL or cc), not by the amount of weight lost. There are variations in these numbers because fat density is slightly different for each person. On average, one pound of fat is 500cc, but a pound of fat can range anywhere from 400cc to 800cc.
The maximum volume of fat that can be removed with liposuction differs depending on your state. If we use 4,000 mL (4 liters) of fat removed as an example, then the weight is:
4,000 divided by 500 = 8 pounds
If we look at the math on 30 pounds, we get:
30 multiplied by 500 = 15,000cc
In general, even large volume liposuction cases end around 7,000cc to 10,000cc. A 15,000cc procedure is an extremely large volume and unlikely to be performed. We remove the maximum amount of fat that can be safely removed.
An important principle to remember is that liposuction is not a weight-loss procedure, nor is it a substitute for diet and exercise. Liposuction is utilized for body sculpting and body contouring by targeting specific areas of fat.
How Does Weight Gain After Liposuction Affect Results?
Liposuction improves body shape, contour and definition. Weight fluctuations change the amount of fat in your body, and therefore, weight gain or weight loss will change your liposuction results. However, the shape of your fat and body contour will be maintained.
Another way to say this is: the ratios of your body measurements typically stay the same. Any change to your body contour from weight gain or weight loss is not permanent and may be changed with further weight gain or loss.
How Can I Maximize My Results With Liposuction?
When it comes to liposuction and plastic surgery, your experience will be more positive with realistic expectations of your procedure, recovery and post-operative journey. Realistic expectations begin with open, honest and transparent discussions of your current lifestyle, your goals and your anticipated post-procedure lifestyle.
When we discuss the mid-term or long-term results of plastic surgery, these results are based on your lifestyle. Fat increases or decreases over time based on your approach to diet and exercise. Therefore, maintaining a healthy diet and regular fitness routine are imperative to maximizing and maintaining the results of your liposuction procedure.
In addition, a fit appearance is aesthetically more appealing. Thus, a good muscular base or muscular tone is imperative in optimizing the outcome of plastic surgery. If you are not prepared to commit to your health, you will not see the full potential of liposuction or plastic surgery.
We recommend utilizing a dietician, trainer and your primary care doctor when starting and maintaining a healthy lifestyle with a balanced diet and exercise. This is a life-long commitment you are investing in, and you are worth it!
Schedule Your Liposuction Consultation at Butts By Design
Are you ready to take the next step in enhancing your figure with liposuction? As a preferred plastic surgeon in Southern California, Dr. Matthew J. Nykiel can help you quickly eliminate fat with liposuction or liposculpture.
Dr. Nykiel is a board-certified plastic surgeon with fellowship training in cosmetic surgery. His extensive clinical experience, coupled with his experiences as a body contouring speaker and trainer, allow him to tailor your treatment to your unique body type and situation.
To request a consultation in our offices in Newport Beach or Upland, CA, or schedule a virtual consultation, please contact Butts By Design today. We can be reached online or at 909-340-3300.