Everything You Want To Know About Liposuction

Female body before and after treatment
Dr. Phillip Chang

Dr. Phillip Chang

Board Certified By The American Board of Plastic Surgeons.
Voted Top Plastic Surgeon in Loudoun, Virginia
Offices in Leesburg, Virginia.

Best of Loudoun 2019
real self top doctor virginia

If you find yourself a time-traveling machine and head back to the 1920s, don’t be tempted to go to Charles Dujarier for fat removal and contouring. Yes, the surgery may be a steal at today’s pricing, but we can’t guarantee your safety. The last women to have the procedure with the French surgeon, developed gangrene in her leg and had it amputated!

Fast forward to 1974, and gynecologists Arpad and Giorgio Fischer created a technique that became the foundation of how liposuction is performed today. They used a blunt, cannula to tunnel between blood vessels and suck out fat.

Jump forward another 10 years, and the Fischer technique was further refined by Gerard Illouz, another French surgeon who had many successful results with his suction-assisted, saline injecting style. How he performed this surgery is still the basis for how the modern liposuction procedure is performed today.

So back to the modern day, and we know that liposuction is one of the most popular cosmetic procedures in the world. Liposuction is the second most popular procedure after breast augmentation in the US. In 2018, nearly 260,000 liposuction surgeries were performed in the US. Most people are aware that it sucks fat from your body and a long, circular tub is used but there is so much else to know – especially when you are considering having it done.

How Does Liposuction Work?

Liposuction removes fat cells from various areas of the body to create a slimmer, smoother body shape.

It is performed under general anesthesia and is mostly an out-patient procedure. Depending on the area fat is being removed from, the operation could take between 1 and 3 hours. A cannula is placed in a small incision and used to loosen the fatty tissue which is then suctioned out.

It is not designed to be used as a weight-loss tool. Only a certain amount of fat can be removed safely.

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Can I Have Other Surgical Procedures At The Same Time?

Absolutely! Liposuction is a popular procedure with the mommy makeover. You may also have more than one area liposuctioned. Having multiple procedures is cost effective as you will already be at the hospital or clinic and only paying for those services once. During your free consultation with your surgeon, explain that you would be interested in other procedures.

Liposuction is the second most popular procedure after breast augmentation in the US. In 2018, nearly 260,000 liposuction surgeries were performed in the US.

Is It Permanent?

Once those fat cells have gone, they are never going to grow back!

What you should know is that liposuction doesn’t get rid of all your fat cells so to keep your new slimmer physique you will need to maintain a healthy diet and exercise program.

How Long Will It Take To Recover?

Liposuction is an invasive surgery so you should take your time getting back to work and your normal routine in order to give your body a chance to heal. Expect to take a couple of weeks to recover. You will have swelling and bruising where the liposuction occurred and you will have stitches that need to be removed 7 to 10 days after surgery.

You may be given support bandages to wear to help with swelling and you should take painkillers if there is pain – which should be mild. There may be numbness around the area for 6 – 8 weeks.

Women belly with the drawing arrows

Will I Have a Large Scar?

The scars should be minimal but there will be some. Your surgeon will work to place them in less visible areas of your body and they will fade over time.

Is There A Non-Surgical Option?

There are a number of fat reducing procedures that don’t require surgery. CoolSculpting is a very popular option that freezes the fat cells. This is best for mild fat pockets. Most times liposuction is the preferred option for larger areas of fat cells and provides more visible, dramatic results. Talk to your surgeon about all the options for fat reduction to ensure you chose the right procedure for your body.

Can Anyone Have Liposuction?

Liposuction is recommended for people who are close to their healthy weight and have found that exercise and diet have not shifted the extra pockets of fat.

You should also have good skin elasticity. Liposuction will not improve the look of your skin and will not eliminate cellulite and stretch marks.

Another important factor is to be a non-smoker or to stop smoking at least a month before your surgery. Smoking impacts your skins healing which could lead to problems with your scars.

What Are The Risks?

All surgery carries a degree of risk. These could include:

  • Prolonged bruising
  • Blood Clots in the veins
  • Infection
  • Inflammation – this should reduce in time
  • Contour issues – if the scar heals poorly, fat has been suctioned unevenly or skin elasticity is poor
  • Kidney/Heart issues – due to the change in body fluids
  • Allergic reaction to the general anesthetic
  • Skin burns from the cannula

Choose a surgeon who is experienced at performing liposuction, such as Dr. Chang, to ensure the risks are reduced. Talk over any concerns you may have with your surgeon prior to the surgery. Being informed of all aspects of your surgery is so important.

Coolsculpting Body Aesthetics Leesburg Virginia

How Much Does It Cost?

Costs depend on a number of issues: surgeon costs, hospital costs, area to be liposuctioned, and geographic location all have a baring on the overall cost. Your surgeon will talk over costs with you during your initial consultation and present a plan that best fits with your budget. Many surgeons will have payment plans that can help spread the cost over a number of payments.


For those wondering whether liposuction might be the best cosmetic solution for you, we invite you to simply come in for a complimentary consultation with Dr. Chang or one of the cosmetic laser and injection nurses to explore whether you would make a good candidate. To find out more whether Aesthetica can help you, contact us online or at 703-729-5553 to arrange an appointment. Dr. Phillip Chang is a board-certified plastic surgeon in Northern Virginia near Leesburg, Virginia and an expert in a wide variety of cosmetic treatments.

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