Learn more about treatment options for aging skin.
In liposuction, a surgeon uses a hollow tube known as a
cannula to remove pockets of excess fat from various parts of the body. The
cannula is inserted through small incisions made in the skin.
- Liposuction is minimally invasive and is performed
under local anesthesia.
- Some patients may be given a sedative.
- Occasionally fat is loosened with water or
liquefied by laser for ease of removal.
- The patient’s blood pressure, heart rate and blood oxygen
levels are monitored..
- After fat is removed, the incisions usually are closed with
Why choose liposuction for aging skin
Liposuction is a surgery that permanently removes fat. It is
not a good alternative to dieting. Ideal liposuction candidates are older than
18, in good general health and already undergoing a healthy diet and exercise
regimen. Liposuction primarily is performed on the:
- Outer thighs
- Inner thighs
- Inner knees
- Upper arms
Like any surgery, liposuction carries certain risks beyond
temporary and minor side effects. Though rare, serious complications can occur.
- Allergic reaction
- Skin damage
- Tissue damage
- Skin necrosis
- Puncture of an internal organ
- Contour irregularities
- Blood clots
- Toxic reaction
- Fluid imbalance
The average cost for liposuction is between $2,700 and
$5,175, though costs can vary widely depending on patient condition and
procedure. Since most medical insurance companies consider liposuction a
cosmetic procedure, it usually is not covered.
How to prepare for the procedure
Before the procedure, an ASDS dermatologist will review the
patient’s medical history. This is the time for the doctor and patient to
discuss expectations, potential risks and outcomes of the procedure. In
- No blood-thinning drugs should be taken for at least two
weeks prior to surgery.
- Smoking must be avoided for at least two months prior to
What to expect after the procedure
Following the procedure, the treated area is bandaged and a
compression garment placed over it. The compression garment is worn for one to
two weeks. Sutures, unless they are absorbable, are removed five to 10 days
after surgery. Post-surgical issues include:
- Pain, which may last as long as two weeks, is usually
managed by a prescription or over-the-counter medicine.
- Bruising lasting up to two weeks.
- Swelling lasting two weeks to two months.
- Numbness lasting several weeks.
- Possible drainage in the treatment area, depending on the
Most patients can go home the day of the surgery, though they
will need to have someone else to drive them home. Patients receiving general
anesthesia are generally discharged at a later time. Post-operative mobility is
limited, depending on the procedure. Patients can resume normal activity
several days to several weeks following surgery, depending on the procedure.
Final results will be apparent one to six months following
surgery, depending, in part, on how quickly swelling subsides.
Find a doctor for your liposuction treatment
Visit “Find a dermatologic surgeon” and choose “Liposuction”
from the dropdown menu. In 2011, ASDS dermatologists performed nearly 17,000 liposuction
procedures. Because ASDS dermatologists are trained in a variety of the best and
latest techniques, they are the most qualified to evaluate and select the best
treatment choice based on the individual patient’s condition.