The Fundamentals of Liposuction


Woman in underwear with a flat belly after liposuctionLiposuction is one of the most commonly performed cosmetic procedures in the United States. In fact, it was the second most-performed cosmetic procedure in 2017, following breast augmentation in the Number 1 spot. More than 246,000 people had liposuction in 2017.  Learn more about the basics of this surgery in the sections below.

What is Liposuction?

Liposuction is a body contouring procedure. It reduces fat cells in the treatment area. Liposuction is commonly applied to the:

  • Abdomen
  • Thighs
  • Hips
  • Back
  • Butt
  • Breasts
  • Upper arms
  • Ankles
  • Calves

Liposuction sculpts areas with extra fat, but it is not a means of losing weight. It is best suited to select areas on your body that hold onto fat cells. For some people, these pockets of excess fat may linger despite diet and exercise. Liposuction reduces that fat so that you can enjoy a more defined body contour; however, the amount of fat removed is not so significant as to affect your weight.

This procedure is beneficial for men and women who are at or near their ideal body weight. Perhaps you're an avid cross-fit athlete, a mom who has dedicated hours to getting fit after pregnancy, or a person who has been working hard to lose weight – in all of these cases and others, you may be in great shape but have an area or two where the fat won't shrink. Liposuction removes this stubborn fat. You'll be able to get the consistent, sculpted results for which you've worked so hard.

The Liposuction Procedure

During the liposuction procedure, fat cells are broken up and suctioned out of the treatment area. The fat cells are prepared for removal with tumescent fluid, which decreases bruising by constricting blood vessels. It also numbs the area and makes the fat cells swell up and get firm, making the fat is a little easier to remove.

Recovery and Results

Woman arching her back and showing off her belly and thighs after liposuctionYou'll need to take time off from your normal activities for a few days to a week. You should plan to be up and walking around after surgery, to promote blood circulation and the healing process. Strenuous activity and exercise will need to be delayed. Dr. Corey and our team will provide you with a timeline for your specific activities.

The treatment area will be swollen immediately after surgery. As swelling goes down in the first week, you'll get a good idea of your results. The results will continue to improve over the next few weeks, and a Liposuction garment is worn for around 4 weeks.

The removed fat cells are gone for good but of course, you can still gain weight. The remaining fat cells in the treatment area enlarge as always, but there are now fewer of them. The non-treated areas get bigger with weight gain, just as before. But contrary to popular belief, fat does not come back or “migrate” to other areas. Our patients feel even more motivated to pursue healthy habits and fitness after seeing their results. You can maintain your newly sculpted frame in this way.

Find Out if You're a Candidate

To find out if you are a good candidate for liposuction surgery in Scottsdale or Phoenix, Arizona, please call the practice of board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. John Corey at 480-767-7700. We are proud to provide beautiful results for Arizonans who visit us from across the state.