Liposuction Before-and-After Photo Gallery
Each patient is unique and individual results may vary.
What is Liposuction?
Stubborn fat often accumulates over time due to weight fluctuations, genetics, pregnancy, aging, and other factors. Liposuction, also known as liposculpture or “lipo,” is a popular plastic surgery procedure that is designed to resolve these stubborn problem areas and reshape the body.
During the procedure, small incisions are made in the treatment areas and the excess fat is broken up or liquified before a hollow suction tube is used to remove it. The surgery produces minimal scarring and helps patients put the finishing touches on their weight loss efforts.
Liposuction has been one of the most popular cosmetic procedures in the United States for decades. Over time, new technology and techniques have made the procedure safer and more effective than ever before.
Today, there are many different types of liposuction available, including tumescent, which uses an anesthetic fluid to reduce bruising and surgical trauma, power-assisted, ultrasound-assisted, and laser-assisted options. Each surgeon prefers different techniques and may offer patients several different options.
Benefits of Liposuction
Patients who choose liposuction can enjoy several benefits, including:
- A reduction in unwanted body fat
- Permanent removal of fat cells
- Slimmer, smoother body contours
- Enhanced overall appearance
- Fast results
- Improved confidence and self-esteem, especially when wearing a bathing suit or tight clothing
- Encourages better lifestyle habits
Fat loss doesn’t occur evenly all over the body. Some areas, particularly the stomach, hips, thighs, and under the chin, are prone to developing isolated pockets of unwanted fat, despite diet and exercise. Once patients are at or near their goal weight, they may be able to benefit from lipo surgery.
Each patient is unique and individual results may vary.
Combination Procedures for Liposuction
Many patients choose to combine multiple body contouring surgeries into one procedure for customized, enhanced results. Popular combinations include:
Liposuction and Tummy Tuck
Many patients often have a tough time choosing between one of the two procedures: tummy tuck or liposuction. It all depends on what you want to be addressed, really. A tummy tuck, or abdominoplasty, is a surgery that removes excess skin and fat from the stomach while tightening the abdominal muscles, which can become stretched and separated after pregnancy or substantial weight gain and loss. Tummy tuck surgery pulls everything together and creates a slimmer contour. A full or mini tummy tuck may be performed, depending on the anatomy.
While the abdominoplasty procedure is very effective, some patients worry about the tummy tuck and liposuction scars. Does liposuction leave scars? Yes, especially when combined with a tummy tuck. Do liposuction scars go away? Generally, the larger scars that don’t fade as well are caused by a tummy tuck, not lipo. Patients will have to decide if the lower abdominal scar is worth the incredible results of a tummy tuck.
Pregnancy and childbirth take a major toll on the body. A mommy makeover is a custom combination of procedures used to reshape the body after a woman has given birth. Breast enhancement (breast lift and/or augmentation or reduction), tummy tuck surgery, and lipo are often included in this combination procedure. However, breast lifts or reductions are performed separately so as not to compromise safety.
After massive weight loss, a large amount of sagging skin may be left behind, often causing chafing, infection, and self-consciousness. A body lift (which may include a thigh lift, buttocks lift, back lift, tummy tuck, and more) can be performed alongside liposuction to remove excess skin and resolve remaining fat pockets. Body lift surgery is tailored to meet the patient’s unique needs.
Ideal candidates for mastopexy are women who have noticed unwanted changes in the shape and position of their breasts. Candidates should have a positive outlook and realistic expectations for what the procedure can accomplish. Women interested in plastic surgery should be non-smokers who are physically healthy and at a stable weight.
Good Candidates for Liposuction
Patients who are interested in liposuction with Dr. Baker will need to have their candidacy evaluated before scheduling the procedure.
Good candidates for liposculpture include men and women over the age of 18 who are struggling with specific areas of stubborn fat that are unresponsive to traditional weight loss methods. Patients should be in good overall health and will ideally have good skin elasticity to ensure that the skin retracts successfully over the new contours.
Prospective patients should also have realistic expectations for what lipo can and can’t do. It is not intended for weight loss and should only be used to treat small problem areas. Those who will benefit most from lipo and other body contouring surgeries are at or near their goal weight and already living a healthy lifestyle.
Before surgery, you may need to schedule a mammogram. Patients will need to stop smoking well in advance of surgery and avoid taking aspirin and other medications for about two weeks before the procedure. Due to the anesthesia that will be used during surgery, patients will need to make arrangements to have someone drive them to and from surgery and help with everyday tasks during the initial stages of recovery.
Your Liposuction Consultation
If you would like to learn more about your options for body contouring, then your next step should be a consultation with Dr. Baker. During this meeting, Dr. Baker will go over your medical history to ensure that you are healthy enough for surgery, discuss your cosmetic goals, and create a custom treatment plan for you.
Your consultation is the perfect opportunity to learn more about the procedure and your candidacy, ask questions and get to know Dr. Baker. At the end of the consultation, you should have everything you need to make a treatment decision.
How to Prepare for your Lipo Procedure
If you are approved for liposculpture, Dr. Baker’s staff will give you a comprehensive list of pre-surgical preparations and requirements that you should follow closely. These may include:
- Pre-surgical lab tests
- Quitting smoking
- Pausing the use of certain supplements, blood thinners, and anti-inflammatory medications
- Avoiding alcohol
- Arranging for a ride to and from the surgery
- Following surgical preparations for the night before the procedure
Patients will arrive at Dr. Baker’s office the day before the procedure for detailed surgical markings and a final question review. Surgery will be performed at the fully accredited Bayside Ambulatory Surgery Center of HCA Mercy Hospital in Miami.
Once the patient is comfortably asleep, Dr. Baker will begin the procedure by injecting an anesthetic and saline solution into the treatment areas to improve patient comfort and reduce surgical trauma to the tissues. Then, he will make a small incision in each treatment area and insert a cannula (thin, hollow suction tube).
As he suctions out unwanted fat, Dr. Baker may use a power-assisted liposuction device. This tool produces mechanical vibrations, which helps to break up the fat more efficiently and can make the procedure quicker and safer.
Once he has sculpted the treatment areas, Dr. Baker will place dressings to protect the incisions as they heal.
Recovering from Lipo
Immediately after lipo, patients are likely to experience minor discomfort, bruising, swelling, and mild redness. Pain medications will be provided for the initial recovery and Dr. Baker will go over techniques you can use to minimize discomfort during this time.
Gauze and compression garments will be provided and should be used as directed to reduce swelling and to aid in supporting the incision areas. During the recovery period, you should avoid physical activities and should not do any heavy lifting.
Recovery and liposuction swelling time will vary from person to person and area to area. Thigh liposuction recovery may be very different from chin lipo healing, for instance. It is a good idea to give yourself extra time to recover, just in case. Dr. Baker will educate you on what to expect and teach you how to care for your incisions before you are released to go home.
Although every patient’s lipo recovery time is a little bit different, here is a basic breakdown of the liposuction recovery stages:
Week 1 – 2
During the first week, you should focus on resting. Many patients can go back to work after about 4-5 days, but you should plan to take at least one week off from work and other activities. The swelling will be significant initially but will begin to subside during the first two weeks. After one week, you should be feeling better and you’ll probably start to see your results emerge.
Week 3 – 4
Your liposuction healing time will be just about up after 3-4 weeks. Swelling should be almost gone and you may be able to stop wearing your compression garments and start exercising again. At this point, your scars will begin to fade and you’ll be able to see and show off your new body contours.
Potential Risks and Complications
Like any surgical procedure, liposuction does involve some risks. However, patients can minimize risks and complications by choosing a board-certified plastic surgeon like Dr. Stephan Baker to perform the surgery and by following all pre- and post-operative care instructions carefully. Risks associated with lipo include:
- Anesthesia complications
- Sagging skin/rippling
- Contour irregularities
- Fluid accumulation
Dr. Baker will go over the risks with you during your consultation at his Miami location. Most patients find that the benefits of liposculpture outweigh the risks.
Frequently Asked Questions About Liposuction
Because each patient has vastly different needs, surgical times for body contouring vary widely. However, most procedures take between 1 and 3 hours to perform. Dr. Baker will provide you with an estimate of the length of your procedure before the surgery.
Lipo is only intended to resolve unwanted fat in problem areas and it will not help resolve cellulite or stretch marks. Some stretch marks may be removed during a tummy tuck procedure to tighten skin and muscles or during a lift surgery on a different area of the body where the marks are present, but others may remain.
If you are worried about cellulite or stretch marks, be sure to bring up your concerns during your consultation. Dr. Baker may be able to recommend an appropriate treatment.
Once fat cells have been removed during a body contouring procedure, they are gone for good. However, the remaining fat cells in the body can still expand after the procedure if the patient gains weight.
It is important to remember that liposculpture is not a weight loss procedure. Generally, only a small amount of fat can be safely removed during a single lipo session. With that said, patients typically notice dramatic cosmetic improvement after they have healed from surgery since the body contours will improve and the patient’s overall shape will be slimmer and more streamlined.
Compression garments support the new contours of the body and help the skin to retract after a body sculpting procedure. They also protect the incisions and help the body heal properly. Dr. Baker will provide you with high-quality compression garments after surgery and give you detailed instructions on using and caring for them. You should follow these instructions closely to ensure optimal surgical results.
Right after surgery, the best way to optimize your results is to follow all of the instructions Dr. Baker provides. Once you have healed, a healthy diet and regular exercise will help you maintain your results for years to come.
How long should my weight be stable before liposuction?
It is best to wait at least several months after you have reached a stable weight to pursue surgical body enhancement. This will help to ensure long-lasting results.
What areas can be treated with body contouring?
Liposculpture is extremely versatile. Patients can treat a range of areas, including the abdomen, hips, thighs, love handles, upper arms, chest, chin, and back.
How much does liposuction cost?
Cost is a major factor in any elective procedure that insurance will not cover. Because body contouring is a custom procedure, there is no one-size-fits-all price. The cost of lipo will vary based on the areas that will be treated, the amount of fat that will be removed, and other factors. Every aspect of the surgery, including facility fees, anesthesia, and compression garments, will be included in your cost estimate. Financing is available.
Why Choose Dr. Baker
- American Board of Plastic Surgery
- New York University School of Medicine, New York, New York, Doctor of Medicine
- General Surgery: Five-Year Residency/Chief Residency, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, St. Luke’s Roosevelt Hospital Center, New York, New York
- Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery: Four Year Residency/Chief Residency/Fellowship with Dr. D. Ralph Millard Jr., MD, FACS, Hon. FRCS England, University of Miami/Jackson Memorial Medical Center, Miami, Florida
- University of Miami, School of Business Administration, Miami, Florida, Exec. MBA-Health Administration, Beta Gamma Sigma Honor Society