Unfortunately, even after diet and exercise, many people find themselves still frustrated with localized areas of unsightly body fat. Bulging fatty tissue can accumulate almost anywhere on the body, most commonly along the abdomen, thighs, upper arms, and buttocks. If you are struggling with bulging areas of stubborn subcutaneous fat, chances are you are also unhappy with your appearance. Unwanted fat can keep clothing from fitting appropriately, and can decrease your confidence in a bathing suit or shorts. Now is the time to regain lost self-esteem and restore a slender, more youthful body with liposuction.
- Procedure Snapshot
- Liposuction at the Naderi Center
- The Ideal Candidate for Liposuction
- The Liposuction Procedure
- What are the different liposuction techniques available to patients?
- What is SAFELipo and is it a superior technique?
- How to Prepare for the Liposuction Procedure
- Recovering After Liposuction
- Possible Risks and Complications with Liposuction
- What to expect immediately after liposuction procedure
- How do I minimize the appearance of scars after liposuction?
- Photo Gallery preview
- What is a compression garment for liposuction?
- Is Liposuction Permanent?
- What other cosmetic surgical procedures is liposuction commonly combined with?
- Can fat obtained from liposuction be used to inject into other parts of my body?
- Does liposuction help with the appearance of cellulite?
- Is laser liposuction or Cool Sculpting® able to achieve the same results as surgical liposuction?
- What is a surgical drain and how will I know if I may have one?
- How do I manage my surgical drain?
- The Liposuction Consultation with Dr. Anderson
- How can you get started towards a liposuction procedure with Dr. Erica Anderson?
- Liposuction FAQs
Actual Patient Results
|What is the pain level after the surgery?||Mild to moderate|
|Anesthesia type (if applicable)||General anesthesia|
|Duration of Surgery||Approximately 1 hour per desired area|
|Where will scaring for this procedure be?||Each incision is tailored the patient’s unique needs|
|Timeframe to begin showing final results||2-3 weeks|
|When is the patient able to return to regular activities?||After a few days|
|When is the patient able to resume exercise?||1 week|
|Cost of surgeon’s fee||First Area $3,500 – $4,500 / Second Area $2,500-$3,500 / Third Area $ 2,000-$2,500|
Actual Patient Results
Liposuction at the Naderi Center
Liposuction is an extremely effective, moderately invasive procedure designed to bring back smooth, shapely physical contours. By eliminating these isolated areas of fatty tissue, targeted locations on the body can be sculpted for a natural, more youthful appearance. Liposuction performed alone can provide excellent results. The technique can also be combined with other procedures, like a tummy tuck, breast reduction, or the Mommy Makeover, for more extensive body sculpting benefits.
Actual Patient Results- Submental Liposuction
The most common areas for liposuction include
- Chin (submental)
- Flanks or love handles
- Outer or inner thighs
- Upper arms
Actual Patient Results- Male Chest Liposuction
Actual Patient Results- Submental Liposuction
Actual Patient Results- Abdominal liposuction
Dr. Erica Anderson has provided safe and effective liposuction procedures for hundreds of patients. Using the latest in liposuction technology, Dr. Anderson will tailor each liposuction session to the patient’s unique physical needs. Together with the patient, Dr. Anderson can determine the most beneficial technique to achieve the desired aesthetic results. Her knowledge and skill in body sculpting procedures make Dr. Anderson and the Naderi Center the number one choice for liposuction in the Maryland, Virginia, and Washington D.C area.
The Ideal Candidate for Liposuction
Actual Patient Results – Liposuction to the flanks and back.
Anyone who is unhappy with the appearance of stubborn, lumpy, fatty tissue may find liposuction beneficial. Ideally, potential candidates will be in good health, as well as be at a stable and desirable weight. The skin should be firm and elastic, so as not to leave sagging, loose tissue after the procedure. Instead, a tummy tuck or lift may be recommended for those with lax skin. Liposuction should not be used as a replacement for a healthy diet and exercise. Nor should liposuction be considered weight loss surgery.
A good liposuction patient will fully understand the procedure and the recovery requirements. They should also hold reasonable expectations for their final results. Liposuction is not ideal for patients who believe the procedure is a substitute for proper diet and nutrition. Also, this procedure is not an effective treatment for cellulite or stretch marks. At the consultation appointment, Dr. Anderson will discuss any risks or potential complications before determining if liposuction is the patient’s best option.
The Liposuction Procedure
Actual Patient Results – Liposuction to the abdomen
Your surgeon will perform the liposuction as an outpatient procedure at an accredited, local area surgical center or hospital. The technique may require general anesthesia, or a local anesthesia with IV sedation. The procedure on average takes an hour per area to complete, depending on the individual and extent of correction. Once your surgeon has removed the desired amount of fatty tissue and achieved the desired results, sutures will be placed for proper healing. A post-operative compression garment will then be placed to optimize healing and minimize swelling.
Your surgeon will determine the best liposuction technique during the consultation appointment. Each procedure will be tailored to the patient’s unique needs. Liposuction procedures that are combined with other surgical techniques may take longer to perform.
What are the different liposuction techniques available to patients?
Body liposuction has advanced since its initial utilization for the removal of unwanted fat and body contouring. Patient’s these days have available to them a variety of surgical techniques that can be used to achieve optimal results. It is important to discuss with your surgeon what technique they prefer for achieving their desired results.
Tumescent liposuction is one of the oldest and most common techniques utilized today for the removal of unwanted fat. This technique involves the surgeon initially injecting the patient’s tissue with a sterile solution of salt water, epinephrine and local anesthetic prior to the suctioning of the fatty tissue. The “tumescent” or liposuction solution helps with pain control, decreases blood loss and the aids in the removal of the fatty issue. The tumescent solution allows the injected area to swell and stiffen. The surgeon will then make small incisions on the skin to insert the liposuction cannula underneath the skin. The liposuction cannula is then attached to a suction vacuum in order to remove the desired fat as well as some of the tumescent solution that was injected.
Ultrasound-assisted liposuction (UAL)
Ultrasound-assisted liposuction uses a specialized cannula that emits ultrasound waves underneath the skin. The ultrasound emitting cannula breaks down the walls of the fat cells. When fat cells are broken down the fatty tissue becomes more liquefied and thus easier to suction out from under the skin.
Laser-assisted liposuction (LAL)
Laser-assisted liposuction uses a device that delivers high-intensity energy waves underneath the skin through small incisions. The energy from the laser helps to liquefy the fatty deposits which are then removed from a suction cannula.
Power-assisted liposuction (PAL)
Power-assisted liposuction involves using a vibrating cannula to help separate fat cells. The vibrating cannula is gently moved back and forth across the tissues to release fat cells from surrounding tissues. The power-assisted liposuction device allows for a less traumatic and less forceful means for breaking up the fat cells. Less force and trauma means a quicker recovery for the patient with less bruising and swelling.
Dear Doctor, You did a wonderful job and the pictures say it all. It is exactly what we talked about and I am very pleased with the outcome. Thank you for your patience with getting me through this process.
What is SAFELipo and is it a superior technique?
SAFELipo, which stands for Separation, Aspiration and Fat Equalization is a newer body contouring technique that leads to dramatic and natural results. This process allows for a less invasive procedure that limits damages to the flap blood supply. Medical studies indicate that SAFELipo is better than traditional liposuction techniques on a variety of measures, including:
- Optimizing fat removal
- Maximizing skin retraction
- Preserving vascular integrity
- Comprehensive body contouring
- Minimizing the potential for complications
SAFELipo (Separation, Aspiration and Fat Equalization) is a 3-step process
STEP 1: SEPARATION
A small incision is made near a localized targeted fat deposit. The surgeon then uses a specialized power assisted cannula that both separates the fat deposits and infiltrates the tissue with local anesthesia. This “separation” process allows the fatty deposits to become loose and emulsified.
STEP 2: ASPIRATION
Aspiration refers to the removal of fat cells using suction. Step 1, or the separation process makes the fat deposits much easier to remove than the traditional liposuction techniques. The surgeon can now use smaller, thinner and less invasive cannulas to suction out the unwanted fat. For patients this means the recovery process results in less bruising, decreased swelling, quicker recovery and the smallest scars possible.
STEP 3: FAT EQUALIZATION
The final component of SAFELipo is vital to ensuring a long-term result and preventing contouring deformities in the skin. Fat equalization means that the surgeon leaves behind a precise, smooth and nicely contoured thin layer of “local fat grafts” underneath the skin. This layer of “fat grafts” prevents the skin “dermis” from sticking and scarring down to the fascia (connective tissues). It is this “scarring” or adhesion of dermis to fascia that results in liposuction deformities that can be seen with either dramatic and or superficial liposuction. Fat equalization is a patient’s best bet to ensuring they do not get the “lumpy bumpy” look after liposuction. The “fat grafts” truly contour and even out the results of the liposuction.
How to Prepare for the Liposuction Procedure
Once a liposuction session has been scheduled, it is time for patients to begin preparing for their procedure. This is important in ensuring a smooth recovery, as well as achieving the best possible results. If at any time a question should arise, patients should immediately contact Dr. Anderson and the Naderi Center.
While the liposuction procedure is performed as outpatient surgery, patients will need to have a ride home from the surgical center. Prescriptions should be filled before the day of the procedure, so that pain medications are immediately on hand. The follow-up appointments with Dr. Anderson will already be scheduled, so patients should put these on their calendar. These visits are important to the healing process and should always be kept. It can also be very helpful to have assistance with small chores for the first several days following liposuction.
Actual Patient Results – Liposuction to the flanks and back
Recovering After Liposuction
On average, the liposuction recovery will take less than a week. Most people will be feeling well enough to return to work or school in just a few days. While walking and light exercise are encouraged, and can be resumed in only two to three days.
Patients will be sore after their liposuction procedure. Mild pain and burning are normal. Dr. Anderson will prescribe the needed medications for a comfortable recovery. Bruising and swelling are normal and expected and should resolved over the course of several weeks. To encourage appropriate healing and minimize swelling, a compression garment should be worn as much as possible after surgery for the first few weeks.
Possible Risks and Complications with Liposuction
Liposuction has been utilized by cosmetic surgeons for decades and is widely considered to be a safe procedure. All surgical aesthetic procedures should be performed by a skilled plastic surgeon, to ensure the best possible results. While complications with liposuction are rare, there is still a small chance for problems to occur. Risks of liposuction include bleeding, infection, asymmetry, skin discoloration, fat embolism, contour irregularities, and nerve damage. At the consultation appointment, Dr. Anderson will thoroughly review all of the potential risks of the liposuction procedure.
Just like any major surgery, there are various different complications that could occur with undergoing surgery. The risks and complications unique to liposuction can include:
- Poor wound healing
- Worsening of cellulite
- Thermal burn from ultrasound
- Anesthesia complications
- Fluid Accumulation underneath the skin requiring drainage
- Numbness that is either temporary or permanent numbness.
- Internal puncture of organs. In rare occasions the liposuction cannula may perforate too deep causing an internal organ to impale. In this case, emergency surgery repair is required.
- Contour irregularities. Due to poor skin elasticity and uneven fat removal, skin may appear to come off as bumpy or become shrunken. Depending on the severity of the irregularity, these changes may be permanent.
- Spotted skin appearance. Damage to tissue underneath the skin may result in a permanent spotted appearance of the overlying skin.
- Kidney and heart problems. As tumescent fluid is injected in and suctioned out of the body this can result in shifts of the body’s natural fluids that may cause life-threatening kidney and heart complications. This is why an anesthesia provider should monitor patients closely at all times during the liposuction procedure.
- Fat embolism. A fat embolism is a piece of fat that breaks off and enters a blood vessel. From the blood vessel the fatty deposit may enter the lung, brains or any other vital organ or tissue impairing its blood supply. A fat embolism is a crucial medical emergency that must be treated immediately.
- Loose skin after liposuction. Some patients are left with loose skin after liposuction, which may necessitate the need for removal of this skin in a subsequent procedure.
What to expect immediately after liposuction procedure
- Pain. Treatment areas will be sore and hurt the most in the first few days after surgery.
- Fluid discharge. It is completely normal to have leakages of clear to blood tinged fluid from the incision sites of liposuction. This should cause no alarm unless it is bright red blood and you have to make very frequent dressing changes.
- Swelling. Following liposuction surgery the compression garment should be worn at all times. The compression garment is typically worn for 4-6 weeks after liposuction. The garment should feel snug but not so tight that you can develop wounds or blisters or have troubling breathing or moving. Wear your garment at all times except for when you are showering or when you remove it to wash it. The more you wear the compression garment the better your body will be contoured and the quicker the swelling will resolve. Your surgeon may at some point advise you to switch from the compression garment to a spanx type garment. Additionally avoiding the sun and heat and being active can help with swelling.
- Bruising. You will have bruising and its extent will depend on how dramatic your liposuction results are. Different individuals heal bruises differently, but most bruises should go away after about 2-3 weeks. Bruises will go from a purplish color to a yellow/green shade as they start to improve.
- Perform regular massage of liposuction areas. Light massage to the liposuction areas speeds up healing and recovery. At some point your surgeon may even advise you to have a deep tissue massage.
- Itching. You may feel compelled to scratch at incision sites, as they feel itchy. Do not scratch. It is normal to feel an itching sensation. Benadryl may help with this itching sensation.
- Numbness/Sensory Changes in Skin. Numbness or tingling sensation around incision sites and throughout the liposuction areas is normal. These sensations start to go away after a few months.
- Scarring. Scars are small and minimal, especially with Dr. Anderson’s liposuction techniques. Scars can take a year to completely heal, however you can use scar gels and a special brown tape that will speed up the healing process. Avoiding the sun and topical irritants is key to minimizing the appearance of scars.
It is extremely important to keep in mind that everyone has a different outcome depending on the volume of fat cells removed and the specific area of treatment.
How do I minimize the appearance of scars after liposuction?
The incisions with liposuction are typically small; however what the patient does to take care of their incisions is crucial to minimizing the appearance of their scars. One of the key elements of proper incision healing is to leave the incision site alone as well as any dressings or tape that may have been used. Tapes or steri-strips may cover incisions. Steri-stripes are to be left alone and will fall off on their own. In some cases, the surgeon will be able to remove them in the office. It is advised to wear loose fitting clothes so they do not snag or irritate the incisions. Most incisions will heal nicely in two weeks when proper care instructions are followed. Once an incision has healed your surgeon can give you recommendations on how to minimize any scar that is left behind from the incision. Typically silicone gel or ointment as well as brown tape will help with scarring. Avoiding sun exposure and topical skin irritants will aid in scar healing.
Photo Gallery preview
What is a compression garment for liposuction?
A postoperative compression garment is key to optimizing your results after liposuction. Compression garments provide external gentle pressure in the areas where liposuction was performed. The external pressure from a compression garment helps to:
- Minimize swelling (edema)
- Decreasing or even stop bruising on the skin
- Improve blood and fluid circulation in the body
- Helps the skin to retract to its new position and minimize loose skin formation around liposuction areas
- Help to achieve desired contoured figure
The length of time a patient is required to wear the compression garment is dependent on the area and amount of liposuction that was performed. Typically, the more fat that was removed and the more dramatic the results the longer the garment will be advised to be worn.
For the best and most effective results, the garment should fit the patient snugly but not be too tight as it can be difficult to move around or cause pressure problems. Edema refers to a condition in which excess water fluid is collected in cavities or tissues of the body. Once the edema resolves in the patient, the patient may be advised to switch over to a smaller garment or a spanx type garment.
It is to be noted that a compression garment that is too fitted on the body can prolong swelling and edema. Excessive compression can damage the normal function of lymphatic capillaries which leads to inflamed tissues from the treatment sites. Make sure to advise your surgeon if you suspect that your garment may not be the proper size for your body.
Is Liposuction Permanent?
Liposuction is permanent if maintained with proper diet and exercise. Liposuction removes the fat cells from the treatment area of the body and these cells do not grow back. The patient should maintain a stable weight so the procedure remains optimal. If the patient were to gain an excessive amount of weight following the procedure, their overall appearance will change due to excess fat storing in other areas of the body that were not treated.
The patient’s body shape and contour can be affected by a few different factors:
- Heredity and lifestyle factors
- Excess weight gain
Take home message: maintain a stable weight in order to preserve the longevity of your newly contoured body.
What other cosmetic surgical procedures is liposuction commonly combined with?
Liposuction can be performed along with a few different procedures, most commonly they include:
- Brachioplasty/arm lift
- Thigh lift
- Body Lift
- Abdominoplasty/Tummy tuck
- Brazillian Butt Lift
- Fat transfer to the face and breasts
Can fat obtained from liposuction be used to inject into other parts of my body?
If you are considering volume augmentation procedures such a breast augmentation, facial volume augmentation or butt augmentation then it is best to have these procedures done at the same time as your liposuction. The fat that is harvested from the liposuction is then injected into desired areas of the body to create more volume. The most common area for fat transfer is typical to the face, breasts as well as the buttocks.
Does liposuction help with the appearance of cellulite?
Cellulite can be seen even in patients that have very little body fat. Cellulite is due to fatty deposits that pass through layers of connective tissue or collagen that is directly under the skin. Genetics as well as weight gain play a role in the amount of cellulite one has.
A common myth of liposuction is that it gets rid of cellulite. Liposuction shapes one’s body and uses tiny incisions to suction out fat cells. Liposuction does not typically help with the appearance of cellulite, however it should not make it worse.
Is laser liposuction or Cool Sculpting® able to achieve the same results as surgical liposuction?
The results achieved with Laser liposuction and Cool Sculpting® will never been as profound as those that can be achieved with surgical liposuction. For patients desiring a subtle result and who want to avoid having an operation and anesthesia, laser liposuction or Cool Sculpting® may be a great alternative. Laser liposuction or lipolysis uses heat from fiber-optic lasers at a variety of wavelengths to help melt body fat. CoolSculpting® is a noninvasive fat-reduction procedure that freezes fat cells. Overtime, the frozen fat cells die and the body removes them. Results from laser liposuction as well as Cool Sculpting® typically takes a few weeks and with multiple sessions to be more dramatic. Surgical liposuction is a one time and done procedure that allows for higher volumes of fat cells to be removed as well as contouring of the body.
What is a surgical drain and how will I know if I may have one?
Surgical drains are placed within the surgical incision sites in order to drain out any excess body fluid and blood. Drains help prevent swelling and decrease buildup of pressure in treatment areas. If you have a drain our surgeon will instruct you on how to properly empty its contents and take care of it. Drains are removed in office by our surgeon. Patients are also advised to watch our video on drain management. With liposuction alone you will not have a drain, however if you liposuction procedure is combined with more invasive surgery it may be necessary to place a surgical drain.
How do I manage my surgical drain?
Once a patient is sent home with a drain, it is crucial to take good care of the drain to ensure it does not fall out. When caring for the drain, ensure to clean the site with clean hands, then proceed to cleanse the area gently and rinse well. Avoid bathing in the tub with an unhealed incision. It is also important to pay attention to the type of draining you are having. The drainage is typically a pink tinged cloudy fluid. If the drainage is bright red blood or its contents are more pus colored be sure to inform your surgeon. Abnormal drainage should be reported immediately to your surgeon.
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The Liposuction Consultation with Dr. Anderson
To begin the liposuction process, potential patients will need to schedule a liposuction consultation with Dr. Anderson. This appointment allows an individual to get to know the surgeon and learn more about the available liposuction techniques. Dr. Anderson will carefully go over the medical history and perform a physical exam. She will discuss the patient’s needs and desires, listening to what they would like to get from their liposuction procedure. Dr. Anderson will use before/after photographs of her most recent patients to help patients get a good idea of their potential results. Any remaining questions will be answered at this time.
If Dr. Anderson determines liposuction will be the best treatment for the patient’s needs, she will put together a personalized surgical plan. She will review the instructions for before and after the liposuction procedure. Before the patient leaves, the exact cost of the liposuction treatment will be determined, and the patient coordinator will review all payment options.
How can you get started towards a liposuction procedure with Dr. Erica Anderson?
If you are thinking that liposuction may be the answer for those stubborn areas of fatty tissue, schedule a consultation at the Naderi Center. Appointments can be made in the Reston, Virginia office at 703.481.0002, as well as the Chevy Chase, Maryland office at 301.222.2020. Online consultations are also available for those not in the area.
Why choose Dr. Anderson
- Dr. Erica Anderson is Board Certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery.
- She is a member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, Southeastern Society of Plastic Surgeons & Georgia Surgical Society.
- Dr. Anderson completed a rare and highly sought after additional year of advanced training in Aesthetic Surgery at Grotting Plastic Surgery in Birmingham,
- She has been a long time Assistant Professor in the Division of Plastic Surgery at Emory University, a prestigious and well known academic university hospital in Atlanta, Georgia
- Dr. Anderson is a skilled and artistic Plastic Surgeon focused and dedicated to the cosmetic and reconstructive surgery of the breast and body.
Liposuction is a moderately invasive procedure designed to eliminate isolated areas of stubborn, bulging areas of fatty tissue. By removing these isolated deposits of fat, Dr. Anderson can sculpt a more toned, slender body.
Dr. Anderson’s liposuction procedure will take on average an hour per area to perform. The length of the surgery will depend on the individual patient and their desired correction.
Most liposuction patients are feeling good enough to return to work in a week or less.
The fat cells that are eliminated using liposuction cannot regrow. However, if a healthy diet and exercise routine are not followed, a patient can still gain weight, and the surrounding fat cells will expand. Although the aging process can cause changes to the body, the benefits of liposuction will still be seen.
Liposuction has been performed for years, and is considered a safe procedure when done with a skilled practitioner. Dr. Anderson has extensive skill in the liposuction procedure. However, on the rare chance complications can occur, these may include bleeding, infection, contour irregularites, and asymmetry.
When fat is removed from liposuction it will never return. However, not all of the fat cells are removed during the procedure. The leftover fat cells can and will increase in size and grow if weight is gained with time. It is always important to maintain a healthy diet and lifestyle after liposuction in order to prolong and sustain your liposuction results.