The human eye is hardwired to perceive symmetry as attractive. There is a mathematical equation called “the golden ratio” that artists, including plastic surgeons, strive to achieve. It is the ideal balance between your upper and lower torso. Unfortunately, despite a healthful diet and regular exercise regime, some patients struggle with areas of extra fat. Even a slight bulge in an otherwise slender and/or fit physique can throw off your body’s harmony. This may make you look and feel not your best. Liposuction is a fantastic procedure for reducing areas of unwanted fat in order to re-contour and rejuvenate your body. It is one of the most popular aesthetic procedures in the world due to its versatility and efficacy.
- Ideal Candidates for Body Contouring
- Liposuction is for Body Contouring, Not Weight Loss
- Most Common Treatment Areas with Liposuction in Boston
- Liposuction and Radiofrequency for Skin Tightening
- Liposuction Procedure
- Anesthesia Options & Liposuction
- Realistic Recovery from Body Contouring with Liposuction
- FAQs about Liposuction
Board-Certified Plastic Surgeon, Dr. Sean Doherty, is an expert in all areas of body contouring including liposuction. Having studied ancient Greek and Roman sculpture as part of his undergraduate degree in Art History, he has a deep appreciation, respect for and knowledge of the human form. He understands the best procedure or procedures for delivering proper proportion to your unique anatomy, and always takes a 360° approach with each body contouring patient that he sees. Whether or not liposuction is right for you is going to come down to your desired outcome, your needs and your tolerance for downtime.
*Each patient is unique and individual results may vary.
Ideal Candidates for Body Contouring
The ideal candidate for liposuction is any man or woman in good overall health, including the skin, and who is bothered by pockets of “pinchable” fat. This is fat that you can grab and pull away from the body. It is also important that your skin have enough elasticity to “bounce back” or reform over your new contour. If, for example, you are bothered by excess fat in your abdomen, probably the number one problem area for both men and women, but you also have a large degree of loose skin, you may be a better candidate for a tummy tuck with liposuction as opposed to the latter on its own. Fat that is on the inside of the abdomen, also known as visceral or intra-abdominal fat, is not able to be treated with liposuction. This is why it’s so important to book an in-person consultation.
During your meeting, Dr. Doherty will listen intently to what bothers you about your appearance. He will perform a thorough physical exam to assess:
- Degree of excess fat
- Severity, if any, of skin laxity
- Skin texture
- Proportion of upper torso to lower torso
- Laxity of abdominal wall
- Presence of visceral or intra-abdominal fat
Together, you will discuss the best procedure or procedures for delivering on your goals. Liposuction is a surgical procedure and does require an investment in terms of downtime versus a non-surgical body contouring procedure such as SculpSure® or Coolsculpting®. However, it is the gold standard as it gives Dr. Doherty the most access in order to completely re-shape your entire torso.
Celebrity plastic surgery has become increasingly popular, but it’s important to consider the risks and potential consequences before undergoing a liposuction procedure.
Liposuction is for Body Contouring, Not Weight Loss
Something that confuses many patients about liposuction is the fact that it is not a weight loss technique. In fact, the needle on the scale may only move a few pounds following your procedure. However, creating and/or restoring proper proportion to your torso will make you look longer, leaner and more youthful. These results will last as long as you keep your weight stable. The reason for this is simple. The fat cells that are siphoned off during your liposuction procedure are gone for good, but the fat cells that remain will grow larger if you gain weight. This is why it is so important to embrace a healthful diet and regular exercise regime after your procedure. Many patients feel so much better after liposuction that maintaining a healthy lifestyle is really a no-brainer.
Most Common Treatment Areas with Liposuction in Boston
One of the best things about liposuction is the fact that it is one of the most versatile aesthetic procedures. Dr. Doherty can target small to larger degrees of excess fat on many areas of your body with liposuction including the:
- Upper Arms
Liposuction, also called lipo-sculpture, can be a stand-alone procedure or combined with another procedure such as a tummy tuck, breast lift, gynecomastia, breast augmentation and/or Renuvion® for skin tightening.
Liposuction and Radiofrequency for Skin Tightening
While liposuction is an excellent option for removing unwanted fat, it does not lift or surgically tighten loose skin. This is typically not a problem for younger patients whose skin still has enough elasticity to contract and re-form over their new leaner body contour. In older patients, however, skin elasticity can be an issue. With every passing birthday after age 25, your skin loses both collagen and elastin. The end result of this gradual decline is skin laxity. As discussed, there are surgical procedures such as a tummy tuck to address excess fat and sagging skin, but not every patient wants or necessarily needs to have skin excised. For someone with a mild to moderate amount of looseness in the skin and excess fat, the combination of Renuvion® and liposuction can be a game changer.
Renuvion® is a cutting-edge technology that uses helium gas energized by radiofrequency (RF) waves to tighten the skin. The results can be considerably more radical than other non-surgical body contouring RF procedures since Renuvion®/J-Plasma is able to heat and cool the skin in your treatment area simultaneously. This is what allows it to deliver a more “wow” result without damaging any tissue. Whether or not Renuvion® is an appropriate choice for you is something that will be discussed during your initial consultation.
There are a number of different liposuction techniques. Dr. Doherty is adept in all of them including:
- Tumescent liposuction: This is the technique that Dr. Doherty uses when treating a big area and/or removing a large amount of excess fat. During a tumescent liposuction procedure, he will inject your treatment area with a saline solution containing small amounts of adrenaline as well as a local anesthetic. Since this helps to reduce blood loss, it allows him to remove a larger quantity of fat, and significantly reduces post-op bruising and swelling. This ensures a more comfortable recovery.
- Laser Liposuction: There are a number of different laser liposuction techniques on the market today. Dr. Doherty prefers SmartLipo®. This technique uses the latest advanced technology to deliver wavelengths of laser light that are specifically designed to target and melt large areas of extra fat with ease. Dr. Doherty likes this technique for some patients as it allows him to sculpt your new contour without tearing through your tissue structure. This reduces body trauma while still providing you with significant fat reduction. Another benefit of laser liposuction is that it may deliver some degree of skin tightening. This technique is often utilized on patients who have already had a liposuction procedure.
- Syringe Liposuction: This is the method that Dr. Doherty typically uses to treat the smaller and more delicate areas of the body such as your chin, neck and jowls. It utilizes a liposuction syringe instead of a suction pump to remove the fat so that Dr. Doherty may more accurately achieve the finely contoured detail that these delicate areas require.
The right technique for you is going to depend on your anatomy, desired outcome and skin laxity. Regardless of which one you choose, Dr. Doherty will first make a series of very small incisions throughout your treatment area. Next, he will inject tumescent fluid to hydrate and numb the area. With the exception of the syringe technique, he will then insert a hollow metal tube or cannula through which he will remove the unwanted fat in order to create the smoother, slimmer and more energized looking body contour that you both desire.
*Each patient is unique and individual results may vary.
Anesthesia Options & Liposuction
Versatility is one of the main benefits of a liposuction procedure. Dr. Doherty can remove unwanted fat from many areas on your body, customizing the procedure to your needs. This extends to your anesthesia options as well. Liposuction is a surgical procedure that can be performed under both general anesthesia and local anesthesia. The right choice for you will depend on your surgical plan and personal preference. Some patients feel more comfortable going “under” while others like the potentially faster recovery time of local anesthesia. Generally, if Dr. Doherty is treating multiple parts of your body at once and/or a large treatment area, he will recommend general anesthesia as it is the safer option for prolonged operative times. All of these options will be discussed with you in detail during your initial consultation.
Realistic Recovery from Body Contouring with Liposuction
One of the key components to patient satisfaction and feeling happy with your results is realistic expectations. This is especially important when it comes to recovery. Many surgeons downplay the hard truths of recovery from a body contouring procedure with liposuction. This is not how Dr. Doherty operates. He is a firm believer in being extremely honest and upfront about exactly what you can expect in terms of your liposuction recovery.
A patient’s recovery is always, to a certain extent, going to be unique as everybody deals with trauma differently. This is why Dr. Doherty will take considerable time during your initial consultation to ask you about prior procedures and the amount of swelling and/or bruising you experienced. This will help to establish a baseline. In general, however, you can expect the following. Any liposuction patient will be fitted with an elastic compression garment that he or she will need to wear 24/7 for three weeks and then for 12 hours a day for the following two months. This will reduce swelling, and aid in your recovery.
Most patients can gradually return to work and/or their daily routine within a few days of the procedure. Dr. Doherty wants his liposuction patients to be up and walking soon after surgery in order to maximize blood circulation, encourage lymphatic return and improve healing. He does ask that you refrain from more strenuous activities for 3 weeks post-surgery. The great thing about liposuction is that your new body contour will be visible immediately, and these results will continue to improve over time. It can take anywhere from 3-6 months for all of your swelling to subside. However, being vigilant about wearing your compression garment, walking, and eating a healthful low salt diet will definitely speed up the process so that before you know it, you will finally be wearing those dream jeans.
*Each patient is unique and individual results may vary.
To find out more about body contouring with liposuction, or any other surgical or non-surgical procedure with Dr. Sean Doherty at his Boston or Brookline office, contact us today or call 617-450-0070 to schedule a consultation.
FAQs about Liposuction
Yes. This is always a sticking point with my liposuction patients, but a compression garment is a critical component of your procedure. It helps to reduce swelling which not only improves your comfort level, but also improves your end result. You’ve spent a lot of time and money to get your proper body contour so really, what is a couple of months of a compression garment in the big scheme of things?
Liposuction is a surgical procedure while Coolsculpting® and SculpSure® are two popular non-surgical body contouring procedures. The advantage of a non-surgical approach is a faster recovery. The downside is that it’s not a great option for a large amount of fat and it gives me less precision to re-contour your body. Also, with a non-surgical approach, you will probably need more than one treatment while liposuction is more often than not a one-and-done procedure.
The price of your liposuction procedure in one of my Boston area offices is going to depend on the treatment area, the amount of fat being removed and which anesthesia option we choose. In general, liposuction on the body is going to cost anywhere from $6,000 – $10,000 while liposuction of the neck costs anywhere between $4,000 – $6,000. Once I examine you in-person during your initial consultation and we come up with the appropriate treatment plan for your needs, I will be able to give you a more precise estimate of the cost of your liposuction.
Without seeing you in-person, it’s impossible to say. However, one of the downsides of liposuction is that it does not address skin laxity or abdominal wall laxity. This is why I will often pair a liposuction procedure with a radifrequency (RF) procedure such as Renuvion® in order to tighten the skin. It works extremely well for mild to moderate skin laxity. But if you have a large degree of excess skin, you may be better served with a tummy tuck.
Subcutaneous fat is what I like to call “pinchable” fat. You can actually grab it and put it away from your body. This is the only type of fat that we can address with liposuction. Visceral fat, on the other hand, is deep fat that wraps around your organs. It can only be improved through lifestyle changes such as a healthful diet and exercise routine.
If you live in the state of Massachusetts, Dr. Sean Doherty offers liposuction among his procedure options. For a full list of services, please visit our locations page.
In the hands of a Board-Certified Plastic Surgeon who specializes in body contouring, like myself, liposuction is generally a safe procedure. However, no aesthetic procedure is without risks. This is why it is critical that you research your chosen provider carefully. You want someone who prioritizes patient safety and whose aesthetic aligns with your own.
I strive to deliver a beautiful smooth contour with all of my liposuction procedures. But perfection is not always immediate. Weird looking lumps and bumps are part of the healing process. As your body works to dissolve the fat and stabilize, your treatment area may appear bumpy. Massaging the area can really help improve these irregularities. Sometimes, however, a few lumps may remain. If this happens, we can typically address it with additional “spot” liposuction in the office under local anesthesia. Some patients may also need steroid injections to help further soften these areas.
Extra fat around the middle is probably the number one problem area for both my male and female patients. Even a tiny bit of extra fat in the wrong place can really distort the look of your torso. The cost of liposuction to the abdomen varies between $7,000 and $9,000 depending on the amount of that we need to remove and whether we do so under general anesthesia or local anesthesia.