What is Liposuction/Lipoplasty?

Liposuction, also known as lipoplasty, or lipo, is a form of cosmetic surgery during which a cosmetic surgeon removes fat from various areas of the body using a suction device.  Giving the appearance of weight loss, areas such as the abdomen, buttocks, thighs, and face are generally the most common places to be contoured through liposuction.  However, the backs of the arms, neck and other areas can also benefit from cosmetic surgery.

Sometimes referred to as plastic surgery, the procedure can be performed under a local, regional, or general anesthesia.  The plastic surgeon works closely with the patient to determine the safest method of anesthesia to use as well as the amount of fat to be removed during the session.

The liposuction may be performed as an outpatient procedure or it may be done in a hospital and could require an overnight stay.  The duration of the procedure will vary depending on how much fat needs to be extracted.   Removing too much fat during the lipoplasty procedure can create surgical risks as well as an unusual appearance to the skin such as lumpiness or dents.  Liposuction also does not improve the appearance of cellulite, it only removes fat.

Although age is not typically a major factor in determining candidacy for plastic surgery, individuals with firm, elastic skin tend to achieve the best results from lipoplasty.  Overall good health, average or slightly above-average weight and concentrated areas of fat which have not responded well to exercise and diet are also qualities of good candidates for liposuction.

General health, skin type, safety and effectiveness of the lipoplasty procedure, expectations, and cost should all be discussed during a consultation with the cosmetic surgeon.  This is the perfect time for the patient to ask any and all questions they may have about lipo.

It is also important to discuss with the plastic surgeon any allergies and medications – prescription, over-the-counter as well as herbal supplements – that are being taken by the patient.  Pre-plastic surgery instructions may include alcohol restrictions, dietary guidelines and avoiding specific vitamins.

Recovery time for liposuction patients will vary, but in most situations, it is relatively brief.  Bruising, swelling and soreness may last for a few weeks, but normal activities can typically be resumed within a few days to around two weeks.  The cosmetic surgeon will advise the patient depending on the type of lipo that is performed as well as the amount of fat removed. For more information the NIH has information here.

For individuals who have found that exercise and/or diet have no effect on some areas of their bodies, utilizing cosmetic surgery through liposuction to contour small bulges and improve their overall appearance can be a practical option.  Korea has become a world leader in cosmetic surgery over the past decade, with hundreds of specialty clinics and  literally tens of thousands of travelers coming into the country every year for plastic surgery and skin treatments. Click here to learn more about the quality, cost and results of plastic surgery in Korea. After visiting Korea for a few short days, you could return home with a new look and decades off your appearance and outlook.