Liposuction FAQs

Liposuction is a popular procedure at my plastic surgery practice in Las Vegas. While many patients come in for consultations knowing that they want liposuction, they often still have questions about the procedure. Here I’m sharing the top 10 frequently asked questions to help educate readers and patients.

1. Who is a good candidate for liposuction?
The best candidates for liposuction are at a normal weight with firm, elastic skin and have distinct areas of unwanted fat. During your initial consultation, we will determine whether you are a candidate for liposuction or another procedure.

2. Will liposuction get rid of cellulite?
Liposuction does not eliminate cellulite. Cellulaze can minimize cellulite, and I often use this treatment along with liposuction or on its own.

3. What is Smartlipo TriPlex?
Unlike its predecessors, Smartlipo uses three different wavelengths of laser energy to liquefy fat cells and tighten the skin through increased collagen production. Past Smartlipo lasers did not include the innovative skin-tightening potential of today’s system. Only the new Smartlipo Triplex has the skin-tightening specific laser. Although Smartlipo takes longer to perform, it has a shorter recovery time and is more effective for removing larger areas of fat.

4. How much does liposuction cost?
Smartlipo typically costs $2,499 for the first area and $999 for each additional area. There are added costs for use of the skin-tightening laser and procedure room fees. We offer simple financing options. Traditional liposuction costs will vary with the area of the body and whether any additional procedures are needed.

5. What should you look for in a surgeon who is performing your procedure?
Make sure your surgeon is board-certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery. They should also have experience, a good reputation and credentials, and up-to-date technology. Make sure to look at their photo gallery. I’ve performed liposuction of several thousand areas since I’ve been in practice. I usually perform liposuction of more than 20 areas each month.

6. How long does traditional liposuction take? How long does Smartlipo take?
Traditional liposuction takes about 1-1.5 hours, depending on the area and whether liposuction is combined with other procedures. Smartlipo procedures usually take 1.5- 2 hours, depending on the areas being treated.

7. What happens during the procedure?
For traditional liposuction, I administer local anesthesia (general anesthesia is available). Then the fat is infused with a highly diluted local anesthetic to distend the fat cells, which makes it easier to extract and contour. I insert a narrow tube, or cannula, through a small incision and vacuum the fat layer deep beneath the skin. I use the cannula to break up the fat cells in that area and then suction them out. The Smartlipo procedure is the same as above, however, I use the three different wavelengths of lasers to melt the fat, decrease swelling and bruising, and tighten the skin.

At the end of the procedure, I place an elastic compression garment over treated areas to control swelling and to reduce the risk of fluid buildup beneath the skin. You are then monitored for 1-2 hours in the recovery room and then discharged into the company of an adult friend or family member.

8. Will the fat grow back after liposuction?
To maintain your results, it’s important to eat right and exercise. The body does not create more fat cells after they are removed.

9. I don’t like my belly. How do I know if I need liposuction or a tummy tuck?
Liposuction is used to remove areas of excess fat. Smartlipo can help the skin become firmer and tighter, but it’s not for patients with a lot of extra skin. A tummy tuck is a surgical procedure I perform to remove loose, stretched skin and repair separated abdominal muscles. I often use liposuction to remove areas of fat when I perform tummy tuck surgery. During your consultation, I will perform a physical exam to determine which procedure is best suited to your needs.

10. I am unhappy with my liposuction results from another practice. Can you help?
Yes. I frequently see patients for correction of previous liposuction procedures. Often I perform Smartlipo, Cellulaze, and fat grafting to correct contour irregularities from liposuction performed by other providers.

If you have more questions about liposuction, feel free to share them in the comments section. I’m happy to answer!

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