Liposuction Overview

By RealSelf
Amazing liposuction before and after pictures from the RealSelf community.

Liposuction is an invasive procedure used to treat areas of excess fat and improve contouring in areas like the abdomen, hips, thighs, chest, and butt, among others. (For comparison, liposuction is more invasive than CoolSculpting and less invasive than a tummy tuck.) Liposuction removes fat, but it is not meant for removing large quantities of fat, battling obesity, or to be used as a weight loss substitute. It also isn't a great option for treating cellulite, getting rid of stretch marks, or tightening the abdominal wall and/or loose skin.

There is a lot of misinformation out there about liposuction, so we took time to bust the 10 biggest myths around the procedure here

How Much Does Liposuction Cost? 
Liposuction has a Worth It Rating of 79% and has an average cost of $5,925. You can view our liposuction average cost map here

How Does Liposuction Work?
Example of cannulas, which are used in liposuction.

Though there are many liposuction techniques, the basic technique involves the removal of fat through a thin, hollow metal tube called a cannula (see photo above, via dockapeps on Instagram).

MORE: Review of Different Liposuction Techniques (VIDEO)

Several types of liposuction surgery commonly use these procedures: 
  • With suction-assisted liposuction (SAL), which is the traditional method, fat is sucked out with the help of a vacuum pump attached to the cannula. 
  • Power-assisted liposuction (PAL) utilizes a vibrating cannula that helps to break up the fatty tissue, making it easier to remove.
  • Ultrasonic liposuction also breaks up fatty tissue prior to removal through the cannula, but does so using sound waves instead of physical disruption.
Top Liposuction Questions Answered:
3 Tips to Viewing Liposuction Before and After Photos
Because everyone's body is different, you will not be able to completely predict your own results from looking at photos. Liposuction is individualized depending upon the patient's needs, so there isn't a "cookie cutter" approach that works for everyone. Here are some things to keep in mind when viewing our liposuction photo gallery:
  1. Look for photos of someone who resembles you "before" surgery. When looking at pictures of liposuction surgery (or any plastic surgery, for that matter) look for patients who have the same general body type as you do.
  2. Final results may be difficult to detect. Every photo is taken at different recovery periods post-operation. During a consultation ask for this information and for which doctor performed the procedure.
  3. Bottom line: The liposuction results you see in before and after photos give you a good sense of a plastic surgeon's skills and experience.

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