Liposuction: A RealSelf Glossary

Liposuction is one of the most popular procedures on RealSelf, and is often combined with other surgeries to address stubborn fat and improve contours on the abdomen and waist, hips and thighs, and cheeks, chin, and neck. 

Don't know the difference between banana rolls and bra rolls? What about love handles and saddlebags? It's OK, here's a vocabulary lesson so you can navigate your lipo journey with ease. 

Apple-shaped body

A body shape with a wide torso, broad shoulders, and a full waist and upper back. These people are "top heavy" and often have have thinner arms, legs, and hips, and tend to gain weight at the waist. People with an apple-shaped body often look into liposuction to obtain a curvier physique.

Arnica

A herbal remedy in pill, liquid, or cream format. Many people use this following surgery to help reduce bruising and swelling. It is known as Arnica montana, sometimes referred to as wolf's bane, among others. Always seek your doctor's approval before taking.

Banana rolls

Slang to describe a roll of fat underneath the butt cheek or buttock roll and above the thigh.

*Treatment results may vary


Bra roll

Slang for the fat deposits on your side/underarm that extends to the bra strap area of the back.



BMI

Abbreviation for “Body Mass Index.” Measured through weight and height, BMI is often used to determine if an individual qualifies for liposuction or other procedure. Higher BMI patients are less likely to get a significant improvement from body-contouring procedures.


*Treatment results may vary

Dr. Thomas Pane, a Palm Beach, Fla., plastic surgeon, describes whether a patient is a good candidate for liposuction, tummy tuck, or both.



Bromelain

Enzymes extracted from pineapples and made into a herbal supplement to aid the reduction of swelling, bruising, inflammation, and pain. Always ask your doctor before taking.

cc

An abbreviation for cubic centimeters. A cc is a metric measurement of volume that allows the surgeon to know the amount of material (fat, injected fluid, etc.) removed during liposuction. 1,000 cc’s is approximately equal to one liter.

Coke bottle

Slang for describing a woman’s body that looks like a Coca Cola bottle, straight and narrow torso with wide, curvy hips. Different from the hourglass figure in that Coke bottle bodies are a little fuller in the hips and buttocks than on top.

*Treatment results may vary


Compression garment

After liposuction, a plastic surgeon may require the patient to wear a compression garment from two weeks to two months. The garment is crucial because it decreases the amount of bruising and swelling and helps loose skin retract. Compression garments can be made of various materials, including elastic or foam.

Doll/Barbie

RealSelf members will sometimes form a network comprised solely of their doctor’s other patients, which is demonstrated by adding Doll/Barbie to any doctor’s name. Doll/Barbie is also often used as a term of endearment toward other members pursuing or contemplating liposuction.

DR

Abbreviation for the Dominican Republic, where many travel for liposuction.

Faja

A common compression garment used after liposuction that includes a waist-cincher. Fajas come in various styles and sometimes have a cutout for the buttocks. They are used to create body curves through long-term wear.

Flanks

A term used to describe the fat deposits between your ribs and hips/buttocks.

Girdle

Another form of compression garment, which mainly focuses on the stomach/waist area.

Hardness

A result of liposuction that occurs during recovery. The body sends extra blood vessels to the traumatized area to aid in healing, which results in increased swelling and hard areas. Sometimes, these hard areas can cause lumps, which are treated with a lymphatic drainage massage, ultrasound, and radiofrequency treatment.

HD or hi-def lipo

A type of liposuction that helps to define musculature (for example, sculpt a six pack) and tighten skin at the same time. The body shape is contoured to a more athletic, sculpted appearance. 

Hourglass

Describes a body shaped like an hourglass. This is often the desired outcome when receiving liposuction of the stomach/hip area.

*Treatment results may vary


Lipo

Slang for liposuction. It treats areas of excess fat and improves body contour. Alternatives to traditional liposuction include energy-based technologies such as ultrasound and laser liposuction.

Love handles

A term to describe the deposits of fat in a person’s waistline. People often describe these as unsightly bulges on their sides that are visible over pants or shorts.

*Treatment results may vary


Lymphatic massage

A massage performed by a licensed therapist to help reduce swelling after liposuction.


*Treatment results may vary

Dr. Jason Emer, a Beverly Hills dermatologic surgeon, explains lymphatic massage.



Pear-shaped body

This describes a woman’s body when her hips are wider than her bust. She may have big thighs and a small buttock as well.           

Post-op

Short for “Post-operation.” A term used to describe the period of time after surgery.

Pre-op

Short for “Pre-operation.” A term used to describe the period of time before the liposuction procedure.

Recovery house (RH)

A facility staffed with 24-hour nurses and caretakers that offers a place to recover in privacy. Typically, these facilities are for people who have traveled to a different state or country for surgery.

Saddlebags

A term to describe protruding fat deposits on the side of a woman’s hips. Often referred to as the "outer thighs."

*Treatment results may vary


SmartLipo

A procedure that uses a laser energy device to liquefy fat. This differs from liposuction, which treats fat through a hollow metal tube passed through the fatty tissue. Often SmartLipo is done before physical removal of fatty tissue.

Stubborn fat

A term to describe fat that is difficult to treat through a healthy diet and consistent exercise.

SX

Abbreviation for surgery.

Travel buddy

Many people find the idea of traveling to surgery, especially if it’s outside the country, scary to do alone. Instead of taking a solo trip, many will look for a travel buddy and take the trip together.

Wish pic

A photograph of someone who has your dream body. Aside from providing inspiration, a wish pic can help convey your desired results to the doctor.


This guide has been reviewed for accuracy and bias by Dr. Jason Emer, an independent expert and Beverly Hills dermatologic surgeon. It has also been vetted by the RealSelf Editorial Team for adherence to our Brand-Sponsored Content Guidelines.


Disclaimer: This content is for educational and informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment provided by a qualified healthcare professional. Your reliance on any information or content provided in the guide is solely at your own risk. You should always seek the advice of your physician or healthcare professional for any questions you have about your own medical condition. RealSelf does not endorse or recommend any specific content, procedure, product, opinion, healthcare professional, or any other material or information in this guide or anywhere on this website.


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