Liposuction, or liposculpture, is not a substitute for healthy weight loss through diet and exercise. However, many people simply cannot get areas of fat to go away, no matter how much they exercise or diet.

Are you someone who has spent countless hours in the gym or tried all sorts of fat-busting diets, only to see little change in your appearance? If so, Dr. Wally Zollman can help you through the liposuction techniques used at his practice.

What Is Liposuction?

Liposuction is a surgical technique utilized for removing excess fat that has collected in isolated areas of the body. The procedure can be performed in a variety of body regions, including the:

  • Arms
  • Abdomen
  • Legs
  • Ankles
  • Flanks (love handles)
  • Back
  • Neck
  • Buttocks
  • And other areas

While it is possible to undergo liposuction at almost any age, you will obtain the best results if your skin has enough elasticity to give your body some contour following fat removal. When skin is inelastic, as it can be in some older patients, the body’s skin is more likely to sag after liposuction surgery, and the patient may therefore need a skin tightening procedure. Also, it is possible to regain the removed fat by overeating. During your initial consultation with Dr. Zollman, he will evaluate your needs and talk with you about your goals. If liposuction is the best option for you, he can create a customized treatment plan designed to meet your expectations. If liposuction is not the ideal treatment to attain your goals, Dr. Zollman can recommend potential alternatives that may be of benefit.

What are the Benefits of Liposuction?

For many people, liposuction surgery is a starting point for a whole new diet and exercise regimen. For others, it is a way to combat areas of the body that have historically been a source of physical discomfort and undesirable contour. Liposuction can help you achieve a new waist, or a curvaceous new body, both of which can be hidden underneath your body’s excess fat. It also has the benefits of minimal scarring when compared to other cosmetic procedures. However, although the benefits of liposuction will be significantly noticeable, their long-term efficacy really depends on what your expectations are and how you choose to treat your body following the procedure.

Liposuction Before-and-After Photos

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Liposuction vs. CoolSculpting®

CoolSculpting® is a popular non-surgical alternative to liposuction. This innovative treatment involves the controlled cooling of the excess fat in the targeted body region. This begins a process in which the fat breaks down and is gradually expelled from the body naturally. CoolSculpting® does not require surgical incisions or general anesthesia, and can be performed here at our practice. Patients rarely require downtime after receiving treatment, and most are able to return to their normal activities the following day. CoolSculpting® can produce mild to moderate fat reduction and contour improvement in the treated area, and results can take one to three months to become apparent. Patients may also need multiple CoolSculpting® treatments in order to achieve their desired results.

By contrast, liposuction is a surgical procedure that directly removes excess fat cells from the targeted area, and patients generally only need one treatment in order to obtain their desired results. Liposuction can also provide more dramatic—and immediate—outcomes than CoolSculpting®, as it is able to remove larger volumes of fat. It is important to note that, unlike CoolSculpting®, liposuction does require a recovery period, the duration of which is typically based on the volume of fat being removed and the number of regions being treated.

Whether liposuction or CoolSculpting® is the best option for your goals can be determined during your initial consultation with Dr. Zollman. He will evaluate the areas of concern and recommend the treatment that can best serve your expectations.

Liposuction vs. Tummy Tuck Surgery

Liposuction and tummy tuck surgery are both effective procedures for patients looking to enhance the appearance of their abdominal region, but they are designed to accomplish different goals. Liposuction is designed to target and remove stubborn excess fat that is unresponsive to weight loss or exercise. This procedure is ideal for those whose cosmetic goals can be achieved through fat reduction and sculpting alone. Tummy tuck surgery, on the other hand, targets loose skin and stretched muscles in order to firm and tighten the abdominal region. Massive weight loss patients, patients who have had their skin and muscles stretched by pregnancy, and patients with sagging skin may benefit from an abdominoplasty. In some cases, Dr. Zollman may recommend combining liposuction with a tummy tuck in order to address both excess fat and skin in the abdominal area.

What Are the Types of Liposuction Available?

Variables of the surgical procedure will be discussed during your liposuction consultation at our cosmetic surgery practice. Dr. Zollman can talk with you about the advanced liposuction techniques that are available. In most cases, Dr. Zollman utilizes a technique known as tumescent liposuction:

Tumescent Liposuction

During the tumescent liposuction surgery favored by Dr. Zollman, large amounts of fluid (a mixture of saline and epinephrine) are injected into the area of the body where the fat will be removed. Tumescent liposuction (called “super-wet liposuction technique” by some surgeons) allows Dr. Zollman to more easily remove the fat. In addition, the tumescent liposuction technique reduces blood loss.

Depending on your needs and desired results, Dr. Zollman may outline other plastic surgery procedures that can be combined with liposuction for a more optimal outcome, including a tummy tuck, buttock augmentation, and breast reduction. He will be happy to answer any questions you may have.

What Is Liposuction Recovery Like?

The recovery process is somewhat different for each patient depending on the type and extent of liposuction that has been performed. In general, patients can expect some degree of swelling and bruising in the treatment areas, which should dissipate over the next few weeks. Individuals who have larger amounts of excess fat removed may experience swelling in the treatment areas for several months following the liposuction procedure. Even so, most patients are able to return to work and other daily activities within one week. Dr. Zollman often advises patients to wear a compression garment during the healing process to facilitate recovery; medication can often be prescribed to control discomfort. Depending on the particulars of each patient’s customized liposuction procedure, visible scarring is typically minimal since the incisions required for liposuction are usually very small.

Are There Any Side Effects With Liposuction?

As with any surgical procedure, there are several possible (though rare) risks of side effects that can potentially result from liposuction, including excessive bleeding, bruising, contour-irregularities, and infection. However, these risks can be significantly minimized by choosing a board-certified plastic surgeon with extensive experience performing liposuction, and by carefully following your post-surgical care instructions. 

Side effects during recovery will generally vary based on several factors, including the amount of fat removed and the number of regions treated. Patients who have had larger amounts of excess fat removed will typically experience a higher degree of swelling and may need to stay in the hospital overnight. For patients seeking a standard amount of fat reduction (typically less than 5 litres, or 11 pounds), tumescent liposuction—where a solution of saline and epinephrine is injected into the fat removal site—can help prevent excess blood loss and swelling. Dr. Zollman will carefully go over both the possible side effects of the procedure and the best practices for minimizing your risks during the consultation.

How Noticeable Are Liposuction Scars?

All surgical procedures result in some scarring, but liposuction scars are generally discreet and minimally visible when compared with those left by other cosmetic procedures. The cannula(s) used to remove fat from the targeted region(s) are inserted through small incisions, typically less than one inch long. Since liposuction can be used effectively in a number of different body regions, the number of incisions needed can vary based on both the treatment location and the volume of fat being removed. In many cases, the incisions can be made along natural folds or contours of the skin, rendering the scars nearly unnoticeable. For optimal results and scar minimization, Dr. Zollman recommends carefully following your post-surgical instructions. Once the scars have fully healed, sun protection and scar-lightening ointments can be used to further encourage fading.

How Long Do the Results of Liposuction Last?

The results of liposuction can last for many years if patients maintain a stable weight and healthy lifestyle after the procedure. Fat cells do not naturally regenerate, meaning that those removed through liposuction are gone for good. However, patients sometimes mistakenly conflate liposuction with permanent weight loss, and that is not the case. Fat cells are distributed throughout the body, and when you gain weight following a liposuction procedure, the cells in untreated regions will still change in response to weight fluctuations. Furthermore, there are generally still fat cells left behind in the treated areas after liposuction, and major weight gain can cause those cells to expand as well, compromising your results.

Ultimately, liposuction can be an effective method of fat reduction and contouring for those who are generally at or near their desired weight, and who are committed to maintaining a healthy lifestyle. It is not a means of weight loss, nor can it prevent long-term changes in body size and shape without a conscious, reciprocal effort on the part of the patient.

Are There Alternatives to Liposuction?

For patients who are considering options to remove excess fat from specific body areas, there are alternatives to liposuction that can be explored. Whether these options may be effective for each person’s unique needs and goals can be determined once Dr. Zollman has performed an evaluation during the initial consultation. One such alternative is CoolSculpting®, which is a non-surgical solution for removing excess fat using innovative cooling technology. When the fat cells are exposed to cold, they freeze. The body then naturally metabolizes and expels the damaged cells, leading to a reduction in fat cells over the course of one to three months. This procedure can be performed in-office, and it typically requires no downtime. CoolSculpting® is generally recommended for patients who have mild to moderate amounts of excess fat in certain body areas that can be successfully addressed with this technique and who have reservations about undergoing surgery.

How Much Does Liposuction Cost?

The average cost of liposuction at Zollman Plastic Surgery typically falls in the $7,000 and $9,000 range; however, the price of this procedure can be highly variable among patients since it is customized to each individual’s needs and goals. Factors that will affect the total price of liposuction include the specific technique utilized, the number of areas being treated, the size and extent of the treatment areas, fees for the surgeon, facility, and anesthesia, any post-operative garments that may be necessary, and other associated costs. Once your treatment plan has been developed during the consultation, a member of our team at Zollman Plastic Surgery can produce an estimate for the cost of all expenses associated with your liposuction procedure and talk with you about payment options. Our practice accepts many convenient forms of payment, including plastic surgery financing arrangements through reputable companies such as CareCredit® and Federal Credit Union. We can help you find the way to pay for your liposuction procedure that works best for your budget.

Contact Our Leading Liposuction Surgeon in Indianapolis, Indiana

For advanced procedures such as liposuction, patients can trust in the experience of Dr. Zollman. He is respected by other cosmetic surgeons and patients alike for his expertise in liposuction surgeries. To schedule a liposuction consultation, contact our plastic surgeon, Wally Zollman, M.D., today.

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8227 Northwest Blvd. Suite 290
Indianapolis, Indiana 46278