What is Liposuction and How Does it Work?

What is Liposuction?

Liposuction can otherwise be known as liposculpture, lipectomy, lipo, or lipoclastic. It is a type of plastic or cosmetic surgery that basically sucks excess fat from different parts of the body. This kind of surgery is most commonly done on parts of the body such as the thighs (inner or outer), love handles (or flanks), buttocks, abdomen, back, chest, hips, under the chin and on the neckline, or the upper arms. Liposuction permanently removes fat cells from problem parts of the body, but does not remove things like dimples, stretch marks, or cellulite.


How does liposuction work?

During a liposuction treatment, fat is removed through using an instrument called a cannula. The cannula is inserted below the skin and basically acts with as a high pressure vacuum that sucks up the fat underneath. There are different common types of liposuction, including dry liposuction, wet liposuction, and super wet liposuction. Dry liposuction means that local anesthesia is not injected into the fat under the skin before the liposuction procedure. Wet liposuction means that local anesthesia containing epinephrine of around 100 milliliters is injected into the fat before the procedure. Super wet liposuction means that the injection of local anesthesia will be a dilute less than half the volume used for the tumescent technique. When any one of these procedures are carried out, the patient is usually under general anesthetic.


Who should get Liposuction?

Liposuction is not considered a treatment for obesity, and does not aid as a weight loss tool. It is considered a cosmetic surgery with more subtle results.

Patients must be approved as a candidate in order to be able to qualify for this type of cosmetic surgery through a qualified plastic surgeon.

The best candidate would be:

  • Over the age of 18 years old
  • In great health
  • Within 25 pounds of their ideal body weight
  • A person that has deposits of fat that haven’t responded to diets or exercise
  • People with good skin elasticity


Somebody that would not be a good candidate:


  • Women that are pregnant or nursing
  • Those taking blood thinning medication
  • Those allergic to Lidocane
  • People with health problems that could get in the way of healing fully after the procedure
  • People that suffer from serious medical conditions


No matter what, always consult with a professional to make sure that you are a good candidate for this procedure.


What are some complications of liposuction?

While it is generally a safe and successful procedure, there can be complications just as with any kind of surgery. One of these complications can include baggy areas of skin left over if the skin is not elastic enough after the fast is removed. Some other complications can be scarring, numbness, or infection, lumpiness, or dents in the skin. These complications can also be affected by the amount of fat removed, so it is important to consult with your plastic surgery professional on the right amount for you.



Dr. Michael J. Brown is a board-certified plastic surgeon who offers innovative aesthetic procedures for the face, breast, and body.


The Loudoun Center for Plastic Surgery 

45155 Research Pl
Ste 125
Ashburn, VA 20147

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