Patient Resources

Dr. Griffin Blog: Liposuction FAQs

Who is a good candidate for Liposuction?
People with localized fatty deposits that do not respond to diet and exercise, who are in good health, at a healthy weight and have skin that is firm and elastic are good candidates

Does liposuction improve cellulite?

Some patients report improvement in the appearance of cellulite, but some report the appearance worsens.

Will the fat come back?

No. The results of liposuction are permanent. The fat cells that are removed will not return. However, fatty deposits can build up in fat cells in other areas if a patient gains weight after the procedure. That’s why it is important to maintain a healthy weight and exercise routine. 

What does liposuction do?

Liposuction slims and reshapes defined areas of the body, to improve contours and proportions. Almost any area of unwanted fatty deposits can be treated with liposuction. Men may wish to remove love handles and spare tires. Expert liposuction can even reveal that hidden 6-pack otherwise hidden under belly fat. Men with gynecomastia or male breasts, can have them removed with lipo. Excess fatty deposits in the face and neck can be removed.

Women may seek liposuction to reduce abdominal fat, trim the waist, eliminate muffin tops, slim the hips, knees and thighs, and upper arms. Liposuction is often used to sculpt the body, and restore a youthful, firm appearance, including reducing fatty deposits under the chin and in the neck.

Transgender women (MTF) can achieve a feminized waist with lipo of the waist and hips. Transgender men (FTM) may elect liposuction to reduce the feminine curvature of the waist, hips, flanks and buttocks.

Best of all, that fat need not go to waste! It can be injected in to other parts of the body to enhance those areas. For instance, injecting the removed fat into the buttocks, creates Dr. Griffin’s signature Brazilian Butt Liftâ.  Or the fat can be used to augment the breasts, or fill in lost fat in the face.

Liposuction is not intended as a weight loss procedure. The goal is body contouring. This requires thoughtful planning and an artistic eye to achieve aesthetically pleasing results.

Are there any limits on liposuction?

Safety is the most important consideration. Liposuction is very safe, and complications are rare. However, complication rates rise as the amount of fat removed is increased. The current guidelines set a maximum of 5 liters or about 10-12 lbs. of fat that can be safely removed, when the procedure is performed under general anesthesia or IV sedation. California and Florida both have Liposuction safety laws.

Newer research suggests that safety limits must be based on proper patient selection, and the number of areas to be treated in a day or week. Surgeons may use the patient’s body mass index (BMI) to determine how much fat can be safely removed. When a patient has a high BMI, more fat may be safely removed. The calculation is now based on the patient’s unique body status. Each patient must be evaluated based on their anatomy, fat distribution, goals and expectations.

Beware that any doctor who is not a board certified plastic surgeon may promise you more fat reduction than the guidelines, and could be in violation of standards of practice.

To be safe, and receive aesthetically pleasing results, the best approach is to have a complimentary consultation with Dr. Griffin to get his best estimate of the amount of fat to be safely removed. Dr. Griffin also has the artistic eye necessary to achieve balanced, body contouring. 

What is tumescent liposuction?

The tumescent liposuction procedure uses a mixture of sterile saline, local anesthetic and epinephrine, which is injected in the areas to be treated. Epinephrine constricts blood vessels to minimize bleeding which allows for larger amounts of fat to be removed with fewer complications, and less bruising and swelling. Several small incisions are made to provide access for the cannula which breaks up the fat. The emulsified fat is then suctioned out of the body.

The local anesthetic reduces postoperative pain and promotes faster recovery. Compression bandages or garments may be used to reduce swelling. The first 24 hours there will be drainage of the tumescent fluid from the incision sites that will be reddish due to some bleeding. This is normal. Any swelling should resolve within a week or so. Any pain or discomfort is managed with pain medication.

What is VASERâ liposelection?

VASERâ liposuction uses ultrasound energy to melt fatty deposits, allowing for removal of the emulsified fat with less pain and tissue damage, which results in faster healing. This procedure leaves surrounding tissue, blood vessels and nerves undamaged, so there is less discomfort and bruising than tumescent liposuction. VASER liposelection may also stimulate collagen production during healing which can help tighten the skin. VASER Liposuction can treat any areas that are treatable with tumescent lipo. Because VASER lipo offers better precision and safety with less pain, Dr. Griffin can sculpt and shape the delicate areas such as the arms, chin, neck and inner thighs. He uses both types of lipo to provide customized treatments for his patients. But ultimately, it is the artistry of Dr. Griffin and the health and firmness of the skin that creates a beautiful result. 

Can liposuction be combined with other cosmetic procedures?

Absolutely. It is frequently combined with a tummy tuck, breast reduction or facelift. One of Dr. Griffin’s signature procedures is the “Six-Pack Tummy Tuck ™” in which he uses liposuction to etch the abdominal muscles while also tucking the tummy. Talk to Dr. Griffin about your surgical goals.