What Should You Expect From Liposuction?

Many of us have our little problem areas on our bodies that we wish could be smaller or better shaped. Even with a healthy diet and exercise regime, these stubborn areas can sometimes refuse to improve. Maybe this is why liposuction is one of the most common surgical procedures carried out in the U.S each year. At Eric P. Bachelor MD East Bay Aesthetic Surgery, we understand that every individual has unique concerns when it comes to their body, and we are committed to helping patients look and feel their best.

Our compassionate and professional staff will welcome you in and treat you like a member of the family. Dr. Bachelor provides the highest quality care in all offered cosmetic procedures. We have put together this guide to provide you with information on exactly what you should expect from start to finish of the liposuction process.

What You Should Expect From Your Appointment

We understand the world of cosmetic surgery can be overwhelming. If you’re considering the procedure or are just wanting to know more about it, then read on as we’ve broken down the basics on what you should expect from your lipo appointment.

The Consultation

Once you have found the right surgeon for you, a consultation will be arranged. This is probably the first time you meet your surgeon. During this consultation, you and your surgeon will discuss your cosmetic goals and you will have the opportunity to ask any questions you may have. Your surgeon will perform a physical exam and go through your medical history to determine whether or not liposuction is the most appropriate procedure.

Together, you will create a treatment plan that best serves your unique body and aesthetic goals. You will discuss how the procedure will be done and the results you will achieve. Your doctor will also inform you about financial costs, any associated risks, pre-procedure preparations, and what to expect after the surgery.


Before the procedure, you will have been deemed healthy and cleared for surgery. Your surgeon will give you a list of instructions and ensure you have a clear understanding of what is to come. Patients may be recommended to stop using aspirin and anti-inflammatory drugs two weeks before the procedure date. Patients with anemia may be asked to take iron supplements.

The Procedure

Depending on your circumstances, the procedure will be carried out under local or general anesthetic. Once administered with anesthesia, the targeted areas will be cleaned with antibacterial soap. Depending on the type of procedure, you will either be injected with a fluid to help break up fat cells and soothe the area, or a laser will be used to melt the fat. A small, inconspicuous incision is then made near the treatment area.

A thin, tube called a cannula is then inserted into the incision. With gentle and controlled back and forth motions, the fat is broken up and suctioned out of the body. Any surplus fluid is then drained from the body. The incisions are then closed with sutures and temporary drains are put in place to collect any excess fluid. The treated area will then be wrapped with bandages and an elastic garment.


The procedure usually takes around one to three hours, depending on the individual. Once everything is completed, you will be monitored before being sent home, most patients can return home the very same day. You may be given compression garments and any other medicines prescribed by your doctor. You will also be given specific recovery instructions unique to you and your procedure. It is important you take these instructions seriously and follow them to the letter in order to see optimum results.

Recovery Period

Patients are encouraged to get plenty of rest in the days following the procedure and normal activities can usually be resumed within 10 days. Walking is encouraged to promote healthy blood flow and general health. Rigorous activity and exercise, however, is restricted for several weeks. Your doctor will give you a detailed time schedule concerning your recovery period.

More About This Procedure

We’ve discussed what happens during both the consultation and procedure appointments. For prospective clients who would like to learn a little more about the different types of lipo and the benefits it can bring, this next section will explain just that.

What Is Liposuction?

Also known as Lipo, Lipoplasty, or Body Contouring, it is an extremely popular cosmetic surgery procedure, one of the most popular in the U.S. The treatment is for those wanting to remove stubborn pockets of excess fat from the body. Treatment areas can include the abdomen, thighs, hips, buttocks, neck, arms, or back. It is also used to smooth and contour irregular body shapes. This procedure permanently removes fat cells from the targeted area, and a skilled surgeon can sculpt the patient’s body to its ideal shape.

What Benefits Can You Expect From the Procedure?

The benefits can be unique for each individual dependant on their reasons for having the treatment. In general, the procedure is used to remove fat from areas of the body which have proved difficult to slim down through diet and exercise. The fat cells removed from the body are gone for good and if all the post-procedure advice given by the surgeon is followed, you can expect beautiful, long-lasting results. Finally having the body you’ve been dreaming about can have a hugely positive effect on self-esteem and body image, promoting confidence and peace of mind.

In some cases, it can also be used to treat certain medical conditions that involve the build-up of fat or fluid. These conditions include lipodystrophy syndrome, lymphedema, gynecomastia, and lipomas.

Different Types

There are various types of liposuction offered across the globe but at Eric P. Bachelor MD, we offer the two types of treatments we deem the best. Dating back to the 1970s, the traditional procedure has come along way since its inception. It is less invasive and recovery time is greatly reduced. The traditional method involves a tumescent fluid introduced to the treatment site, which helps with the removal of fat cells.

Smart Lipo, also known as laser-assisted, uses the cutting edge technology of targeted thermal laser energy to melt fat. Once melted, the fat can be easily removed from the body. The heat from the laser also works to tighten the skin in the targeted area, leaving it smooth and firm. It also works to promote the health of the skin by encouraging collagen production, leaving the skin looking fuller, smoother, and healthier looking.

Which Type Is for Me?

To really get to the bottom of this question it is best to speak to your surgeon during the consultation as many factors need to be taken into consideration. In short, if you’re looking to remove a low volume of fat from the target area, would rather be awake for the procedure, and want a faster recovery window, then Smart Lipo could be for you.

For those who require a larger volume of fat to be removed and are happy to be under general anesthetic, then the traditional procedure may be more suitable. Your surgeon will discuss the best options for your unique body during your consultation.

How Is It Performed?

Both treatments are carried out in a similar manner. Depending on the treatment area, the procedure can be done under either local or general anesthetic. Once the patient is anesthetized tiny incisions are made near the treatment area. With a traditional procedure, a tumescent fluid is introduced causing fat cells to swell so that the surgeon can easily remove with a vacuum device.

With Smart Lipo, there is no need for the tumescent fluid. Instead, a thermal laser breaks up the fat, melting it so it is easily removed from the body. Once the procedure is complete, the incisions are closed with sutures and a temporary draining device may be fitted to collect any excess fluid. The area will then be bandaged and compressed.

Who Does It Work For?

A good candidate for this procedure is an individual with realistic expectations and at a stable weight. It should be noted that you should not be planning on losing or gaining a significant amount of weight as this can affect the initial results. Candidates should be non-smokers and in good overall health. Free of any medical condition which could affect the body’s ability to heal.

Clients should not have a lot of excess skin and should have good skin elasticity and muscle tone. It is important to note that liposuction is not a weight-loss solution. It is intended for those of healthy weight who need help banishing stubborn areas that have not responded to diet and exercise. Clients should ideally be at their ideal weight before starting the process.

Tips for Maximum Results

Your doctor will give you specific aftercare and recovery instructions to ensure you achieve the best possible results from your procedure, it is vital that you follow them. Wearing your compression garment is necessary for at least the first few weeks as it helps the body take on its new shape and promotes healthy healing. Generally, it should be worn constantly for at least two weeks with some patients choosing to wear it for much longer.

A healthy diet should be followed to help maintain your results and possibly enhance them. Weight maintenance is essential in gaining the best possible results and keeping your beautiful new silhouette for years to come. It is important to drink plenty of fluids to prevent dehydration during the recovery process as your body requires extra fluid as it heals. Although vigorous exercise is not permitted until fully recovered, it is important to avoid being sedentary during your early recovery. Comfortable walking will have you feeling good, whilst encouraging healthy blood flow.

Choosing Your Doctor

This is where you need to do some thorough research to find the right surgeon for you. A surgeon could have an impeccable facelift reputation but do they have much experience in liposuction? It is important to find a surgeon you can trust, you feel comfortable with, and who has experience and accreditations in this type of procedure.

Dr. Bachelor is board certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery and has been recognized as one of America’s Top Plastic Surgeons by Consumers’ Research Council of America. Based in the Bay Area, Dr. Bachelor has patients that travel from all across California and indeed, the nation for his expertise.

Learn More

Liposuction is a serious decision and there is a lot of information to consider. If you think this procedure could help you, then Dr. Bachelor can help guide you in your decision with professionalism and compassion. Contact Eric P. Bachelor MD East Bay Aesthetic Surgery in The Bay Area, California to schedule a consultation appointment and learn more about your options in treatment. Our staff is ready to assist you in every step of the process.

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