Liposuction FAQ

By Dr. Rosenblatt

Am I a good candidate for liposuction surgery?

A good candidate for liposuction has isolated fatty deposits and is not obese. A well done liposuction will sculpt the areas that need reshaping. If you are very overweight (a body mass index >30), liposuction will usually not give you the result you probably are trying to achieve, as there is a limit to the amount of fat that can be removed safely. Most people with a BMI >30 should first achieve some weight loss through diet and exercise in order for your expectations to be achieved with liposuction.

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to access this simple BMI calculator to help you determine if your BMI is >30 and if you need to consider diet and exercise as a first step to a healthier, more beautiful you.

Who is qualified to do liposuction?

This is the most important question you can ask. A board-certified plastic surgeon with experience doing cosmetic surgery is ideal. Today many people call themselves “cosmetic or plastic surgeons” (including ob/gyns, dentists, dermatologists and other doctors). However many have no cosmetic surgical training other than one course and are now training on uninformed patients. Check your doctor’s qualifications. Make sure s(he) is certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery. To find out, go to: You will have to register, but it is free.

What body areas can be treated by liposuction?

For women, the most frequently treated areas are the abdomen, hips, outer and inner thighs, knees, arms, buttocks, and neck. In men, who comprise about 15% to 25% of liposuction patients, the most commonly treated areas include the chin and neck area, abdomen, flanks (“love-handles”), and breasts.

What are the different types of liposuction and is one better than the other?

Tumescent and superwet both refer to the amount of anesthetic solution injected to minimize pain and bleeding. There are also many different kinds of liposuction machines, such as power-assisted, ultrasound, laser, smart, water and others. In my opinion, the type of machine used makes little difference in the result. It’s the experience and skill of the surgeon that makes the difference, so you want a surgeon who has many years of experience doing this procedure.

What kind of anesthesia do you use and where do you do the procedure?

For small areas, local anesthesia alone is usually sufficient. For larger areas, and multiple-area procedures, I use mild general anesthesia. You can choose to do the procedure in Lenox Hill Hospital or Manhattan Eye, Ear, and Throat Hospital, or in my AAAASF-certified outpatient surgical operating facility. The latter option will be less expensive.

What is the recovery like?

When only small areas are done, recovery is rapid and you will have only minor discomfort. You will wear a compression garment over the area for about 3 weeks. Pain is usually minimal and discomfort is usually completely gone after 2-4 days. I use small cannulas so the incisions are also tiny and disappear over time. You can usually return to work within the first week.

When will I see the final result?

Usually within the first 3 months. The swelling goes away and the sensation returns to the skin. Lumps and bumps often disappear.

How do I know if I need a tummy tuck or just liposuction?

If you have had children and your abdominal skin is stretched, or you have lost a lot of weight, you may need a tummy tuck to remove the excess skin and tighten the abdominal muscles. At the same time, love handles can be suctioned to improve your total abdominal appearance. If you have an excess roll of skin and abdominal fat, sometimes liposuction and just removal of the roll (the pannus) will give you a much improved look without a full tummy tuck.

If I gain weight after the surgery will the fat come back?

If you gain weight, the fat has to go somewhere. It usually does not return to the areas that were suctioned, as the fat cells have been removed. For example, if your abdomen and thighs were suctioned, your breasts or buttock may increase in size if you gain weight. Some women consider this a plus!

Can the suctioned fat be used elsewhere in my body?

Yes, I frequently use suctioned fat to fill areas that need more fat. For example, buttock enhancement is often done with your own fat.

Will I be happy after my liposuction?

This is one of the most popular procedures done today. If you have the correct expectations and picked your surgeon well, you should be happy. Make sure all of your questions are answered to your satisfaction before the surgery. Good communication with your surgeon and his/her office staff is essential.