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Liposuction is a cosmetic procedure designed to suction away stubborn fat for a slimmer physique. It is important to emphasize, however, that liposuction is not a weight loss treatment. Instead, it is designed to help patients who are at or near their desired weight target “problem areas” that have been otherwise resistant to diet and exercise, such as the flanks, abdomen, arms, thighs, and jowls. Our Greensboro plastic surgeon—Mary Ann Contogiannis, MD—has years of experience helping patients achieve the leaner, more toned silhouette they desire using liposuction.  

Who Is a Good Liposuction Candidate?

Ideal liposuction candidates are healthy adults who are at or near their desired weight. It is important to have reasonable expectations regarding what the procedure can accomplish and to acknowledge that liposuction will not produce significant weight loss results. For optimal results, patients should also have firm muscle tone and sufficient skin elasticity.

For those struggling with excess skin or loose musculature—both of which are common concerns after pregnancy or massive weight loss—liposuction may not be the ideal treatment option, since it is only capable of removing fat. After assessing your needs, Dr. Contogiannis may recommend an alternative procedure, such as a tummy tuck, which can more adequately address those concerns. In other cases, liposuction can be combined with other procedures—such as Endermologie® cellulite treatments—to maximize your aesthetic outcomes. 

What Are the Benefits of Liposuction?

Liposuction can have many aesthetic benefits, and patients are usually delighted with the results of their procedure. Some of the more common benefits include:

  • Dramatic improvement in self-confidence and self-image
  • Improved, natural-looking shape and contour of the body
  • Results that can be seen immediately and which continue to improve over time
  • Results that can be long-lasting if you maintain a consistent, healthy weight
  • Excessive underarm sweating and thigh chafing due to excess fat can be reduced or even eliminated

What Can I Expect From the Liposuction Procedure?

Liposuction is typically performed under general anesthesia. Dr. Contogiannis will insert a thin, hollow tube called a cannula into small incisions near the targeted area(s).
As the cannula moves through the tissue, it breaks up the fat cells and suctions them away. The remaining tissues can then be smoothed and sculpted to enhance the contours of the area.

It is important to note that liposuction is not intended to be a weight loss treatment or to serve as a substitute for proper diet and exercise. The amount of fat that can be safely removed through liposuction is limited. While it’s true your weight may go down a few pounds, the actual weight loss will not be significant.

What Is Recovery Like After Liposuction?

Dr. Contogiannis will give you specific post-operative instructions, and you should follow them closely in order to ensure that you heal as efficiently as possible. At the Renaissance Center for Plastic Surgery & Wellness, we want the best for our patients, and we will carefully track your results and recovery through follow-up visits.

On the day of surgery, Dr. Contogiannis will likely have you up and moving around very soon after your procedure. This is to help increase circulation, which in turn helps to support proper healing. Most patients are able to have any stitches removed within a week or two. There may be some soreness, swelling, and bruising, but these symptoms should dissipate within a few days to weeks. You should be able to fully resume your normal routines, including exercise, after about four weeks. That said, you should be sure to check with Dr. Contogiannis before undertaking any strenuous activities.

Will I Have Liposuction Scars?

The incisions used during liposuction are typically quite small and thin, and any scarring is typically minimal and discreet. Furthermore, Dr. Contogiannis is always careful to place the incisions so that they blend in as inconspicuously as possible with the natural contours of the body or face. Most patients are able to enjoy their body contouring results with little indication that any surgery was ever performed.

How Much Does Liposuction Cost?

Liposuction cost tends to differ between patients, as each case will have different variables to consider. Dr. Contogiannis will thoroughly discuss your specific case during your initial consultation, at which point a personalized price estimate can be determined.

Insurance companies seldom cover the cost of cosmetic surgeries and procedures, so it’s a good idea to check with your insurance provider to find out what, if anything, they will cover for liposuction treatment.

We try to keep our services affordable as possible for our patients. We’re pleased to accept financing through Alphaeon® or CareCredit®, trusted third-party lenders who offer low- and no-interest loans for qualified applicants. Contact our office today to learn more about payment and financing options.

Are There Non-Surgical Alternatives to Liposuction?

For patients who would prefer to avoid surgery, Dr. Contogiannis does offer several alternative non-surgical and minimally-invasive fat reduction procedures. 

CoolSculpting® is a popular non-surgical alternative to liposuction that works by externally applying cold temperatures to targeted regions of the body. The specialized cooling device is designed to break down and destroy fat cells without harming the surrounding skin or tissue. Over the course of the next few weeks to months, the dead fat cells are naturally filtered out of the body. This results in, on average, a 20-25% reduction in fat in the targeted area. 

BodyTite is a minimally-invasive treatment that functions similarly to liposuction. A small cannula is used to deliver radio frequency (RF) energy into the targeted area, breaking up and liquefying the fat cells, which are then suctioned away through the cannula. Unlike liposuction, which is typically performed under general anesthesia, BodyTite can be administered using only local anesthesia. It also has additional skin-tightening benefits due to the unique application of RF energy. 

For patients specifically interested in fat reduction around the face and neck, FaceTite may also be an option. Much like BodyTite, FaceTite utilizes a small cannula that emits RF energy in order to reduce fat and tighten the skin. This creates a slimming effect while also improving skin texture and appearance. 

To learn more about liposuction or to schedule a consultation with Dr. Contogiannis, please contact us today.