What to Know Before Considering Liposculpture 

Of all of the medical aesthetic treatments that have become household names over the last century, none seem quite so familiar as liposculpture.

Among one of the common misconceptions is that because liposculpture sculpts fat, it’s used to help a patient lose weight. Liposculpture is intended ideally for exercise-resistant fat and not for weight loss.

Liposculpture can be performed everywhere there is subcutaneous adipose tissue stored. It took some trial and error to master a method that is safe and effective, but today’s liposculpture is very different from where it started. In the 1970s, advances such as the introduction of numbing agents, compression garments and perfecting locations of the incision sites made liposculpture more marketable. Thanks to advancements like less invasive procedures, more delicate areas like the ankles can now be refined.

Compression garments and numbing agents are far from the only ways liposculpture has evolved since its introduction. The addition of tranexamic acid to the tumescent fluid used during the procedure also means less bruising. Other advances in technology include utilizing ultrasound-assisted as well as power-assisted liposculpture. These technologies work differently, but both help the fat to be sculpted more efficiently and provide less fatigue to the Dr.

About 85 percent of the body is fair game for liposculpture or body contouring. Common areas that are contoured include the abdomen, love handles, back, thighs, knees and double chin areas.


Before you undergo liposculpture, it must be determined if you’re an appropriate patient. The ideal candidate for liposculpture is someone who is in excellent health, at their ideal body weight, and has stubborn, resistant areas of excess fatty tissue. Skin elasticity is also a factor and can be assessed during a consultation. The patient’s medical history will be reviewed as well as the areas of concern. Examination will be performed to evaluate the patient’s condition and whether they have targeted areas of excess adipose tissue and have good elasticity for the skin to retract back properly following their liposculpture procedure.

Your Dr will also discuss reasonable expectations about the results with you. We make sure patients have a realistic goal and expectation from the procedure and understand this is a body-contouring procedure and not one intended for weight loss.

Closer to the procedure dates, you’ll be asked to avoid aspirin, anti-inflammatory drugs, and certain supplements that can increase bleeding, and you should refrain from tobacco use for at least several weeks prior.

During your consultation, you’ll also be made aware of potential complications, though they are rare, especially when liposculpture is performed by an appropriate expert.

Did you know? A common myth associated with liposculpture is that the fat will go somewhere else, but experts say that, if you maintain your weight, you will maintain the benefit and will not develop additional fat elsewhere.

Some contour irregularities and lumpy areas may occur, but these tend to smooth out over the subsequent two to three months following your procedure.

In order to avoid complications, some Dr’s consider certain areas off-limits, such as sculpting of fat from the face. This facial padding is what gives us that plump, youthful appearance, and we do not want to eliminate that natural ‘filler’. One also cannot perform liposculpture where visceral fat is found. The infamous beer belly is the perfect representation of visceral fat. Although some improvements can be made to contour it, the only way to get rid of it is healthy diet and exercise.


Recovery after liposculpture remains one of the easier kinds compared to other cosmetic procedures, most patients are up walking the day of the procedure and can be back to basic, normal activities within one or two days. Staying active is encouraged, as well as wearing compression garments for up to six weeks.

Although it’s relatively easy to get back into the swing of things, there still may be some discomfort. Patients can expect to be sore post-op with swelling and bruising,  adding that it may be apparent for up to four weeks. Furthermore, it is normal to have itchiness and/or numbness post-operatively. This can subside in two to three months, though numbness has been known to last as long as nine months. It’s also not uncommon to feel a sharp shooting pain, as this is a normal sign of nerve regeneration.

Even though final results will be apparent in six to 12 months, you may see a difference much sooner. Early changes in shape and contour can be visualized at two to three weeks, but it takes at least three to five months to reach the earliest stages of the final shape, different areas of the body also swell to different extents, so some areas may look better more quickly than others.

Non-invasive Options

With a number of noninvasive and less invasive fat-reducing treatments, like Emsculpt Neo, CoolSculpting and Kybella (which is not recommend for larger areas), available, it can be confusing when trying to decide if you should choose liposculpture. And, in some cases, the nonsurgical treatments are the obvious way to go. If a patient has health problems, these are often good options. However, they require more than one treatment and cannot be used on all areas of the body. For people who are wanting to treat fat over larger areas of the body or want a more dramatic contour, a liposculpture is recommended.

The bottom line: The sculpting ability cannot be duplicated with the nonsurgicals. Ultimately, patients weigh the pros and cons of both approaches and decide what method is best for them.


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