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Liposuction is a popular and effective solution to stubborn areas of fat that resist diet and exercise.

Common areas of liposuction include the hips, thighs, arms, and abdomen. Fortunately, liposuction is a safe procedure that results in little to no scarring, and sufficient recovery for normal daily activity typically takes less than a week. Varying techniques include tumescent liposuction, using local anesthesia, ultrasonic liposuction, involving the transfer of ultrasonic energy to the targeted fat cells, and SmartLipo Triplex laser liposuction, a new and improved technology to simplify surgery. Plastic surgeons who specialize on the body, focus on the needs of each patient to devise the safest and most effective individual procedure possible.

Hip Liposuction

Hip liposuction is ideal for those with a healthy diet and exercise lifestyle, for it is not intended for weight loss. The purpose is to remove any disproportionate amount of fat around the hips, which averages five to seven pounds. Tumescent and ultrasonic liposuction are performed with either general or local anesthesia, the latter including the option of sedation. Surgery usually lasts for one to three hours, and the effects of local anesthesia, during which time pain and discomfort are minimal, last an average of four hours. Some side effects of hip liposuction are swelling around the surgical site and, if the patient has poor dermal elasticity, loose skin. Other possible but extremely rare complications of hip liposuction are bleeding, infection, and the need for revision liposuction.

Thigh Liposuction

Thighs are another common site for liposuction. For inner thigh liposuction, general anesthesia is not recommended, for safety reasons require the patient to lie on his or her back. The breathing tube most safely delivers oxygen in this position, but often the back of each inner thigh is neglected and results in incomplete fat removal. Excessive thigh fat removal is also inadvisable, and a series of small, monthly procedures is recommended to avoid blood clots, extreme swelling, and other complications. A series of at least two sessions spaced at least a month apart reduces swelling, the risk of vein blockages, and recovery time, allowing the body to adapt more smoothly to the results.

Arm Liposuction

The tumescent technique is an ideal procedure for arm liposuction, for its use of tiny cannulae, or thin tubes to extract the fat, allow for more uniform fat removal, little to no scarring, and less loose skin. Healthy women are ideal candidates for arm liposuction, for it is also not intended for large amounts of fat removal. Extracting a small amount of fat from the arm’s entire circumference produces even results and maintains the skin’s elasticity. This procedure is also in the same family as an arm lift.

Abdomen Liposuction

While abdomen liposuction is the most popular form of liposuction, its suitability to a patient depends on sex and body type. Women generally have less fibrous fat than men, and the softer fat is easier to remove through liposuction. Abdominal fat from previous pregnancy is also easily treated through abdominal liposuction. Abdominal liposuction removes subcutaneous fat, or fat just beneath the skin, thus it is not recommended for patients with excessive internal fat around the intestines. Tumescent liposuction is also the ideal technique for the abdomen area, and its side effects include temporary swelling and tenderness at the surgical site. Sometimes post-liposuction procedure there is a excess of skin – this can be removed with an excess skin removal procedure.


SmartLipo Triplex is a modern technology by which a laser melts away subcutaneous fat and then heats the skin to optimize collagen growth and elasticity. SmartLipo can also improve and tighten loose skin from previous liposuction procedures. The laser produces little to no bruising, scarring, or pain, but full results may require six or more months to appear. SmartLipo Triplex patients are given a post-operative garment, even though the surgery produces much less swelling than traditional liposuction techniques.

View Pre- and Post Operation Information for Hips, Abdomen, and Thigh Liposuction Procedures.

Ideal Candidates
  • Concern with body fat and/or excess skin
  • Realistic goals and expectations
  • Want to change the shape of their body
  • Physically and psychologically healthy

Am I a candidate?

Frequently Asked Questions
  • What is the difference between liposuction and Smartlipo?
  • Is there a minimum age to have a liposuction procedure?

Get the answers to these and other questions on our Liposuction FAQ page


Post liposuction, a patient may have to wear a liposuction compression garment to absorb and contain the drainage following the procedure. After 24 hours, after the drainage has ceased a mild degree of compression is then needed.

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