• Liposculpture shapes the body by removing fat from specific areas.
  • Lasting side effects are rare, but the most common are lumpy and rippled skin.
  • If you use the services of a certified professional, you should be ready to go back to work within one week.
  • The average cost for the procedure is $5,350.
  • When patients keep up with diet and exercise, the procedure has permanent results.

Liposculpture is a surgical procedure that is used to give you more muscle tone and shapeliness. It treats little pockets of fat, unlike liposuction which covers larger areas.

Instead of just removing fat, liposculpture also moves it around it for a desired shape. It can be particularly useful in areas that don’t respond to diet and exercise.

Liposculpture works best if you have good skin elasticity, which is generally true for those who are younger, have darker skin tones, don’t smoke, and don’t have much sun damage.

The ideal candidate is close to their ideal weight and has a BMI under 30. It may not work well if you have weakened muscles or loose skin from age or pregnancy.

A board-certified plastic surgeon can tell you whether you’re a good candidate for the procedure.

According to self-reported costs on RealSelf.com, the average cost of liposculpture is $5,350. with a price range from $1,400 to $9,200.

The factors involved in the cost include:

  • your location
  • how many areas you’re having treated
  • use of anesthesia
  • fees specific to the doctor or office

Since it is an elective procedure, it isn’t covered by insurance.

You will likely need to take one week off work.

A surgeon uses liposculpture to remove fat and move some of the fat to certain areas of your body. It isn’t used for weight loss, but rather to tighten up areas that already have good elasticity. It can improve contours such as accentuating abdominal muscles or narrowing a waist.

Most surgeons use the tumescent technique, which helps limit blood loss and scarring. During the procedure, the doctor injects a sterile solution containing numbing medicine. They then make a tiny incision and places a small tube, or cannula, under the skin into the fat.

They use the tube to move the fat, release it, and then remove it with a suction. Sometimes the fat is purified, processed, and transferred to other parts of the body, like the buttocks or face, to enhance features in those areas.

Many patients combine liposculpture with other procedures, like tummy tucks. Combining different procedures can help you achieve desired results, since liposculpture is only used for a specific purpose.

Liposculpture generally takes between two and four hours. You will receive local anesthesia and may receive oral sedation. If the area is larger, you’ll receive general anesthesia or intravenous sedation.

After the surgery is complete, you might stay at the treatment center overnight. Usually only one treatment is needed to achieve the results you desire.

There are three techniques for tumescent liposculpture:

  • Power-assisted liposculpture (PAL) uses a vibrating tool to help break down fat faster and remove it more easily.
  • Ultrasound-assisted liposculpture (UAL) melts fat with ultrasonic energy through a handpiece. This makes it easier to remove large amounts of fat, but takes longer.
  • Laser-assisted liposculpture melts fat through low-energy waves. This procedure also takes longer.

The type of technique that is best for you will depend on a number of factors, including the area being treated and the amount of fat to be removed. Your doctor will tell you which technique is best during a consultation.

Liposculpture increases body contours by removing excess fat. It is mostly used to remove fat from areas that can’t be treated with diet and exercise.

The most common areas of the body that liposculpture is used for are:

  • abs
  • back
  • “love handles”
  • thighs
  • arms
  • under the chin

You should have good elasticity in whatever area is being treated. This way your skin will bounce back and you won’t have additional sagging.

Complications from liposculpture are rare. The most common side effects are rippled skin and lumpiness.

If you have any of the following, less common but serious side effects, see your doctor:

After surgery, you will experience swelling and bruising. This is normal and it will go away after a few weeks.

Results start immediately after surgery, but you might not see them right away. The results take about six months to become fully apparent. During this time, your body continues to heal and readjust.

You’ll probably be advised to take one week off from work. Light walking is recommended to help prevent blood clots. You should avoid strenuous activities and exercise for two to three weeks.

You’ll likely be instructed to wear a compression garment to help the swelling go down.

To help maintain results after liposculpture, eat a balanced diet of vegetables, fruits, and grains.

Your clinic will provide you with specific, detailed information to prepare for the surgery.

In general:

  • The doctor will want you to list your medical history.
  • Tell your doctor about any medications you’re taking, including supplements.
  • Also tell your doctor if you smoke, have allergies, have difficulty with blood clotting, or have high blood pressure.

Your doctor may tell you to:

  • avoid alcohol for the two weeks before and after surgery
  • stop smoking four weeks before and after surgery
  • not take ibuprofen or aspirin two weeks before surgery
  • decrease your salt intake
  • fill your prescriptions before your surgery date
  • stop taking herbs and vitamins two weeks before surgery
  • drink plenty of water
  • arrange for someone to take you home and be with you for the first 24 hours

Finding the right provider should be like interviewing someone for a job. It’s best to see a number of doctors before making a decision.

  • Look at each doctor’s before and after photos.
  • Ask what techniques they prefer to use or would recommend for your case.
  • Make sure they have the right qualifications. They should be a board certified plastic surgeon. Ideally, they also have a lot of experience with liposculpture. You can search the American Society of Plastic Surgeons website to find a board certified plastic surgeon near you.

You don’t need to get your procedure done in a hospital, but check to see whether your doctor has hospital privileges. If not, they may not be qualified to perform the surgery.

Whatever location you get your surgery in, it should be accredited. You can verify the accreditation through American Association for Accreditation of Ambulatory Surgery Facilities.

LiposculptureLiposuctionLipolysis
Procedure typeInvasive surgeryInvasive surgeryMost often laser surgery
Main differencesTo remove or redistribute fat for contouringTo remove fat for weight lossTo remove smaller pockets of fat
Average cost$5,350, not covered by insurance$3,374, not covered by insurance$1,664, not covered by insurance
PainModerate pain following procedureModerate pain following procedureMinimal discomfort directly following procedure
Number of treatments neededOne treatment for two to four hoursOne treatment for about two hoursOne treatment for less than one hour
Expected resultsFat removed is permanent, but you can still gain weight without healthy diet and exerciseFat removed is permanent, but you can still gain weight without healthy diet and exerciseOnly some patients see results. You can still gain weight without healthy diet and exercise
May not be recommended forThose who:
• have a BMI over 30
• have saggy skin
• need large amounts of fat removed
Those who:
• smoke
• have chronic health problems
• are overweight
• have saggy skin
• take medications that increase risk of bleeding
• have history of certain serious conditions
Those who are obese
Recovery timeA few weeksA few weeksDirectly after leaving doctor’s office