What is Liposuction?

Liposuction slims and reshapes specific areas of the body by removing excess fat to improve the overall body proportions and contours. This procedure can treat many areas of the body, some of the most popular being the abdomen and waist, hips and buttocks, thighs, upper arms, cheeks, chin, and neck.

However, it is important to understand that liposuction is not a treatment for weight loss or obesity, and should not be a substitute for a healthy diet and regular exercise. It is also not a treatment for loose, saggy skin or cellulite.

Beautifully You

Who is a good candidate for Liposuction?

Individuals who have excess fat deposits on their body that will not go away with diet or exercise, who feel like certain areas of their body are out of proportion with the rest of their figure, who have good skin elasticity, and who are at or near their desired body weight can often benefit from liposuction. The best way to determine if this procedure is right for you is through a consultation appointment with one of our plastic surgeons. Contact our Tucson office today to get started!

Before + After

Patient Results

Achieve your ideal body with body contouring, fat reduction, and rejuvenation. We offer procedures for every area of the body, including the stomach, thighs, arms, back, and more! View our patient gallery and find a before and after similar to your body type and treatment goals to see what kind of results you can expect from our team.


Patient Reviews

I recently had a breast augmentation and 360 lipo performed by Dr. Kurtovic and Dr. Mahabir. To sum up my experience, I had been wanting a breast aug for years and after having 2 children,…
- SM
Wonderful experience and such a caring practice. You all make a difference, and it shows!
- AS
Dr. Kurtovic and Dr. Mahabir are incredible. Not only did they give me beautiful results with my surgery, but also kindness, attention to detail, and they listened to what I wanted. I couldn’t be happier…
- CW

Liposuction Surgery

During the liposuction procedure, small incisions will be created near the treatment area. Then, a thin tube called a cannula will be inserted through these incisions to loosen excess fat deposits. Then, the fat will be suctioned out.

There are a variety of different liposuction techniques that can be used to eliminate excess fat from the body. The technique that is right for you will depend on your individual case and your plastic surgeon’s suggestion. These liposuction techniques include:

Tumescent Liposuction

First, your plastic surgeon will inject an anesthetic solution into the treatment area, which will minimize bleeding and discomfort during the procedure.

Ultrasound Assisted Liposuction

This technique uses ultrasound energy to help break apart fatty tissue and loosen it from the body, which makes it easier to remove larger amounts of fat.

Laser Assisted Liposuction

Uses laser energy to help loosen fat cells. Different brand names may include SmartLipo and Slimlipo.

Suction Assisted Liposuction

Uses a vacuum-like device to assist in removing the fat.

Recovery Process

Liposuction Recovery

*4-6 Weeks

Following liposuction, a special compression garment may cover treatment areas to help control swelling during recovery. Drains may also be placed to collect any excess blood or fluid. Some patients may be able to return to work after a few days, depending on the type of job and the extent of the procedure. Your plastic surgeon will provide you with specific instructions on how to properly care for your surgical sites to ensure that you experience a safe recovery.

Because fat cells are removed from the body during liposuction, these fat cells will not grow back. However, it is important that you maintain a stable weight to ensure that your results are not compromised.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are you put to sleep for liposuction?

Liposuction is the gold standard when it comes to removing stubborn pockets of fat. Some liposuction procedures can be done with the patient awake with only local anesthesia. However, for larger liposuction areas or liposuction done at the same time as other procedures, for your safety and comfort you will need to be asleep under general anesthesia.

Can I get liposuction if I am overweight?

Yes, if you are overweight, you can still have liposuction. The best candidates for liposuction, are patients who are concerned with specific pockets of fat instead of wanting all their body fat remove with surgery. Ideally, we advise our patients to reach their ideal body weight as best they can and be at a stable weight for 6-9 months prior to undergoing liposuction. Patients who are obese with a BMI of 30 or above must know that liposuction is not as effective, as there is typically a significant amount of intraabdominal fat (internal fat around their organs) that cannot be removed with liposuction.

Can visceral fat be removed?

Visceral fat, also called intra-abdominal fat, is fat that is located around the internal organs like the stomach, intestines, and liver. This means it is behind the muscles and cannot safely be removed with liposuction.

Does a tummy tuck remove fat?

In addition to removing excess skin, a tummy tuck will also remove excess fat and tighten the abdominal muscles. Most, if not all, of the fat from your belly button to your pubic hairline will be removed. Fat above the belly button and off to the sides can also be removed at the time of tummy tuck through liposuction. In fact, liposuction is a fundamental part of a tummy tuck for most patients and we include it in the procedure.

Does fat come back after lipo?

Liposuction is a surgical procedure which permanently removes fat from the body, this fat will not return. However, the fat that remains in the body will continue to change with your body’s metabolic changes. This fat can hypertrophy with increased caloric intake and is the cause of weight gain after liposuction surgery. Therefore, it is important to commit to a healthy lifestyle in terms of eating nutritious meals and exercising to maintain a healthy body composition after liposuction surgery.

Does liposuction get rid of cellulite?

While liposuction is a wonderful solution for discrete unwanted fat collections that wont go away with diet and exercise, it makes very little impact on cellulite. Cellulite is a genetic condition and very difficult to address, and unfortunately, we do not have effective methods to remove it.

Does liposuction really work?

Liposuction works, no question. It takes a few weeks for the swelling to settle and for you to really see the results. While the skin may lose some firmness as you age, liposuction results are generally long-lasting. Fat will not return, and the result will remain intact if you are able to maintain a stable weight. Unfortunately, it is possible for fat to return after liposuction if you do not maintain your weight.

How can I avoid weight gain after surgery?

Gaining weight after surgery is, to some extent, normal. Fluid retention, swelling, inflammation and limitation of activities can lead you to gain a few pounds in the first few weeks. You can minimize this by drinking plenty of water, eating well (healthy diet with high fiber, whole grains and fresh fruit and vegetables while minimizing comfort foods high in fat or sugar) and walking distances.

How can I lose tummy fat fast?

If there was easy way to lose tummy fat fast, no one would have any. Diet and exercise are the most effective methods but take several months to lose a significant amount. Non-surgical options like CoolSculpting are less predictable, require many treatments to see any result, and usually do not work well in patients who want to lose a significant amount of fat. In addition, CoolSculpting has been associated with paradoxical fat hypertrophy which means the fat increases in response to treatment. Liposuction is the gold standard for removing stubborn tummy fat. However, if there is any loose skin, liposuction will only make that worse and you may be best suited with a tummy tuck that removes both fat and skin.

How can I reduce my stomach fat?

Diet and exercise are the most effective methods but take several months to lose a significant amount. Non-surgical options like CoolSculpting are less predictable, require many treatments to see any result, and usually do not work well in patients who want to lose a significant amount of fat. Liposuction is the gold standard for removing stubborn tummy fat. At Tucson Plastic Surgery, we have Vaser liposuction which uses ultrasonic energy to melt the fat prior to removal. This results in much less bruising, swelling and discomfort than traditional lipo. And since it is so effective, we include it with every liposuction, no extra charge.

How dangerous is liposuction?

Liposuction is now the 2nd most common cosmetic surgery (breast augmentation is #1) in the US with over 250,000 people having it done every year. Here at Tucson Plastic Surgery, we prioritize patient safety above all else, and ensure the procedure is performed with the highest safety standards to minimize risk of surgery and aesthesia related complications. Dr. Kurtovic and Dr. Mahabir are board-certified plastic surgeons with specialized fellowship training in cosmetic surgery and expertise in performing liposuction. We make sure to review every patient’s medical history and risk factors for liposuction surgery and optimize patient selection and medical health prior to recommending the surgery. Finally, we perform liposuction in a safe surgical environment under general anesthesia with a board-certified anesthesiologist in our state certified Wyatt Outpatient Surgery Center.

How do I prepare for liposuction?

First, dont use any tobacco or nicotine products or take aspirin, drugs, supplements that increase the risk of bleeding. Second, try to get some exercise in the weeks leading up to surgery. Even just walking for 30-45 minutes can make a difference in your recovery. And finally, have patience. You and your surgeon will discuss what you hope to achieve with surgery. Remember, that it will take months before you can start to see the final result as you will have to wait for the swelling to subside.

How do you shower after liposuction?

After liposuction, you will be able to shower normally within a few days. In the rare case where you have a drain after surgery, we ask that you wait until the drain comes out to shower. After that, you can remove any dressings or compression garments and shower like usual.

How does fat transfer work?

Fat transfer or grafting uses liposuction to take fat from one area where you dont want it (for example the tummy or thighs) and adds it to another area of the body that you feel needs more volume such as your face, hands, breasts or buttocks. The fat is transferred in very small drops so that it can re-establish blood supply from the surrounding tissues. And, because it uses your bodys own fat, the extra volume is permanent.

How does Lipo work?

Liposuction removes fat from the subcutaneous tissue using a tumescent solution that makes the fat easier to remove and helps minimize bleeding. A special liposuction cannula is then used to mechanically disrupt the fat from the skin and is then suctioned out from the body into a canister.

How long do you drain after lipo?

Depending on the amount of liposuction you have and the location you may require a drain for a few days to a few weeks. The reason for this is that when the fat is removed from the skin and body tissue, there will be a significant amount of empty space left behind. The body’s response to liposuction is that it creates inflammation and fluid buildup which collects in those empty spaces. A drain helps remove the fluid effectively, which will enhance your overall recovery and results.

How long do you need off work after liposuction?

It usually takes about several weeks to fully recover from liposuction. Depending on your job and the extent of the liposuction, you may be able to return to work in just a few days, though typically it is a few weeks. More extensive liposuction, or when it is combined with other surgeries means you will need to be off for several weeks depending on the procedure. You will also need to avoid heavy physical labor / exercise for 6-8 weeks. You should expect bruising, swelling and soreness for the first two weeks after liposuction and your surgeon may require you to wear a garment for a few months after surgery to minimize the swelling. You will receive specific instructions from your surgeon as to when it is safe to return to work.

How much does it cost to get liposuction on your stomach?

The cost of liposuction varies greatly depending on how much fat you want removed and how many different areas you want treated. Our prices are all inclusive: the consult, all pre-operative visits, the surgery, anesthesia and surgery center, as well as all post-operative visits and garments. It ranges between $5,000 for one area to $20,000 for 360 lipo (lipo of the front and back). We pride ourselves on an unsurpassed patient experience, natural results and clinical excellence. Please call us or click here to contact us regarding a private consultation with one of our board-certified plastic surgeons as we look forward to meeting you soon.

How much does liposuction cost without insurance?

Insurance will not cover cosmetic liposuction. The cost of liposuction varies greatly depending on how much fat you want removed and how many different areas you want treated. Our prices are all inclusive: the consult, all pre-operative visits, the surgery, anesthesia and surgery center, as well as all post-operative visits and garments. It ranges between $5,000 for one area to $20,000 for 360 lipo (lipo of the front and back). We pride ourselves on an unsurpassed patient experience, natural results and clinical excellence. Please call us or click here to contact us regarding a private consultation with one of our board-certified plastic surgeons as we look forward to meeting you soon.

How much fat can lipo remove?

There is a limit to how much fat lipo can remove in one setting. The current safety recommendation from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons is 5L when done as an outpatient. More liposuction can be performed in a single surgery; however, you would then need to stay in hospital overnight. Five liters of liposuction can be close to 10 pounds of fat!

How painful is liposuction recovery?

The amount of liposuction performed will determine the level of discomfort experienced in the first few weeks after the procedure. Small amounts or small areas results in less post-operative pain and rarely requires medication other than Tylenol. Larger areas and larger volumes of liposuction can result in more intense discomfort that requires prescription pain medication (we will prescribe that). The pain is greatest two to four days after the procedure and gradually lessens. Tenderness at the area will eventually fade and gentle compression helps to expedite this.

Is it easier to lose weight after liposuction?

Yes and no. Liposuction is not a weight loss procedure and you can only safely remove a few pounds at a time. It is meant to address problem areas that simply will not respond to diet and exercise. By treating those stubborn areas that you have been working so hard on, you may find yourself motivated to maintain or even improve your new look with a renewed enthusiasm for a healthy lifestyle. The refreshed commitment may help you lose a few more pounds.

Is Lipo permanent?

Yes, the results of liposuction are permanent. The fat cells are permanently removed with liposuction and do not grow back. However, you can gain weight after liposuction as the remaining fat cells can get larger. Typically, this happens in different areas of your body where the number of fat cells has not been altered. To minimize this and maintain your results long-term, follow a diet with lots of lean protein, fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and low-fat dairy. And of course, exercise regularly.

Is liposuction an outpatient procedure?

By far, the vast majority of liposuction is done as an outpatient procedure in our state certified and accredited outpatient surgery center. We prefer our patients to have the highest level of comfort during their procedure and for our surgeons to be able to do their best work. This means a general anesthetic. There are rare occasions where we will perform large volume liposuction cases and these will require an overnight stay.

Is there a weight requirement for liposuction?

No, there is not a specific weight requirement for liposuction. Liposuction is a tool to address focused, stubborn areas of fat that do not respond to diet and exercise. It is not a weight-loss tool. You can expect an easier recovery and better, more noticeable results with a healthier pre-operative weight.

What can you eat after lipo surgery?

To help maintain your results after liposuction, consider adding more fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein into your diet, while reducing the intake of sugars, simple carbohydrates, and saturated fats. Intermittent fasting or eating several smaller meals throughout the day or two different options will help maintain your energy levels and keep you from feeling deprived between meals. Drink plenty of fluids as it helps control hunger, maintains a healthy metabolism, and aids in digestion. Protect your investment by incorporating healthy eating habits and choosing a healthy lifestyle and you will enjoy your new look for a long time.

What do they do with liposuction fat?

The short answer is that it depends. Oftentimes, patients with too much fat in one area do not have enough in another. The best example is the Brazilian butt lift (BBL) where fat is taken from the abdomen and upper/lower back and then injected into the buttocks. Another example is fat injections for breast enlargement/enhancement. Its a win-win in that you take it from where you dont want it and use it where you do. If not being re-injected, the fat is labeled as medical waste and disposed of according to county and state regulations.

What is AirSculpt Lipo?

AirSculpt Liposuction is essentially laser liposuction with one main difference. At the time the tumescent fluid (local anesthetic) is injected to numb the area to be treated, air is also injected. The exact benefit of this is unclear and has not been well studied. While our board-certified plastic surgeons pride themselves on being cutting edge, they also dont experiment with unproven technology and so we do not currently offer AirSculpt liposuction.

What is Lipo Laser?

Before the fat is removed with liposuction, it can be treated by a variety of techniques and devices. Laser lipolysis or lipo is a common device and uses heat from various wavelengths to melt the stubborn fat in your problem areas. It is particularly useful in areas like the knees, neck and ankles. There are several machines including SmartLipo, iLipo, TriSculpt, Zerona 2026 but essentially, they all do the same thing. One downside is that the fat may be damaged and not ideal to be injected into other areas like the breast or buttocks.

What is the best type of liposuction?

The most important choice in liposuction is choosing a board-certified plastic surgeon trained to perform liposuction safely and not so much the \u201cright type\u201d. Tumescent liposuction is considered the gold standard for removing fat and reshaping your body with liposuction. Your surgeon injects a sterile solution of salt water, lidocaine and epinephrine into the fatty tissue areas before removing it. This enhances the safety of the procedure, decreases bruising and swelling, reduces discomfort and minimizes downtime.

What is ultrasonic liposuction?

Vaser (ultrasonic liposuction) utilizes ultrasound energy to target the fat cells specifically. The surrounding tissues are left intact. The results are impressive. Less discomfort, less swelling, less downtime and enhanced skin retraction or shrinkage. In fact, we believe so much in this technology that we provide it to all of our liposuction patients at no extra charge.

What types of liposuction are there?

There are several types of liposuction. Dry liposuction, meaning no fluid is injected into the tissue prior to the procedure, and has fallen out of favor because this has the highest rates of bleeding complications. The most common methods now include injecting tumescent fluid into the tissue first which contains local anesthetic, saline, and epinephrine to minimize bruising and bleeding. There is standard liposuction which uses a long metal cannula to mechanically remove the fat. You can use a traditional vacuum suction assisted liposuction (SAL), a cannula that moves rapidly, power assisted liposuction (PAL), or one powered by hand. There are energy devices which melt the fat prior to suction removal, these are called laser liposuction or ultrasound ultrasonic liposuction (UAL). High-definition liposuction (HDL) refers to the technique of selectively removing fat in some areas and adding it to others to enhance underlying muscular definition.

Who is good candidate for liposuction?

The ideal candidate for liposuction is a healthy, non-smoker with a positive outlook and specific goals in mind that they want to achieve with liposuction. Individuals with firm, elastic skin and good muscle tone that are within 30% of their ideal body weight will see the most dramatic and satisfying results. That said, if you are bothered by excess fat deposits anywhere on your body that dont respond to diet or exercise, liposuction may still be right for you. Come and see one of our board-certified plastic surgeons so they can help you realize your new look.

How painful is liposuction for men?

You may feel some mild to moderate discomfort after the liposuction procedure, but it’s entirely manageable with prescription and over-the-counter pain medication.

What is the recovery time for male liposuction?

The initial recovery time takes about 2-3 weeks, but the full recovery is about 6-8 weeks.

Is liposuction worth it for a man?

Absolutely! If you’re struggling with excess fat you’d like to get rid of, liposuction is completely worth it. It can give you the slimmer body you’ve been looking for remove unwanted pockets of fat that have not responded to diet and exercise.

What body part is most painful to liposuction?

Liposuction removed fat from the body and in those areas after surgery there will be swelling and bruising. The swelling and bruising are the source of discomfort and improve with time. You will be prescribed pain medications to help with this, and recommended to have lymphatic drainage of the areas to help minimize swelling and improve pain.

Silvia Kurtovic, MD & Raman Mahabir, MD

Board Certified Plastic Surgeons

At Tucson Plastic Surgery, we have a patient-centric approach that sets us apart from the rest. We take the time to really get to know you and your aesthetic goals during one-on-one conversations which help us to fully understand your motivations.

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