How does a Liposuction procedure work? Risks, side effects, and everything in between.

The term liposuction is used to describe a procedure that removes fat from specific areas of the body. The procedure is done by breaking down and removing the excess fat cells with a vacuum-like machine or surgery.

Liposuction has been around for about 35 years, but it’s only recently become popular in America because of its use on reality television shows like “The Biggest Loser.” So how does a traditional liposuction procedure work? 

Keep reading to find out everything you need to know about liposuction, including how traditional liposuction works, what some of the risks are for undergoing liposuction surgery, and an alternative to conventional liposuction that you might want to consider.

How Does Liposuction Work?

Traditional liposuction works by inserting a cannula (a long, thin tube) underneath the skin through a small incision. The surgeon then uses the cannula to break down and remove excess fat cells.

The surgeon finishes by suctioning the cells out of the body, along with some blood and watery plasma, through the cannula. The remaining incisions are typically closed with either stitches or surgical tape.

Risks of Traditional Liposuction

Traditionally, liposuction was performed using a long hollow tube inserted into the targeted area of fat. The suction would then detach and suck out large amounts of fat cells from the desired location.

Over the years, this technique has been refined to help provide a better experience for patients undergoing liposuction. However, serious consequences can result if it’s not done correctly or too much pressure is applied.

In addition to surgical problems like infection and bleeding, there are also other risks involved in traditional liposuction. High pressure during liposuction can cause blood clots to develop around fatty deposits deep within the body.

If another infection were to arise after liposuction, the infection would spread quickly due to the puncture wounds left behind in the body.

Aftermath of Traditional Liposuction

Traditional liposuction is an invasive procedure and performed under general anesthesia. After your procedure has been completed, you will be required to wear a compression garment around the area where fat was removed for up to three weeks. 

Your doctor may also prescribe pain medication and antibiotics. During your final check-up after liposuction, you will discuss a post-operative diet with your surgeon and learn how to care for your new results.

Liposuction Recovery Time

A week or so after your procedure, you will experience aching and swelling of the area where the surgeon performed the liposuction. But as time goes on, those feelings should subside. Liposuction healing time usually takes about three to four weeks.

However, pain and swelling may continue for several months due to the deep penetration of liposuction tools used during the procedure. This could drag out your liposuction downtime and overall recovery from liposuction.

How Much Is a Liposuction?

While the cost for liposuction varies from one personal health care provider to another, it’s estimated that a single session can cost an average of $3500 approximately. The price of liposuction usually depends on how many areas you need to be treated and whether or not other techniques will be used during your procedure, along with the standard liposuction tool. 

Costs can add up if you decide to get other treatments while you’re under general anesthesia. For example, if you want to target your abdomen and love handles while under general anesthesia, you will most likely have to pay more because a surgeon can’t use a traditional liposuction tool in two places at once.

Remember that these costs are only part of the total overall price for liposuction. It usually doesn’t include services such as anesthesia or the cost of the operating room.

Side Effects of Liposuction Procedure

Besides the risks involved with having a traditional liposuction procedure, side effects can also occur after your procedure. For example, you may experience pain or numbness in areas where fat was removed for several months after your surgery.

Not everyone will experience these sensitivity issues, but it’s essential to talk to your doctor about them to help treat the problem.

Is Liposuction Dangerous?

Some patients have reported issues related to breathing and swallowing following traditional liposuction done on their neck, chest, arms, legs, ankles, hips, and other areas where fatty deposits exist.

If you notice any excessive bleeding at the surgery site or drainage that lasts longer than expected, you should contact your surgeon immediately. Sometimes fluid accumulates under the skin, creating a bulge underneath. In rare cases, you might need additional surgery to remove this fluid from your body.

In addition to those risks and side effects, you should also discuss if liposuction will leave a scar on your body with your health care provider before the procedure begins. Not all liposuction scars are bad – some can improve a patient’s appearance.

However, more significant scars that take up a large portion of any given area may not be cosmetically appealing for everyone who undergoes liposuction. For example, someone who has had liposuction done around their abdomen could have very noticeable scars or loose skin, making it difficult to wear certain types of clothing or bathing suits.

Although you can’t entirely avoid the risk of scarring, your health care provider will let you know what to do after surgery and how to minimize any visible signs.


Firmsculpt is an innovative liposuction treatment that uses local anesthesia and is performed by a board-certified plastic surgeon. Firmsculpt does not use general anesthesia, making it a safer alternative to traditional liposuction. 

Additionally, Firmsculpt uses Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) to stimulate collagen production and tighten skin after liposuction. This procedure also uses BodyTite to tighten skin after liposuction, so you no longer have to worry about loose skin hanging around! Plus, we offer free consultations with our Firmsculpt specialists, who will walk you through every step of the process and answer any questions you may have along the way.

If you’re interested in trying a new way to get results, schedule a consultation with one of our experts today.