What Is Liposuction? 4 Risks, Side Effects, and Everything in Between

What is liposuction you ask? 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.”

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. This you should make sure you are seeing an experienced, licensed plastic surgeon for your liposuction procedure, such as the surgeons at UGlow.

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 two to eight 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. Doing multiple areas will require more incisions and additional time, so you will have to pay more for additional areas. 

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, when necessary. At UGlow Face & Body, we have an operating room at our office and use local anesthesia instead of general anesthesia, making our FirmSculpt procedure a more affordable liposuction option. 

Side Effects of Liposuction

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.

Post-surgery pain is another common side effect and can easily be managed with pain medication. 

Is Liposuction Dangerous?

When a liposuction procedure is done by an experienced, board-certified plastic surgeon, there are rarely dangerous complications. Traditional liposuction uses general anesthesia, where the patient will go under during the procedure. Going under general anesthesia can always pose a risk. UGlow’s FirmSculpt procedure uses local anesthesia, which makes this procedure safer than traditional liposuction. 


FirmSculpt® is an innovative liposuction treatment that uses both BodyTite® and Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) to stimulate collagen production and tighten skin after liposuction. Unlike traditional liposuction, FirmSculpt uses oral pain medications and local anesthesia to perform the painless procedure. The combination of these methods makes FirmSculpt a safer option with better results. 

UGlow uses BodyTite to tighten skin with the liposuction procedure to achieve the best results. Loose skin is one of the number one concerns after liposuction. FirmSculpt resolves this issue with a proprietary method that cannot be found at any other surgeon or medspa. Patients will not only be smaller in the area treated, but their skin will also look and feel tighter and younger. 

If you’re interested in trying a new, safer way to reduce fat, schedule a consultation with a FirmSculpt expert today.