Board-Certified Plastic Surgeon Serving Baltimore, Columbia, Owings Mills, Towson, Nearby Maryland & Lower Pennsylvania

There are many men and women in the Baltimore area who, despite a healthy diet and lifestyle, have trouble slimming down problem areas of excess fat. This is because as we age, fat tends to settle into genetically predetermined areas such as the abdomen or hips, and it can be incredibly difficult to get this fat off even if you live a pretty healthy life.woman considering liposuction measuring her waist

This is where liposuction comes in. Liposuction is a safe and effective way to eliminate stubborn pockets of unwanted fat so that you can achieve the body contour you want. Dr. Adam Basner has years of experience performing liposuction with beautiful results on both men and women, and he enjoys helping patients feel better about their bodies.

If you are interested in liposuction, call Dr. Basner today at 410-616-3000 to schedule your consultation.

What Is Liposuction?

Liposuction is a minimally invasive surgical procedure in which unwanted fat is sucked out through a cannula. It has been performed for decades, and is currently one of the safest, most effective, and most popular plastic surgery procedures available.

Dr. Basner performs SAFElipo, which is a technique developed in order to lessen the risk of contour irregularities following surgery. SAFElipo follows these steps:

  • Separation: This first step involves gently separating your fat cells for easier removal.
  • Aspiration: After the fat is separated, it can be more efficiently aspirated (suctioned out). Since the aspiration process is easier, it tends to result in less bruising and swelling after surgery.
  • Fat Equalization: After the unwanted fat is suctioned away, Dr. Basner will smooth out the remaining thin layer of fat in order to prevent the appearance of dimpled, lumpy skin. Through smoothing this fat layer, patients end up with youthful and natural looking results.

It is very important to note that liposuction is NOT a weight loss technique. Fat is very light, and its removal will not make a significant difference in your actual weight. Most patients, however, do look like they lost weight after liposuction, and it's not uncommon to drop a pant size or two.

If you want to lose actual weight, the best course of action is to follow a good diet and exercise plan. If you've tried on your own with no luck, it might be a good idea to hire a nutritionist and personal trainer to give you personalized guidance and keep you on track.

What Areas Can Liposuction Treat?

Liposuction can be used almost anywhere on the body, from the ankles to the chin. Some of the most popular areas to have liposuction performed on include:

  • Upper and lower abdomen
  • Hips
  • Outer thighs
  • Inner thighs
  • buttocks
  • Back
  • "Bra bulge"
  • Knees
  • Arms
  • Chin

Basically, if you have an area of the body with excess fat that you can pinch, you can probably have liposuction on it. Keep in mind that liposuction does not help with excess skin, though. If your skin is sagging, Dr. Basner may recommend a body lift instead. In some cases, liposuction can be combined with a lift for best results. This is common in areas like the arms, where "batwings" are often a combination of fat and loose skin.

Liposuction vs. Tummy Tuck

Patients are often not sure if they need liposuction or a full tummy tuck to get the results they want. The only way to tell for sure is to have an in-person consultation, but in general, you will probably need a tummy tuck if you have the following concerns:

  • Excess fat in the abdomen
  • Significant sagging skin in the abdominal area
  • Loose or separated abdominal muscles

A tummy tuck is much more comprehensive than liposuction alone, and can address fat, skin, and muscles. Liposuction will only address the fat. Often, post-childbirth women will need a tummy tuck because their pregnancy stretched the skin and the abdominal muscles.

A tummy tuck can be combined with liposuction for results that are more comprehensive and fine-tuned. For instance, if you want a flatter stomach but also want to reduce love handles and slim the thighs, a tummy tuck with lipo may be the way to go.

Are You a Candidate for Liposuction?

Although there are exceptions, the ideal candidate for liposuction:

  • Is at or near a stable, healthy weight
  • Is committed to maintaining results by leading a healthy lifestyle
  • Is in overall good health
  • Does not smoke
  • Has realistic expectations

Although liposuction results can last for a lifetime with proper maintenance, if you fall off the health wagon and start to regularly eat poorly and stop exercising, you can regain fat even in the areas that had liposuction.

While fat cells do not come back after they've been removed, existing fat cells can still enlarge. The best way to maintain your results is to eat a relatively healthy diet and make sure you get a sufficient amount of exercise. We're not saying you can never eat a donut again - just make sure you're not eating them every day!

In addition, it's important to have realistic expectations for your results. While we can create a better body shape for you, we are limited by your individual anatomy. Liposuction can't give you a body identical to your favorite celebrity. It can give you a waist and an hourglass figure, but it might not be able to give you as tiny a waist as you are imagining.

Be upfront and honest about your expectations with Dr. Basner, and he will let you know if your desired results are achievable.

woman after body shapingThe Liposuction Procedure

Liposuction is performed under general anesthesia, unless you are having it done in combination with another procedure such as a tummy tuck or body lift. Combination procedures are usually done under general anesthesia.

Liposuction is an outpatient procedure, meaning you can go home the same day as surgery. We recommend having a friend or family member available to take you home, as you will not be up to driving. Ride sharing services or a taxi are other options.

How long the procedure lasts depends on how many areas you are having treated at once. Generally, it will only take an hour or two to complete. Dr. Basner will let you know how long you can expect to be in surgery.

Recovery After Liposuction

Liposuction recovery is usually pretty easy. Most patients are back to work within just a few days. If you have your procedure done over a long weekend, you may not even need to take any time off of work.

Although the SAFElipo method lessens the severity of bruising and swelling, you should still expect to be somewhat bruised and swollen for the first few weeks. The bruising should dissipate over these first weeks, but swelling can last for much longer.

You should not be concerned if it seems like you are lumpy or asymmetrical in the first four to eight weeks of recovery. This is just swelling, and is completely normal. Be patient, and you should start to see what your final results will look like by the third month, sometimes sooner.

During your recovery, you should walk as much as possible starting as soon as the day after surgery. Walking around will help you feel active and will help with your recovery.

Things you can do to help with your recovery include:

  • Be as active as possible without engaging in strenuous exercise
  • Keep the treated body part elevated to help with swelling
  • Don't stress out about lumps or asymmetry
  • Take painkillers as prescribed to help with any pain or discomfort in the first few days
  • Don't get on the scale. It's normal to gain a few pounds immediately after liposuction because of all the water retention and swelling
  • Visit Dr. Basner for your follow-up appointments to make sure you're healing well

Scarring After Liposuction

Patients are often concerned about the possibility of visible scarring after a liposuction procedure. The truth is that while you will have highly visible red scars immediately following your procedure, these scars often fade very nicely over the course of a year, to the point of becoming practically invisible.

The incisions used for liposuction are very small, which makes the resulting scars very inconspicuous. This is part of the appeal of liposuction. Dr. Basner may recommend a scar cream to help with scar healing and fading if you so desire.

Schedule Your Liposuction Consultation

If you are interested in getting rid of excess fat and achieving a slimmer body contour, don't hesitate to contact Dr. Basner by calling 410-616-3000 to schedule your consultation. We will be happy to listen to your concerns and come up with a treatment plan to get you the body you want.

We serve patients in and around Baltimore, Columbia, Owings Mills, and Towson, Maryland.

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