Liposuction, All You Need To Know Before Going Under The Knife


Liposuction is the most popular cosmetic surgery procedure in the world along with rhinoplasty and breast implant. It used to suck up the excess fat cells accumulated in certain areas (thighs, belly, back, arms, love handles, calves …). In this article we’re going to know more about its indications, techniques, and the cost of this procedure.

This surgical technique was created by Dr. Yves Gérard Illouz in 1977, liposuction is today the most practiced aesthetic intervention in the world. Liposuction is by far the only reliable way to effectively remove localized and refractory fat. Whatever the origin of the fat deposits removed, the results are in the great majority of cases very satisfactory and definitive.

What is liposuction?

Liposuction is a surgical and aesthetic procedure that seeks to permanently eliminate the fat accumulated in certain areas of the body, most often the fat that can’t break with diet. Invented by Dr. Yves Gérard Illouz in 1977, liposuction involves putting, through small incisions, small cannulas (3-4 mm) with rounded ends (non-cutting) perforated at their ends with several orifices.

Connected to a closed circuit with negative pressure, they allow a harmonious and non-traumatic aspiration of excess fat cells. Knowing that these cells (adipocytes) do not have the ability to multiply, the result will be final.

The areas treated by the Liposuction

A large number of areas of the body can benefit from this procedure: belly, thighs, hips, knee, calves, ankles, arms, back … and even the face and neck for double chin in particular. Gynecomastia surgery (an enlarged chest in men) may include liposuction to remove excess fat.

Objectives and limits of Liposuction

Be careful though, liposuction is not a cure for obesity. It is an alternative for slimming and can only be practiced in well-defined areas where exercise or dieting is ineffective. The goal is not making someone stick thin but rather a search for a harmony of shapes and silhouette, we also speak of “liposculpture”.

Cosmetic surgeons always advise to be closest to the ideal weight before performing liposuction. Thus, only fats that could not be eliminated by diet or exercise will be removed and, moreover, much more effectively.

Using liposuction is not necessarily a short cut to a healthy lifestyle. In fact, even if fat liposuction is had effective results but the patient didn’t opt for a healthy lifestyle may however see the accumulation of fat in areas that have not been treated. Good advice: eat healthy, exercise regularly; avoid stress, tobacco and alcohol even after the surgery…


Despite being so well known and practiced everywhere, liposuction remains a surgical operation, responding to specific rules. It must therefore be practiced by a qualified plastic surgeon, registered with the National Order of Physicians and practicing in a facility that must ensure all the guarantees of surgical safety according to the standards. To choose the right surgeon, you need to make sure of his skills. Ask for patients reviews, do your online research. Finally, you must feel that you are being listened and don’t be shy to ask for any question to your surgeon.

The first meeting is essential. It must provide you with the information you need to make your decision. The mandatory legal referral period of 15 days means that the appointment for the intervention is most often made during a second consultation. You can consult another surgeon for a second opinion.

The procedure of the intervention

For the majority of people, the procedure is very short, between 20 minutes to 1 hour, in most cases you can leave the hospital in the same day, although in some cases an extra night of hospitalization is required, especially in the withdrawal of more large amounts of fat.

Before the operation of liposuccion

One to two prior consultations with the plastic surgeon are essential in order to clearly define the patient’s goals and the relevance of the request. The surgeon performs an interrogation and a careful examination of the areas to be treated. The quality of the skin, particularly its retractability potential, is carefully examined by the surgeon. Indeed, poor skin elasticity does not guarantee a satisfactory result, the skin must be reshaped and refined.


Preoperative blood test is performed according to the prescriptions:

It is recommended to stop smoking at least one month before and after surgery to avoid complications;

Taking aspirin is prohibited during the 10 days before the surgery;

The skin will be disinfected with an antiseptic solution applied the day before and the morning of the operation;

It is recommended to eat nothing or drink 6 hours before the operation in case of general anesthesia.


The patient must consult the anesthesiologist at least 48 hours before the intervention if the procedure is not performed under local anesthesia. He must remain fasting, that is to neither drink nor eat during the 6 hours before the intervention. The type of anesthesia depends on the importance and the multiplicity of the areas to be treated, the consultation between the plastic surgeon.


The period of hospitalization depends on the amount of fat to be extracted and the health of the patient. Liposuction can be performed on an outpatient basis (in the order of a few hours). For liposuction performed under neuroleptanalgesia (light anesthesia), the plastic surgeon recommends hospitalization that can be either a day or 24 hours, ie entered the day before or the morning of the intervention and out the next day of the intervention. In case of major liposuction performed under general anesthesia, hospitalization may be 1 or 2 days.


The time of the intervention varies between 20 minutes and 1 hours, depending on the areas and the amount of fatty deposits to be eliminated. The plastic surgeon sucks excess fat to reshape the figure. The incisions are tiny and hidden in the natural fold, which allows an optimal concealment of the scars.

In some cases, liposuction may be associated with other complementary surgical procedures such as lipo filling. The fat taken from the areas suffering from excess fat is reinserted into other areas (buttocks, calves, face …) or may help to participate in a breast augmentation without prosthesis. The plastic surgeon then proceeds to a reshaping of the silhouette. If you are interested in this option, discuss this with your surgeon beforehand to find out if such options are possible.

At the end of the liposuction procedure, the plastic surgeon prescribes the wearing certain undergarment or a compressive sheathing garment adapted to the morphology of the patient in order to limit edema (post-operative swelling of the operated tissue) and postoperative bruising (blue) This compression will be worn between 2 and 4 weeks (depending on the amount of fat removed and the quality of the skin).

The postoperative course

The plastic surgeon recommends a week of recovery. For major liposuction, the plastic surgeon prescribes anticoagulants. Moderate pain can be felt but can be reduced by taking pain killers. Fatigue often follows the procedure. As incisions are very small, scars are usually minimal.

The recovery time is proportional to the amount of fat removed. Not going to work for 3 to 10 days is advisable. You need to stay away from any intense sport activities for a month. TYou can notice some edema but wearing the compression panty allows its attenuation after one month, then its total restorability after 6 months. The plastic surgeon may possibly advise lymphatic drainage sessions for certain cases.

Benefits of liposuction 

It is necessary to wait three weeks and the restoration of the edema for visible results. The skin will take 3 to 6 months to retract completely and readjust to the new silhouette. Since fat cells do not have the ability to multiply, the liposuction procedure offers definitive results. We must wait 6 months to see the final results of liposuction.


Correctly performed, a liposuction will give a satisfactory result. In rare cases, localized imperfections are found: insufficient correction, residual asymmetry, surface irregularities … As a rule, they can be corrected thanks to a complementary treatment, a small “retouch” of liposuction often performed under simple anesthesia local from the 6th postoperative month.

Contraindications of liposuction

Liposuction is not recommended for teens. Other contraindications are:

A history of phlebitis or pulmonary embolism may be contraindications to this operation;

In case of serious diseases (uncontrolled diabetes, blood pressure, leukemia …), the operation may be discouraged;

A short-term pregnancy project is a contraindication. It is then advisable to delay the operation after delivery.

Smoking increases the risk of cutaneous necrosis, which can delay healing. It is therefore recommended to stop smoking one to two months before the operation and afterwards;

Taking hormonal contraceptives increases the risk of phlebitis. In case of other risk factors, it may be requested to stop it one month before the operation;

Overweight in the body as a whole is a contraindication.

Reminder: It is forbidden to take aspirin in the 15 days preceding the intervention.

The opinion of the expert

“Before performing a liposuction, the weight of the patient must be as close as possible to its ideal weight because the amount of fat to be removed must be limited. You need to know that this technique is not in any way a slimming method but a solution to permanently treat localized fat overload resistant to well-conducted diets and physical exercises.

The analysis of the quality of the patient’s skin (good elasticity without loosening) and the use of the right technique (use of the finest cannulas possible, regular trabeculae at the level of the deep fat layers) are essential conditions for the patient.  Obtaining an optimal result.

Finally, the patient must keep in mind that the use of liposuction does make you avoid a healthy lifestyle otherwise fat accumulation will occur in areas that have not been processed.