When Is the Right Time to Get Liposuction?

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You eat nutritionally balanced, well-portioned meals. You work out diligently. But you’re still unhappy with the way you look. In Miami, there’s a lot of pressure to have a flat, toned stomach. But unfortunately, you can’t spot-reduce fat, no matter how many minutes you plank every day. The only way to address your target trouble areas is to undergo a body contouring procedure. At Salas Plastic Surgery in Miami, FL, Dr. Emerick Salas, MD wants you to be confident in your skin.

What Is Liposuction?

Liposuction, also known as lipoplasty or suction-assisted lipectomy, is one of the most commonly performed body contouring procedures in the country. When considering lipoplasty, the most important thing you need to understand is that it is not a weight loss procedure. It is designed to remove moderate-sized pockets of excess fat rather than removing a very large volume of fat.

Where Can It Be Performed?

The general rule of thumb is lipo can treat nearly any part of your body with at least an inch of pinchable fat. This procedure is most commonly performed on the:

  • Flanks
  • Hips
  • Lower buttocks
  • Upper back
  • Lower back
  • Upper arms
  • Face
  • Thighs
  • Lower abdomen

It is commonly performed in conjunction with other cosmetic procedures, including facelifts, tummy tucks, and breast reductions.

What Can I Expect?

Your lipo will be performed by Dr. Salas, a board-certified plastic surgeon. This year, he was ranked among the 10 best plastic surgeons according to a survey published by the American Institute of Plastic Surgeons. He will personally handle this, and any complementary procedures, in our state-of-the-art, comfortable facility.

You can go home on the day of your procedure. However, due to the anesthesia, you’ll need to arrange for someone to drive you home. Dr. Salas will mark the areas that will be treated and, with your permission, take before photos to use for before-and-after comparisons later.

Are Results Permanent?

Lipoplasty permanently removes fat cells. While you’ll still gain weight if you eat above your total daily energy expenditure, it’s likely that fat cells in non-treated parts of your body will expand. With extremely rare exceptions, there’s no way to know where on your body fat cells will expand. If, due to genetics, you gain most of your excess body weight on your hips, the remaining fat cells in your hips may expand after being treated. However, since there are fewer fat cells in the treated area, the weight gain will not be as noticeable in that region.

What Can I Expect During Recovery?

Everyone recovers from medical procedures at different rates. If you work a sedentary job, such as a white-collar job, you can be back to work in two to three days. Depending on the extent of your procedure, you may need to take two to three weeks off from a blue-collar job or strenuous exercise. The number of procedures you have and where they are performed also affects how much time you will need to take off from work.

Tips for Recovery

During your initial consultation, we will give you a comprehensive guide of do’s and don’ts during your recovery. Follow these instructions to the letter. You must also take care to follow all instructions regarding how to prepare for your procedure. Here are a few tips to make your recovery as quick and comfortable as possible:

Eat Plenty of Fiber

Fiber is critical for your health. It’s even more important following lipoplasty. Anesthesia and prescription analgesics will prevent you from feeling pain and discomfort, but they also may make you become irregular. Eating high-fiber foods like quinoa, beans, chia seeds, and peas will help to keep your bowel movements regular.

Eat Lots of Protein

Like fiber, protein is essential to your general health and a speedy recovery. Make sure you’re getting your recommended daily allowance of protein. If you’ve prepared and frozen some meals in advance, you’ll have an easy time during recovery. This way, you’ll just have to pop your meals in the oven or microwave. Take a few days off from cooking. You deserve it.

Types of Lipo

While there are several types of lipoplasty, there is one common denominator. There is always a cannula, or very thin tube, connected to a vacuum that suctions the fat cells from your body. Here are some of the most common techniques:

Tumescent Lipoplasty

Tumescent lipoplasty is by far the most common lipoplasty technique. It starts with the injection of a sterile solution into the region of the body that will be treated. This solution is comprised of saline (saltwater), epinephrine, and lidocaine. The lidocaine numbs the treatment area so you feel no pain. The epinephrine prevents excess blood loss and the saltwater makes it easier to suction the fat out.


UAL, or ultrasound-assisted ,lipoplasty harnesses the power of sound waves to rupture the cell walls of the adipose tissue beneath your skin. This energy liquifies the fat, making it easier for the vacuum to suction out the destroyed fat cells.


SmartLipo, also known as laser-assisted liposuction, is similar to UAL in that it liquefies fat using targeted energy. The difference is this energy comes from light waves rather than sound waves.

When Is the Right Time to Get Liposuction?

The right time to get lipoplasty is when you are in good general health, you are close to your goal weight, you have a realistic expectation of results and you’re ready to contour the body of your dreams.

What Lipoplasty Cannot Do

Remember, lipoplasty is not a weight loss procedure. It will not help you lose 50 pounds of excess fat. Typically, we remove between one and 10 pounds of fat during a procedure. We don’t remove much more than that to avoid skin rippling and irregularities in your new contour. Moreover, traditional lipo will not typically minimize the appearance of cellulite.

You Are Healthy

The right time to get liposuction is when you are in good general health. Before your procedure, you will need to stop taking certain medications and dietary supplements. These include NSAIDs, MAOIs, vitamin E supplements and fish oil supplements. Moreover, it is important that you do not have an active infection. You should not take antibiotics two weeks prior to your procedure.

You Are Near Your Goal Weight

When considering if now is a good time to have lipoplasty, evaluate how close you are to your goal weight. The best candidates for this procedure have decent muscle tone and elastic skin. In other words, their skin is flexible and “snaps” back into place quickly when it is stretched away from the body.

If you have lipoplasty to remove excess fat and then lose another 35 pounds, your skin may become too lax. This results in the skin taking on a sagging appearance which would require a skin tightening treatment to correct.

Am I a Good Candidate?

If you are in good general health, do not smoke, and have realistic expectations about results, you are probably a good candidate for lipoplasty. It’s essential that you stop smoking for two to six weeks prior to your procedure and several weeks after your procedure as smoking elevates your blood pressure.

During your initial consultation, Dr. Salas will review your medical history, make sure you are currently healthy and assess your current body and goals. This will help him determine the best procedure or procedures to achieve your aesthetic vision.

Lipo for Gynecomastia

Lipoplasty is by far the most common solution to gynecomastia, or enlarged male breasts. If you’re ready for your chest to appear more masculine and you have been diagnosed with gynecomastia, now is the right time to have liposuction. Gynecomastia is nothing to be ashamed of. In fact, approximately half of American males are diagnosed with this condition during their lifetime.

How Does Lipoplasty for Gynecomastia Treatment Involve?

Lipoplasty for the treatment of gynecomastia is usually performed under local anesthesia with sedation, but it may be performed under general anesthesia. It starts with nearly imperceptible incisions on each side of the chest. Depending on the severity of your condition and your surgeon’s preferred technique, the incisions may be hidden within the areola or armpit.

Once these incisions are made, excess glandular tissue and fat are removed and your new chest contour is sculpted. The results look natural and masculine, eliminating any feminine creases. During your lipo for gynecomastia, you may also choose to have liposuction to remove love handles and straighten the silhouette of your flanks.

Lipoplasty as Part of a Mommy Makeover

Lipoplasty is often performed as a stand-alone procedure. However, mommy makeovers are becoming increasingly more popular. Mommy makeovers involve several body contouring procedures that help moms feel more confident about their post-childbirth bodies. Besides lipoplasty, common procedures performed include:

Breast Reduction

Many moms have lipo performed on their upper arms, inner thighs, outer thighs, hips or lower abdomen. To achieve their desired proportions, they may opt for breast reduction. Women who do not want a breast reduction but would like more symmetrical proportions typically opt for a Brazilian Butt Lift. This procedure involves grafting excess fat from an unwanted part of the body, processing it and injecting it into the lower buttocks.

Breast Lift

Breast lifts are one of the most commonly performed procedures for mothers. During pregnancy, your body is flooded with hormones that enlarge the breasts. After nursing, your breasts sag. This procedure may be combined with liposuction and breast reduction or breast augmentation.

Breast Augmentation

It’s common for nursing mothers to lose more volume in one breast than the other. Breast augmentation can help you achieve the fullness and projection you want while making the volume of your breasts symmetrical. With the right type of implant, your results will look so natural that people will be unable to tell you had a cosmetic procedure to enhance your appearance.

What If I’m Concerned About Cellulite?

While liposuction cannot effectively address concerns about cellulite, Cellfina cellulite treatment can. This FDA-approved treatment can treat cellulite for up to three years and comes with no downtime or discomfort. A Cellfina cellulite treatment begins with marking the cellulite dimples you want treated.

Then, the handheld device applies a gentle vacuum suction and anesthesia to ensure you feel no pain. Finally, a microblade cuts through the bands, releasing them and leaving your skin looking beautiful and smooth.

Achieve the Body of Your Dreams Today

Are you sick and tired of the way you look? Do you want to improve the way you feel about yourself? Do you wish you could get a little help with stubborn fat pockets that are resistant to diet and exercise? Contact Salas Plastic Surgery in Miami, FL today to schedule your initial consultation. Dr. Rafael Emerick Salas is an award-winning, Harvard-educated, board-certified plastic surgeon who can help you turn the sleek, svelte contours of your dreams into reality.