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Liposuction Overview

Liposuction dramatically improves the appearance of different areas of the body by removing excess fatty tissue. Many people find that no matter how hard they try, certain areas of the body just don’t respond to diet and exercise.  Stubborn fat deposits can make the body look disproportionate and unattractive. While no amount of diet and exercise can target a specific part of your body, liposuction can.

Liposuction by Dr. Leveque

Liposuction by Dr. Leveque
Liposuction by Dr. Leveque

View Liposuction Gallery by Dr. Leveque

Facts About Liposuction

Typical Timing/Age



The cost of liposuction varies according to the areas treated. For example, lipo to outer thighs is about  $3050 if done in the office or around  $4300 if done in OR under general anesthesia. Liposuction to the abdomen runs about $3050 in the office or about $4500 if done in the operating room. This is an estimation & prices may vary. Patients are given an exact price at their consultation appointment.


Isolated areas of excess fat.


The area to be treated is accessed with cannulas via small skin incisions. The isolated area of excess fat is then artfully removed to leave behind a pleasing contour. This is why some plastic surgeons refer to liposuction as “liposculpture.” If there are areas of volume deficiency, fat transfer can be done to add volume to those areas of deficiency.

Liposuction Techniques

LiposuctionThere are a number of different liposuction techniques today. In fact, the many varied approaches can be a bit confusing for liposuction candidates. The best way to determine which technique is right for you is a personal consultation and exam with your doctor. Every patient has a unique body and unique goals, and for this reason, your doctor strongly believes that every liposuction surgery must be customized to the patient for optimal results.  Most liposuction surgeries are performed on an outpatient basis.  The two most common techniques are Tumescent Liposuction and Ultrasound-Assisted Liposuction.

  • In Tumescent Liposuction, your doctor will make designate small access points in the area where fat needs to be removed. A mixture called tumescent fluid, made of lidocaine (a local anesthetic) and epinephrine (adrenaline,) is then injected into those access points. The tumescent fluid will cause a reaction in the body fat that makes it easier to suction. A cannula, a very thin tube device, is then used to remove the excess fat. Tumescent fluid also causes the constriction of capillaries, thus helping prevent blood loss during surgery. The lidocaine helps numb the body after being treated.
  • With Ultrasound-Assisted Liposuction, the same tumescent fluid is injected into the areas where fat removal is needed. A cannula is then placed in the access points. After that, a probe is used to send ultrasonic waves via the cannula. That ultrasound energy liquefies the fat. Once liquefied, the fat can be easily suctioned out via the cannula.


To remove fat from areas of excess and improve body contour.


Surgery Center or Hospital for larger areas. Office/Clinic for smaller areas.

Liposuction by Dr. Butler

Liposuction by Dr. Butler
Liposuction by Dr. Butler

*This patient had a tummy tuck in addition to liposuction.

View Liposuction Gallery by Dr. Butler


Liposuction works best in patients who are at a normal healthy weight, so weight loss may be necessary prior to the surgery. Generally, patients should be within 10 percent of their ideal weight or have a BMI of 25 or below before liposuction should be performed. Patients will typically need to get lab testing done to verify that they are in overall good health and are strong enough for the surgery. Before the surgery, patients need to give their doctor a list of all current medications, including prescription and nonprescription drugs. Some medicines, especially anything that causes blood thinning, should be stopped prior to the surgery. Smokers should stop smoking prior to liposuction surgery. Smoking can interfere with the healing process.


General anesthesia for larger areas. Local anesthesia for smaller areas.


Liposuction is performed as outpatient surgery, meaning you won’t have to stay in the hospital after the procedure. Patients are safe to return home the same day to rest and recover. You can expect to experience some swelling and bruising after the procedure but this is temporary and will subside.


You will be able to walk around, feed, and bathe yourself. Depending on your pain medication requirements, you may not be able to care for others or drive a car.

Walking After Surgery

You are encouraged to walk around the house as much as possible to help reduce the risk of DVT and thromboembolism.


You may shower immediately after surgery.


Light exercise is ok 1 week after surgery. Regular exercise after 2 weeks.


Wait 1 week because you don’t want to increase your blood pressure during the early healing period.


Most patients can return to work 24-72 hours after surgery, depending on your type of work.


Usually, it peaks around 3 days and gradually goes away.


Should subside within 1-2 weeks.

Inherent Risks & Complications

Contour irregularities, Bleeding, Seroma, Numbness, Infection, Need for revision, Fat emboli, Damage to deeper structures, Complications related to anesthesia.

Contact Our Office

Liposuction is an effective solution for removing the excess fat that’s difficult to get rid of with diet and exercise alone. If you’re interested in learning more about how lipo can help you, contact Gulf Coast Plastic Surgery to schedule your consultation today!


In-Office Liposuction

Liposuction By Dr. Patterson

Liposuction By Dr. Patterson
Liposuction By Dr. Patterson

View Liposuction Gallery by Dr. Patterson

Frequently Asked Questions

Liposuction is well known as a fat removal method — but there are also a lot of unanswered questions that you may have. Here are the top FAQs about liposuction from Gulf Coast Plastic Surgery patients.

  • Am I a good candidate?
    A good liposuction candidate is generally someone who is in their target weight range, but who has stubborn fat in certain areas. Liposuction isn’t intended as a weight loss surgery, but rather as a contouring surgery for trouble spots. If you have stubborn pockets of belly fat, thigh fat, arm fat, or fat in other areas, even after diet and exercise, liposuction may be right for you. The best liposuction candidates are those who have good skin tone and very elastic skin, without any sagging in the planned treatment area.
  • Will I have loose skin?

    Your Doctor has the skill and expertise required to give you the very best results with the fewest complications, so loose skin isn’t typically a problem after liposuction. Because liposuction removes fat but not skin, loose skin could result if you don’t have good skin elasticity to start with.  Your doctor will make sure that you’re a good candidate for the procedure and will do everything in his or her power to ensure smooth skin and beautiful results afterward.

  • What type of results should I expect?
    After liposuction, you can typically expect to enjoy a significant reduction in fat in the treatment area. You’ll still feel numb for a day or so after liposuction thanks to the anesthetic used during the procedure.  You’ll generally feel well enough to go back to work after a few days to a week. Total recovery time is usually only about two weeks, but you do need to avoid strenuous exercise for around six weeks in total.
  • You can expect some swelling in the weeks and months after liposuction. By the time you’re around six months post-op, your final results can usually be seen. Liposuction results in a permanent reduction in fat deposits, but it’s up to you to maintain these results with diet and exercise.
  • How many areas can be done at one time?
    Depending on your individual needs, your doctor can perform liposuction in up to three or four areas during a single surgery. For example, some patients have liposuction in the thighs, abdomen, and hips during the same surgery. This allows you to save money by having just one longer procedure rather than multiple shorter ones. It also allows you to avoid undergoing anesthesia more than once.
  • How does liposuction differ from a tummy tuck?
    In liposuction, only fat is removed from the body. In a tummy tuck, both skin and fat are removed. Liposuction is for specific problem areas while a tummy tuck can create a major change in the whole abdominal region. The recovery time for liposuction is generally much shorter than that of a tummy tuck, and there’s usually less pain because it’s a less invasive procedure. If you’re unsure about whether liposuction or a tummy tuck is the better choice for you, your doctor is happy to discuss your options with you.

Do you want to learn more about liposuction and whether it will work for you? Contact Gulf Coast Plastic Surgery, the Pensacola cosmetic surgery experts, for a consultation with your doctor today.

Performed by: Dr. Butler, Dr. Leveque, Dr. Patterson


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