Considering Liposuction?

All About Liposuction in San Diego

Are your “curves” in all the right places and in the right proportion? Or do you find some of your “curves” are more like bulges? If you find yourself wishing that certain areas of your body were thinner, flatter, or smaller because of excess body fat, finding a surgeon in the San Diego area to do liposuction might be an ideal choice for you.

Surgeons are able to contour your body and sculpt it so that it more fully reflects how you would like your body to look. Liposuction can provide men and women alike with newer and better body proportions and take care of those pesky areas that neither exercise or weight loss ever seem to help.

Will Liposuction Get You the Best Results?

The ideal candidate for liposuction is someone who is close to their ideal weight. This gives your surgeon the ability to “sculpt” rather than “defat,” and our patients that are happiest with their results fit this description. The best liposuction patient is one with localized excess fat who has tight smooth skin. The procedure, however, works well for patients without perfect skin, who wish to have an area or two thinned or contoured. Liposuction should not be regarded as a weight reduction solution and is not a substitute for diet and exercise.

Is Liposuction Still the Most Popular Procedure?

In 2005, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS), liposuction was the number one cosmetic procedure performed in the United States. In 2012, liposuction was only the 4th most common procedure — but it is still clear that in San Diego, California and all the other areas of the country, liposuction is a popular choice for patients who want to change their body’s shape.

Liposuction is a tried and true cosmetic procedure that has been around for almost forty years. The original form of liposuction was developed in 1974 by an Italian doctor, and then in the late seventies several French physicians refined the technique. By the early 1980’s, liposuction became very popular in the United States, and for years it reigned as the number one cosmetic procedure.

Liposuction is also known as lipoplasty, liposculpture, or even just “lipo,” but all of these terms refer to essentially the same cosmetic procedure that has been refined over time. Liposuction is now safer than ever, provided you choose a qualified plastic surgeon and facility.

What about the Technique?

Liposuction surgical techniques have progressed dramatically since the early ’80’s. The technology of liposuction equipment has progressed at the same time. Better equipment and smaller cannulae give surgeons the ability to create better contours with less blood loss. The several methods of performing liposuction all use powerful suction to remove fat through metal tubes called cannulae which are inserted under the skin through small incisions. There are proponents for both the power assisted cannulae and the use of ultrasound to “break up” fat.

For detailed descriptions of the various techniques used in liposuction, you may visit the website of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons at

While at LJCSC we do use some of the most advanced techniques and equipment, it is important to note that the exact type of equipment is less important than the skill of the surgeon to your end result. Board certified plastic surgeons, board certified anesthesiologists, and a certified operating facility should be considered as requirements for your safety, and desired results.

Power Assisted Lipoplasty

We have a state-of-the-art MicroAire machine called the PAL® (Power Assisted Lipoplasty). This device uses reciprocating movement and does not generate heat. La Jolla Cosmetic Surgery Centre feels that the PAL® technology benefits both the patient and the surgeon. The benefits to the patient are less trauma to the area, and that results in gentler tissue handling and less bruising. We believe it also reduces recovery time and patient discomfort after surgery. For the surgeon, it means more control and flexibility during the procedure, as well as less physical fatigue to the physician.

Liposuction is most commonly done on the lower torso, thighs, and upper arms. Other areas that liposuction can also benefit are breasts (both female and male) and the face and neck. For patients who have good skin tone and who have pockets of fat in any of these areas, liposuction is a good procedure to consider.

Liposuction to Refine Results of Breast Reduction, Tummy Tuck, and Facial Procedures

Liposuction is often combined with other cosmetic procedures, most commonly with a tummy tuck or abdominoplasty. If you’re interested in a breast reduction or a breast augmentation, we may use liposuction to help create symmetry to the breasts or flatten bulges in front of the axillae. Facelifts usually involve a neck lift, and micro-liposuction along the jaw and chin line can improve contours. Liposuction can be done in very small amounts (facial areas), and in larger amounts (body areas). Normally, we perform liposuction with general anesthesia unless the area being treated is very small. This is for both your comfort and the safety.

Keep in mind, though, there are risks and potential complications to all surgical procedures. General surgical risks include swelling, bruising, inflammation, infection, blood loss, itching, and numbness. Surgical complications, although rare, can also occur and include cardiac problems, allergic reactions, pulmonary embolism, and hyperthermia. Some of the risks that are specific to liposuction are swelling, bleeding, pain, temporary numbness, skin irregularities, and scarring issues.

We find that the most common patient concern after healing is that the new contour may not be as “perfect” as was hoped for. Once again, it is easier to achieve the best contours if your skin is tight and hard prior to surgery.

What is Recovery from Liposuction Like?

Your recovery time will depend on the amount of liposuction you are having done and how many areas of your body are involved in the surgery. You can expect some swelling and discomfort, but these symptoms will subside. After liposuction, your physician will often have you wear a compression garment for several weeks. It is important after any surgical body procedures that you get up and move around. So light activity begins quickly, and usually within a week you are able to go back to a desk job and resume normal activities. Aerobic activities are usually delayed for about four to six weeks following liposuction.

Finding a Liposuction Surgeon and Your Safety

At La Jolla Cosmetic Surgery Centre, it has always been our mission to provide patients with educational and helpful information. One of the key points to your cosmetic surgery happiness is finding a well-qualified surgeon. When you are interviewing and considering doctors, you need to know how to find the best doctor and facility for you. Read our article, Ten Points To Ponder, for a synopsis of that important information. You want to find a doctor you like, but you also want to find a doctor whose background and experience is first-rate.

Here is a standard that we recommend that you never deviate from – that is use only a board certified plastic surgeon to perform your procedure. Plastic surgeons have years of surgical training. An easy way to identify who is a plastic surgeon is to see if they are a member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS). Many doctors in specialties outside of plastic surgery, including those who are not even in a surgical specialty, use the word “cosmetic” and even “plastic” in their advertising and on their websites. Unfortunately, it’s up to each patient to separate the surgeons who have years of training in cosmetic surgery from those who are not adequately qualified.

If you are interested in finding out if you are a candidate for liposuction, we suggest you call and make an appointment with one of our board certified plastic surgeons. You will be able to meet with the physician in consultation and discuss your desires and the benefits of liposuction. You will be able to view before and after pictures of actual patients the doctor has treated. Once you are ready to schedule your liposuction, you will be supported by our staff and the medical protocols we have established in our years of excellence in patient care.

In summary, here’s what to look for and what you’ll find at La Jolla Cosmetic Surgery Centre:

  • Meet personally for a free consultation with an experienced board certified plastic surgeon
  • At the consultation have an examination and discuss your desires and expectations and learn the specifics of the recommended procedure
  • Receive information and materials that help you in the decision making process
  • See before and after pictures of real liposuction patients treated by that plastic surgeon
  • Get a specific written plastic surgery fee quote detailing all the costs
  • After scheduling surgery, attend an individual “pre-op” appointment to discuss all the surgical risks and the steps of going through the entire process
  • Receive quality surgical and post surgical care with lots of personal attention

To make an appointment or to find out more information please call our number at (858) 452-1981 or use our online contact form.