The latest liposuction techniques can contour the body to improve contour and to address stubborn pockets of fatty tissue. Top Austin plastic surgeon Steven Holzman, MD offers body sculpting for virtually every area of the body, including popular “trouble spots” like the flanks (love handles), thighs, abdomen, and upper arms. Talk to us today to learn more or to schedule a consultation.

What Is Liposuction?

Liposuction is a cosmetic procedure designed to spot reduce fatty tissue in targeted areas of the face and body and create a more sculpted and contoured appearance. Liposuction can be performed alone or in conjunction with other procedures to achieve more comprehensive results, and skilled plastic surgeons, like Dr. Holzman, provide natural-looking results that can last indefinitely.

What Areas of the Body Can Liposuction Treat?

Unwanted fat can develop anywhere, and liposuction can often address even small areas. At our practice, Dr. Holzman offers liposuction for the following regions:

  • Chin and neck
  • Arms
  • Abdomen
  • Back
  • Flanks (“love handles”)
  • Hips
  • Inner and outer thighs

Who Is a Good Candidate for Liposuction?

If you’re in good general health, have reasonable expectations for your treatment, and would like to address focused areas of stubborn fatty tissue, you may be a good candidate for this technique. It’s important to understand that liposuction is not a weight loss method, and patients should be at or close to their goal weight before considering this procedure. Dr. Holzman will review your needs, discuss your goals, and develop a customized cosmetic program to best suit you at your initial consultation.

How is the Liposuction Procedure Performed?

There are different liposuction techniques available, including tumescent, which uses saline and medicated fluid to ease fat removal, and VASERlipo®, which also incorporates ultrasound energy. Dr. Holzman can choose the one best suited to your needs. After selecting the most effective method of liposuction, Dr. Holzman makes a few small incisions around the area to be sculpted, fluid is injected into the fatty treatment areas, and then the cannula, a specialized fat-removal tool, is inserted. The cannula is moved back and forth to break down fat and suction it away from the body (in VASERlipo, breaking up the fatty tissue is helped along with the use of ultrasound energy). The fluid has saline to saturate the fat, local anesthesia to provide pain relief, and epinephrine to cause the blood vessels to constrict. This last medication is in some ways the most important. It allows Dr. Holzman to remove the fat with a minimum of blood loss and decreases the bruising as well. After the appropriate amount of fat is eliminated, Dr. Holzman closes the tiny incisions, and the patient is dressed in a specially designed surgical garment to assist in healing.

Each area of the body goes through the same essential steps for treatment, although there are a few small differences between each. Some of the most popular areas for liposuction include:

Liposuction of the Abdomen

Liposuction can spot-reduce fatty tissue on the midsection when diet and exercise fail to achieve your goals. Our advanced techniques can smooth, tone, and flatten this hard-to-contour area with beautiful results. That said, Liposuction does not reduce excess skin, so some patients requesting liposuction may require an additional procedure to obtain optimal results. For instance, liposuction is often utilized in tummy tuck and Mommy Makeover procedures to enhance the outcomes of other body contouring procedures.

Liposuction of the Flanks

The “love handles” are some of the most successful areas to contour, and liposuction can create a smooth and sculpted appearance with natural-looking results. Liposuction in this region is designed to create a slimmer, more aesthetically appealing figure rather than to reduce fatty tissue alone, so you can have the curves you have always dreamed of.

Liposuction of the Thighs

The inner and outer thighs often collect unwanted fatty tissue, even in the case of patients who are very active, obscuring the long line of the legs and causing chafing when working out. Liposuction of the thighs can contour the legs for a leaner look and greater comfort in and out of clothing.

Liposuction of the Arms

The upper arms can be particularly difficult to contour through traditional diet and exercise, and liposuction can often provide the targeted treatment desired. Using innovative techniques, our plastic surgeon can sculpt and trim this area for a leaner and lovelier outcome. If excess skin is also a concern, arm lift surgery can help address this unwanted tissue.

What Is Tumescent Liposuction?

The tumescent liposuction technique offers patients increased comfort by injecting an anesthetic solution into the treatment site(s) before the fat extraction begins. The introduction of the tumescent solution also causes the fat at the treatment site to firm and swell, giving a plastic surgeon greater control while sculpting and removing it—oftentimes leading to superior cosmetic outcomes. Additional benefits can include:

  • Decreased swelling and bruising 
  • Reduced risk of potential bleeding/blood loss
  • Minimized discomfort during and after surgery
  • A smoother overall recovery

Additionally, the tumescent liposuction technique typically utilizes thinner cannulae for extraction than traditional liposuction, which may lead to less noticeable scarring. During an initial discussion and evaluation, Dr. Holzman will be able to determine the best method for individual treatment.


What Is Recovery from Liposuction Like?

Part of the healing process involves the use of a compression garment to help prevent and treat the areas of swelling that liposuction generates. This garment is usually worn for about 18 hours daily for four to six weeks. Light exercise can be resumed at about 7-10 days. Most patients will be off work for 7-10 days depending on your job description and duties. People that work from home can resume their job in as little as two to three days. While some improvement is seen almost immediately, full recovery and attainment of the final contour can take up to four to six months, though you may look and “feel” healed long before this point.

Liposuction does not require lengthy incisions or adjustments to the underlying musculature, so patients can expect a relatively swift recovery time and little scarring. After healing, the skin should conform to the newly contoured shape of the body to reveal a slender, well-proportioned figure. The art of liposuction is to figure out how much to remove. Under removal results in less than optimal results and over resection causes irregularity and dimpling. This is where experience counts. Dr. Holzman has over 20 years of experience and his extensive surgical training and knowledge of anatomy will help to ensure that your new contours are a perfect fit.

What Will My Liposuction Scars Look Like?

The incisions made for a liposuction procedure are very small—typically less than half an inch—so upon healing, the degree of noticeable scarring is quite minimal. The number of incisions needed will depend on the amount of fat to be extracted and the number of treatment areas. Dr. Holzman will review the exact placements during an initial consultation, so you know what to expect from your surgery. He makes every effort to place the incisions in discreet locations, so scars are less conspicuous.

How Long Do Liposuction Results Last?

Liposuction can provide lasting results without the need for retreatment in many cases, and patients who maintain a healthy weight and active lifestyle often experience permanent results. Small fluctuations in weight are normal and should have little effect on your outcome. With that said, if you gain significant weight, the contours in the treated area may be affected, or the contours in other areas may be affected. Everyone responds differently, and Dr. Holzman will provide additional details at your first appointment.


Is Liposuction Safe?

Generally, liposuction is considered to be a safe procedure, especially when the patient is under the care of a highly trained and experienced plastic surgeon who is certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery. As experts in this field, they are able to best determine appropriate candidacy, optimal surgical techniques, and quality care to provide a safe, successful experience with reduced risk of complications. Liposuction is one of the most well-researched and clinically supported cosmetic surgeries available, with continuing advancements being made to improve aesthetic outcomes and ease the recovery process. However, as with any incisional procedure, there are some possible risks, including infection, negative reaction to anesthesia, fluid accumulation, loss of sensation, and other side effects. Dr. Holzman, a board-certified plastic surgeon, thoroughly explains the potential risks associated with liposuction during the consultation process. He also conducts a thorough review of each patient’s health and medical history in order to ensure they are a good candidate.

What Does Liposuction Cost?

The price of liposuction costs about $3,637* on average; however, this number only includes the surgeon’s fee. Patients should know that other fees, including costs for the hospital facility and anesthesiology, will also be a part of the total estimate. It is Dr. Holzman’s practice to provide a full quote that includes all anticipated fees for your treatment plan. Factors like size and number of areas treated will play a role in determining your total price. We want you to be well-informed about your options, including your plastic surgery financing options, and will provide comprehensive details at your consultation.

*According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons’ 2021 statistics

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Ready to take the next step towards your goals? Contact Dr. Holzman to find out if liposuction can help you achieve the body contour you’ve always wanted.

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