At UVA Plastic Surgery, our experienced plastic surgeons perform liposuction in Charlottesville, VA, to reduce areas of excess fat that cause patients to feel self-conscious or dissatisfied with the way they look. Our team uses state-of-the-art, evidence-based techniques for smooth, even results and optimal healing.
We are all genetically predisposed to distribute fat in certain ways. Some people carry their fat evenly over their bodies while others have places where fat collects and forms bulges. Diet and exercise often do little to slim these areas that can make people feel unattractive or out of proportion. Liposuction provides an effective solution for our patients from Harrisonburg and Richmond, VA, Washington, D.C., and nearby communities.
Who is a candidate for liposuction?
Women and men who are in good health, at or near their goal weights, have good skin elasticity, and want to reduce areas of fat typically make good candidates for liposuction. This procedure is often used to slim and contour the following areas:
- Flanks (love handles)
- Inner and outer thighs
- Upper arms
Our plastic surgeons often use liposuction to enhance other plastic surgery procedures, such as a tummy tuck, facelift, and male breast reduction. CoolSculpting® is a nonsurgical alternative to liposuction that provides gradual fat reduction without incisions or downtime.
At UVA Plastic Surgery, our highly regarded surgeons offer expertise and personalized care for a rewarding patient experience.Meet Our Surgeons
How is liposuction performed?
Our plastic surgeons typically perform liposuction as outpatient surgery using local anesthetic with IV sedation or general anesthetic. Once the patient is asleep or areas are numb, the surgeon inserts a thin, hollow tube called a cannula through small incisions in the targeted area. Whenever possible, incisions are placed in natural creases where the resulting scars will not be obvious. As the cannula is moved in and out, the fat is suctioned away. For natural-looking results the surgeon takes care to remove just the right amount of fat to ensure bulges are slimmed while the outer skin remains smooth. Once the procedure is complete, the incisions are loosely sutured closed or left open to allow fluid drainage. Most incisions are too small to require sutures.
What types of liposuction do you offer?
Our liposuction procedures are often based on the standard tumescent technique that involves infusing targeted fat with a wetting solution of saline, lidocaine, and ephinephrine to numb the areas and minimize bleeding. The surgeon may enhance the standard technique to make fat removal easier with one of the following options:
- Power assisted liposuction (PAL), which uses a vibrating cannula to break up fatty tissue before suctioning it away.
- Ultrasonic liposuction, which involves a special cannula that emits ultrasound energy to break up the fat making it easier to remove and encourage tightening of the outer skin.
Our surgeons choose a specific technique for each patient based on individual factors such as the size of the areas being treated, and the density and amount of fat being removed.
What can I expect during recovery?
How patients experience recovery and when they return to work varies with the specifics of the surgery and other individual factors. For the first few days, treated areas will likely be sore, swollen, and possibly bruised. Patients need to wear a compression garment for about 4 to 6 weeks as directed to minimize swelling and create firm, smooth contours.