Liposuction

Liposuction or just lipo, removes fat from areas that do not respond to diet and exercise. These areas include the abdomen, hips, thighs, neck, arms, back, thighs, knees, calves and ankles.
Dr. Cat Begovic is a board-certified plastic surgeon in Los Angeles and Beverly Hills, California. She is a three-time winner of Best of Beverly Hills Award in the cosmetic surgeons category.

What is Liposuction

Liposuction removes fat from areas that do not respond to diet and exercise. These areas include the abdomen, hips, thighs, neck, arms, back, thighs, knees, calves and ankles. Liposuction must be performed skillfully, technically precise, and must shape the body with gentle curves and blend into surrounding areas seamlessly. I have personally performed thousands of liposuction cases. I treat every patient as an individual with different problem areas and different goals. I will take the time to listen to your specific concerns and develop a customized plan for you.

Many of my patients use liposuction as a kick start towards a healthier lifestyle. I am a liposuction patient myself and had surgery myself about 10 years ago. I have always been active and in good shape, however, I had isolated extra fat in my inner thigh and around my knees that I just could not get rid of – no matter how thin I was there was just a bulge in both areas. Liposuction helped me get rid of those two fat pockets – even though not a lot of fat was removed, it improved the contour of my leg. Having a better contour motivated me even more to exercise and maintain my results. Honestly, I wish I had done it sooner.

Liposuction is most successful in people with good skin tone who have fatty deposits. I want to emphasize that liposuction is not a treatment for obesity. If weight gain occurs following liposuction, each fat cell left behind will get bigger and you will get bigger everywhere. The good thing is that if you continue to diet and exercise after surgery – each fat cell will get smaller so you will get an even better result in the areas you’ve had liposuction. Almost all of my patients lost weight after their surgery because they felt better about themselves and more motivated to stay healthy. To maintain the safety of the procedure, there is a limit on how much can be done at one time. For proper blending and for natural contours, often liposuction 360 is performed. Liposuction 360 involves liposuction of the abdomen, hips, flanks and back so they naturally blend into each other and the surrounding areas. Liposuction is often combined with fat grafting.

Dr. Cat Begovic

Things You Should Know Before Your Liposuction Procedure

Body contours or fullness created by fat deposits can be improved by this procedure; it cannot correct contours that are irregular for other reasons, such as muscle weakness, hanging skin or hernias. Sometimes in patients with poor elasticity, liposuction actually makes their skin hang more. I spend a lot of time with my patients talking about what can and cannot be fixed with liposuction. It is VERY important for patients to have realistic expectations after liposuction. As I’ve mentioned before, plastic surgery is not an exact science. Every person has a unique anatomy and their own idea of what their body goals should be. This is why consultations are vital so we can work together to create the best possible plan, customized for your personal needs and goals.

At the consultation, I will take a complete medical history and conduct a careful examination and develop a customized plan based on your anatomy as well as your aesthetic goals. I consider age, overall health, emotional well being, as well as expectations for surgery when evaluating a candidate for this procedure. Patients who are obese (BMI 30 or greater) or who smoke have a significantly higher risk of wound healing problems. I require patients to have stopped smoking for at least 2 months before having surgery. To minimize the possibility of excess bleeding, you will need to avoid taking drugs containing aspirin, anti-inflammatories, alcohol, or herbal medications two weeks before surgery. You will receive a complete list of medications to avoid and detailed instructions before surgery. I consider the preparation before surgery and your understanding of how to take care of yourself critical to having the best possible results so myself and my staff will walk you through each part of the process every step of the way.

  • Two months before surgery – stop smoking. This includes all nicotine products but also any other inhalants. Anything that affects your lungs will affect the way you recover from surgery. Nicotine can also interfere with the blood flow to your skin, and that affects wound healing.
  • Several weeks before your liposuction – arrange for someone to drive you to your surgery and back. Please do not count on a taxi or Uber; you need someone to drive you home, get you settled, make sure you take your medications.
  • Two weeks before surgery – it is important that you stop taking Aspirin, Motrin, Ibuprofen, Alleve (Naproxen), or other NSAIDs. You should also discontinue all herbal medications, vitamins, and diet pills and stop drinking alcohol. Do not take Advil even if you have a headache, or cramps, take Tylenol instead.
  • Two weeks before surgery – do not overexpose yourself to the sun or get a sunburn.
  • The week before your liposuction – let us know if you have a cough, fever or any other illness, or any skin changes or infections. If you are feeling sick, please do not take over-the-counter medications without asking us.
  • The week before the surgery – pick up your medications. When you go to the pharmacy, you should also pick up the special soap we recommend – Hibiclens soap, and also above-the-knee, low compression ted-hose.
  • Two days before liposuction – thoroughly wash your body with the Hibiclens soap. This will minimize the chance of infection. Shave or remove hair around your surgery site.
  • Two days before surgery – stick with a light diet. You want to avoid being bloated during or after your liposuction.
  • The night before your surgery – do not eat or drink anything after midnight. This includes water. You can take your high-blood pressure medications with a sip of water the morning of surgery, but otherwise, do not eat or drink anything the night before your surgery.
  • On the day of the surgery – do not use makeup, creams, lotions, hair gels, sprays, perfumes, powder, or deodorant on your skin, hair, or face. Also, do not bring or wear any valuables or jewelry to your surgery. Wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothes.

What Happens During Liposuction Procedure

Liposuction is done under general anesthesia or IV sedation. With very small isolated areas, I sometimes perform liposuction under local anesthesia. I believe that every part of the surgical team is essential to having a perfect and smooth surgery so every part of my extended team is focused during surgery, and pays attention to every detail. We will all ensure that as you enter the operating room and are gently placed under anesthesia you will feel relaxed and calm and excited. During the operation we will all be focused on keeping you warm, comfortable, and cared for. During the surgery, I am gentle and and respectful and ensure a positive and calm environment around you.

After placing the numbing solution, I make small (less than 4mm), discreet incisions in the areas to be treated. I will show you where all these incisions will be placed prior to surgery. I have developed a special multi-staged technique that removes fat in an even and gentle fashion. The details of this and why it is important will be explained to you in your consultation. A thin liposuction cannula is inserted in a small incision and attached to a suction machine. The procedure may take an hour or several hours, depending on how many areas are involved. I take pride in creating even, symmetric, and natural looking results. As I specialize in Revision Liposuction (fixing liposuction errors), I take extra time and care with every single stroke and motion and with the shaping of the body. Too often I see liposuction performed over-aggressively resulting in bumps, irregularities, injuries to the skin and tissues that are often irreversible. Like everything else, liposuction requires meticulous attention to detail and artistry to create the best possible results.

Liposuction Results & Recovery: What To Expect

Recovery from liposuction is relatively easy. A few hours after surgery you should be up and walking around. Many of my patients return to work a few days after surgery. I have developed a gentle liposuction technique that has minimal pain and a quick recovery. Swelling and some bruising is normal the first two weeks. You will wear special garments that are measured for your body and provided to you to apply pressure, minimize swelling and provide support while healing. These garments also assist in retraction of the skin. I use dissolvable sutures so they don’t need to be removed.

Following liposuction, the scars, which are extremely small may be a little red. Over the next 6-12 months they slowly fade. You will start scar treatments at around 2 weeks after surgery. I will discuss scar care in detail with you and also provide you with scar medications and products. The scars will be almost invisible. (I’ll show you mine – you can barely see them).

Overall, my patients are extremely happy after liposuction. They finally feel they are rid of “problem areas” they lived with for a long time even despite diet and exercise. They have a smoother contour and a more proportionate shape. I truly enjoy performing liposuction and feel like a sculptor, helping my patients achieve the aesthetic shape they desire.

  • When you wake up from your liposuction surgery, you will be in the compression garment already. It will feel a little damp, but that is completely normal. It is best to bring a split open trash bag to cover the seat of your car.
  • It is extremely important to keep the liposuction garment on for six weeks after the surgery. Any swelling you have will decrease significantly if you wear your garment properly. You will also have foam pads inside your garment, just to make sure the skin stays smooth and flat. We recommend to keep the foams inside your garment for two weeks and to make sure the garment is straight, without any wrinkles or creases in it.
  • When you wash your garment you should be out of it for only up to 30 minutes at a time. Quickly hand wash it with some detergent and put it in the dryer for 15-20 minutes.
  • If you’re having the liposuction on your inner thigh, you need to make sure the garment comes all the way up on your leg.
  • It is important to walk several times the evening of surgery, up until two weeks after surgery.
  • Have some one assist you getting in and out of bed and to go to the restroom right after your liposuction surgery, but you may slowly resume normal activities 3-4 days after the surgery.
  • For the first two weeks try to avoid physical activity and stick to gentle walking, after two weeks you can walk uphill or do a little bit of cardio, four weeks after your liposuction you can start doing bodyweight exercises, but you need to wait for six weeks after your liposuction surgery to return to your normal activities.
  • Stick to clear liquids the first night after surgery. Drink plenty of fluids and no alcohol or smoking for 2 weeks after the surgery.
  • After your surgery, you should stick to a healthy diet, rich in antioxidants and proteins, those will help your healing. Do not eat fast food and try to stay away from fatty foods, you do not want to feel bloated after your liposuction.
  • Vitamins and minerals will also help your healing.
  • You should wait for two days after your liposuction until you shower. You need to give the incisions time to heal before you get your body wet.
  • Take off your compression garment when you shower and make sure you do this with assistance as people can faint during removal of garments or feel faint in the shower. Do not scrub any of the incisions, just let the water flow over them.
  • After your liposuction you will have several little holes in your body which will be closed by dissolvable little sutures. Those sutures should dissolve on their own, but if they don’t, we can help dissolve them in our office.
  • After liposuction it is very common to be swollen for a few months. Maximal swelling is usually around day three, then as the fluids leave your body you should see your swelling go down.

About Dr. Cat Begovic

Board Certified Plastic Surgeon

Dr. Cat Begovic is a board-certified plastic surgeon in Beverly Hills, California. She graduated from Harvard University with Honors in Molecular and Cellular biology. From there she was awarded her medical degree at UCLA, where she also finished two surgical residencies. Dr. Cat has been in private practice since June 2010.

Dr. Cat’s passion for plastic surgery and for women’s transformation, her meticulous attention to detail, and her unique skill has positioned her as a leader in the field of cosmetic surgery.

Where To Start

I understand that getting a plastic surgery procedure is one of your biggest life decisions. It takes time, planning, and resources. I want you to know that myself and my team are here to help you every step of the way. Your plastic surgery journey starts in 4 easy steps:

Free Phone Consultation

Schedule a free phone consultation with one of our knowledgeable surgical consultants who are trained by Dr. Cat. They will answer many of your questions and you can decide if you are ready for your consultation with Dr. Cat.

Consultation with Dr. Cat

Meet Dr. Cat for your initial consultation in-person or video consultation. The consultation cost is $500 and it’s applied towards your plastic surgery procedure.

Preparations & Surgery Day

After you reserve your surgery date, Dr. Cat and her team will make sure you are well informed and prepared for your big day. Preparation is a very important part of your plastic surgery journey.

Enjoy Results

The post-op phase is an important time of healing and recovering so you can enjoy your amazing results and your improved quality of life that you have envisioned.

Start your Plastic Surgery Journey Now by scheduling your free phone
consultation with one of our Plastic Surgery Experts.

Liposuction Before & After Cases

Case LPS-0765

Liposuction of the abdomen, back, flanks, hips, and arms with fat transfer to the buttocks

This young patient had a Brazillian Butt Lift with 430cc of fat transferred to the right buttocks and 420cc of fat transferred to the left buttocks.

Case LPS-2522

Liposuction of the back, flanks, and hips.

Case LPS-2528

Liposuction of the abdomen and flanks

FAQ

If I gain weight after liposuction will I need it again?
Your body genetically has a certain number of fat cells deposited in particular areas. Some people are just born with more fat cells in their abdomen, flanks, inner thighs and no matter what they do, they just can’t lose the fat there. Liposuction removes the total number of fat cells that has preferentially deposited in these areas. If you gain weight, each fat cell in the body gets bigger, but because you have fewer fat cells in liposuctioned areas, you should proportionately gain less in the liposuctioned areas. It is always a possibility that if you gain a lot of weight, you may need liposuction again.
Can Liposuction help me lose weight?
Liposuction is not a treatment for obesity or a substitute for diet and exercise. It is for re-shaping the body to treat areas that have a dis-proportionate amount of fat. Liposuction is ideally designed for pockets of fat in isolated areas that do not respond to diet and exercise. Also, the law limits the total amount of liposuction that can be removed at one time to 5L of liposuction for safety reasons. I always tell my patients to start with diet and exercise and to maintain a stable weight before undergoing liposuction. However, having liposuction often motivates patients who look better in their leggings or workout clothes, to begin a healthier lifestyle, and many people lose even more weight after their procedure.
I’m fit but I don’t like a pocket of fat that bulges - Am I still able to have liposuction?
I would say that the ideal candidate for liposuction is someone who is of healthy height and weight with small pockets of fat that they just can’t lose despite diet and exercise. As long as there are a few centimeters of fat present in an area, it can be removed. Many of my patients are very fit bikini models who don’t like the extra fat bulge or shape of their inner or outer thigh, or feel that they have a “muffin top” making their waistline bigger than desired. Liposuction is ideal for this type of re-shaping. I had an extremely small amount of fat removed from my knees and inner thighs over 10 years ago when I was modeling – so I can really relate to wanting removal of these small fat pockets. On the other hand, I have turned away patients who just didn’t have enough fat to be removed. In general, if you’re unsure, it’s best to see a plastic surgeon in consultation to evaluate your particular anatomy and decide if you are a candidate for liposuction.
Will liposuction hinder my ability to lose weight in areas I did not have liposuction?
I perform liposuction in a way where all areas blend naturally into the surrounding areas. It doesn’t prevent fat loss. I would recommend you schedule a consultation where we can have an in depth discussion about this and all of your questions.
Why Do I have to wear compression garments?
The liposuction cannulas make tiny tracks as they remove fat. I tell patients to imagine a sponge with small holes. The compression garments help squeeze all the fluid and tissues down to allow for a smooth flat thin contour. They are sometimes cumbersome to wear, but worth it to have the best possible outcome. One of my celebrity liposuction patients who had to do several red carpet events soon after her surgery found some compression garments that give a nice smooth contour under clothing. I now use these often for my patients so the garments are less obvious under clothing.
Is liposuction Dangerous?
Any surgical procedure has risks of anesthesia, risks of getting a blood clot, and a number of other complications. Many of the serious complications from liposuction in the past involved cardiac reactions to the local anesthesia injected in the body before the procedure. Also, procedures involving large volumes of liposuction (> 5L) resulted in fluid shifts that caused cardiac and respiratory problems. These occurrences are now quite rare. A safe, well-trained surgeon will carefully calculate and keep track of the amount of local anesthesia used as well as the amount of liposuction removed. A partnership and good communication with the anesthesiologist will help to ensure the safest conditions possible.
I’ve seen some bad liposuction performed by other surgeons. What happened there?
I know exactly what you are talking about – I can spot bad liposuction a mile away. There is always the possibility of asymmetry, skin dents, wrinkling, or folding. However, an experienced liposuction surgeon should be able to avoid most of these things from happening. Most of the really bad liposuction results often come from over suctioning the fat causing the skin to stick unnaturally to the underlying structures. I always tell patients that I have to leave a small cushion of fat under the skin to keep this from happening. I do the majority of the fat removal through surgery, and they do the rest with diet and exercise.
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