Department Tools Intranet What`s New Jobs Contacts Us
Doctors Surgical Services Clinical Services Research Training


Face | Eyes | Breast | Liposuction | Body Contouring | Skin Care/Botox | Male |

Liposuction, or suction-assisted lipectomy (SAL), is a procedure to remove excess or unwanted fat from specific areas of the body. The most common areas treated include the chin and neck, the abdomen, flanks, thighs and legs, and male breasts. Liposuction is not a substitute for weight reduction, but rather a way to remove localized deposits of fat and thus "contour" the body. The best candidates for liposuction are of a relatively normal weight, and have elastic skin. Patients with loose or hanging skin in the area to be treated may be better candidates for other surgical techniques. The length of the surgery is variable, depending upon the number of areas to be treated, and the amount of fat to be removed. Smaller liposuction procedures can be performed as an outpatient under a local anesthetic, but more extensive procedures may require a general anesthetic and an overnight stay. Working through small incisions hidden in natural skin creases, excess fat is removed by vacuum suctioning through a hollow tube or "cannula." Prior to suctioning, the surgeon may introduce a volume of fluid or "wetting solution" under the skin, to facilitate the removal of fat, and/or minimize bleeding and discomfort. Drainage tubes are sometimes placed at the time of surgery, and are typically removed in one or two days. The surgeon may recommend wearing a support garment for a few weeks after surgery to limit swelling and bruising. Pain and discomfort following the surgery are typically controlled with oral pain medication, and are not severe. Stitches are removed a few days to a week after surgery, and within a one to two weeks most patients can return to work. While most bruising resolves in a two to three weeks, some swelling may persist for six weeks or longer, depending on the exact nature of the surgery and the patient.

Plastic Surgery

Search UCLA Surgery