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Liposuction Plastic Surgery Procedure Steps

Liposuction Plastic Surgery Procedure StepsLiposuction currently ranks as the second most popular plastic surgery procedure in the US after breast augmentation. 

Developments in surgical techniques have made it possible to undertake liposuction in a less invasive and more targeted manner. However, the general steps involved in the liposuction procedure remain largely unchanged. 

During the pre-op consultation, the surgeon will explain various aspects of liposuction to the patient, including the steps involved. Patients who are well-informed are usually more confident about the surgery and are able to make better decisions.

Virginia Institute of Plastic Surgery, led by board certified plastic surgeons Dr. Burton M. Sundin and Dr. Reps B. Sundin, provides liposuction body contouring to patients in Richmond, Fredericksburg, Tysons Corner, Northern Virginia, Washington DC, and surrounding communities. 



The first step in the liposuction procedure is administering anesthesia. In case a substantial amount of fat needs to be removed from various areas, or liposuction is being undertaken in combination with other procedures, the surgeon may recommend the use of general anesthesia. In other cases, local anesthesia with light sedation will be adequate. 

Tumescent liposuction is a popular fat removal technique, which is undertaken using only local anesthesia. This approach involves the use of small incisions allowing the patient to heal faster with a reduced risk of complications. 


Incision Placement

The next step after anesthesia involves placing incisions in discreet areas within the treatment site. The size of the incision usually ranges between a quarter and a third of an inch.

The surgeon aims to keep the incisions hidden in the natural creases of the skin or other discreet areas to minimize any future scarring. 


Fat Tissue Reduction

The surgeon will insert a narrow tube, known as a cannula, into the deeper fat layers through the incisions to disintegrate the stubborn fatty pockets. 

They will manipulate this vacuum tube in a delicate manner to dislodge fat pockets enabling their easy removal. Once the fat tissue disintegrates, the surgeon will suction the fat out via a syringe or a pump connected to the outer end of the cannula. 

At times, advanced techniques such as ultrasound, laser, or RF energy may be used at this stage to make the process of fat elimination more targeted and less invasive. The patient will be given replacement fluids intravenously during and after the surgical procedure to compensate for blood and fluid loss. 


Incision Closure

When the fat reduction plastic surgery procedure is complete, the surgeon will seal the incisions with traditional or dissolvable sutures. The surgeon may insert temporary drain pipes beneath the skin in the incision sites to accumulate excess fluid. 

The surgeon will initially apply bandages to the incisions. Within a few days, a compression garment may replace these bandages to support the healing process and tighten the newly defined contours. 

The drain tubes and sutures will usually be taken out in around seven to ten days after the surgery. In case the incisions are quite small, the surgeon may allow them to remain open to achieve the desired outcomes with minimal bruising and swelling. 

Plastic surgeons at VIPS receive patients from Richmond, Fredericksburg, Tysons Corner, Northern Virginia, Washington DC, and nearby areas for liposuction body sculpting. 

For more information on the surgical and non-surgical procedures and treatments by Board Certified Cosmetic Plastic Surgeons Dr. Reps Sundin and Dr. Burton Sundin please visit

Serving Richmond, VA, Fredricksburg, Williamsburg, Northern Virginia, Washington DC, Vienna, McLean, Fairfax, Loudoun County, Ashburn, Tysons Corner, Reston, Arlington and surrounding communities.

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