A household name, liposuction is known by many as a way to reduce the amount of fat on a person’s body. Despite its popularity, those who are considering the procedure should have an informed understanding of liposuction—how it works and what it can accomplish.


Conceptually, the procedure is very straightforward; fat cells are “sucked” out of the body. This may be done for a few different reasons, both for cosmetic- and health-related purposes.

How Liposuction Works

Liposuction involves the insertion of a surgical tube into the body, which breaks up and removes fat cells. Usually involving local anesthetic, the treatment typically targets a select few areas of the body, including the chest, inner knees, thighs, back, buttocks and abdomen. While more involved procedures might require general anesthesia, the operation is comfortable for most patients, with some normal post-surgical bruising, mild soreness and possible swelling lasting up to 4 weeks after the operation.

Reasons for Liposuction

The most common reason for undergoing liposuction is to improve body image. As a form of cosmetic surgery, liposuction is a great solution for stubborn areas of the body that do not respond well to diet and exercise.

The procedure is also commonly used to treat benign fatty tumors (Lipomas), fatty breast tissue in men (Gynecomastia), and the abnormal placement of fat tissue around the body. As WebMD points out, however, liposuction should never be used as a “cure” for obesity. Obesity is a condition with a number of other treatment options that will provide real solutions for the patient.

Liposuction in Fat-Transfer Operations

Liposuction plays a vital role in a procedure known as fat transfer. This operation involves the relocation of fat cells from one area of the body to another.

Fat transfer is a common practice for patients looking to rejuvenate the appearance of certain areas of the body. Liposuction is a required step as fat must first be removed from the patient’s body before being transferred. Because this involves no synthetic materials, there is little to no chance for an allergic reaction.

What to Keep in Mind When Considering Liposuction

Liposuction can yield satisfying results for patients looking improve their body image in ways diet and exercise can’t. As mentioned earlier, liposuction is not a solution for obesity.

Patients who undergo the procedure must maintain proper diet and exercise to keep their weight at healthy levels. Weight gained after the operation can often occur in unexpected parts of the body since the fat cells have been relocated. This is potentially dangerous as fat can start to grow internally, as well.

Liposuction cannot treat cellulite or stretch marks. Also, according to Medical News Today, patients suffering from weakened immune systems, coronary artery disease or diabetes shouldn’t receive the treatment as it could put their lives at risk.

Liposuction is one of the most effective, safest ways to achieve a youthful, healthy body image. If you’re looking for an experienced and professional liposuction surgeon in New York City, Dr. David Shafer can help.

With his experience performing surgeries both in the United States and overseas, it’s no surprise he was featured in W Magazine as one of the top cosmetic surgeons in New York City. For more information on how liposuction works, or to schedule an appointment, call us today at 212.888.7770.