Liposuction 101: All Your Questions Answered


If you haven’t realized this, yet, your body can be very stubborn about certain things, and fat is one of those areas where it can put up a big fight. If you’ve dieted and exercised in the hopes of slimming down, only to be left with areas of fat that ignore your most strident efforts, it might be time to call in some reinforcements.

Over the past 25 years, the medical community has armed itself with increasingly effective tools in the battle of the bulge, with liposuction leading the charge. Here at Plastic Surgery Center of Baton Rouge in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Dr. John V. Williams is one of the more highly experienced surgeons in this area. In fact, Dr. Williams studied under the Godfather of liposuction, Yves-Gerard Illouz, the doctor who invented the modern technique.

If you’re considering liposuction, here’s a look at what you should know.

Fat 101

To better understand how liposuction works, it’s helpful to quickly review the role that fat plays in your body. For starters, it’s important to understand that you have a certain number of fat cells and that number doesn’t change much over the course of your life, even though your body size can. When you gain or lose weight, your existing fat cells increase or decrease in size, not in number.

Your body is also programmed to store fat in certain areas in order to best protect your inner organs. For women, that means that fat tends to migrate toward your pelvic region, which houses your reproductive organs; and your stomach, which may or may not house a growing child. This explains why women tend to gain weight around the abdomen, buttocks, flanks, and thighs. For men, fat tends to gather around the abdomen to protect the organs.

Because this fat is programmed to protect and insulate you, it’s fairly resilient, which makes it difficult to tackle on your own.

Lipo basics

With liposuction, Dr. Williams goes into these stubborn areas and surgically removes the fat cells, once and for all. While the word “surgery” may evoke anxiety, new techniques have made this procedure far less invasive than it’s been in the past.

First, Dr. Williams injects fluid into your fat cells to make them expand. While this may seem counterintuitive, the goal is to stretch the cells past their tipping point. Using a small tube, or cannula, Dr. Williams then applies pulsed ultrasound energy to the area, which breaks apart the inflated fat cells, and sucks the destroyed fat cells out at the same time.

All of this is accomplished through tiny incisions that are only large enough for the small tube to get through.

Where does lipo work?

Liposuction is a technique that can be used most anywhere on your body, but most of our patients use it to tackle the following areas:

  • Thighs
  • Buttocks
  • Abdomen
  • Upper arms
  • Back
  • Hips
  • Inner knees

After lipo

After your lipo, if you feel more comfortable, you may spend the night with us. If not, you’re free to go home. In either case, Dr. Williams supplies you with a compression garment that decreases swelling and helps your skin reform over the newly-deflated area. Depending upon the treatment area, you can expect to wear this garment for a month.

You should also refrain from strenuous activity for a week or two after the procedure.

The big reveal

Most of our patients want to know when they will see results. While no two of our patients are the same, most of our patients notice a difference in a month or two, after swelling and fluid retention subside. Optimal results are usually had several months after the procedure as your skin reforms and settles in.

What lipo doesn’t do

Liposuction is an incredible fat reduction tool that can put the finishing touches on work you’ve already done through diet and exercise. In other words, liposuction shouldn’t be considered a weight loss technique.

And liposuction is an inside job so you shouldn’t expect to see any changes to the surface of your skin. If you’re left with mottled or excess tissue afterward, Dr. Williams is happy to discuss how you can best resolve the issue.

If we haven’t answered all of your questions here, or you’d like to come in for a consultation, feel free to call us or use the online scheduling tool on this site to book an appointment.

* All information subject to change. Images may contain models. Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary.