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Liposuction Surgery


Liposuction is a technique by which fat cells are removed from beneath the skin surface to create a contour change. Liposuction has undergone a tremendous evolution over the past several decades and has become one of the most commonly performed operations in America today. Despite a tremendous track record of safety and efficacy, recent controversies have come up surrounding patient deaths due to liposuction. These discussions have centered on issues including how much should be taken out, utilizing what technique, and by whom. The most important thing to remember with liposuction is it is not a substitute for weight reduction. It is a technique by which contour changes are created in a localized fashion, but tremendous body changes can still be achieved in a very safe and effective manner.


Markings denoting the areas to undergo liposuction, are drawn directly on the patient's skin. Decisions about which areas are to have liposuction and how much to be removed are made jointly between the patient and Chicago Plastic Surgeon, Dr. David A. Ross. The procedure can be performed under a light intravenous sedation or under general anesthesia. The most important issues are efficacy of the procedure and the safety of the patient.

In nearly all liposuction, tumescent technique is employed where fluid is introduced into the area of fat before it is re-contoured. A local anesthetic and epinephrine (adrenaline) is also introduced. The fat is then contoured to the final outcome and a dressing is utilized to keep some pressure on the area to reduce bruising and swelling. The original dressing is kept in place for several days and elastic garments are helpful to reduce swelling and speed recovery. There are many variations in each step of the described procedure and they vary depending on the requirements of the patient and the preference of Chicago Plastic Surgeon, Dr. David A. Ross. Depending on the amount of fat removed and the number of areas treated, the recovery can be nearly complete between 2 and 10 weeks. Most benefits are clearly seen within 3-6 weeks. It is advisable not to suntan until any bruising has completely disappeared. Normal activities can be resumed almost immediately with working out possible between 3-6 weeks. It is important not to become confused by terms such as "lipocontouring," "liposculpture," and other similar terms. It is the quality of the work and the attention of the surgeon, which is more important, not the terms employed.

Problem areas that can be addressed with liposuction: (Arms, upper and lower back, hips, buttocks, inner and outer thighs, abdominal area, chest area, neck area)

Other Procedures Performed by Chicago Plastic Surgeon, Dr. David Ross:

Laser Liposuction -
Laser Liposuction as opposed to traditional liposuction uses laser light waves to first melt the fat which is subsequently suctioned out.

Vaser/Ultra Sonic Liposuction - Vaser liposuction is different from traditional liposuction in that it employs ultrasonic waves that specifically melts the fat sparing other structures such as nerves and blood vessels. The melted fat is then suctioned or vacuumed out.

Hydro Liposuction - Hydro Liposuction utilizes water pressure to selectively melt or break down the fat that is then vacuumed out.

Power Assisted Liposuction - PAL uses a specialized cannula with motorized movement, so that the surgeon does not need to make as many manual movements. Otherwise it is similar to traditional Suction Assisted Liposuction. Dr. Ross developed the ARC system of power assisted liposuction.

Liposculpture - Liposculture is just another way of saying liposuction. Liposuction slims and reshapes specific areas of the body by removing excess fat deposits, improving your body contours and proportion, and ultimately, enhancing your self-image.

Tumescent Liposuction - Tumescent Liposuction is a standard practice performed with all types of liposuction (ultrasonic, laser, traditional, power assisted). It refers to injecting a combination of fluid and adrenalin until the area for liposuction becomes tense. This technique reduces the blood loss during the operation and permits a great amount of fat to be removed.

Gynecomastia Surgery/Liposuction of Male Breasts/Male Breast Reduction - Liposuction can be used to reduce certain types of male breast tissue known as Male Gynecomastia. For it to be effective, the breast tissue must have a significant component of fat. This approach if possible results in minimal scarring.

Abdominal Etching - Abdominal etching is a technique used to mimic the appearance of a so called 6 pack in the upper abdomen. This is accomplished by carving the pattern of the upper abdominal musculature with a liposuction cannula on the undersurface of the upper abdominal skin.

Brachioplasty - Brachioplasty, also known as an arm lift, is a potential solution for individuals who have loose or hanging skin of the upper arm. This condition is often times seen following massive weight loss. The surgery involves excising this loose skin and results in a scar that runs from the armpit to the elbow.

Thigh Lift - A thigh lift reshapes the thighs by reducing excess skin, and in some cases fat, resulting in smoother skin and better-proportioned contours of the thighs and lower body.

Fat Transfer or Grafting - Fat grafting or fat transfer is a technique by which fat is harvested using liposuction from various areas in the body. This fat then can be injected to naturally augment areas such as the cheeks or lips. It can also be used to fill in wrinkles, creases and depressions that come with aging.

Cool Sculpting - Cool Sculpting refers to a device that melts fat by freezing it. However, it is applicable to small fatty areas. It works similar to liposuction but is virtually painless not requiring anesthesia.


Mild skin irregularities, discoloration and sensory abnormalities are the most common problems to liposuction. These are usually quite mild and resolve spontaneously. Permanent skin irregularities of any significance are uncommon. Fluid accumulations, skin damage or loss are exceedingly rare.


Though the above description of liposuction is accurate, it is incomplete. The best way to determine whether you are a candidate for liposuction surgery, form of liposuction surgery and the liposuction cost is to have a personal consultation with Board Certified Chicago Plastic Surgeon, Dr. David A. Ross of the Liposuction and Cosmetic Surgery Institute located in Chicago, Oak Brook, Naperville, or Arlington Heights, Illinois. That way, your specific anatomical requirements and aesthetic desires can be addressed by Dr. David A. Ross, realistic expectations can be laid out, and a plan can be made on how to improve your appearance.