Liposuction: What to Expect

The Day Of Your Liposuction Procedure

Come early, you will be filling our paper work prior to the procedure, so it would help to be here 15-20 minutes early.

You will be taken back to the procedure room and asked to change into a gown. A formal consultation with the liposuction specialist will take place to assure that you are having the proper areas treated and that all your questions have been answered. Once the areas have been determined, we will take before pictures and mark the areas to be treated. Assuming you agree with the areas to be treated, you will then be given the medications required for the procedure. Our staff will then take your vital signs and measurements at this time to give us a baseline. If you are anxious we will give you xanax (anxiety medication) which will make you drowsy and relaxed.

The Liposuction Procedure

1. The first part is getting you numb. This part can be a little uncomfortable since you are not numb yet. Your skin will be cleaned and the 2mm adits (entry holes for our tiny instruments) will be strategically placed in areas that are less visible. You will feel a pinch and slight burning sensation from the local injection of lidocaine. Then a very small canula will be passed into your fat layer and a dilute solution consisting of saline, lidocaine and epinephrine (lidocaine is the numbing agent, and epinephrine constricts the blood vessels to minimize bleeding) will be sprayed into the fat layer. This will get the whole area numb and help decrease any potential bleeding. This process feels like a pinching sensation and is very “weird” but not terribly painful for most. Most people tolerate this part.

2. The next part is the debulking of the fat. A small 3-4mm canula will be passed into the now numb fat layer. The canula is attached to suction and will remove the fat. You should be pretty numb at this point and will only feel pressure and vibrations from the liposuction canula. Occasionally, there are areas that are not entirely numb, so if you feel any pain, the liposuction specialist will stop and put more numbing medication in that area. Most people feel very little discomfort during this process, but if you do have difficulty tolerating this, simply ask for more numbing fluid.

3. Once the bulk of the fat has been removed, a smaller canula will be used to “sculpt” the area and ensure everything is even and smooth. The specialist will also double check all the areas treated to assure the fat has been removed evenly throughout the areas treated.

4. You will then be cleaned up and garments will be applied to the treated areas. Depending on how much of the anxiety medication, Xanax that you take; you may feel drowsy and a little dizzy. If you choose not to take xanax, then you will feel great. In fact, since the numbing medication can potentially work for 18-24 hours, you will not have much discomfort until the next day in most cases. If needed you are welcome to rest in our recovery room as long as you require. Your vital signs will be taken before, during and after the procedure to ensure your body is tolerating the procedure well.

After The Liposuction Procedure

Immediately after the procedure, most people will still be numb and feeling very little pain for 18-24 hours. Since we inject a lot of fluid into your fat to get you numb, you will be draining this fluid afterwards. The more fluid that drains out of you the better. Any fluid that does not drain out will be reabsorbed by your body, and this tends to take longer and cause more swelling. So it is in your best interest to get as much of the fluid out as possible. This is most effective in the first few days.

Later that evening after the procedure, you will still be draining and you will start to get a little sore as the numbing medication wears off. You may want to take some Tylenol or pain medication at this point if needed. Since you will still be draining the fluids, it’s important to make sure that you have towels on your bed so you don’t make a mess on the sheets (the hotels don’t like it when that happens.) The whole draining process is painless and just an inconvenience. How much you drain will depend on how many areas you are having treated. The fluid will be a pink color looking like red gatorade and it is a mixture of the fluid and a very small amount of your blood.

Twenty-four hours after the procedure, you may take the garments off to shower and launder the garment if needed. Please use caution when taking the garment off, as you may get light headed the first time the garment is removed. You may try to squeeze out or milk out any residual fluids that remain in the treated areas. This can be a bit uncomfortable so go slowly. You can use soap and water around the adits, but there is no need to scrub too hard. After showering, you will want to get the garment back on as soon as possible, since you will swell more without the garment giving pressure.

You will be the most uncomfortable and swollen for the first week and you will notice that you feel better each day. Around week 1-2 the swelling will become very firm. This firmness will be around for 1-3 months. Your body will send specialized cells to the area to begin breaking down this firm swelling. This process varies widely and can take 1-3 months and sometimes longer. The firmness will soften up at varying rates on different parts of the areas treated. So this means that you may have firm lumps of swelling for a period of time while you are healing. This is normal and will resolve. Since you will be swollen for 1-3 months, what you see early in your recovery is not the final results. It takes time for all of the swelling to go down; how long depends on how your body heals.

Around months 2-3 it is common to experience varying degrees of depression, the process is often slower than you want. Getting overly anxious about the results and lack of patience commonly leads to depression in some patients. It’s important to remember that the process of removing fat from your body is traumatic and takes time to heal. You will also experience areas of decrease sensation and even numbness, but this will resolve in time. Nerves recover at a very slow rate, so it can take up to a full year for normal sensation to be restored.

In most cases, you will see significant improvement immediately after your procedure, but since you will swell, the final results are not apparent until much later. Some say that the bulk of the swelling goes down within weeks, while others say it can take up to 3 months and even longer. You will have residual swelling/thickness of the tissue for up to 6 months after the procedure, although this is usually mild. But it can make you look uneven and potentially lumpy to some degree. In the majority of situations this will resolve, but it may take 6 months to 1 year.

Your results will continue to improve for up to a year as all the residual swelling resolves and the scar tissue under your skin matures. In the early months, it’s totally normal to feel lumpy and look somewhat uneven due to swelling. Keep in mind that there will always be some slight asymmetry. Our specialist works very hard to make everything even and smooth, but perfection is not realistic. Most people are very happy with their results, but you have to be realistic given your body type and genetics.

**Please be advised that if you are having more areas treated, you will be more sore and things will be a little more difficult for your recovery.

Expectations Regarding Results

Everyone wants to know exactly what they will look like after liposuction. Unfortunately, there are no guarantees and it is impossible to predict exactly how each individual’s body will heal. The truth is, everyone’s body is different and their body has different limitations and different healing potential. There are some things that we can evaluate to make an educated guess as to what the outcome will be, but there are no guarantees. Those that have realistic expectations tend to be much happier with their results. The goal of liposuction is improvement, not perfection. NO ONE IS PERFECT!! After liposuction, it’s normal to have slight asymmetries, and possibly mild dimples (similar to cellulite.) In most cases, no one will notice these imperfection other than the patient since they are looking at themselves critically. Keep in mind that we are removing in many cases large volumes of fat cells which are naturally round and we are trying to make the entire area smooth and uniform primarily by touch. This truly is an art, which our specialist is very good at, but there are aspects that are out of our control. Below are some of the limitations when considering your expectations.

* Looseness of your skin.

Usually the tightness of your skin prior to liposuction will be comparable to the tightness after the procedure, but the volume and size will be smaller. This is evident in many of our before and after pictures; even in larger patients, their skin usually retracts quite nicely. If you have very loose skin before liposuction, then your skin is likely going to be very loose after, but the volume of the area will be much less. Many individuals are happy with a reduced volume and bulk of a specific area which will allow them to fit into their clothes better. Some choose to use body shapers (spandex undergarments) to give the appearance that there is no loose skin. In contrast, if you have very tight skin before the procedure, then you will likely have tight skin after the procedure. If you are concerned about the looseness of your skin, then we recommend using the Smart Lipo Laser for an added skin tightening benefit.

* Dimpling and Cellulite.

Liposuction is not meant to be a cellulite treatment. Many individuals also have very asymmetric fat deposits that may affect the outcome. With that said, many patients have reported an improvement in symmetry as well as decrease in cellulite. Most will see comparable dimpling to what it was prior to the procedure, although the distribution may be different. A small number of people may actually get worse cellulite after liposuction, although this is not common. The presence of cellulite puts you at a higher risk for dimpling after liposuction.

* Density of fat.

Individuals that have very dense fat tend to see more dramatic changes than those that have less dense fat. I believe that when the fat is more dense, the skin is tighter and when the fat is removed the skin retracts quickly and more dramatic results are usually evident. These people usually put on weight quickly and their skin has not had the time to stretch out and begin sagging in many cases, others just have great genetics. In some circumstances when there is what feels like dense fat, it turns out to be very fibrous fat and is very difficult to remove. These people tend to see less results likely due to the abundance of connective tissue which has a significant bulk in itself. This is more common in men. When the fat is not very dense, the results are limited to how much the skin will retract. Some individuals that have lost a lot of weight or have been very heavy for long periods of time may have less dense fat due to the looseness of the skin. While we may be able to remove large volumes of fat on these individuals, they are limited on the tightening of the skin usually.

* Thickness of your skin.

When your skin is very thin, dimpling is more likely to show through your skin. In contrast, if you have very thick skin, it is more likely to cover up any slight irregularities. Thickness of your skin is secondary to genetics as well as age. As you get older, skin tends to get thinner and looser.


  1. lester smith says

    it is abdomen only for my wife an myself. l am more concerned with the amount of fat that can be taken out at one time than anything else. my wife runs a medical clinic so we are not entirely misinformed about the medical field. l have 30 pounds around my waist an my wife maybe 20. . what is the information we need on this subject. tku lester smith 865-438-7424

    • says

      Lester, We can definitely help you with your problem. Someone will be calling you shortly. You may also call us at your earliest convenience 702-818-5476.

  2. says

    I had a hernia repair done and tummy tuck done. The doctor was a butcher is no longer working and not because of me I was to embarrassed to tell any one . I did tell him what he did to me and that I was in a lot of pain . I still have pain in the crotch area. And I wish that I new what to do about it . Sincerely kathy.

    • says

      Kathy, I’m sorry that you have had poor experience in the past and I hope that we can treat you much better. We offer complimentary consultations in person or over the phone with pictures. We would be able to better answer your questions in a more formal environment, but you can also call whenever you would like to answer basic questions. 702-818-5476

  3. says

    If I have this procedure, I would want to keep it private so I would need to know if I can drive myself there and back. I live in Marion and I’m sure the procedure would be done in Indianapolis. I also would need to know how much it will cost as I have BCBS marketplace insurance.

    • says

      Hi Brenda,
      Currently this is our only facility and we are located Henderson, NV which is 20 minutes away from the Las Vegas strip. We do get a lot of out of town patients, therefore we work with a number of hotels which can be found on our website under Medical Travel Concierge that offer our patients corporate rates on their stay. Two of those hotels also offer a complimentary shuttle to and from your procedure as well as the airport! For further information please refer to our webpage or give us a call here at our office! Thank you.

  4. Dawn M says

    I love the way everything is explained, I wish you were in the NY area. The one question I have is: what is the down time after the procedure? Would I be able to go to work the next day?

    • says

      Dawn, We do have 70% of our patients fly in from out of state. In many cases, you will still save money over your local doctors despite the additional travel costs. The downtime after the procedure will vary by person, but it is typically 1-3 days on average. About 42% of our patients go back to work the next day, but that will depend on the level of activity required and your tolerance.

    • says

      Nina, thanks for your interest. The best option is to call our office so we can answer your questions, 702-818-5476. We do offer complimentary consultations in person or via the phone with pictures. We look forward to serving you.

    • says

      David, We apologize for any inconvenience. We do have a gallery, but we were recently flagged by google as an “Adult Site” because of the pictures of breasts and butts, so we were forced to take them down for the time being until we can figure out how they want us to censor the pictures. We can potentially email you some photos if you like. I’m in the process of figuring out a better option for our patients to gain access to the gallery. Sorry, we’re working very hard at solving this problem, thanks for your patients.

  5. Brian Martin says

    I was in a car accident and was unable to workout. I picked up weight in my underarm area, chest, and lower abdomen. After the procedures, if all three areas were done, how soon can you start back lifting weights and exercising?.

    • says

      Typically our patients return to full gym exercise at around 2 weeks. Ultimately it depends on when you feel comfortable. If you go back too soon you will be more sore and swollen.

  6. Aysha says

    I am very obese. My thighs are huge. I want to get the full thighs done. For maximum benefit should I break it up into two sections? I don’t want you to reach your limit of fat removal before I get the best results.



    • says

      Thanks for your interest, we should be able to make huge dramatic changes for your thighs. Depending on how large they are, would determine if I would recommend splitting it into two procedures. We offer free Body Shape Analysis so please contact our office to set up a Consultation so that we can evaluate your specific needs and help to devise a plan to meet your goals. 702-818-5476

  7. Marie Collier says

    I am African American and concerned about 1. keloid scarring, 2. possible transfer of fat to the breasts as far as does the fat breakdown and look lumpy after a while and once the fat cells are removed, do they come back? I have a consultation scheduled in a couple of weeks, but wanted answers to those questions.

    • says

      Thanks for the questions. About 34% of our patients are African American and only a small fraction of them have issues with Keloid scars. While you may be at a higher risk, it certainly doesn’t mean that you will get keloids. If you have had a problem with it in the past, then it would be more likely to be an issue in the future. Even if you did experience a Keloid, our holes are only 2mm and tend to heal up very well. All the studies say that fat does not reproduce, so once it is removed, it should not come back. Regarding the fat transfer, we have not experienced lumpy fat with our patients, and I haven’t read any articles with that concern following fat transfer.

  8. LaShaundra Washington says

    I have been thinking about doing this procedure for a few weeks now but i do have one question i do live in Las Vegas born and raised i am a housekeeper at one of the hotels on the strip and i see in one comment you say recovery 1-3 days but my job is moving around a lot pushing a cart thats almost 300 lbs would i be able to go back to work?

    • says

      That’s a great question. Everyone is different so there are a lot of variables to consider. The discomfort from the procedure is most commonly described as soreness similar to a tough workout. While it may slow you down, you can still typically function. We have had housekeepers in the past that were able to go back within 3 days. If you can or not, depends on your tolerance for pain, the level of activity at your job, and how much as well as which areas you choose to treat. While we can’t guarantee when you will feel up to working, most people do quite well.

  9. Nickey says

    My best friend and I plan on having our procedures done with you guys in March. We are flying out all the way from Connecticut. How long would we have to wait before getting on the plan to go back home?

    • says

      Thank you for trusting us with your liposuction needs. Nearly 70% of our patients fly in from out of state, so you are in good company. Everyone does it differently, so the choice is up to you. We recommend that you stay at least one night after your procedure so there is no rush. Although, there are some who choose to leave the same day. There tends to be more issues with those that rush things and try to leave asap. Hope that helps, but if you still have questions, please call our office. 702-818-5476

  10. says

    Would my abs be considered one part or two part in pricing of coutrs. Is this one area. I need my whole stamach are done but I’m afraid I’m going to need a tummy tuck.
    Please help me understand. And to do both back of legs would this be considered two areas ot area.

    Evie Estrada
    How long do I have to wait toa me an appointment once meet with consultant. How long do I have to wait to get this done.

    • says

      Evie, thanks for your interest in MyShape Lipo. It would be best for us to see what you look like to get a better idea of what you need. Once we determine what you need, the procedure can be done at our earliest scheduled appointment. We perform procedures 4 days per week and we’re usually 2-3 weeks booked out, but may be able to get you in sooner if there is a cancellation. Please call our office to schedule your free Body Shape Analysis in person if you are local or over the phone if you are from out of state. 702-818-5476

  11. JOEL ABBOTT says

    I am overweight, I have tried to lose weight, but its all in my belly area, I cant lose the fat there no matter what I have done? I am 64 and have type 2 Diabetes, other wise in good health. Can you help?


    • says

      Joel, we can absolutely help you with your problem. We have many other patients in the same situation as you. It is easy for us to remove that fat that has given you difficulties in the past. There was a recent study that showed liposuction can reduce your cholesterol by as much as 57% and it in turn reduces your risks of diabetes, heart disease and stroke. While we may not solve your problems, it will certainly help your cause and get you on the right path to success. Please call our office to schedule your free Body Shape Analysis in person if you are local or over the phone if you are from out of state. 702-818-5476

  12. rita says

    how much for liposuction for 275 lb person, waist 40 t0 42? ad will one procedure get my tummy flat? also price, as well with full thighs lipo included? with tax included. Also when transfer fat to butt is that same as lift, or just fullness of the butt? Thanks oh the big question is i’m 2 year breast cancer survivor would that be a problem even if I got clearance from my oncologist, they only want no breast change or surgery on my left arm where lymph nodes removed??? and does it have any drains if so do you have to travel back to have them removed?

    • says

      Rita, Thank you for your interest in MyShape Lipo. We don’t charge any additional for larger patients, however, you may need more areas treated to get the change you’re looking for. We offer complimentary Body Shape Analysis in person or over the phone if you are from out of state. We must see you and determine exactly what you are looking for, before we quote any prices. You can see on our site for our fees are and how we determine the areas.
      Fat transfer to the butt is the same as “Brazilian Butt Lift”. Yes, we would like a clearance from your oncologist to move forward. Please call our office for more details, 702-818-5476

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