Liposuction is a surgical treatment that can provide reliable, long-term results. At MU Health Care, our plastic surgeons have performed liposuction for many years with two main priorities throughout: safety and satisfaction.

It’s natural to feel frustrated if your weight is healthy and stable, but you can’t get rid of stubborn areas of fat.

Fortunately, there is a solution: a type of plastic surgery called liposuction. Hundreds of thousands of Americans have liposuction every year — and it’s available right here at MU Health Care.

With liposuction, we use thin tubes (cannulas) to suction fat and fluid from specific areas of your body. This lets us “contour” (reshape) the targeted area.

These are the most common body parts we treat:

  • Abdomen
  • Buttocks
  • Hips
  • Neck
  • Thighs
  • Upper arms
  • Waist
  • Chest
  • Back

We welcome consultations if you’re exploring your plastic surgery options. Our experts will help you understand whether liposuction is right for you, based on factors like your overall health and personal goals.

Quality and expertise you can rely on

Even though liposuction isn’t as invasive as some surgical procedures, it still comes with risks. That’s why it’s important to choose a plastic surgeon (and health system) known for providing the safest possible care.

At MU Health Care, our plastic surgeons are each certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS). Compared to providers that do not have ABPS board certification, our plastic surgeons have completed (and maintained) rigorous training. This ongoing training ensures that your surgeon’s skills and knowledge are up to date.

So, when you choose one of our plastic surgeons to perform your liposuction, you can expect safe, high-quality care. You can also count on us to provide outstanding service and an abundance of support.

Who is a good candidate for liposuction?

While people have been getting liposuction for decades and it is generally considered safe, it’s not for everyone. Liposuction may be right for you if you meet the following criteria:

  • You’re near (and able to maintain) a healthy weight. Liposuction is not a weight loss tool. If you’re overweight, we recommend that you lose weight through other means before considering liposuction. And keep in mind that gaining weight after liposuction can undo your results.
  • Your skin is firm and elastic. If you have loose or saggy skin, removing the fat underneath can make it worse. In this case, you may combine liposuction with other treatments, such as a tummy tuck or excess skin removal.
  • You’re healthy. Certain medical conditions and lifestyle choices, such as heart disease and smoking, make it harder for your body to heal. They can also make liposuction surgery riskier.

Even if you’re not eligible for liposuction right now, that doesn’t mean you can’t have it in the future. Our plastic surgeons can offer advice or recommend lifestyle changes that make you a better candidate.

What to expect

Here’s what you can expect if you’re considering liposuction at MU Health Care:

A thorough consultation

During your first appointment, we’ll take the time to learn more about you and why you want liposuction. Our discussion will include:

  • Your medical history: We’ll review factors that could influence your ability to have liposuction, or affect your results. For example, we’ll discuss any chronic medical conditions or if you struggle with your weight.
  • Your goals: We’ll look at the area of your body you want to tighten and tone. Together, we’ll set realistic expectations about the results you want to achieve, and determine if liposuction is right for you.
  • Your budget: Cosmetic surgeries like liposuction are not covered by insurance. We’ll give you price estimates up front, so you’ll leave our office fully informed about your potential costs.

We’ll also make sure you understand the benefits and risks of liposuction, and what the recovery period is like.

If you choose to have liposuction at MU Health Care, we’ll schedule your procedure in a timely manner.

The procedure

The day of your procedure, you can expect the following:

  • Liposuction is nearly always an outpatient procedure. This means you’ll go home the same day.
  • You’ll receive either light sedation (meaning you’re awake but comfortable) or general anesthesia (you’re fully asleep). If you receive general anesthesia, you’ll need a responsible adult to drive you home.
  • We’ll insert cannulas into each treatment area through tiny incisions in your skin. These incisions are so small that you should have minimal scarring after they heal.
  • Once each cannula is in place, your surgeon will suction out fat and fluid using a large syringe or surgical vacuum.


The amount of time it takes to recover from liposuction depends on the amount of fat removed and the number of areas treated. However, you can enhance your recovery — and minimize or avoid complications — by following certain guidelines.

For example:

  • You’ll probably need to wear a “compression garment” around the treatment area for several weeks or months. This helps control swelling and enhance reshaping.
  • You’ll probably be asked to limit some of your physical activity.  This helps prevent swelling and discomfort.

We’ll give you a detailed set of instructions, and answer all your questions, before you return home.

Liposculpture: another option for fat removal

If you’re looking to remove a limited amount of fat from a small part of your body, you may be a candidate for liposculpture.

Liposculpture is a surgical procedure that suctions fat from the body. However, there are a few key differences between liposculpture and liposuction.

For example, with liposculpture:

  • We don’t need to remove as much fat. This often means a shorter procedure with less anesthesia. In fact, during liposculpture you may only need local anesthesia to numb the treatment area.
  • Your surgeon may remove fat from one part of your body and insert it into the area you want to improve. This enhances your results by providing a more defined or sculpted look.

The recovery period is usually shorter than liposuction.