Steve T. Vu MD, FACS | Board Certified Plastic Surgeon
17742 Beach Blvd., Suite 335, Huntington Beach, CA 92647  |  (714) 848-1133


What is it?

Liposuction is often performed in tandem with other types of plastic surgery procedures such as tummy tucks. The main purpose of liposuction is to remove isolated or excess pockets of fat in areas such as the flanks abdomen, thighs and other areas where they should not be.

Removing excess fat from these areas can be a frustrating task and does not always work out with exercise or balanced diets alone. Such people often turn to plastic surgery procedures like liposuction in order to achieve body contours that are more aesthetically pleasing. The precise removal of fat results in a great profile.


A qualified plastic surgeon must determine the whether a patient is a good candidate before he can approve the procedure. Patients who are often considered to be ideal candidates include people who –

  • Are within 25 pounds of their respective body weights

  • Struggle with deposits of fat that they haven’t been able to remove through strict diets and weight loss exercises alone

  • Are older than 18

  • Meet necessary health qualifications

Of course, every type of surgery comes with its fair share of risks and liposuction procedures are no different. Surgeons may not consider people who are currently taking certain types of medication or suffer from serious medical conditions to be suitable candidates. For example, people who suffer from medical conditions like diabetes often do not achieve the results they desire. Additionally, a surgeon may not agree to perform the procedure on people who have weak immune systems, heart disease, poor blood circulation or lung disease. Performing the procedure under such conditions could lead to serious complications that could put a patient’s life in danger. Patients who have had surgery recently are also advised to wait for the area to heal before they consider liposuction.


The procedure can also be used to treat certain conditions such as Lymphedema which is a chronic illness in which excess fluid collects in the tissue. The procedure is often performed to reduce effects such as swelling or pain. Other conditions that liposuction can be used for include Gynecomastia in which fat collects under a male patient’s nipples.

Older patients typically have more saggy skin as compared to their younger counterparts. Patients are advised to remember that the procedure does not tighten the skin. This also means that younger patients who have more supple skin enjoy the best results.

Types of Liposuction Procedures

Depending on recommendations or personal preferences, the following liposuction procedures may be performed:

  • Dry Liposuction

  • As the name implies this procedure does not need any fluid to be injected. However, this is also why this procedure is not commonly recommended. The absence of liquid before fat removal may lead to excessive bleeding and bruising.

  • Wet Liposuction

  • In this procedure, a small amount of liquid is injected into the designated area. The liquid is of less volume than the amount of fat that is to be removed and keeps bruising to a minimum. Loosened fat cells are suctioned out.

  • Super Wet Liposuction

  • In this procedure the liquid used is of the same amount as the fact that is to be removed. Patients may be required to have a separate anesthetic.

  • Tumescent Liposuction

  • This is one of the most popular types of liposuction procedures. During the procedure, the surgeon injects several liters of saline solution with a local anesthetic. Adrenaline or a vessel constricto epinephrine is pumped below the skin. This is done in the area that is to be suctioned. The fat is extracted through tubes. There is a reason why liquid is pumped into the skin. It is done to allow the surgeon to maneuver the cannula easily.

  • Ultrasound Liposuction

  • Ultrasound Liposuction or UAL energizes the cannula with ultrasound. The energized equipment melts away the fat as soon as it touches it. This makes it easier for the surgeon to suction out the fat. The process is usually done on areas where liposuction has been performed on before or areas that are more fibrous such as a man’s breast or back.

How the Procedure is Performed

Before he begins, the surgeon marks out where the treatment will take place. Before and after photos are often taken to compare the results. A patient is often put under general anesthetic and might be injected with an epidural in the fluid filled space around the spine. This is done to numb the lower area such as the abdomen and legs. The whole procedure may last one to four hours. If the liposuction is to be done on very small areas, the procedure may involve a local anesthetic.

Associated Costs

In general, a typical liposuction will accommodate the costs of each targeted area separately. For example, it may cost $3,400 to perform the procedure on the hips and $3000 on the buttocks or outer thighs. This is not to mention non surgical fees such as the experience of the surgeon and qualifications. The cost may also be affected by the geographical location of the medical facility and the cost of the anesthesia used. On average the cost may come up to a total of $9,000.


LAL or Laser Assisted Lipolysis involves the use of a tumescent fluid. This particular procedure is less invasive as compared to standard liposuctions that are used to suction out fat.

Patients are advised to consult with their chosen surgeons before they undergo the surgery. Each procedure comes with its risks and its best that they are discussed first in order to prevent infections and proceed with proper follow up care. It is best that patients determine whether they are good candidates for the procedure before they get their hopes up. They are also advised to remember that the procedure does not tighten skin; it only removes fat. An older patient who has saggy skin to begin with will not see the same results as a younger patient who has more supple skin. As a result, the latter tends to see results that are more aesthetically pleasing.

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Schedule Your Consultation Today

To discuss your interests, we encourage you to make an appointment for a consultation with Dr. Steve Vu. We can answer general questions about our our procedures and practice by phone and email during our regular business hours, Monday-Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. For out-of-town visitors, please contact us so that we can suggest accomodations and make your experience as pleasant as possible.

Office Locations:

Huntington Beach Office:
17742 Beach Blvd., Suite 335
Huntington Beach, CA 92647
Tel: (714) 848-1133
Fax: (714) 848-4114

Corona Office:
800 Magnolia Avenue, Suite 109
Corona, CA 92879-3157
Tel: (951) 279-7888
Fax: (714) 848-4114

Temecula Office:
31720 Temecula Parkway, Suite 203
Temecula, CA 92592
Tel: (951) 279-7888
Fax: (714) 848-4114