Liposuction FAQ

Do you want to get slimmer before summer arrives? Do you dream of a flatter stomach, sculpted thighs, or slimmer upper arms? While CoolSculpting is an effective solution for fat reduction without surgery, you likely won’t see full results before summer arrives. The fastest way to to reduce unwanted body fat is to have a liposuction procedure. After a single surgery, fat is gone and results are seen within a couple of weeks. But is liposuction the right solution for your needs? Are you a good candidate for lipo?

Click on the links below to jump down for more information about liposuction in this helpful FAQ about this popular cosmetic procedure at the Laser and Skin Surgery Center of Indiana.

Liposuction FAQ


What is liposuction?

Liposuction (also called “lipo”) is the process by which a skilled surgeon removes excess fat beneath the skin (subcutaneous). The fat is suctioned from an incision or series of incisions to both remove bulk and sculpt the area for a more contoured physique.

Is liposuction surgery?

Yes. Lipo is a surgical procedure. Even the least invasive techniques are considered surgery. This is because incisions are created in the skin, allowing for a cannula to be inserted to aspirate fat cells. Anesthesia is used, often locally, to prevent pain. However, some patients may also be heavily sedated via general anesthesia (rare).

Is liposuction safe?

Yes. Liposuction is considered safe for patients who are in relatively good health. This includes patients who are at a healthy weight, live an active lifestyle, and eat well. However, some medical conditions and prescriptions may prevent a safe procedure for some patients. A full consultation with a dermatologic surgeon will determine if lipo is safe for you.

What is tumescent liposuction?

Tumescent liposuction is a type of liposuction surgery that utilizes a tumescent formula for anesthesia. Tumescent anesthesia is local and contains both the diluted anesthetic and epinephrine. The anesthetic numbs the treatment area to prevent pain while the epinephrine reduces blood loss and bruising. Patients are awake during the tumescent procedure, as this is considered safer than putting the patient under general anesthesia or heavy sedation.

What areas can be treated using liposuction?

before and after liposuction chin

*individual results vary from person to person

Most areas that contain excess pockets of unwanted fat just beneath the skin can be treated using liposuction. Treatment areas include large areas such as the thighs and abdominal region as well as smaller areas like the double chin and knees.

How much does liposuction cost?

Liposuction cost varies depending on a variety of factors, such as the size of the area treated, the amount of fat being aspirated, and how much tumescent anesthesia you’ll require. The best way to find out how much your lipo procedure will cost is to schedule a consultation with our dermatologic surgeon Dr. Hanke. After a full examination and discussion, our team will provide you with a customized treatment plan and total cost associated with your procedure.

Who is a good candidate for liposuction?

A good candidate for liposuction is a patient who is in good health and already at a healthy weight. If you are within your ideal weight range, exercise regularly, and eat healthy, then you will likely see good results from a safe lipo procedure.

Can I have liposuction if I’m overweight/obese?

No. Liposuction is not a weight loss tool. Patients who are overweight or obese should consult with a physician to come up with a strategy for weight loss before considering lipo. Liposuction is a great procedure if you have lost a lot of weight recently and need help with the stubborn areas of fat that won’t go away, however. So come back and see us after you’ve lost the weight and feel healthy.

Who shouldn’t get liposuction?

If you are overweight or obese, then liposuction is not for you. If you take blood thinners or NSAIDS, it is not recommended that you get lipo. Patients with hypertension are also not considered ideal candidates. If you are underage, liposuction is generally not recommended as you’re still growing and have what is affectionately called “baby fat” that will thin out as you reach adulthood. It’s important to remember that this is a surgical procedure, so it carries risks that some patients should not take. Talk with your primary care physician or contact us to find out more.

Is abdominal liposuction like a tummy tuck?

abdominal liposuction before and after liposuction faq

*individual results vary from person to person

No. Liposuction is fat removal while a tummy tuck, or abdominoplasty, is skin removal and tightening. While you can have both on your abdomen, they are not the same procedure.

What will my skin look like after liposuction?

For some patients, depending on how much fat is removed from one area, the skin may appear loose. However, in the hands of a skilled dermatologic surgeon, you should not have excess or sagging skin following your procedure. It’s best to discuss your unique situation during a consultation to make sure that your needs are appropriately met.

What about non-surgical liposuction alternatives?

Some patients can avoid surgery and still lose unwanted fat with non-surgical body sculpting treatments like CoolSculpting, offered here at the Laser and Skin Surgery Center of Indiana. Many areas can be treated using CoolSculpting, but not all patients are a good fit for non-surgical treatments. Depending on your needs, liposuction may be the procedure that will provide you with the best results. We also offer Kybella, an injectable fat melting treatment that is FDA-approved for double chin reduction.

It’s important to note that non-surgical body sculpting procedures often require multiple visits and treatments to see full results. If your goal is to achieve your new look in time for summer, lipo will provide faster results.

What are the risks associated with liposuction?

Liposuction is surgery, so there are always going to be risks. However, choosing a board-certified dermatologic surgeon with an excellent reputation for patient safety and results will minimize the risk of side-effects and complications. Also, being sure to follow pre- and post-procedure instruction is paramount to getting the best results and avoiding unwanted side-effects.

Risks involved with lipo are similar to other surgeries. However, by eliminating general anesthesia and heavy sedation, many other risks are eliminated. As with any surgery, post-procedure bruising and discomfort are common. More moderate-to-severe complications are rare and include infection, excess bleeding, and poor results. Again, following your dermatologic surgeon’s instructions and selecting a reputable surgeon are paramount to avoiding such complications.

What is the downtime following liposuction? How is pain and discomfort managed?

With the tumescent procedure, downtime is significantly reduced compared to more traditional lipo involving general anesthesia. Bruising is nearly gone after 1-2 weeks. Patients may resume exercise as early as 3-7 days following the procedure, although Dr. Hanke may recommend a longer downtime for you. Most patients may return to work as early as 3 days following tumescent liposuction, as long as the demands of the job do not include activities such as heavy lifting or excessive bending and twisting.

For the first 24 hours following your lipo procedure, the tumescent anesthetic is still active and managing pain and discomfort. After the tumescent anesthetic wears off, most patients only require over-the-counter acetaminophen to manage any discomfort.

Will my procedure be performed in a hospital? Will I have to stay overnight?

No. Your procedure will be performed in a surgical center. A hospital is not required for tumescent liposuction, nor is an overnight stay. Most patients are able to leave (with the help of a caregiver who will transport them home) within 30-60 minutes following surgery.

How should I prepare for my liposuction procedure?

liposuction faq before and after lipo double chin

*individual results vary from person to person

For best results, it’s important to prepare far ahead of time for your liposuction procedure. These steps help ensure your safety during surgery and improve outcomes. You will receive a packet that includes your full pre- and post-operative care instructions. Some of the pre-procedure instructions include the following:

  • do not eat or drink after midnight the night before your procedure
  • quit smoking at least 2 weeks prior to surgery
  • do not shave ahead of your surgery to avoid ingrown hairs
  • wear loose fitting clothing the day of surgery
  • find a friend or family member who you can count on to transport you to and from your appointment

Our team will provide you with a full list of instructions prior to your procedure and are available to discuss any questions or concerns prior to your surgery date.

Why should I choose Dr. Hanke at the LASSI to perform my liposuction in Indianapolis?

In addition to being a skilled dermatologic surgeon and liposuction provider, Dr. Hanke is renowned as an expert and pioneer in tumescent liposuction. His experience includes:

  • authoring and co-authoring peer reviewed articles on tumescent liposuction
  • clinical trials and dermatologic surgery research
  • lecturing and teaching other surgeons on tumescent liposuction techniques
  • decades of lipo and body contouring experience

Schedule a consultation with one of Indiana’s top liposuction surgeons today at the Laser and Skin Surgery Center of Indiana.

Liposuction Myths Debunked

Of all the cosmetic treatments available today, it’s quite possible that liposuction gets the most negative press attention. Prevailing ideas about liposuction that stem from its original use in the 1970s, media misinformation, and poorly executed surgeries by providers who aren’t properly trained or licensed for liposuction help keep these liposuction myths alive and kicking. The truth is, however, that liposuction isn’t the cosmetic bad guy most people believe it is. Use this quick list of liposuction myths as the first step to learning the truth about liposuction, and contact our team to find out more about liposuction and if it’s right for you.

Top 5 Liposuction Myths Debunked

Is liposuction just weight loss for lazy people? Doesn’t the fat just come back? Is liposuction dangerous? These are all questions we’ve heard over the years, and the short answer to all of these is, “No.” Get the details on the top liposuction myths below.

Liposuction Myth #1: Liposuction Will Help You Lose Weight

One of the most common liposuction myths is that it’s used as a weight loss tool. The reality, however, is that liposuction is designed to contour stubborn problem areas that a healthy diet and consistent exercise failed to correct. These stubborn pockets of fat are often genetic, so no amount of dieting or exercise will ever correct them. Liposuction can, however.

Liposuction Myth #2: You’re Too Old for Liposuction

Surgery and advanced age are often concerns primarily because of the dangers of general anesthesia. General anesthesia, which is when the anesthesia drug puts you to sleep for your treatment, is often the most dangerous part of any surgery, no matter your age. With local tumescent anesthesia, however, liposuction is much safer as patients are fully awake during the treatment. As long as you are healthy, your dermatologic surgeon will likely approve you for Tumescent Liposuction. Your surgeon may also recommend surgical or non-surgical skin tightening to complement your liposuction treatment, however, as aging reduces the skin’s ability to “bounce back” after weight loss or liposuction. It’s important to have realistic expectations regarding the treatment’s results.

Liposuction Myth #3: Liposuction is Just for Women

While women seek liposuction more frequently, men are increasingly requesting body contouring procedures. Like women, some men have stubborn fat deposits on their bodies. These trouble areas for men are usually around the abdomen or chest. “Love handles” can be a persistent problem for men regardless of their exercise routine or diet.

Liposuction Myth #4: Liposuction Will Get Rid of Your Cellulite

We wish that liposuction could be a cure-all for a body fat, but unfortunately, liposuction as a cellulite treatment is another of the most common liposuction myths. While cellulite is partially caused by fat deposits beneath the skin, it’s a unique problem with a specific solution that liposuction alone cannot address. However, we also urge you to be very wary of topical cellulite treatments. They just don’t work!

Liposuction Myth #5: The Fat Will Come Back

Did you know that you do not produce new fat cells when you gain weight? Weight gain is caused by the expansion of existing fat cells. If you feed them, they will grow, but they will not reproduce. With fewer fat cells, your body has less opportunity to increase in size. Liposuction removes excess fat deposits, which means that once they are gone, they are gone for good.

This doesn’t mean that you cannot gain weight after liposuction, which is another one of the common liposuction myths. Your remaining fat cells can expand and cause you to gain weight again, so it’s important to maintain a healthy lifestyle following your treatment.

Looking for Liposuction in Indianapolis?

tumescent liposuction results

Individual results may vary from person to person.

Liposuction gets rid of the persistent, unwanted fat that you’ve tried time and again to tone away by embracing a healthy diet and regular exercise. Liposuction can remove the stubborn fat on your belly, thighs, hips, back and buttocks. The treatment can even eliminate fat around your face and neck as well as your knees.

Dr. C. William Hanke of the Laser and Skin Surgery Center of Indiana is a renowned liposuction expert in Indianapolis who has lectured and trained countless physicians worldwide and contributed to numerous publications on the use of tumescent anesthesia in liposuction. In our Indianapolis dermatologic surgery center, we offer Tumescent Liposuction to patients for surgical removal of stubborn, unwanted fat. We also now offer Kybella for non-surgical double chin reduction and CoolSculpting for non-surgical fat freezing and elimination to patients who aren’t good candidates for surgical procedures or prefer a non-surgical approach.

To find out what fat reduction treatments are right for your needs, contact our team of experts at the Laser and Skin Surgery Center of Indiana, located just north of Indianapolis in Carmel. We look forward to meeting you!