The Jacobs Center for Cosmetic Surgery

Liposuction

Surgical Fat Reduction in San Francisco

Liposuction at the San Francisco Bay Area's Jacobs Center for Cosmetic Surgery is a great tool to treat those difficult problem areas that don't seem to improve with diet and exercise. While many new nonsurgical devices—such as laser, ultrasound, and freezing—claim to improve on the benefits of liposuction, traditional Suction-Assisted Liposuction (SAL) continues to be the gold standard treatment. That said, Dr. Eric Culbertson builds upon the accepted principles of reliably established procedures by employing newer techniques that optimize fat removal while minimizing the risk of irregularities feared by many patients and surgeons. Using specialized cannulas to manually target superficial and deep fatty pockets in key locations, Dr. Culbertson can use his artistic eye to sculpt your physique.

While arguably more work for the surgeon, SAL done correctly by a trained plastic surgeon offers better results, fewer complications, and higher patient satisfaction scores than expensive, gimmicky treatments that are big on promises but little on results. Because suction-assisted liposuction requires precise, hand-tailored fat removal instead of relying on dangerous high energy emitted by fad devices, complications such as burns and contour deformities can be minimized. Another key advantage: Suction Assisted Liposuction minimizes injury to the fat cells, allowing this valuable sculpting clay to be preserved for fat grafting. Rather than throwing the fat away, find out how you can put it to work for you! Remove fat from the areas you don't want, and give shape to the places that are lacking.

Your lipo procedure will start long before any instrument comes near your body. It begins with a consultation, during which you'll establish rapport with your cosmetic surgeon and explain exactly what you're looking for. Bring your questions about liposuction in the Bay Area to The Jacobs Center's Healdsburg office (707.473.0220) or San Francisco office (415.433.0303).

Photo Gallery
Photo Gallery
Video Gallery

Some Liposuction Details

The technique for Suction-Assisted Liposuction uses negative pressure delivered by hand via a long, ultrafine straw (cannula) through a tiny 5-mm entry point in the skin. Incisions that allow the cannula entry are made in inconspicuous places—such as in the belly button or below the bikini line—and typically heal with little to imperceptible scars.*

The cannula serves a dual purpose throughout liposuction surgery. In addition to serving as a tube for suction, it also acts as a wand used to physically free the fat for removal. The unwanted cells are not loose in the body, but connected to surrounding tissue and must be separated by mechanical action on the part of the surgeon. Injecting the tissue with a special solution prior to inserting the cannula helps to constrict blood flow and minimize surgery-related bleeding and post-surgical bruising, as well as dull sensation in the area.

Liposuction can be performed comfortably with the patient under local medication, twilight sedation, or general anesthesia. The length of the procedure depends on how many targets we'd like to address, but typically ranges from one to four hours. The cost is similarly dependent on time, though some degree of liposuction is typically included in other body procedures to perfectly blend and shape your curves. Fat grafting can also be performed, preserving this valuable, natural material to reshape areas such as the breasts and buttocks.

Dr. Eric Culbertson
Dr. Eric Culbertson Associations

Fellowship-trained plastic surgeon for breast & body-focused procedures, Dr. Culbertson personally strives to achieve natural yet undeniable results that bolster one's self esteem and reinforce, rather than change, one's identity.

Is Liposuction Right for Me?

Liposuction can be right for any patient who needs some help tackling problem areas such as the arms, armpits, back, abdomen, love handles, buttocks, and inner and outer thighs. Some liposuction is often included as part of another procedure, such as a tummy tuck or breast lift, to blend in contours. More aggressive liposuction can always be added "a la carte." It can be used to kick off a health routine or treat stubborn problem areas. That said, any patient considering liposuction must be aware that despite its ability to pull unwanted fat cells from the body, it is not intended as an alternative to dieting, exercise, or other weight-loss strategies. Liposuction is strictly for aesthetic changes. For this reason, good candidates should already be at or near the body weight recommended for their height by healthcare practitioners.

Why Are Lifestyle Changes Unreliable?

First, committing to a healthier diet and increased activity are significant factors in improving physical fitness and reducing risk of heart disease and other problems associated with poor eating habits and a sedentary lifestyle.

Unfortunately, women and men enjoying weight loss due to hard work cannot control where it is on their body their efforts show. Even as the numbers on the scale change, a stubborn double chin or set of love handles may remain.

This is because fat is not destroyed by dieting or exercise. Instead, effective lifestyle changes shrink the fat cells in given areas of the body. Heredity and other factors play a role in determining where weight loss is most visible.

Another drawback is that fat cells that shrink can also return to their original size, unless strict discipline is maintained.

With liposuction, Dr. Culbertson can create slimmer contours exactly where they are most wanted by suctioning them out with the cannula. This is why choosing a plastic surgeon with both medical skill and an artistic eye is especially important. The results should look natural and complement the rest of the body's proportions and contours.

Once taken from the body, fat cells are not expected to re-grow. That said, liposuction patients should continue to maintain a healthy weight, as fat cells that remain in the body can still grow larger if given the opportunity.

What to Expect After Liposuction

Patients are placed in specialized fit-to-measure compression garments to minimize swelling for the first week as their bodies' own drainage system, the lymphatic system, recovers. Pain associated with the liposuction procedure is typically of an achy sort, like you might feel after a good workout, and is easily controlled with pain medication or even just Tylenol. Most—if not all—patients transition to over-the-counter pain medication within the first week. We tell our liposuction patients to expect to take a week off work, though some of them are able to return to duties sooner than that.*

Because this surgery is limited to the skin and fat layer, it's considered a less painful procedure than more invasive operations. During the recovery period after liposuction, patients are encouraged to walk and do day-to-day activities—but to refrain from strenuous exercise for the first two weeks. After that, patients can gradually return to their normal, unrestricted activity level.

How Does Fat Transfer Work?

Patients specifically looking to add volume to areas such as the breasts, buttocks (Brazilian butt lift), or other areas can choose to have just enough fat collected for that purpose, or can combine it with liposuction to additional areas as well.

Healthy, living fat cells collected via cannula make ideal material for filler. After removal from the donor area, they must be purified, which involves spinning them in a centrifuge to separate out unnecessary fluids.

After this process, the cells can be carefully and artistically injected into the area to be volumized.

Moving Forward

Lipo is a common procedure, and is a popular method for eliminating fat that is hard to lose via other methods. Despite the wealth of information about the surgery available online, you may still have questions. A member of The Jacobs Center staff is available to talk to patients about liposuction in San Francisco and the surrounding Bay Area. Call the Healdsburg office at 707.473.0220 or the San Francisco office at 415.433.0303.

* Patient Results May Vary

Back To Top