Liposuction is a procedure that removes unwanted or excess fat from a number of different areas of the body. It is commonly used to remove fat from the neck, backs of the arms, abdomen, thighs, buttocks, and other regions. With excess fat deposits removed through liposuction, a slimmer figure is created and body contours and proportions dramatically improve. Pittsburgh plastic surgeon, Dr. James Fernau, offers various liposuction methods that can remove unwanted fat while at the same time minimize bleeding and bruising. This is accomplished through a SAFE liposuction approach.
The "SAFE Approach"
Dr. Fernau uses the SAFE liposuction technique on all of his patients, which uses special medication during the procedure, as well as a smaller cannula and a “feathering” technique so that the results are proportionate. SAFE stands for separation (of the fat), aspiration (suction and removal), feathering (fat removal in layers) and evening. The overall goal is to create a smooth, even result. Dr. Fernau’s success using this approach is very high. He is able to achieve gorgeous outcomes during surgery.
"I had liposuction of my hip rolls and abdomen and the fat put in my butt and a silicone gel augmentation. I love my results ! Dr Fernau is excellent and professional. His staff is the same. I would send friends and family to him."- A. / Doctor.com / Feb 22, 2015
"I used to have gynecomastia until Dr Fernau performed liposuction on my chest Now it is smooth and my muscles are defined again. He did a great job."- A.E. / Yellowpages / Feb 17, 2015
"I had liposuction of my hip rolls and abdomen and the fat put in my butt and a silicone gel augmentation. I love my results ! Dr Fernau is excellent ..."- A. / Vitals / Feb 23, 2015
"My breasts are perfect!!! I went from an A to a full C and they really are perfect. Dr. Fernau is so nice and he is such a perfectionist. I have seen 4 of my girlfriends and they all turned out like mine. I have recommended him to friends and family. I am ging to him for the new Aqualipo liposuction in the spring. I see why he was voted a Top Plastic Surgeon in America for 7 years! Love him !"- D. / Vitals / Sep 09, 2013
"I had liposuction and my results are amazing. I went from a size 36 to a 32 in 3 months. Dr. Fernau is thorough and very concerned about patient safety and comfort. I had no pain. His staff is excellent. moreI had liposuction and my results are amazing. I went from a size 36 to a 32 in 3 months. Dr. Fernau is thorough and very concerned about patient safety and comfort. I had no pain. His staff is excellent. I recommend him to all of my friends and family."- J. / Yahoo / Jan 09, 2015
Surgical Techniques Offered
Tumescent "Super-Wet" Lipo
Tumescent liposuction, known as the “Super-Wet” approach, is a suction-assisted (SAL) technique that uses a solution and power-aided motor to help remove stubborn fat. During the procedure, Dr. Fernau injects a solution, made of saline, lidocaine and epinephrine (to control bleeding), into the problem areas. He then inserts the cannula attached to the motor to remove fat cells from the body at a controlled speed. The motor helps remove anywhere from several ounces to a few pounds of fat.
Dr. Fernau offers Pittsburgh patients a revolutionary new approach to liposuction that uses a water-based fat removal technology that is gentle and less invasive than the traditional tumescent approach. Instead of a machine-guided system, AQUALIPO uses a powerful water jet to flush and remove fat from the body. Unlike traditional lipo, this technique does not require anesthesia, which means there is less risk and overall less downtime. For most patients, this technique produces smooth, slimming results without complications that can sometimes arise after a more invasive surgical procedure.
HydraSolve is a revolutionary medical device used for fat harvesting and body contouring. This FDA-approved technology provides the least amount of downtime compared to any other technology due to the selective and gentle process of fat harvesting and liquefaction. Most patients come in the following day with no bruising and no pain. By liquefying the fat, natural collagen production is increased for faster healing and improved skin tone. Additionally, HydraSolve is excellent for correcting secondary liposuction deformities.
Another liposuction surgical technique used by our Pittsburgh office is the ultrasound-assisted (UAL), or ultrasonic approach. This particular type of lipo is performed using ultrasound waves to loosen and melt fat into liquid, which then makes it easy to remove. It is performed on denser areas of fat, such as the thighs and stomach. This technique is also less invasive than traditional liposuction.
Laser-assisted liposuction uses laser technology on specified areas of fat to burst energy that will loosen and liquefy the fat for removal. LAL liposuction includes brands such as SmartLipo, SlimLipo, Lipolite Laser Liposculpture, LipoLite, and ProLipo PLUS.
Recovery times for liposuction vary from patient and per technique. All patients receive preoperative packets and postoperative care instructions to help in the recovery period. After surgery, the patient is placed in a custom-fitted compression garment that lessens swelling and provides the patient with the support and stability needed for comfort. Immediately after treatment, patients can expect an initial recovery period of a few days. There will be some soreness and swelling and activities should be reduced several weeks. Special instructions related to your individual procedure, regarding rest, special garments, returning to your place of business (or normal daily activity), sports or other physical activities, and exposure to sunlight will be addressed by Dr. Fernau.
The average cost for liposuction depends on the technique and scope of the surgery. Most patients in the U.S. can pay anywhere from $2,500 to $12,500 for one procedure. If combined with other procedures, the cost of the surgery can increase significantly.
Plan Your Procedure
- Average Cost
- $2,500 - $12,500
- Recovery Time
- 1 Week
- Average Procedure Time
- 1-5 Hours
- Post-op Follow-up
- 2 Weeks
- Procedure Recovery Location
Is It Safe?
While today’s surgical techniques are safe, patients can experience poor results from inexperienced surgeons. It is important for patients to do their research, and find an experienced Pittsburgh liposuction surgeon that can help them achieve the best, most natural-looking results. Dr. Fernau is board certified and has performed countless liposuction procedures resulting in safe, effective outcomes.
The results of liposuction can be seen for many years following surgery if the patient follows a healthy diet and exercise program. Removed fat cells do not come back, but patients can still gain weight if their remaining fat cells grow.
Too Much Fat?
Yes, in some cases there may be too much fat to remove in one setting. The American Society of Plastic Surgeons does not recommend removing more than 10 pounds of fat for the safety of the patient. Removing more than 10 pounds is considered high-volume liposuction, which increases the chances of complications from the surgery. Patients are advised to be near or at their ideal weight before undergoing liposuction.
While liposuction removes fat and improves contour and shape, it does not address sagging or drooping skin. If skin laxity is a concern, patients can talk to Dr. Fernau during the consultation to discuss their options for improving skin texture, such as a tummy tuck, thigh, neck, arm or butt lift.