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Large volume liposuction

Large volume liposuction


NYC Large volume liposuction

Liposuction is a cosmetic surgery procedure for removing excess fat from specific areas of the body by suction. This procedure helps patients achieve their desired body shape by removing a large volume of fat from areas that are slow to respond to traditional weight loss methods.

What is Large Volume Liposuction?

Large volume liposuction generally refers to removing 4 to 5 liters of fat in a single session. In the early days of the procedure, a lot of blood was aspirated, posing a significant risk for plus-sized patients. Therefore, patients had to undergo multiple surgeries spread out over a long period to remove large fat volumes safely. Today, this is no longer necessary since there are safer and more effective techniques.

Modern Large Volume Liposuction Techniques

Advancements in technology and modern medicine have developed safe techniques to remove large volumes of fat in one session. These techniques are:

Tumescent Liposuction

The liposuction expert injects a large dose of medicated solution into the area targeted for large-volume fat removal. This fluid is a mixture of:

  • Lidocaine which is a local anesthetic that numbs the area during and after surgery
  • Epinephrine which constricts blood vessels in the area to prevent blood loss, bruising, and swelling, and
  • An intravenous (IV) salt solution that helps remove the fat more efficiently and maintain the body’s fluid balance. A similar technique to tumescent liposuction is the super-wet technique, which uses less fluid during surgery but is not used as widely as tumescent liposuction tends to be a safer approach.

Ultrasound-assisted liposuction (UAL)

UAL uses ultrasonic vibrations from a metal rod to liquefy fat deposits for easy removal. The ultrasound-assisted liposuction is performed after the treatment area has been filled with tumescent solution. Today’s latest generation of UAL is called VASER liposuction. It uses a VASER tool that delivers energy in pulses to liquefy the fat during surgery. VASER can also be useful in cases that require skin tightening in addition to fat removal.

Laser-assisted Liposuction (LAL)

This liposuction technique uses high-intensity laser energy to liquefy fat before it is vacuumed out through small tubes. The laser energy also stimulates collagen production, which encourages skin tightening after the procedure. The most popular form of LAL in current use is called “Smart Lipo.”

Power-assisted liposuction (PAL)

PAL uses cannulas that move back and forth in a rapid motion, making it easier for the surgeon to vacuum out large volumes of fat more efficiently. Since the fat is physically easier to extract with this technique, the surgeon can focus on precisely contouring the treatment area.

How Much does Large Volume Liposuction Cost?

The cost of large volume liposuction varies depending on the patient and the technique used. Please refer to our cost guide here.

Candidates for Large Volume Liposuction

For one to qualify for large volume liposuction, he or she must be in good health. The plastic surgeon will study their full medical history and conduct a medical evaluation to determine whether he or she is a medically appropriate candidate for the procedure.

Underlying health conditions like severe cardiovascular diseases and asthma increase the risk of possible complications. Before any elective surgical procedure, including large volume liposuction, it is essential to ensure that any underlying medical conditions are well controlled. Some individuals will not be medically appropriate candidates for large volume liposuction.

Pregnancy is a contraindication to any aesthetic surgery procedure, including large volume liposuction. Patients must also be at a stable weight. Those gaining or in the midst of losing a significant amount of weight are not good candidates for liposuction.

Even when in the best of health, there are possible risks of large volume liposuction.
It is essential to work with an experienced and board-certified plastic surgeon to ensure excellent results and a to maximize safety when seeking liposuction.

How the Procedure is Done

Before the patient undergoes the procedure, Dr. Smith measures and marks the area to be treated. The markings are critical in achieving an excellent result, as they are the “road map” Dr. Smith will use to perform your procedure. Photos will also be taken before and after your large volume liposuction procedure for comparison.

While smaller volume liposuction cases can often be performed under local or “twilight” anesthesia, larger volume cases are usually performed under general anesthesia. Tumescent fluid is then injected through small, well-hidden skin incisions into the treatment areas.

Once the solution has taken effect, the fat is suctioned from the treatment area through a long, thin, metal tube called a cannula. Depending on your state, there are guidelines limiting the volume of fat removed in a single procedure. For patient safety, your large volume liposuction surgeon must adhere to these guidelines. Your vital signs, like blood pressure, heart rate, and oxygen level, will be closely monitored throughout the procedure, which may last a couple of hours.

The following are the commonly targeted areas during large volume liposuction;

  • Upper arms
  • Abdomen
  • Calves and ankles
  • Flanks
  • Chest
  • Chin and neck
  • Hips and thighs
  • Buttocks

After the Procedure

Discomfort, swelling, and bruising are common after large-volume liposuction. Therefore, you will likely be prescribed pain medication. Recovery and Results

Most patients will be able to return to their jobs within a few days of surgery. It will take several; months for your swelling to completely resolve and for skin contraction to occur revealing your final results after your large volume liposuction procedure.

Remember that liposuction is a shape change – not a weight change – procedure. You should maintain a healthy diet and exercise regimen after your procedure for the best results.

Large Volume Liposuction and Tummy Tuck

It is possible to perform liposuction on several areas at the same time as a tummy tuck, and it is essential to take into account that this may result in a large volume of liposuction from several different parts of the body. Dr. Smith has published on the topic of combining tummy tuck, or abdominoplasty, with other plastic surgery procedures ("click here" makes attached image open), and in fact, liposuction is one of the procedures with which tummy tuck is most frequently combined. Under proper conditions, it can be safe to perform liposuction of several areas of the body at the same time as a tummy tuck. To maximize the safety of these procedures, it is essential to ensure an experienced surgical team, a medically optimized patient, and reasonable total procedure length amongst other factors. As multiple areas of treatment can result in large volumes of liposuction, it is also critical that the anesthesiologist be well-versed in fluid management for these cases. Another point to consider regarding large volume liposuction combined with tummy tuck is that while several areas of liposuction can be performed at the same time as an abdominoplasty resulting in large volumes of liposuction, large volumes of liposuction of the abdomen itself should not be performed at the same time as a tummy tuck. This is because extensive liposuction of the abdomen itself at the same time as a tummy tuck can damage the blood supply to the abdominal skin, leading to complications like wound healing problems and tissue necrosis. In patients that require large volume liposuction of the abdomen as well as a tummy tuck, Dr. Smith prefers to stage these procedures. He will perform the abdominal liposuction first, and then wait approximately six months to allow restoration of the abdominal skin blood supply before performing the tummy tuck.

Large Volume Liposuction

Strategies for Aesthetic Reshaping of the Postpartum Patient
Alan Matarasso 1, Darren M Smith
Affiliations expand
PMID: 26218374 DOI: 10.1097/PRS.0000000000001410

Follow-up Procedures

After the liposuction procedure, you may be left with excess skin. This is something you will discuss with Dr. Smith in great detail prior to your procedure to help you choose the best strategy for your specific case. In some instances, liposuction may be paired with skin removal procedures like a tummy tuck, arm lift, or thigh lift.


  • Darren M. Smith MD
  • Darren M. Smith MD
  • Darren M. Smith MD
  • Darren M. Smith MD

All photos are of models except before and after images.

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