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liposuction in NYC
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liposuction in NYC

Liposuction in NYC with Dr. Darren Smith

Offering dramatic results with an easy recovery and minimal downtime, it is no wonder that liposuction is one of the most popular aesthetic plastic surgery procedures performed in the Unites States and around the world year after year. Not all liposuction is created equal, however, and the quality of your results has everything to do with the skill and artistry of your plastic surgeon. If you are looking for one of the best liposuction procedures available, search no more.

Dr. Darren Smith has gained a reputation for achieving beautiful body contouring results by leveraging advanced liposuction techniques, a keen aesthetic eye, and a focus on each patient’s desired outcome. With new body contouring technologies being introduced at a seemingly ever-accelerating pace, liposuction continues to be the most effective way to sculpt the body through the removal of fatty deposits. Liposuction has benefited from technological advancement as well, with state-of-the-art lipo treatments producing even more attractive results and faster recovery times.

Darren M. Smith MD Liposuction NYC

Sculpt your body with state-of-the-art liposuction in NYC.

Liposuction is one of the most effective ways to sculpt the body and remove stubborn excess fat. With an advanced background in cutting-edge liposuction technology, board-certified plastic surgeon Darren M. Smith, MD, uses safe and effective techniques to achieve optimal liposuction results. Dr. Smith is known for superb liposuction results ranging from full-body transformations to precision contouring of specific stubborn areas. Book your liposuction evaluation at his private, exclusive, practice today.

Before & After

What is liposuction?

Liposuction (lipo) is a surgical procedure that involves permanently extracting fat cells through an advanced suction technique. Patients targeting individual areas for fat reduction can often have their procedures performed under local anesthesia alone.

Dr. Smith generally performs more extensive liposuction procedures under “twilight” anesthesia (the patient is awake and breathing on his or her own but feels very comfortable and relaxed). Of course, if you prefer, you can opt for general anesthesia to be completely asleep during your procedure.

How is the liposuction procedure performed?

The procedure involves making a few small (less than 1 cm in size) well-placed incisions and instilling numbing medication into the treatment area. Next, Dr. Smith loosens and removes stubborn fat cells with a suction device called a cannula.

Finally, Dr. Smith carefully closes the incisions with small sutures. The incisions are hidden in skin creases and are so small that they are very difficult to see once healed. You will then relax in the recovery room under the care of our expert nursing staff. In the vast majority of cases, you can go home the same day, usually within an hour or so of your procedure.

Types of Liposuction

As aesthetic science advances, new types of liposuction in are frequently developed. The type of liposuction used will depend on your individual anatomy and the parts of your body being treated. Often different techniques are chosen for the face, neck, abdomen, arms, or legs, for example, to ensure that the results are smooth and fresh, making you look naturally slimmer.


Darren M. Smith MD

Traditional liposuction / Tumescent Liposuction

Liposuction is sometimes called “liposculpture,” “lipoplasty,” or “suction-assisted lipectomy.” These are all the same thing. The process begins by marking the treatment areas and infusing a solution of diluted local anesthetic, along with epinephrine to shrink capillaries and limit bleeding and bruising. This solution is called “tumescent fluid,” which is why traditional liposuction may also be called “tumescent liposuction.” Filling the treatment area with tumescent fluid allows for easier fat extraction with minimal discomfort.

Fat removal is then performed by inserting a thin, hollow device through a small incision and moving the device back and forth to suction unwanted fat out of the treatment area. This method is very effective in removing larger quantities of fat, and can be performed as a stand-alone procedure in patients who have maintained good skin tone and elasticity. If loose skin is present, several skin tightening technologies are available that allow us to shrink your skin around the newly sculpted treatment areas.

Laser-assisted liposuction (Smart Lipo)

In laser liposuction, or laser lipolysis, medical laser beams are delivered into the fatty area to liquify fat cells for easier extraction in conjunction with tumescent liposuction. The laser energy is emitted by a device inserted beneath the skin. This technique is branded as “Smart Lipo.” Like ultrasound-assisted or VASER liposuction, Smart Lipo also generates heat that can offer a skin tightening effect.

Radio frequency-assisted liposuction (BodyTite / FaceTite / NeckTite)

Radio frequency-assisted liposuction is Dr. Smith’s preferred method for skin tightening in most cases. Branded as “BodyTite” (or “FaceTite” or “NeckTite” depending on the part of the body that is being treated), this technology is easily paired with tumescent liposuction. A small wand is inserted under the skin and emits energy across the skin to a receiver outside the skin. This process safely heats the skin in the area, offering controlled skin tightening.

Ultrasound-assisted liposuction (VASER Lipo)

With this form of liposuction, ultrasound waves are emitted by a specialized wand prior to fat removal. The ultrasound energy liquefies fat and separates it from connective tissue and scar tissue if present, accelerating fat removal. Ultrasound-assisted liposuction is particularly useful in cases where scar tissue is present (such as from prior surgery in the area) and in liposuction of the male chest for male breast reduction (“gynecomastia” surgery), as the male chest is very fibrous. Ultrasound-assisted liposuction can also be useful as a skin tightening technique, as the heat produced by the ultrasound energy can produce some skin shrinkage. When ultrasound is required, Dr. Smith uses an ultrasound
system called “VASER” that has been shown to be a safe and effective addition to tumescent
liposuction.

Power-assisted liposuction

Power-assisted lipo involves the use of a specialized cannula which rapidly vibrates. This vibrating action removes fat cells from surrounding connective tissue and accelerates the fat removal process. This results in reduced operative times.

Related Content: Do I Need Liposuction or a Tummy Tuck?, What is the Difference Between Liposuction and Coolsculpting?

Which areas can liposuction treat?

Our liposuction is ideal for removing excess stubborn fat in many areas of your body. If you have a specific area that doesn’t seem to respond to diet and exercise, liposuction can help you havethe figure you want by removing these fatty deposits. Some of the most common treatment areas ideally suited for liposuction include:

  • Upper and lower abdomen
  • Waist (love handles)
  • Flanks (muffin top)
  • Upper arms
  • Male chest
  • Hips
  • Inner thighs
  • Outer thighs
  • Under the buttocks (banana roll)
  • Calves and ankles
  • Neck and jawline

Why Choose Dr. Smith?

In addition to being a board-certified plastic surgeon, Dr. Smith completed one of the top aesthetic surgery fellowship programs in the world at the Manhattan Eye, Ear and Throat Hospital. He is versed in the most advanced techniques available to achieve outstanding liposuction results.

In addition to achieving consistently excellent patient reviews, he is a noted authority amongst plastic surgeons, having published and delivered hundreds of peer-reviewed papers, book chapters and presentations around the world. He is also a noted media expert. Perhaps most importantly, he prides himself above all else in partnering with his patients to achieve their aesthetic goals.

What is the cost of liposuction?

The cost of liposuction varies, based upon the number of areas treated. As every procedure is customized to match patient needs, the costs will reflect those needs, but is generally in the range of $3,500 to $12,000.

For more detailed price ranges, check out our Liposuction cost calculator.

Important Factors to Consider Before Liposuction in NYC

If you're a smoker, we may recommend that you refrain from smoking for a period of time before and after your procedure with Dr. Smith. Smoking has been shown to increase the risk of surgical complications (such as problems with wound healing and an increased risk of blood clots) as well as complications with anesthesia.

Liposuction patients, and all aesthetic surgery patients, should not have untreated heart or lung disease. Patients with diabetes or high blood pressure also need to be optimized for surgery. Additionally, before Dr. Smith performs liposuction, we will take a thorough medical history to see if you have any other health issues that could impact your recovery from surgery.

Patients with a history of blood clotting disorders will require medical clearance and a plan to prevent bleeding or clotting problems during or after surgery.

Patients should not have a hernia at the time of abdominal liposuction. Hernias are holes in the abdominal wall that can allow the intestines to move into the field of liposuction and therefore place the patient at risk. Dr. Smith will conduct a thorough physical exam prior to your procedure to ensure you are a good candidate for liposuction.

Contour irregularities and asymmetries are possible risks of liposuction. As one of NYC’s top liposuction surgeons, these are rare occurrences in Dr. Smith’s practice. However, these outcomes can rarely occur. In these cases, Dr. Smith will address contour irregularities or asymmetries with revisional liposuction or fat grafting.

We require our liposuction patients to wear a form-fitting compression garment for 48 hours following surgery. After performing many liposuction procedures, Dr. Smith has found that this is an optimal amount of time to control swelling while avoiding the skin creasing or irregularities that may be caused by wearing the compression garment for extended periods of time. Patients having skin tightening with BodyTite in addition to liposuction, however, should wear their compression garments for 6 weeks to maximize skin contraction. The garment can be removed for bathing, swimming, or social functions during this time.

Medicines to Avoid Prior to Surgery

If you're taking birth control pills or hormone replacement therapy medication, Dr. Smith may advise you to stop taking these medications one month before liposuction. Certain medications can increase the risk of blood clots or bleeding problems. You'll be advised what's best and safest for you during your initial liposuction consultation.

We ask that medications like Aspirin, Ibuprofen (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory agents), Naproxen, and vitamin E be discontinued two weeks before the liposuction procedure. Other individualized instructions will be provided prior to your surgery.

What to Expect on the Day of Your Liposuction Surgery

On the day of your liposuction surgery with Dr. Smith, we'll ask you to arrive at our office about one hour prior to your procedure to check-in and fill out any remaining paperwork. Dr. Smith will review the surgery plan with you. The doctor will be ready to answer any of your additional concerns or questions you may have.

Depending on the type of liposuction procedure Dr. Smith is performing, you may be under local anesthesia for smaller areas or less involved surgeries. Usually, patients who require more fat removal or wish to have multiple areas liposuctioned will have general (completely asleep) or twilight (awake but drowsy) anesthesia. You'll speak with Dr. Smith before your procedure to determine which type of anesthesia is best for you. All twilight and general anesthesia is administered by our team of board certified anesthesiologists.

Liposuction can last between approximately 30 minutes and 3 hours, depending on which area of the body is being treated, the complexity of the procedure, and how much fat the patient would like to have removed.

After Dr. Smith completes your procedure, we'll keep you for observation in our recovery rooms for 1 to 2 hours prior to discharge. Almost all of our liposuction patients are discharged on the same day as their procedure.

Liposuction Results

Surely, you're interested in what kind of results you can expect from having liposuction in NYC. The results of liposuction are long-lasting as long as patients maintain a stable weight and general fitness. Once the initial swelling and fluid retention diminish, you'll see your new and improved body contour. Dr. Smith expertly smooths, tones, and firms in various areas of the body to deliver stellar results. As the body ages, losing some firmness is natural; however, most of your body-improvements will be maintained for many years to come. If skin laxity is an issue, we have several treatment modalities at our disposal including BodyTite radiofrequency skin tightening and Morpheus8 radiofrequency microneedling.

Dr. Smith will give you clear instructions on how to care for yourself after your liposuction procedure properly. Following the guidelines is crucial for your healing and long-term results.

Complications of Liposuction Surgery

Smokers and patients with a higher BMI have been found to have a significantly increased risk for developing postoperative complications. While the risk of infection after liposuction is quite low, you will receive a single dose of antibiotics at the time of your procedure. If you are having fat grafting at the time of your liposuction procedure, we will prescribe postoperative antibiotics to minimize the risk of infection even further.

One of the most common post-operative issues encountered after liposuction (while still very rare in our practice) is contour irregularity. If irregularities occur, they may be treated conservatively (observed) for several months to allow for swelling to resolve and healing occur. Thereafter, they may be addressed with revisional liposuction or fat grafting.

Some liposuction patients have reported hypersensitivity and numbness after surgery. Depending on the severity, it may persist for weeks or months, but this issue usually resolves without further treatment.

Deep venous thrombosis (blood clot in the legs) is a potential risk of liposuction. The treatment for deep venous thrombosis may include anticoagulation or placement of a venous filter.
While very uncommon, there have been reports of internal organ damage from the liposuction cannula.

Liposuction Frequently Asked Questions

What is recovery like after liposuction?

After your procedure, Dr. Smith and his caring surgical team place you into compression garments or elastic bandages. This helps minimize swelling, while contouring your skin. In most cases, these bandages or garments are only needed for two days.

Generally, you can start returning to many of your regular activities – including work – after about two days. Many of our busy patients chose to have liposuction on a Friday so they can return to work on Monday. They can often be back in the gym for a light workout by Wednesday.

Generally, only minimal discomfort is experienced after liposuction with Dr. Smith. Many patients compare it to the feeling after an intense workout.

When will I see the results?

You should expect to have some bruising that can last for 1-2 weeks. While you will notice a significant change in your appearance after approximately 2-3 weeks, approximately 3 months need to pass until the majority of swelling resolves, when you will have a better sense of the final result.

Can the fat removed with liposuction be transferred to another area?

Autologous (your own) fat transfer is an option that involves gentle liposuction to extract excess fat from the love handles, abdomen, thighs, or another area, after which it is processed to remove impurities. The cleansed fat is then injected to add volume to the breasts, face, or other areas - even to the feet!

Will I lose weight with liposuction?

While liposuction will remove fat, it is not a weight loss procedure. Fat is lighter than muscle, and one pound of fat has a fairly large volume. Liposuction is not intended to make you lose weight, but rather to sculpt your body so it is more attractive, slim, and shapely.

Does liposuction leave loose skin?

Your skin quality makes a difference in the results of liposuction. How your skin retracts will affect whether you are left with loose skin. If you have good skin elasticity, you should not have an issue with loose skin after liposuction. With moderately loose skin, one of the energy-based skin-tightening technologies discussed above may be a good option. If you have very lax skin, you will get better results with a procedure that removes skin in conjunction with liposuction (such as a tummy tuck, arm lift, thigh lift, or neck lift, depending on the area being treated.

How long will I need to wear compression garments?

The compression garment’s primary purpose is to control swelling in the immediate post-operative period. Dr. Smith generally only requires his patients to wear a compression garment for two days after the procedure.

Are there risks with undergoing liposuction?

All aesthetic surgery procedures do carry some degree of risk. Generally, liposuction is considered to be very safe. Any lipo procedure should be performed by a highly-rated, experienced, board certified plastic surgeon so that the risk of complications is minimized. For example, there is a limit to the quantity of fat that should be extracted in one procedure. Ensure your plastic surgeon uses advanced patient health and safety protocols; this is a top priority at Dr. Smith’s practice.

How many incisions will be placed during liposuction?

The incisions made for liposuction are very small and well-hidden. They end up being quite hard to see after the procedure. The exact number and placement of these incisions will depend on the areas being treated. Dr. Smith will discuss this with you in detail during your consultation.

Can liposuction extract excess back fat?

Yes. Modern liposuction techniques can extract excess fat from almost any body area, including bra fat, back fat, lower legs, and a double chin, in addition to the traditional areas such as the abdomen, love handles, thighs, arms.

Which is better, lipo or CoolSculpting?

These are different procedures designed to provide a different kind of result. Liposuction is the gold standard for fat removal and offers dramatic changes that are customized to your anatomy. Significant changes are seen within two weeks of the procedure as swelling subsides. CoolSculpting, on the other hand, is a non-invasive fat removal procedure performed by a machine. It does not offer custom body sculpting by an expert surgeon. The changes achieved with CoolSculpting are relatively minor (maximum of about 25% fat reduction), and results will not be achieved for months.

Are there any liposuction alternative procedures?

If you've ever researched liposuction in NYC, or anywhere else, you've probably come across alternatives like CoolSculpting. Both procedures help remove stubborn pockets of fat, but no other method besides liposuction offers equivalent dramatic, customized fat-loss results.

Liposuction Vs. Tummy Tuck - What's the Difference?

Liposuction removes pesky small fat deposits in the body that can't be fixed with diet and exercise. A tummy tuck removes excess fat as well as excess skin and allows for muscle tightening.

How long after liposuction do you have to start massaging?

We do not require post-operative massage. While some patients find this helpful, in our experience it does not improve results and can incur unnecessary discomfort and expense.

How to Get Rid of Bruising After Lipo?

Bruising generally does not last more than 10-14 days after liposuction. Laser therapy can be used to speed the process along if necessary. Some patients also find arnica and bromelain helpful.

What kind of anesthesia do I need for liposuction?

The kind of anesthesia that is used for liposuction (more details on how liposuction is performed here) depends on a few factors, most importantly the amount of liposuction that is performed and the patient’s preference. For small volumes of liposuction, it is possible to use only local anesthesia: the area is made numb with medication, and the patient is awake and comfortable due to the numbing medication. For larger volumes of liposuction, intravenous (IV) sedation (also called “twilight” anesthesia) or general anesthesia can be used. In “twilight” anesthesia, medication is administered through an IV to make the patient feel very relaxed, in addition to the numbing medication used in local anesthesia. The patient is breathing on his or her own during twilight anesthesia. General anesthesia, in addition to local numbing medication, uses a combination of IV medication and inhaled medication to make the patient completely asleep, and breathing is often aided by a machine.

Is liposuction painful?

Liposuction (read about details of the procedure here) can be performed under general anesthesia – the patient is asleep and feels nothing at all during the procedure); IV sedation (“twilight anesthesia”) – the patient is awake and breathing on his or her own but feels “drunk” and experiences minimal discomfort; or wide awake with local anesthesia – the patient is alert but has received numbing medication to the area being treated greatly reducing any discomfort. A single area of liposuction (for example the abdomen or waist) can often be performed quite comfortably with local anesthesia alone. When multiple areas are combined, it is best to have IV sedation or general anesthesia. Regardless of how the procedure is performed, there will be some discomfort after liposuction which many liken to the feeling after a hard workout: more soreness than sharp pain. We provide pain medication as well as 24/7 access to our team to ensure that you have a comfortable recovery.

Can liposuction fix the bulges under my arms?

Bulges under the arms have been drawing increased attention over the past few years. Often referred to as “bra fat,” “swimsuit fat,” “armpit bulges,” and other creative names, fullness under the arms is often most apparent in bras and bathing suits. It is very important to properly diagnose the cause of bulges under the arms. Specifically, in some cases these bulges may not be caused by fat at all and are instead composed of axillary breast tissue. While in the great majority of cases this is no cause for alarm, in these instances it is prudent to obtain a mammogram of the region to ensure the tissue is completely benign. When there is no or minimal axillary breast tissue present, bulges under the arms are often very effectively treated by liposuction alone (more details here). If there is mild or moderate loose skin in addition to fatty excess, skin tightening technology like BodyTite (read more here) can be very helpful. In cases of severe skin excess, skin excision via small, nearly invisible incision hidden in the folds of the armpit may be necessary. In cases in which a significant amount of firm breast tissue is present, excision of that tissue by a similarly well-hidden incision can be very beneficial.

Is Liposuction Safe?

Yes, liposuction (read about details of the procedure here) is safe if performed on the appropriate patient by a well-trained surgeon who is board certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery. While liposuction is surgery, and all surgical procedures have an element of risk, those risks can be minimized so that patients can feel quite confident in the safety of his or her procedure. While complications, or problems, are rare after liposuction, some are more common than others. The most common complications after liposuction include infection (which is usually treated with antibiotics), a bleeding problem (which may require management of the bleeding by surgical or other means), or an uneven contour (which can be managed with fat grafting).

Is liposuction worth it?

This is the “million-dollar question” and can only be answered by the individual. Some factors to consider is the quality of the result you will receive, how important that result is to you, and if the pleasure brought to you by the result justifies the expense. The quality of the result you will receive depends on your health and body habitus before surgery and the expertise of your surgeon. Patients that are in good general health and have focused areas of fatty excess along with good skin tone will have the best results. Larger, heavier people can still have excellent results if their goal is to achieve a modest improvement in specific body areas. Liposuction cannot take a generally large person and make them a generally small person. While liposuction does not tighten loose skin, your skin will contract to some degree to fit your new, reduced body shape after liposuction. Individuals with moderately loose skin may benefit from skin tightening procedures in addition to liposuction, like BodyTite (more on that here). Patients with severe skin laxity may do best with a skin removal procedure in addition to or instead of liposuction (like abdominoplasty for the tummy or a brachioplasty for the arms). An excellent surgeon (read more about Dr. Smith’s unique training and experience here) can help you understand the kind of results you can expect to achieve with each of these procedures so that you are better equipped to decide if the benefits of surgery justify the cost. That said, excellent surgeons with superior training and skill tend to be more expensive.

How long does it take to recover from liposuction?

We perform a lot of liposuction (more details here) and have gotten the whole process down to an “art” that is guided by science. Let’s use one of our busy New York City professionals as an example of a typical patient that does not want to have significant downtime or miss work. It is very reasonable to miss no work during recovery by having the procedure on a Friday. Almost everyone will be up to be going back to work on Monday, just 48 hours later. While soreness and bruising may persist for 10-14 days, it generally does not get in the way of daily life. After getting back to work on Monday, most patients feel up to getting back to light gym activity by that Wednesday, just 5 days after his or her procedure. The level of discomfort throughout all this is often compared to the feeling after a vigorous workout.

Can liposuction fix back rolls?

Back rolls are a very common concern that we address in our practice. The best way to treat back rolls depends on exactly what is causing them. Specifically, are the back rolls being caused by extra fat, extra skin or a combination of the two? In the case of back rolls that are caused by extra fat in a patient with good skin tone and little to no excess skin, liposuction (more details here) can very effectively treat back rolls. For cases in which back rolls are caused by excess or loose skin alone, liposuction will not do the job: liposuction does not remove or shrink skin, it just eliminates excess fat. For cases of moderate skin excess, a minimally invasive procedure called BodyTite uses radiofrequency energy to heat the skin and cause it to contract and tighten (more details here). For severe cases of skin excess, surgical skin excision may be necessary with a procedure like an upper or lower body lift (more details here). For cases in which back rolls are caused by both excess fat and excess skin, a customized combination of the techniques discussed above will be designed to best meet the individual patient’s needs.

Can liposuction be combined with other procedures?

The short answer is “yes.” The longer answer is “it depends on what kind of procedure.” In general, liposuction (read more about the procedure here) can be combined with any procedure as long as it does not compromise the quality of that procedure or result in a total operative time that exceeds the limits of safety. The most common kind of procedure to combine with liposuction of one area is probably liposuction of multiple areas. For example, it is very common to perform liposuction of the abdomen, waste and back at the same time. The arms and legs can often be treated during the same surgery as well. The extent of these procedures is governed by safety, and as long as excessive overall volume is not removed and the procedure does not take a dangerously long time, multi-area liposuction like this can be performed very safely by an expert in body contouring. Liposuction is also very frequently combined with breast surgery like breast augmentation (read more here), breast lift (read more here), or breast reduction (read more here). Liposuction of multiple areas and even of the abdomen itself can also be combined with a tummy tuck (read more here) as long as the procedure is carefully planned so that the liposuction does not jeopardize the blood supply of the abdominoplasty flap.

Can liposuction fix the bulges under my arms?

Bulges under the arms have been drawing increased attention over the past few years. Often referred to as “bra fat,” “swimsuit fat,” “armpit bulges,” and other creative names, fullness under the arms is often most apparent in bras and bathing suits. It is very important to properly diagnose the cause of bulges under the arms. Specifically, in some cases these bulges may not be caused by fat at all and are instead composed of axillary breast tissue. While in the great majority of cases this is no cause for alarm, in these instances it is prudent to obtain a mammogram of the region to ensure the tissue is completely benign. When there is no or minimal axillary breast tissue present, bulges under the arms are often very effectively treated by liposuction alone (more details here). If there is mild or moderate loose skin in addition to fatty excess, skin tightening technology like BodyTite (read more here) can be very helpful. In cases of severe skin excess, skin excision via small, nearly invisible incision hidden in the folds of the armpit may be necessary. In cases in which a significant amount of firm breast tissue is present, excision of that tissue by a similarly well-hidden incision can be very beneficial.

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