Liposculpture is a surgical cosmetic procedure that removes fat from small parts of your body. Liposculpture creates muscle tone and definition. Plastic surgeons may use various techniques to achieve the best outcome. Full results can take up to six months.


What is liposculpture?

Liposculpture is a minimally invasive cosmetic procedure that removes excess fat and creates a more muscular, defined shape. In some cases, plastic surgeons purify the removed fat and insert it into another area of your body for optimal results.


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What parts of the body does liposculpture treat?

Liposculpture targets areas of your body that diet and exercise haven’t improved. It can help to reduce or reshape your:

  • Arms.
  • Belly.
  • Breasts.
  • Buttocks.
  • Chin.
  • Love handles.
  • Neck.
  • Upper thighs.

What are the different types of liposculpture?

Your plastic surgeon may use various liposculpture techniques. The methods your surgeon uses may depend on your goals and the size of the treated areas. Liposculpture techniques include:

  • Laser-assisted liposculpture uses laser beams to melt away fat.
  • Power-assisted liposculpture uses a vibrating wand to separate fat cells into smaller pieces to remove them.
  • Ultrasound-assisted liposculpture uses ultrasound waves to break up fat cells for easier removal.


Who’s a good candidate for liposculpture?

You’re a good candidate for liposculpture if you:

  • Are close to your ideal weight.
  • Are in good health.
  • Have tighter, more elastic skin.
  • Want to sculpt smaller areas of your body.

Who isn’t a good candidate for liposculpture?

You may not be a good candidate for liposculpture if:

  • You’re above your ideal weight.
  • You smoke and can’t quit before the procedure.
  • You have sagging, loose skin.
  • Your weight fluctuates frequently.
  • You have a medical condition making it unsafe.


What is the difference between liposculpture vs. liposuction?

There are a few differences between the two procedures:

  • Treatment area: Liposculpture adds definition to smaller areas of your body. Liposuction removes larger amounts of fat.
  • Anesthesia: Liposculpture typically uses local anesthesia, while liposuction sometimes uses general anesthesia.
  • Recovery: Liposculpture tends to have a quicker recovery than liposuction.

What is the difference between liposculpture vs. Lipo 360?

Although there isn’t an official definition of Lipo 360, the term refers to liposuction that treats your front, sides and back, like the 360 degrees of a circle. Typically, this involves your stomach, waist, love handles and back. Plastic surgeons use various liposuction methods to remove excess fat and create a smoother, leaner appearance.

What is the difference between liposculpture vs. CoolSculpting®?

Liposculpture is a minimally invasive procedure, while CoolSculpting is a nonsurgical cosmetic procedure. CoolSculpting destroys fat cells by freezing them in certain areas of your body. Healthcare providers call this process cryolipolysis.

Procedure Details

How do I prepare for liposculpture?

Your plastic surgeon will give you specific instructions on preparing for your procedure. For example, two weeks before surgery, you should stop:

  • Drinking alcohol.
  • Using aspirin, ibuprofen or similar medications that can increase your risk of bleeding.
  • Using some herbal supplements.
  • Smoking.

What happens before liposculpture?

Before liposculpture, you typically receive local anesthesia. You’re awake during the procedure but shouldn’t feel any pain or discomfort.

What happens during liposculpture?

Liposculpture takes about two to four hours. The exact time depends on how many areas you need treated.

Plastic surgeons use a slender suction tube called a cannula. During liposculpture, your surgeon:

  • Injects a solution with local anesthetic and epinephrine into the fat.
  • Makes a small incision in your skin.
  • Inserts the cannula through the incision to suction out the fat.

If you’re having liposculpture fat transfer, your plastic surgeon will purify the removed fat and insert it into your desired area.

What happens after liposculpture?

After liposculpture, your plastic surgeon may suggest walking to reduce the risk of blood clots in your legs or arms. You’ll wear a compression garment for up to six weeks to reduce contour irregularities, pain and swelling. A compression garment also reduces the risk of fluid forming under your skin (seroma).

Risks / Benefits

What are the benefits of liposculpture?

Liposculpture targets stubborn areas of fat that remain even with exercise and diet. You achieve a more muscular, leaner look.

What are the complications of liposculpture?

Seeing a plastic surgeon who has experience performing liposculpture greatly reduces risks. Still, liposculpture complications are possible. Complications may include:

  • Bleeding.
  • Blood clots.
  • Fluid buildup under your skin.
  • Contour irregularities.
  • Hard lumps under your skin (nodular fibrosis).
  • Infection.
  • Numbness.
  • Scarring.
  • Skin burns.
  • Skin color changes (hyperpigmentation).

Speak to your surgeon for a full list of possible complications.

Recovery and Outlook

When will I see results with liposculpture?

Results tend to be immediate, but you won’t see the full outcome for up to six months.

What is the recovery time for liposculpture?

Liposculpture recovery can take weeks. It’s common to experience bruising and swelling for several weeks.

When can I go back to work and do other activities?

While it depends on your job and recovery, some people can return to work after a few days to a week. Other individuals may take up to two weeks or longer. You might need to wait up to three to six weeks before doing any strenuous activities depending upon the number and size of areas treated.

When To Call the Doctor

When should I see my healthcare provider?

Seek immediate medical attention if you experience:

A note from Cleveland Clinic

Liposculpture is a minimally invasive cosmetic procedure that removes fat from small parts of your body, such as your arms, lower back and neck. Plastic surgeons may use various liposculpture techniques for removing fat to achieve the best results. Liposculpture recovery typically takes several weeks. Talk to a trained, experienced plastic surgeon about whether liposculpture is right for you.

Medically Reviewed

Last reviewed on 06/08/2022.

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