Liposuction basics

Liposuction is one of the most common cosmetic surgeries performed in the United States. It is the most effective surgical way to sculpt areas of the body in both men and women. Liposuction is a beneficial procedure for those who have trouble losing excess fat, despite diet and exercise.

Liposuction benefits

  • Overall balance of the body
  • Contoured areas of the body
  • A flat or tightened appearance of the skin
  • Improved appearance of cellulite
  • Enhanced confidence
Cheerful sexy fit woman in lingerie pointing on her slim belly

Best candidates for liposuction

The best candidate for Liposuction is a healthy, physically fit individual who has excess fat that doesn’t respond to diet and exercise. Think carefully about your expectations and desires and discuss them with Dr. Stiller. A thorough understanding and explanation of what you are looking for are critical to your results. Your consultation is a time for you to communicate your expectations to Dr. Stiller and work together to choose the best procedure for you.

How is liposuction performed?

Modern liposuction has come a long way from when it was first introduced in the U.S. in the 1980s. At that time, liposuction was a pretty violent procedure that caused extensive bruising, tissue trauma, and blood loss. Patients needed to be under general anesthesia because the doctor had to move the cannula back and forth quite aggressively to break loose the fat.

Today, liposuction with Dr. Stiller is much easier. The procedure is typically performed under sedation or “twilight” anesthesia as an outpatient procedure. He uses the tumescent technique, where a saline solution containing lidocaine is first injected into the target areas to minimize the pain and firm the fat, making it easier to remove. The solution also contains epinephrine to constrict the blood vessels, limiting blood loss and bruising. A cannula is then inserted to suction out the fat and liquid. The cannulas used in modern liposuction are much smaller, so the corresponding incisions needed to access the fat pockets are very small, usually not even requiring stitches to close.

For areas that are more difficult to access, such as bra line fat, Dr. Stiller may use ultrasound-assisted liposuction to make it easier to remove the fat without moving the cannula.

How long does a liposuction procedure take?

The length of time these procedures take depends on the area or areas being treated. The actual surgery usually takes from 2-3 hours. This varies with the patient.

Does liposuction require anesthesia?

The original liposuction procedures that arrived in the U.S. in the 80s required general anesthesia. That’s not the case today. Dr. Stiller usually only uses local anesthesia with the addition of sedation.

What areas of my body can I have liposuction?

A better question would be — where can’t I have liposuction? Techniques have become so refined that liposuction can be performed just about anywhere on the body. Dr. Stiller performs liposuction for our patients on these areas:

  • Abdomen
  • Hips
  • Flanks
  • Buttocks
  • Thighs
  • Inner knees
  • Bra strapline
  • Chest
  • Jowls
  • Calves
  • Ankles
The cellulite removal plan. White markings on young woman body preparing for plastic surgery. Concept of slimming, liposuction, strand lifting

Getting ready for liposuction surgery

During your consultation, an explanation of the preoperative and postoperative plan will be reviewed.
You will be given a list of medications to avoid taking two weeks prior to the operation. A Stiller staff member will contact you a few days before the surgery and notify you what time you are expected to arrive for your procedure and discuss any last-minute details.

At this time, you will be given an opportunity to ask any further questions. Continuing a healthy diet and exercise is very important prior to surgery. Smoking must be stopped two weeks prior to surgery.

Surgery Day

Do not eat or drink eight hours before your surgery. You should wear loose-fitting clothing, a button-down or zipper front shirt, and sneakers. Do not wear sandals or slippers.
You will meet with a member of our staff to prepare for surgery. Dr. Stiller will see you prior to your surgery to answer any final questions and meet family or friends. You will meet with our anesthesia provider to discuss anesthesia. For family or friends that accompany you, we have a lounge area to comfortably pass the time.

You will need someone to drive you home after the operation and stay with you for the first 24 hours after the surgery is completed.

Liposuction Surgery

Depending on your job, you should be able to get back to work in a few days. Dr. Stiller will direct you regarding resuming exercise and normal activities during your follow-up evaluations.

Maintaining liposuction results

The decision for a Liposuction procedure is a very personal choice. The most important thing is how you feel. If your goals have been met, then your Liposuction was a success. However, it is very important to continue follow-ups as recommended by Dr. Stiller. Continuing a healthy diet and exercise plan is important to maintain your results.

What is recovery like after liposuction?

Recovery from modern liposuction is not difficult. This contrasts completely from early liposuction recovery, where bruising lasted for months and there was extensive tissue trauma. Today, our patients find their recovery to be quite manageable.

Following your procedure, the areas treated will be wrapped to reduce swelling, bruising, and pain. Compression garments are an important part of liposuction recovery. They will need to be worn on treated areas for one month following your liposuction. This not only reduces swelling but also helps the skin and tissue adapt to their new contours. There will be some bruising and swelling that will take up to 10 days to clear itself. Most patients can return to work in two or three days unless they have had multiple areas treated. In those cases, you may need a week off work.

How long after my liposuction will I be able to see my results?

You will have some immediate swelling and bruising, plus the area or areas treated will either be wrapped in compression bandages or covered with compression garments. Still, you’ll be able to see some immediate results. Swelling can last for about 10 days, depending on the areas you had treated. At that point, you’ll be able to fully see your slimmer contours. And your results will continue to improve as your skin tightens down to its new contour. This process will take about a month.

How long do I have to wear compression garments?

Dr. Stiller has his liposuction patients in either compression garments or compression bandages after these procedures. Wearing compression garments after liposuction is important for a few reasons. First, they really help reduce swelling and bruising. Second, by reducing swelling, they reduce pain. Third, they help your skin adapt to its new slimmer contours as quickly as possible. In most cases, Dr. Stiller wants his liposuction patients to diligently wear their compression garments for one month.

Postnatal Bandage. Medical Compression underwear for liposuction. Orthopedic bandage underpants for lowering of the pelvic organs. Postpartum Tummy Control Belly Bandage. Female Bodyshaper. Postoperative bandage

Will I have visible scarring after liposuction?

Dr. Stiller only needs very short incisions to gain access to the areas being treated. The incisions are so small they typically don’t even require any stitches to close. He can usually simply place a Steri-strip to close each incision. Any visible scarring is quite small and barely noticeable.

When can I shower after having liposuction?

You will be able to shower in just one or two days. You will remove your compression garments or wraps when showering, replacing them afterward.

Liposuction risks

Liposuction is an invasive procedure, and it involves the typical risks involved with surgery, such as bleeding, infection, and reaction to the anesthetic, but these are rare with modern liposuction. Complications specific to liposuction are:


As with any surgery, bleeding is a risk. This may form a blood collection called a hematoma and may require drainage. It is important to discuss any history of excessive bleeding or family history of bleeding.

Contour Irregularities

Overall, liposuction with Dr. Stiller is a safe and very satisfying procedure for our patients from Spokane and the surrounding areas. Liposuction helps them slim their contours in areas that have been difficult to adequately target with dietary changes and exercise.

Get To Know Your Doctor

This is your time to get to know Dr. Stiller and the staff at Stiller. Be sure to convey your goals and expectations for the surgical procedure.

Dr. Stiller will evaluate your medical health and explain the surgical techniques available to you. All of your questions related to the procedure will be answered as thoroughly as possible. Dr. Stiller will perform an examination of your trouble area at the consultation.

Dr. Stiller will go over the risks and potential complications and he will explain the preoperative and postoperative process.

in amage of dr. geoffrey stiller md cropped

Schedule Your Consultation

If you're interested in learning more about liposuction please contact us for a consultation at 509-747-5773 or fill out our contact us form below. We will discuss your needs and concerns, and determine your best course of action.

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