The ideal candidate for this procedure is the person who is near his/her desired body weight and has unwanted accumulations of fat in specific areas. The aim of liposuction is to provide a more proportioned and shapely overall appearance. It is not designed to be a weight loss measure. However, even individuals with excessive body weight can benefit from liposuction by improving areas that are affected the most and hopefully using the relatively quick loss of volume in these areas as motivation to continue losing weight. Liposuction does not prevent further weight gain if caloric intake is excessive.

The surgery is done under local anesthesia and sedation. A mixture of saline solution, local anesthesia and agents to minimize bleeding is infused into the areas of excessive fat accumulation. Through very small incisions, thin tubes are inserted and the fat is suctioned out with syringes or specialized aspirators. Techniques employing ultrasonic or laser assistance can be used to break down the fat cells more efficiently. The patient can return home the same day wearing compression garments that must be worn for 3 weeks.

The results of the surgery start to become apparent in 2 weeks and optimize in around 6 weeks. It is important to note that part of the deformity seen in the problem areas may be due to skin laxity. Therefore it is key that the skin retract. Even though the procedure will stimulate this retraction, it is, at this time, impossible to accurately predict to what extent this will occur.