Dr. Paul Howard Plastic Surgery | 205-871-3361 | 2010 Patton Chapel Road North, Suite 101 Hoover, AL 35216



Liposuction by Dr. Paul Howard

Howard Plastic Surgery

Liposuction - Fat Removal Surgery

Dr. Paul Howard is a real board certified plastic surgeon and the actual surgeon performing ALL PROCEDURES. Dr. Howard does not have associates, non-board certified physicians, or students (residents or fellows) performing any of his procedures.

How does liposuction work?

This procedure is performed using a four millimeter cannula (or small tube) inserted into the skin with suction applied to the cannula to effectively remove unwanted fat.


What areas of the body can be treated with liposuction?

Liposuction is ideal for areas such as the abdomen, love handles, saddle bags, inner/outer thighs and neck. Additionally, back-fat and gynecomastia can also be effectively addressed with liposuction.


What is liposuction recovery & downtime?

This procedure is a minimally invasive procedure. Some swelling and bruising can occur, but you will be able to return to work in a few days and resume exercise after 2 weeks. A compression garment such as a "spanx" girdle will be required for approximately two weeks until the swelling has subsided. Lite exercise can be resumed with Dr. Howard's approval after a few days, such as walking on a treadmill. Drinking plenty of water is necessary to help flush out the bruising and swelling.


How long will it take for me to see the results?

Liposuction is a procedure that removes unwanted fat immediately, but can take several weeks to begin seeing results due to swelling. Most patients are able to immediately see some result, but will need to wait until the swelling goes away compeletely for the true results. As long as patients follow Dr. Howard's post-operative instructions and do not return to their bad eating habits, the results should last.


Preparing for Liposuction

Here are a few pointers and recommedations to help your prepare for your liposuction procedure:


Does liposuction work?

Liposuction is designed for removing unwanted fat and to achieve mild skin tightening. The ideal candidate is in good health and normal body weight. Liposuction is not a weight loss program, but rather an ideal procedure to contour the body of unwanted areas of fat that diet and exercise fail to address. To see if you are a candidate for liposuction, please refer to our Body Mass Index (BMI) Chart. Liposuction only removes excess fat, it doesn't remove excess skin. If you think you also have excess skin, you may need a mini or full tummy tuck instead.


Will liposuction leave scars?

Liposuction is performed by making tiny incisions, approximately one centimeter. These tiny incisions heal well and are not noticeable after a few months.


When is liposuction considered medical necessary?

Liposuction is a cosmetic procedure and is NEVER considered medically necessary by insurance companies. They do not care how we look even if we gained weight as the result of pregnancy or a side effect of medications. There is NO insurance company that covers the cost of liposuction, not even the operating room expense. There is no liposuction or cosmetic fat reduction "laser" covered by insurance. This is not our rule. This is the policy of all medical insurance companies. If you have medical insurance and you do not believe us, please read your insurance policy. There will be a section stating what they do and don't cover.

Liposuction Birmingham AL

Plastic Surgery Facts and Myths


Plastic Surgery Myth: Once Fat is removed it won't come back. If it does come back, it will come back in other places.

True but false! Yes, the fat is removed permanently, but liposuction does not alter the human body genetics. Fat can come back if you do not maintain proper diet and exercise. Maintaining your results is key to a great outcome. The surgeon can remove the fat, but you must also be devoted to keeping it off. If you continue to have a poor diet after liposuction, you can still gain weight, and even gain the weight back to the surgically treated areas. Again, liposuction does not alter your DNA, it just removes fat cells. Patients need to understand that as we age, our metabolism slows down. The older we get, the harder it is for us to lose those additional inches. That is why this procedure can be so wonderful. But, you must still maintain a healthy diet and exercise program. Any healthcare professional that tries to convince you the "fat will never come back" is selling you a tall tale.

Plastic Surgery Myth: Liposuction will eliminate cellulite

While removing unwanted fat in cellulite prone areas, cellulite is primarily a condition of the skin. Removing fat can help reduce the appearance of cellulite, but an exercise program that includes strength training is recommended. Good muscle-tone also helps to reduce the appearance of cellulite. Cellulite is a condition within the layers of the skin involving connective tissue that acts as an anchor between the muscles and skin. No cream, laser, or massage treatment will permanently remove cellulite.

Plastic Surgery Myth: Liposuction is a substitute for diet & exercise

Liposuction is not a substitute for anything. As we get older, our metabolism decreases thus increasing our chances of weight gain. One cannot expect to have liposuction to lose 10, 15, or more pounds. Liposuction in conjunction with a great diet and exercise program can help you meet your goals more swiftly. All potential patients must commit to a lifestyle change that includes adjustments in diet and exercise.

Plastic Surgery Myth: Liposuction removes stretch marks

Liposuction removes unwanted fat underneath the surface of the skin. Stretch marks are scars as a result of damaged skin and are usually through all layers of the skin. In few cases, liposuction can help decrease the appearance of stretch marks, but unfortunately are there to stay. Patients with stretch marks on the abdomen may need to consider a mini or full tummy tuck to achieve the desired results.

Plastic Surgery Myth: Liposuction requires one or two weeks of recovery

This is a real surgical procedure that requires an adequate healing period as with any surgical procedure. Most patients will experience swelling and bruising that usually takes 2 to 6 weeks to disappear. After the bruising and swelling disappear, additional healing continues to allow for the skin to shrink. Compression garments will be worn to help expedite this process. Patients should avoid sun exposure during this time and drink plenty of water. Patients are also advised to maintain a healthy diet, and may be able to return to their normal exercise program as soon as one or two weeks following the liposuction procedure.

Plastic Surgery Myth: Laser liposuction is safer than other types of lipo

Absolutely not. Liposuction is a surgical procedure than can be performed in various ways. The addition of a laser to assist in the removal of the fat actually can increase the risk for complications if performed by an untrained physician. The laser does not make any this procedure any safer than traditional methods. Mass marketing of laser procedures have created a false illusion that a certain way of performing liposuction are perceived as "safer" or "smarter." The fact is, the fat still has to be removed to obtain a result. Also, some of these devices, that are heavily marketed, only add an additional step to the procedure that often sound "cute," but are actually nothing close.

Liposuction has been the number one most performed cosmetic procedure for many years. Due to this popularity, many entrepaneurs have infiltrated the aesthetic market attempting to montetize. As a result, variables in marketing rhetoric attempt to convince the consumer their machine or procedure is the best, superior, less invasive, safer, or even the most effective. When it comes down to it, liposuction is still all the same. The fat must be removed for real results. In many cases, the same laser machine will be re-branded with a different trademarked name and different marketing scheme in attempt to fool the consumer into thinking it is the latest, greatest, newest technology.

Plastic Surgery Myth: Tumescent liposuction is safer than regular liposuction.

No. The tumescent solution injected for liposuction is really for anesthestic reasons. Liposuction is still a surgical procedure regardless. The tumescent solution can help reduce bruising in some patients, but does not make the procedure safer nor has it been proven to reduce swelling.

Plastic Surgery Myth: Laser liposuction shrinks the skin

No.This has been proven over and over again to not be the case. When fat is removed with any liposuction procedure, the skin shrinks. However, not all skin is able to shrink back down depending on your skin tone, age of the skin, elasticity, and skin damage. Most skin does shrink after liposuction, and can take up to 6 months to do so. There are many other minor laser procedures available that claim to skrink the skin, but the results are not permanent.

Plastic Surgery Myth: Freezing fat effectively removes fat better than anything else.

There are a variety of fat removal fads that have all come and GONE. If they aren't "smart" then they will become "cool." Once the "coolness" has run its course, we can expect the next marketing madness to be "awesome" or "intelligent" or some other nifty adjective that will make patients think it is the latest greatest way to remove fat and decrease the waistline. The truth is, liposuction is one of the top marketed procedures. Dr. Howard prefers to perform procedures that actually work and deliever the results his patients are seeking for a reasonable price. Almost all of these alternative fat removal laser methods require mulitple visits at approximately $3500 per visit over the course of a year in order to acheive the desired results. The average unsurgical laser fat removal consumer spends approximately $10,000 over the course of one year to achieve the same result as one surgical liposuction procedure.


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