Liposuction is one of the most sought-after cosmetic procedures in Santa Barbara. It helps treat areas of stubborn fat that are seemingly resistant to diet and exercise. This procedure also helps contour your body in a way that fits your aesthetic goals.

While there are seemingly endless liposuction methods, at Montecito Plastic Surgery in Santa Barbara, we only use innovative, FDA-cleared technology paired with state-of-the-art techniques. Our most commonly utilized liposuction procedure is the advanced VASER ultrasonic liposuction, also called LipoSelection®. VASER liposuction is a gentle body contouring procedure that yields natural results and leads to fast recovery.

Want to learn more about this procedure and find out if you are a candidate? Schedule your consultation with Dr. Lowenstein at Montecito Plastic surgery today or call us at 805-969-9004.

Who Is a Good Liposuction Candidate?

Nearly anyone can be a liposuction candidate. However, liposuction is most suited for healthy adults who are already near their ideal weight.

That is because liposuction is NOT a weight loss alternative. Instead, it is meant to remove small fat pockets to contour the body.

Common areas treated with liposuction include the abdomen, flanks, buttocks and thighs, but also the arms, knees, neck, chest and sides of the breast. Both men and women can undergo liposuction. Ideal candidates should be in good health to minimize risks and ensure a smooth recovery.

Another thing we look for in a potential liposuction candidate is skin elasticity. Having firm and elastic skin ensures that it will “snap back” over the treated area for optimal contouring.

If you are not an ideal candidate for liposuction, we may recommend other modalities that can help you reach your goals, like the non-operative CoolSculpting and Ultherapy. At Montecito Plastic Surgery, Dr. Lowenstein aims to provide the optimal treatment modality for all of his body contouring patients.

What Is VASER Liposuction?

VASER is short for Vibration Amplification of Sound Energy at Resonance. In simpler terms, it is a type of ultrasound technology used to break down and remove excess body fat.

At Montecito Plastic Surgery in Santa Barbara, we prefer VASER over other liposuction technologies. Ultrasound technology has a wide range of medical applications, notably in diagnostic imaging. Two of the most advanced and popular uses of ultrasound technology are a non-invasive skin tightening procedure called Ultherapy and liposuction with a VASER machine.

All types of liposuction use mechanical manipulation and a solution to break down fat cells, which are then removed with suction tubes called cannulas. But VASER liposuction with ultrasound is unique in its tissue-sparing properties and precision. In other words, it is gentler, safer and more meticulous compared to other liposuction techniques, especially when done by a board-certified and experienced provider like Dr. Lowenstein.

The VASER system alone is remarkably efficient for body sculpting. Occasionally, however, excessively loose skin can pose additional problems. In such cases, Dr. Lowenstein recommends combining non-invasive J-Plasma ionized helium technology with VASER. This combination can create amazing results where invasive surgery was previously required (more information on J-Plasma can be found here).

Easier, Faster Recovery With VASER Liposuction

VASER liposuction offers greater control to the plastic surgeon for more accurate contouring. It also results in less damage to surrounding blood vessels and other tissues, which guarantees faster and easier recovery with less bruising and quicker healing. That is why you can expect recovery within a week of your surgery or even less. It is still important to avoid strenuous exercise following surgery to help speed up the process.

Recovery With VASER Liposuction

  • Bathe and/or shower the day after surgery
  • Go back to work two to three days post-surgery
  • Drive as soon as you feel comfortable doing so
  • Resume normal day-to-day activity as soon as you feel better
  • Start exercising around two weeks post-surgery

You will see initial results immediately after surgery, but your final contours will emerge after three to six months. Scar fading gradually happens over three months to a year.

Benefits of VASER Liposuction

Subtle Contouring

The most common use of liposuction is to reduce bulging in specific regions of the body by removing excess fat — also known as body contouring. Liposuction is ideal for men and women who have stubborn fat in some areas but are otherwise not overweight. Removing these fat deposits can help give your body a more flattering contour than you could achieve with diet and exercise alone.

Men’s Concerns (and Revisions)

Love handles and gynecomastia (also known as “man-boobs” or “moobs”) are common in men. Liposuction can safely address these concerns with minimum downtime. In patients who need revision of previous and unsatisfactory liposuction, safe and precise treatment with VASER is paramount in preventing further complications.

High Definition Liposculpture

In some patients, VASER ultrasonic liposuction’s high-precision technology can be used to sculpt the body in a way that reveals underlying muscle contours. Ideal candidates for this type of procedure have a relatively thin layer of fat and are relatively fit. Selective liposuction allows for increased definition in problem areas.

Tummy Tuck Alternative

Patients, especially women, who would have previously required an abdominoplasty to address loose skin can now avoid the large scar and extended recovery that comes with a tummy tuck procedure thanks to VASER liposuction.


How is liposuction performed?

All liposuction procedures involve putting the patient under anesthesia (general or localized), injecting a saline solution with an anesthetic into the treatment area, inserting probes through a small incision to break down fat and suctioning the fat with a cannula.

Why should I choose VASER liposuction?

VASER liposuction is gentler than traditional liposuction, where the cannula has to be moved back and forth to break loose the fat cells. Dr. Lowenstein has found that he has greater control with VASER technology compared to other methods.

What areas of the body can VASER treat?

VASER liposuction can target fat in the abdomen, thighs, knees, love handles, chest, upper arms, chin and neck. Because it is highly precise, it also allows for fat removal around certain muscles.

Does the fat come back after liposuction?

The fat removed with liposuction is gone forever. Other body contouring methods, including CoolSculpting and abdominoplasty, also produce permanent results. Because humans have a limited number of fat cells by a certain age, removal of these fat cells means that once they are gone, they are gone for good. However, this does not mean that weight gain is not possible following liposuction.

Is liposuction painful?

Liposuction is generally well tolerated, so it is not any more painful than other plastic surgery procedures. Patients may experience some burning and numbing but rarely complain of significant discomfort.

What are the risks involved with VASER liposuction?

Like all invasive surgery, liposuction comes with risks: excessive bleeding, infection and allergic reactions to anesthetics, to name a few. These are all quite rare, especially when performed by experienced and qualified surgeons like Dr. Lowenstein. If you are worried about ultrasound posing risks, bear in mind that it has been used for decades and is considered safe enough to use in prenatal examinations.

What is recovery like after liposuction?

Following liposuction, you will need to wear a compression garment to help with recovery and to ensure a well-contoured result. Recovery from this procedure is usually rapid and near painless, with only a short period of two weeks when you need to avoid strenuous exercise.

How long does it take to see the results after a VASER liposuction procedure?

You will notice the changes immediately, even with post-surgery swelling. You should see your final results three to six months after your procedure.

How long will my results from VASER liposuction last?

Results from VASER liposuction can last a lifetime. But this is only providing that you follow up with healthy eating and regular exercising. As explained, our bodies have a limited amount of fat cells. These cells become larger with weight gain and smaller with weight loss. After liposuction, you will have fewer fat cells, but you will still be able to gain weight in the treated areas if you eat more calories than you burn.

What are the different types of liposuction?

Ultrasound, water jet, power-assisted and laser are just some of the numerous liposuction techniques in use today. Results with these different techniques are similar, and their use depends on preference more than anything else.

How much does liposuction cost?

Liposuction at Montecito Plastic Surgery in Santa Barbara is usually charged by the area treated. Treatment of one or two areas is often done for a single low fee. When used as a refining technique or as an “add-on” to other procedures, fees are even lower. Please call the office at 805-969-9004 regarding specific costs, as our patient coordinator often runs liposuction specials.

How long will the swelling last?

Swelling after liposuction happens for two reasons: reaction to the saline solution used in the liposuction procedure and normal post-surgery swelling. While the contour of the area where liposuction is performed is most often markedly improved immediately after the procedure, the body will take a few days to absorb all of the operative fluid completely. As in a breast or face or other body procedure, normal swelling after surgery can persist while gently improving for a few weeks following your liposuction operation.

How long before I can exercise again?

VASER liposuction is gentler than other modalities of its kind, so patients often return to their exercise routines fairly quickly. You can begin walking as soon as you feel comfortable, usually within a day or two. And you may return to your regular exercise regimen as soon as two weeks. You will have to pace yourself and let your comfort level guide how much you can do.

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