Liposuction in San Antonio, TX

Thin woman with smooth skin posing against a white background

We all know that nobody’s perfect, but who wouldn’t want a perfect body? And even though you might spend many hours at the gym and eat a well-balanced diet, you may still have areas that bulge. With board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Schaffer’s expertise using tumescent or conventional liposuction, you can get rid of those areas that diet and exercise just could not help. Dr. Schaffer has a proven track record in providing his patients the look that they want.

What is Liposuction?

Liposuction is one of the most popular cosmetic surgery procedures. By using suction, liposuction removes fat from under the skin. Many patients elect for liposuction to remove excessive, stubborn fat from various parts of their body. Liposuction is minimally invasive and can assist in creating a natural looking and proportionate body shape. This is especially true when an area of your body proves to be immune to the effects of diet and exercise. 

Liposuction Treatment Areas

Liposuction can be used on almost any part of the body to remove any excess fat cells. After treatment, the following areas will look slimmer, more contoured, and in proportion to the body. Treatment areas include:

  • Abdomen
  • Ankles
  • Arms
  • Back
  • Buttocks
  • Calves
  • Chest
  • Face
  • Hips
  • Thighs

Who is an ideal candidate for liposuction?

The first thing to note is that liposuction is not a weight-loss procedure. Some people think of it as similar to bariatric surgery for weight loss, but this is not the case. Removing too much fat during a single liposuction procedure can actually be dangerous for the patient.

Liposuction aims to remove pockets of stubborn fat that are almost impossible to target and shrink with changes in diet and exercise. For this procedure, Dr. Schaffer wants his patients to generally be within 10-15 percent of their ideal body weight. This weight should have been stable for some time.

To be an ideal candidate, the patient should still have good skin elasticity so that the skin can tighten down to the new slimmer contours after the fat is removed.

The Liposuction Procedure

Dr. Schaffer offers conventional as well as tumescent liposuction. Dr. Schaffer starts conventional liposuction by making tiny incisions. These incisions are made as inconspicuous as possible and uses the body’s natural curves and contours to hide them. Then, he places a long tube, called a cannula, into the incisions to suck out any fat cells. Dr. Schaffer will move the cannula around to break up the fat cells and then suction them out using a vacuum.

Alternatively, Dr. Schaffer performs tumescent liposuction. During this procedure, Dr. Schaffer will inject a saline solution, lidocaine and epinephrine into the treatment area. The solution causes the targeted tissue to swell and become firm, which makes it easier to remove through the cannula.

Liposuction Before & After Photos


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Liposuction Results

Patients will likely not notice results immediately. Once swelling and bruising have faded results will become more apparent. The incisions, since they are so small, typically result in little to no scarring. Liposuction results are long-lasting unless patients gain a substantial amount of weight after the procedure.

“I can’t thank Dr. Schaffer and his staff enough for giving me my self confidence once again. Dr. Schaffer completed a tummy tuck and lipo around my waistline needed after having three kids. He and his staff are very professional and personable. His work is top notch and I couldn’t be more thrilled with the results.” – Misty M.

How much weight can you lose with liposuction?

There is a misconception about liposuction that the procedure is a weight-loss procedure. It is not. Liposuction is a body contouring procedure. Liposuction is not a panacea for weight loss. In fact, removing too much fat in a single surgical session is dangerous.

Liposuction is intended as a tool to remove stubborn pockets of fat that accumulate in areas such as the lower abdomen, thighs and love handles that are particularly resistant to changes the person makes in diet or exercise. Liposuction removes these pockets of fat and sculpts the area. Once the skin tightens down, the area is slimmer and more contoured.

Dr. Schaffer typically wants his patients to be within 10 percent of their ideal weight before coming in for these procedures.

How long will my results from liposuction last?

These are permanent results. The fat Dr. Schaffer suctions away is gone for good. You will enjoy your slimmer contour for the rest of your life. If you work to stay at a healthy weight and make regular exercise a part of your life, you’ll enjoy the results of your liposuction for the duration.

What to expect during recovery

After your liposuction procedure, Dr. Schaffer will develop a customized plan to ensure that you recover quickly and achieve the results that you want. Patients should follow this plan as closely as possible as it can enhance the speed and final outcome of the procedure. Our staff will give you any necessary medication and materials to help you through the recovery process.

Patients typically experience mild swelling, bruising and discomfort in the treatment areas. Dr. Schaffer recommends compression garments or elastic bandages to help reduce these symptoms. Many patients can return to work and other regular activities shortly after surgery but should avoid exercise and other strenuous activities for a few weeks.

How painful is recovery after liposuction?

Modern tumescent liposuction with Dr. Schaffer is a far cry from the original liposuction procedures performed in the 1980s. In those procedures, the patient had to be under general anesthesia and the bruising and discomfort created were extreme.

Not today. Dr. Schaffer performs liposuction with the patient under only general anesthesia with sedation. Plus, the tumescent solution — a mixture of saline solution, epinephrine, and Lidocaine — works to swell the area (saline) to make it easier to work, constricts the fat cells and blood vessels (epinephrine) for less bleeding and bruising and easier separation of the fat cells, and provides local anesthetic (Lidocaine). This makes today’s liposuction with moderate discomfort during recovery.

Depending upon where Dr. Schaffer has performed your liposuction, you may be able to return to work or your other normal activities in about 7 days.

While Dr. Schaffer does make prescription pain medication available, most patients need them for the first several days then switch to over-the-counter options.

How does abdominal liposuction differ from a tummy tuck?

Some of our patients have misperceptions of the differences between liposuction and a tummy tuck. The goals of these two popular abdominal procedures are the same — a tighter, slimmer, contoured abdomen — but the target is different. For abdominal liposuction, Dr. Schaffer looks to remove pockets of fat in the area that are impervious to exercise or diet. This isn’t widespread fat, but areas where fat has accumulated. These procedures have nothing to do with the skin; they address only the underlying fat.

A tummy tuck is all about the loose, sagging skin that is a result of the localized weight gain and loss of pregnancy and childbirth or from the person gaining and then losing a good deal of weight. In these situations, the skin and underlying support tissues have been stretched to such a degree that they cannot tighten back down to their former degree of tightness. In many cases, the extended stomach has actually caused the muscles in the center of the stomach to separate. These muscles cannot return to the center to control the area without surgery. A tummy tuck aims to remove this loose skin, usually relocating the navel upwards. In most of his tummy tuck procedures Dr. Schaffer may also include some limited liposuction to remove isolated pockets of fat, but the main goal is to remove loose, sagging skin and to bring separated muscles back to the center of the stomach.

Can I combine liposuction with other procedures?

Dr. Schaffer performs mommy makeovers, where he combines liposuction with a tummy tuck and breast lift, so there is precedent for combining surgeries should you feel the need. A mommy makeover is intended to address the areas of the body most impacted by the process of pregnancy, childbirth, and breastfeeding, although that isn’t a necessary criterion. So, if your breasts have flattened and have loose sagging skin, Dr. Schaffer could perform a breast lift along with your liposuction. This could include augmentation with implants, as it is an easy extension of a breast lift to insert implants through the axillary incisions.

Dr. Schaffer could also use the fat harvested in liposuction to augment your buttocks in a Brazilian butt lift if you want a rounder backside.

If you are interested in combining surgical procedures into a single session, discuss this with Dr. Schaffer during your consultation. He can then share with you if he feels a combination of procedures would work for you.

What are the risks involved with liposuction?

Liposuction involves the typical risks involved with surgery, such as bleeding, infection, and reaction to the anesthetic, but these are rare with modern liposuction. These are very satisfying procedures with low risk thanks to Dr. Schaffer’s board-certified training, expertise, and experience. That’s why every year liposuction is one of the top three most popular cosmetic surgeries in the United States.

Still, this is surgery, although it is minimally invasive, and there is the potential for complications. Complications specific to liposuction are:

  • Contour irregularities — The treated area can appear bumpy or wavy. If the patient has inelastic skin, this is more prevalent.
  • Numbness — Any numbness in the area is usually temporary, but it can endure.
  • Fluid accumulation — Temporary pockets of fluid (called seromas) can form. These may need to be drained.

Our patients from San Antonio and the surrounding areas love their results after Dr Schaffer has removed stubborn pockets of fat with liposuction.

Alternative procedures

Liposuction, while effective, is not a method for losing weight or tightening loose or sagging skin. Therefore, patients may be better suited for a different surgical procedure. At your consultation, Dr. Schaffer may recommend alternative procedures such as abdominoplasty, back lift, arm lift, thigh lift, breast lift, and a tummy tuck. These procedures can be done alone or in conjunction with liposuction to improve the overall shape and contour of the body. Dr. Schaffer will help you choose the procedure that best meets your needs.

Schedule a Consultation

If you are interested in conventional or tumescent liposuction, call 210-227-3223 to schedule a consultation with Dr. Eric Schaffer. Our practice serves San Antonio, Austin, and surrounding areas in TX.

For more information on our services, call our office to make an appointment.

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