Liposuction in Boston

Named Among the Best Plastic Surgeons in Boston

Helena O. Taylor, MD,PHD,FACS & Stephen R. Sullivan, MD,MPH,FACS

What Is Liposuction

Liposuction, Liposculpture, or suction assisted lipectomy is a powerful means for body and neck sculpting and contouring. It is the second most common operation performed by board certified plastic surgeons. Liposuction or suction lipectomy enables removal of fat from undesirable areas of the body on women and men such as the abdomen, thighs, breast, neck, back, arms, or lower legs. Liposuction offers the opportunity to change the contour of your body while minimizing scaring.

Most other operations and forms of fat removal require trading a scar for a change in appearance. With liposuction, small cannulas can be used through very small incisions made in natural creases or folds to remove excess stubborn body fat. Boston liposuction patients recover quickly and return home the same day as the procedure. Small areas can often be removed with local anesthesia alone, while larger areas may require some sedation or anesthesia.

Benefits Of Liposuction

Liposuction Boston

Liposuction is the ideal means of targeting stubborn areas of fat deposition. It is not a weight loss procedure. Once removed by liposuction, fat does not return to that area, which is why liposuction is superior to the non-surgical methods promoted by some clinics, such as cooling, heating, radio frequency ablation, or laser. If you have had one of these nonsurgical treatments and are disappointed with the results of expensive and ineffective treatments, consider scheduling a consultation for liposuction Boston plastic surgeons Dr. Taylor and Dr. Sullivan will be able to answer all your questions. The benefits of liposuction include:

  • Minimally invasive
  • Powerful and predictable reduction in fatty deposits
  • Limited scars
  • Limited down time
  • Minimal disruption in blood and nerves to tissues

Liposuction At A Glance


  • Sculpts contour
  • Removes stubborn areas of fat




1-2 hours


Sedation (sleepy) or General Anesthesia (asleep)


  • Comfortably at home
  • Moderate swelling and bruising resolves – 1-2 weeks
  • Mild swelling resolves – 6-10 weeks


  • 5-7 days


  • Activities of daily living – 1 day
  • Light exercise – 1-2 week
  • Full exercise – 3 weeks

Faqs About Liposuction

Does the fat come back?

Once fat cells are removed they are gone forever. The remaining fat cells can increase in size with fluctuations in weight, but typically the results of liposuction are long lasting.

What is recovery like?

Our preference is to perform most liposuction with sedation or general anesthesia in the operating room as a day surgery procedure. Patients wear compression garments for several weeks after surgery. Bruising and some swelling is common, but varies in severity. It takes several weeks to months for the swelling to resolve. Patients report being sore the first week, but significant pain is rare.

What are the risks of liposuction?

Contour irregularities, extra skin, and blood clots are the complications that surgeons work hard to avoid. Skin contracture after liposuction is unpredictable, so Dr Taylor and Dr Sullivan will talk to you about your chances of having extra skin after liposuction.

Who is a good candidate for liposuction?

The ideal candidate is someone in generally good health who is not overweight (ideally with BMI of less than 30), with stubborn fatty areas that have not responded to diet, or exercise training. Smoking, smoke exposure, blood clots, and blood thinners increase risk significantly and would be considered contraindications to surgery.

What Is Fat Transfer Fat Grafting

When liposuction is performed, many patients wish to transfer some of the fat to other parts of the body, known as fat transfer or fat grafting. A graft is simply a way of moving one part of a living structure. You may be familiar with a fruit tree graft or a plant graft such as a rose in which a branch is moved and placed in another area and survives. Fat grafting is very similar. Fat grafts moved from one part of the body to another can survive and live forever.

When fat is moved, it is carefully and gently placed in a new location - not in clumps or chunks, but in fine streaks. No incisions are used for placing fat, just microcannula insertion sites that do not require stitches. The fine streaks of fat grafts can be placed at multiple levels and the cannulas can reach long distances to meticulously blend the grafts with the surrounding contour. Fat grafting can be used to restore or even create volume in other areas of the body, breasts (breast augmentation with fat transfer), face (facial fat transfer), hands (hand rejuvenation), contour deformities or scars.

Should I get an x-ray or imaging study?

Imaging studies such as CT scan, MRI or Ultrasound may be helpful though rarely necessary. Dr. Taylor and Dr. Sullivan can help guide the need for imaging studies.


  • In the week before your operation:
    • Consider eating pineapple, it may help reduce bruising
    • Consider supplementing with Arnica montana, it may help reduce bruising
    • Complete household chores and prepare meals for the first few days of postoperative recovery
    • Follow preoperative instructions with eating, drinking, and medications
    • Order two compression garments specific to your size and planned areas of liposuction. The garments do not need to be expensive. Dr. Taylor and Dr. Sullivan can make some recommendations of garments that can be ordered from Amazon or online.
  • Postoperatively, get out of bed and walk (with assistance) every few hours after your operation to decrease the chance of postoperative problems such as blood clots.
  • Practice 15-20 deep breaths every hour to keep your lungs open.
  • After surgery, it is important for you to have someone available to stay with you for the first 24-48 hours, as you may feel drowsy. You may require help the first few times you get out of bed.
  • Please take your medications as directed by Dr. Taylor or Dr. Sullivan to manage discomfort or symptoms.
    • Acetaminophen (Tylenol) 1000 mg every 8 hours, space doses 4 hours after Ibuprofen so one or the other is taken every 4 hours
    • Ibuprofen (Motrin) 800 mg every 8 hours, space doses 4 hours after Acetaminophen so one or the other is taken every 4 hours
    • Gabapentin 300 mg every 8 hours for 7 days
    • Vitamin C 500 mg daily for 50 days
    • Oxycodone 5 mg – 1-2 tablets every 6 hours as needed for pain, though many patients may not need it
    • Colace 100 mg twice daily to prevent constipation, it is important to have a bowel movement each day
    • Zofran 8 mg every 8 hours if needed for nausea
    • Scopolamine patch will be placed behind the ear on the day of surgery and can stay for 3 days
  • Eat a light diet for 2-3 days and avoid spicy food. Some suggestions to ease abdominal discomfort or indigestion after surgery:
    • Drink water or warm liquids
    • Prune juice to prevent constipation
  • You may shower or sponge bath the day after the operation with assistance and wash your skin as you normally would with soap and water. Avoid soaking the incision, although It will not hurt to get a splash of water on the wounds. Gently pat dry after washing.
  • Wear the compression garment continuously for 3 weeks after surgery, then for 12 hours of each day for an additional 3 weeks, and thereafter as needed for comfort. You can take it off to shower. The first time you remove the garment, please have someone help you. If you feel dizzy or light headed, sit down or lie down. The garment helps control swelling and fluid build-up.
  • Most wounds will be closed with absorbable sutures that are buried and skin glue. The skin glue forms a barrier to water. Please do not remove the glue, it will fall off on its own after a few weeks. Do not apply any lotions, potions, ointments, creams or solutions (e.g. no hydrogen peroxide or alcohol) as they can be harmful to the fragile healing tissue.
  • Do not smoke or expose yourself to smokers or nicotine as skin and wounds can be compromised.
  • Infection is uncommon, though please call Dr. Taylor or Dr. Sullivan immediately at any sign of infection which would be signaled by fever, increased pain, new redness or swelling.


  • For the first few days following surgery, raising your blood pressure and heart rate can cause bleeding. Stress on your muscles near areas of liposuction or vigorous exercise could cause bleeding and swelling. We recommend walking 15 minutes 2 to 3 times per day and gradually increasing activity tailored to your recovery.
  • Please do not drive until turning the steering wheel can be done safely and without pain (usually 5 to 7 days). Do not drive while taking pain medications such as oxycodone.
  • Massage to the areas of liposuction can help increase circulation and soften firm areas under the skin. Please wait at least 3 to 4 weeks after surgery to start massage to avoid increased swelling.


  • Moderate swelling and bruising is to be expected. Bruising may last for a few weeks and will move down your body due to gravity.
  • You may find that your clothes are tight and may not fit as easily for at least 6 weeks after the operation. A feeling of tightness is also to be expected. Please be patient, the swelling and feeling of tightness will gradually subside over the following months.
  • You may notice that you actually gain weight following liposuction. This is because the body retains fluid with swelling in response to the surgery. The swelling may persist for 6 weeks or more before it slowly decreases. A change in body contour and the way clothes fit is the goal of the operation, rather than a change or decrease in weight.
  • Tingling, itching, and numbness of the skin are all normal after liposuction. Tingling and itching are signs of healing and will resolve. Sensation usually returns gradually and slowly over weeks to months. Please be patient and avoid resting against hot surfaces, which can injure or burn the skin.
  • Scars take one full year to mature. Although small, you may notice that liposuction port sites become red, raised and firm for several weeks to months before becoming soft, flat and pale. Avoid Vitamin E as it can irritate the scar. Mederma has no proven benefit and is not worth the expense. Silicone cream or skin moisturizer with sunscreen and gentle massage may be helpful.
  • A small amount bleeding from the incision is expected. Please call our office (617-492-0620) if you have:
    • Continuous bleeding
    • Significantly more swelling on one side when compared to the other
    • Worsening pain
    • Fever, spreading redness or irritation of the skin
    • Shortness of breath

After your liposuction Boston plastic surgeon Dr. Taylor or Dr. Sullivan will see you in follow-up appointments at 1 week, 3 to 6 months, and 1 year or as often as needed post-op. Call Taylor and Sullivan Plastic Surgery to schedule your appointments at (617) 492-0620 between the hours of 8:30 – 5:00 or visit our webpage at We are always available for postoperative concerns or emergencies and can be reached through our paging service 24 hours per day at (617) 492-0620.


Call Today 617.492.0620

To schedule a private consultation with Dr. Taylor or Dr. Sullivan, please call the office or request an appointment using our form. We welcome your visit and your questions.

300 Mount Auburn St. Ste 304, Cambridge, MA 02138

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Taylor & Sullivan Plastic Surgery Boston
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300 Mount Auburn St. Ste 304, Cambridge