Cost: $8,000-$12,000
Recovery: 1-2 weeks
Anesthesia: General


Find out who is a good candidate for Liposuction


Outline of the entire surgical timeline



See a large gallery of before/after photos


Liposuction Overview


Liposuction is the surgical removal of unwanted fat from areas such as the abdomen, flanks/hips, back, thighs, bra area, and under the chin. Tumescent liposuction is the gold standard for surgical removal of fat and is what is used by Dr. Cruise.

Surgery Information

Anesthesia - General 

Facility - Accredited outpatient facility 

Recovery - 1-2 weeks 

Cost - $8,000 - $12,000


As one of the top cosmetic surgeons in Newport Beach, CA, Dr. Joseph Cruise consults with many patients who are interested in liposuction. He and his staff at Cruise Plastic Surgery believe that patients need to be well informed about the procedure in order to decide if surgery is right for them.  In addition, it is very helpful to view before and after pictures so that you can see real patients and their results.

Liposuction is one of the most popular plastic surgery procedures performed in the United States. Many people turn to liposuction to address areas of fat on their bodies that simply will not go away, no matter how much they diet and exercise. Both men and women experience this problem, although for men fat tends to accumulate in the abdomen and the lower back (“love handles”), while for women the abdomen, hips, thighs, buttocks, tend to carry the most weight. Liposuction can be a permanent solution to this concern – it works well to remove fat from these areas of the body, without the threat of the fat coming back, and can be performed on more than one area simultaneously. Additionally, the removed fat can be repurposed by placing it into other areas for volume enhancement such as the buttocks and face.

Weight and Body Shape Concerns

Liposuction is a permanent treatment. After adolescence, the body loses the ability to make new fat cells, so fat that is removed is gone forever. Cells that are not removed can still expand, and it is important for patients to continue to eat a nutritious diet and exercise regularly in order to prevent new weight gain.

Weight gained in areas that don’t receive liposuction can create a disproportionate body shape. Dr. Cruise specializes in body contouring that creates a minimal need for additional liposuction, but patients should be aware that other cosmetic surgery procedures, weight loss, or abdominoplasty may be necessary in order to achieve their ultimate desired results.

Cellulite is one of the biggest patient concerns that Dr. Cruise hears about, and although all liposuction procedures (especially ultrasonic liposuction) have some success with treating it, no treatment can completely eradicate this common complaint.

People with healthy, elastic skin see the best results from liposuction. Skin needs to shrink to accommodate a patient’s new, smaller body size, and people with damaged or less elastic skin may find they are left with excess skin after their surgery. Some people find that having excess skin removed will give them the results they’re looking for, and choose to have an abdominoplasty (tummy tuck) in addition to liposuction.

Any area of localized fat is corrected with liposuction, but there are some places that don’t respond as well to it, such as the arms, breasts, calves, knees, and under the chin. The most dramatic liposuction results for both men and women occur around the midsection and back, and in the thighs, hips, and buttocks.

Liposuction Procedures

Below are the most common liposuction procedures:

– Tumescent liposuction (Wet liposuction)
– Laser-Assisted liposuction (SmartLipo™)

– Power-assisted liposuction (PAL)
– Ultrasonic assisted liposuction (UAL)

Dr. Cruise typically performs tumescent liposuction which has proven track record and yields predictably good results.  This technique requires Dr. Cruise to inject a special fluid into the fat that is going to be removed. Then he makes tiny incisions and inserts the suction cannula. Finally, the fat is suctioned out in a safe, precise manner. A small suture is used to close the incision.

With extensive experience in body contouring and liposuction, the top priority at Dr. Cruise's Orange County office is always safety. The American Board of Plastic Surgery recommends limiting the amount of fat removed in liposuction surgery to 5000cc’s, and this is also Dr. Cruise's policy. Removing a greater amount of fat puts patients at higher risk; instead, it is better to stage the liposuction into multiple sessions, when needed.


Just about everyone has an area of fat that bother them and does not go away no matter what they try.

Fat, in certain areas such as the face, is very attractive and associated with youth. Extreme dieting and exercise, while it may help to get rid of fat in undesirable areas, will also cause loss of facial fat which creates an old, gaunt appearance. Isn't it ironic? Loss of fat in the body is a good thing but loss of fat in the face is bad.

This is why liposuction is extremely useful. It allows selected fat loss where you want it and does not cause facial fat loss where you don't want it. In fact, the fat that is liposuctioned can be transplanted to areas of the face to create permanent facial rejuvenation. This is an effective way to markedly improve the sunken-in look characteristic of aging, as well as correct fine wrinkles and re-create youthful, prominent cheeks. This is truly a win-win situation.

Dr. Cruise is a big advocate of health and nutrition and I will help you with these issues in conjunction with liposuction. This is a way of looking at the big picture to obtain your desired result.

He uses the tumescent liposuction technique and has a wide array of cannulas so he can customize the treatment to each patient's needs. He will commonly use the more aggressive cannulas on the flanks, where the fat is very fibrous and hard to remove, and more precise cannulas on the abdomen and thighs to avoid contour irregularities.

What About SmartLipo?

When I first tried SmartLipo I wanted it to work. My practice is built on cutting edge technology and uncompromising attention to detail. Unfortunately, I found it to be ineffective in most areas and a complete waste of time in thicker areas such as the abdomen and flanks of people even slightly overweight. This made me pause. I also questioned why very few board-certified plastic surgeons use SmartLipo. After all, plastic surgeons are at the top of the food chain when it comes to cosmetic surgery training. Discussions with my colleagues confirmed my opinion - SmartLipo is inferior to traditional liposuction. This is the reason that almost no board-certified plastic surgeons use it.


The main benefit of liposuction is the removal of fat which is resistant to other forms of treatment such as diet and exercising. A two-hour liposuction procedure can do what thousands of hours in the gym and unpleasant dieting cannot. It removes areas of fat permanently. Recent research has shown that fat removal via liposuction has certain health advantages as well. These health advantages include improvements in heart disease and diabetes.

Outlined below is a brief review of the benefits:

  • Liposuction removes fat that is resistant to exercise and/or dieting.
  • The fat removal is permanent.
  • In women, especially useful for abdomen, hips, flanks, thighs, buttocks, neck, and back.
  • In men, especially useful for the abdomen, "love handles," back, neck, and chest.
  • It is performed via tiny, hidden incisions.
  • It enables to sculpt thighs with a more desirable contour.
  • It is easily combined with fat injection for facial rejuvenation.
  • Multiple areas can be liposuctioned in one surgical visit.
  • Men and women of all ages are eligible.




People who make the best candidates for Liposuction are those that are within 30 to 40 pounds of their ideal body weight and want to have localized fat removed. Liposuction can remove significant amounts of fat but weight reduction is not the purpose of liposuction. Weight reduction does occur with large volume liposuction removal but, to be safe, Dr. Cruise will typically stage this over more than one surgical session because removing too much fat at once can be very dangerous.

Liposuction can be used to improve the following areas:

  • Calves and knees
  • Inner and outer thighs
  • Hips and flanks
  • Buttocks
  • Love handles
  • Back and chest
  • Upper arms
  • Neck and jowls

The ideal candidate for liposuction is someone who is at, or just slightly above, his/her ideal body weight but has one fatty area that just will not go away. With women, this is often the lateral thigh (saddlebags) or the abdomen. With men, this is usually the flanks (love handles) and abdomen.

  • Lateral Thighs - fat within the lateral thigh area is easily liposuctioned AND the skin in this area has a thick dermis that allows it to contract well.
  • Abdomen - usually consists of a thick dermis and responds well.
  • Flanks - this area typically has a more fibrous fat but still responds very well.
  • Knees, Calves, Medial Thighs, Back, Arms, Bra Roll and Neck - these areas are highly variable and must be considered individually. Good results are possible if good quality skin is present.

Liposuction Frequently Asked Questions

What is ultrasonic liposuction?

Ultrasonic liposuction is a form of body contouring that uses ultrasound technology to liquefy fat cells for easier removal. It's also known as ultrasound-assisted liposuction (UAL) and can come with some benefits over traditional liposuction.

Can I gain weight after liposuction?

Liposuction removes fatty tissue from specific areas on the body, meaning the removed cells can no longer swell with weight gain. However, it's still possible to gain weight on other areas of the body, so it's important to maintain a healthy and active lifestyle after your procedure.

How long do Liposuction results last?

The results of liposuction last forever. Meaning the fat removed at the time of surgery cannot come back. However, any remaining fat cells in the area can expand. This is why it's important to stick to a healthy lifestyle after the procedure to maintain your results.

Will Liposuction flatten the stomach?

Liposuction can remove fat from the stomach area resulting in a flatter stomach. Each person's situation is unique so it is important to speak with your plastic surgeon about what results can be expected.

Is Lipo permanent?

Yes! Liposuction permanently removes fat in a specific area. This doesn't mean that all cells are removed at the time of surgery. Think of these remaining cells like a balloon that you blow up. Fat can return if you don't have a generally healthy lifestyle.

How long is liposuction recovery?

Your liposuction recovery time can depend on factors like the specific procedure steps, the extent of fat removed, and how well you follow the aftercare instructions. In general, most patients require a few days away from work or school and feel comfortable returning to mild activities within a couple weeks.

Does Liposuction leave loose skin?

Not in all cases, but there are cases when removing fat causes skin laxity. This is true when the skin is compromised due to aging, weight fluctuation, and pregnancy. Your doctor will inform you whether or not you might be at risk of having loose skin after liposuction. If so, a skin tightening procedure may be recommended for optimal results.