Liposuction, also known as suction assisted lipectomy, liposculpture, and fat suction, is a technique used to sculpt the body by removing unwanted fat deposits from specific areas of the body. These regions can include:

  • chin
  • neck
  • cheek
  • upper arms
  • breast region
  • abdomen
  • “love handles”
  • buttocks
  • hips
  • thighs
  • knees
  • calves

Liposuction is NOT a substitute for dieting and exercise, but can remove stubborn areas of fat that do not respond to traditional weight loss methods.  Tumescent and super-wet techniques help provide selected patients with more precise results and quicker recovery times.

This web page can only be a beginning of an education about this surgery.   Dr. Bates is committed to patient education and an in office consultation permits her to examine your needs and design a customized educational experience and surgical plan.

Best Candidates

Suction lipectomy can enhance your appearance and your self confidence, but it may not change your looks to match the ideal image in your mind. This surgery will not cause other people to treat you differently. Realistic expectations are important to be happy with any surgery.

The best candidates for liposuction are of relatively normal weight with firm elastic skin, but have pockets of excess fat in certain areas. You should be physically healthy, psychologically stable, and realistic in your expectations. Most important, having firm, elastic skin will result in a better final contour. Your age is not a major consideration. However, older patients may have diminished skin elasticity and may not achieve the same results as a younger patient with tighter skin. Hanging skin will not reshape to your body’s new contours and may require an additional procedure to surgically remove the excess skin. Surgery that removes excess skin will leave visible scars.

Suction lipectomy carries greater risk if you have had recent surgery near the spot to be sculpted, if you have poor blood circulation in that area, or if you have significant medical problems such as diabetes, heart, or lung disease. You should also understand that liposuction will not improve cellulite (dimpled skin).

Common areas for liposuction


  • under chin
  • stomach
  • buttocks
  • hips
  • thighs
  • under arm
  • breast region

  • under chin
  • around the waist
  • “love handle” region
  • male breasts (gynecomastia)

Surgical risks

Suction assisted lipectomy is normally safe, as long as patients are carefully selected, the operating facility is properly equipped, and the physician is adequately trained in body contouring as well as general surgery.

Dr. Bates performs liposuction procedures at local hospitals.  Most often at Little Rock Surgery Center.

Dr. Bates is a well trained surgeon, but complications can occur.  There are no guarantees. Though they are rare, complications can and do occur. Risks increase if a greater number of areas are treated at the same time or if the operated sites are large in size. Removal of a large amount of fat and fluid may require several operations to lessen risk. The skin and nerves can suffer friction burns and injury. Vital organs can be perforated and injured. Infection and delays in healing can complicate recovery. In unusual cases there have been fat clots or blood clots that migrate to the lungs and cause death. Excessive fluid loss can lead to shock. Other infrequent, but possible, complications include unfavorable drug reactions and fluid collection (which must be drained). Although they have been reported in the literature, Dr. Bates has never seen one of these severe complications in his practice. Dr. Bates has been doing liposuction since her residency.

The scars from liposculpture are small and strategically placed to be hidden from view, even in a bikini. However, other cosmetic problems may occur. They may include:

  • ripping or bagginess of the skin over the treated area
  • pigmentation changes (such as brown spots) that may become permanent if exposed to the sun
  • asymmetry (the two sides not being the same) – everyone is asymmetrical and although surgery is used to attempt to even up the differences, new asymmetries can occur
  • uneven contour or shape

Surgery may be necessary to address these conditions.

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