Liposuction - San Diego


Liposuction surgery is performed more than 400,000 times in the United States annually. It represents a top plastic surgery procedure that enables a patient to remove excess fat from the body quickly and safely, making it exceedingly popular for both men and women. Liposuction is a key component of most body contouring procedures.

At Changes Plastic Surgery & Spaof San Diego, we offer liposuction that delivers superior results. We have adopted innovative approaches such as Changes Rapid Lipo which can achieve amazing results in an office setting using only local anesthesia with minimal sedation. In addition, bruising and recovery are minimized compared to more traditional techniques. Thus, we remain a top choice for liposuction in San Diego and have helped many patients accomplish their liposuction goals.

What is Liposuction?

Liposuction, also known as suction-assisted lipectomy is a technique to remove unwanted fat deposits from specific areas of the body. The many areas that can be treated include the chin, neck, upper arms, abdomen, buttocks, flanks, thighs, knees and ankles (cankles).

Women most commonly have liposuction performed under the chin, on their hips, thighs, buttocks, stomach, and under the arms. For men, common sites include under the chin and around the waist.


Liposuction may also be used in the reduction of enlarged male breasts, a condition known as gynecomastia. It is a helpful adjunct to weight reduction and is a method of removing localized fat that doesn’t respond to dieting and exercise. By itself, it will not improve the dimpled skin known as cellulite, but the contours in that area can be improved to yield an overall excellent result.

BodyTite, our premier skin-tightening service, is an effective alternative to gynecomastia. Our BodyTite service combines the power of liposuction with skin-tightening technology to create a “shrink wrapping” effect that is minimally invasive and completely scarless. To learn more about BodyTite, click here.

What Does Liposuction Surgery Involve?

To begin the procedure, your Changes surgeon will make a small incision, just large enough to allow the insertion of a hollow tube called a cannula (hollow tube). A fluid known as “Tumescence” will be injected into the treatment area. This fluid contains medication to reduce both pain and bruising. Following the introduction of tumescence, a cannula will be introduced to remove the desired amount of fat. The cannula is attached to a suction machine that assists in fat removal. The surgeon’s skill is critical to removing the right amount of fat from the proper locations. This process requires a keen eye and sense of beauty, very much like sculpting a masterpiece. This is why it is imperative to choose Dr. Lee or Dr. Rossi at Changes Plastic Surgery & Spa.

Types of Liposuction

  • Changes Rapid Lipo – This technique utilizes a vibratory technology that allows the cannula to pass through the tissue in a less traumatic, less painful manner. Bruising, swelling, and recovery are minimized.

  • Laser-assisted liposuction – This requires the use of low-energy waves to minimize fat. These waves will liquefy the fat, which then will be removed via a cannula.

  • Ultrasound-assisted liposuction (UAL) – This technique usually serves as an ideal choice for the removal of fat around the upper abdomen, back and sides. It uses ultrasound to liquefy the fat and ensures that the fat is eliminated through a cannula.

​​​​​​​Dr. Lee and Dr. Rossi at Changes Plastic Surgery & Spa are happy to provide you with an in-depth consultation to further discuss how liposuction might be a good choice for you!

What Does Liposuction Look Like?

Patients generally see the full results of surgery within one to three months of treatment. Fat cells removed during the procedure will not return, and the results of surgery will be apparent for an extended period of time. Changes Plastic Surgery & Spa in San Diego has helped many patients reap the benefits of liposuction treatment. Click the button below to view some of our liposuction San Diego patient treatment results.

butt and thigh liposuction

Changes Rapid Lipo

"No matter how much I worked out, I couldn't get rid of my saddlebags. Changes Rapid Lipo was the answer. In one visit, the bulging fat on my thighs was gone. I love the way I look in jeans now!"

For men and women alike, certain areas of the body can be tough, if not impossible to reduce with diet and exercise alone. Liposuction has long been used to contour the body and is often performed in conjunction with surgical techniques such as abdominoplasty or thigh lift procedures.

When a small amount of fat is the issue, many individuals look for improvement in unconventional, novel technologies that advertise big, but deliver small. New systems and machines out the removal of fat without liposuction, but often do not have proven results, require multiple treatments and in the end, are ineffective and costly. Furthermore, with some of the newer methods, you may not be assessed by a physician at all.

​​​​​​​After trailing many of the above-mentioned systems for small areas of fat removal, Dr. Gilbert Lee realized the need for a simple and affordable option that removed the unwanted fat under local anesthetic. Dr. Lee developed Changes Rapid Lipo which combines the reliability of liposuction as a stand-alone procedure at a comparable price to just one treatment of these unconventional methods. Changes Rapid Lipo is ideal for the inner and outer thighs, upper arms, tummy and even under the chin.

Lipo in the hips

The Procedure

Change Rapid Lipo utilizes vibration-supported liposuction for surgical fat removal. With this system, the suction cannula gently vibrates or flutters to microscopically cut and remove fat tissue. Some patients feel the vibration as a tickling sensation. Changes Rapid Liposuction has advantages over traditional liposuction:

  1. Unwanted side-effects, such as thromboses, risks of embolisms, or nausea occur much less frequently.

  2. The patient stays awake.

  3. The procedure performed entirely under local anesthesia.

  4. Little post-surgical discomfort and quicker recovery.

​​​​​​​Your procedure will take place in the ChangesPlastic Surgery ambulatory surgery suite. A local anesthetic is used to numb the treatment areas and you are given something for relaxation. The entire procedure takes approximately 2 to 3 hours. You are encouraged to wear something comfortable for your appointment and to purchase a garment such as Spanx to wear postoperatively.


Some patients will feel comfortable going to work the next day. You may feel sore for 3 to 4 days following your procedure.

Fat Grafting

Because of the unique vibration of the Changes Rapid Lipo system, the fat that is extracted yields more viable fat cells for transfer and thus yields a better fat ‘take’ for grafting. With Changes Rapid Lipo, your surgeon is able to fat graft to the breasts for augmentation and to the buttocks for a Brazilian Buttock Lift. This method of fat grafting will add a half to a full cup size to the breasts and a more rounded contour to the buttocks. For more information on Fat Grafting click here.

Liposuction Under Local Anesthesia

Liposuction under local anesthesia is performed by local liposuction doctors who are committed to patient safety. Lipo under local anesthesia allows a patient to stay awake during treatment. It often helps a patient recover faster following treatment in comparison to liposuction performed under general anesthesia, too.

How Painful Is Liposuction Under Local Anesthesia

The pain associated with the procedure under local anesthesia is usually minimal. Doctors will only use this form of anesthesia if they believe it is the safest and most effective treatment option. Plus, doctors will do everything possible to limit pain during a local liposuction treatment.

​​​​​​​For those who are considering various plastic surgery liposuction options, it often helps to visit a liposuction surgery center. Here, an individual can learn about the surgery and find out if he or she is a viable candidate for treatment. Doctors can also provide expert insights, along with offer reviews.


Ultrasound Assisted Liposuction Surgery

Ultrasound-assisted liposuction or UAL is also a preferred method at Changes Plastic Surgery & Spa. A metal probe carries a high-frequency ultrasonic energy that stimulates the fat cells and causes them to “liquefy.” The advantage of this technique is that large volumes of fat can be safely removed with minimal blood loss and less bruising than with traditional liposuction.

​​​​​​​The results of UAL are usually smoother, decreasing the chance of contour irregularity, which sometimes occurs after traditional liposuction. UAL is particularly useful in melting fat from fibrous areas of the body such as the breast, abdomen, back, and flanks. Your surgeon will determine if UAL, Rapid Lipo, or traditional liposuction is best suited for you.

Can I Use My Elsewhere?

Yes, you can have your fat placed elsewhere in your body. Known as fat grafting, your fat can be prepared and re-injected into other parts of the body. Common areas for fat grafting include the face, the hands, and the buttock (Brazillian Butt Lift) restoring volume using your own tissue. While moderate amounts of fat grafting can be performed under local anesthesia, more extensive cases may need to be performed under general anesthesia. Fat grafting is one of the hottest topics in plastic surgery, and most facelift surgeries will include some amount of fat grafting. The regenerative properties of fat grafting are undeniable. Changes Plastic Surgery & Spa is a premiere center for fat grafting.

What Should I Expect After a Liposuction Treatment?

Healing is a gradual process. It’s important that you start walking around as soon as possible (to help prevent blood clots from forming in your legs). Avoid more strenuous activity for two to four weeks. Any stitches will be removed in about 5 days. You may return to work in 2 – 3 days, or as much as two weeks after your surgery depending on the extent of your procedure.

Following your liposuction procedure, the treated area will be wrapped in bandages to reduce bruising and swelling. In addition, you may need to wear a compression garment or wrap for three to four weeks after the surgery.

Usually, bruising will occur for one to two weeks after liposuction San Diego surgery, along with numbness and bumpiness at times. These side effects will subside within six months after treatment.

Read more about recovery in our blog post “What to Expect Post Liposuction”.

​​​​​​​View Our Liposuction – Little Know Areas for the Procedure Infographic

Am I a Good Candidate for Liposuction Surgery?

Determining whether you are a good candidate for liposuction surgery likely will require you to meet with Dr. Lee or Dr. Rossi to discuss your liposuction options. Liposuction is not an alternative to weight loss, nor is it a treatment for cellulite. Liposuction is ideal sculpting areas of exercise-resistant fat. Liposuction consults with Dr. Lee or Dr. Rossi will ensure that liposuction is the right procedure for you.

Why Should I Choose Changes Plastic Surgery & Spa for Liposuction Surgery?

The Changes plastic surgeons are board-certified and uniquely qualified to perform successful liposuction procedures. With extensive knowledge of anatomy and surgical procedures such as abdominoplasty, arm lifts, and thigh lifts, you can be sure your liposuction procedure will be well planned and expertly executed.

For more information about our liposuction surgery options, please contact us today at (858) 264-3800.