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What’s the difference between liposuction and liposculpting?

Liposuction is the removal of fat via a long, thin tube called a cannula. Small incisions are made near the area to be treated, and the cannula is then inserted into these incisions to loosen, break up, and suction away the fat from the area.

Fat is also removed in liposculpture, but some of the fat is actually shaped and sculpted, because some areas need more fat than others to achieve the desired aesthetic contour. Liposculpture requires a surgeon with an artistic eye because the patient’s entire body shape must be considered in order to deliver optimal results. It’s more than just a fat removal procedure. 

The liposculpting procedure

The first part of a liposculpture procedure is liposuction, which can be performed with the patient either under general or local anesthesia. Very small incisions will be made around the area to be treated. 

Through these incisions, a cannula will be inserted to smoothly and gently loosen, remove, and suction fat from the area. Once the fat has been sufficiently removed, it can be used to improve the contour of other areas of the body, such as the abs or waist. The procedure typically takes 2 to 4 hours. 

Common areas for liposculpture

  • Abdominal muscles
  • Back
  • Flanks
  • Thighs
  • Arms


The majority of liposculpture patients need about one week off of work. While we recommend light walks to help your blood circulate, most physical activities — including exercise — should be avoided for 2 to 3 weeks. You will need to wear a compression garment for 4 to 6 weeks to help with healing. Most patients do experience swelling and bruising for several weeks, with severity depending on how much work was done.


Although results begin to become apparent immediately, final results won’t be fully visible until about six months. Once the results are settled, you can enjoy a more contoured body with better proportions. Results are permanent as long as you don’t gain weight.

Good candidates for liposculpture 

  • Have areas of fat that are not responding to diet and exercise
  • Are within 25 pounds of their goal body weight
  • Have a BMI under 30
  • Have good skin elasticity
  • Do not have weakened muscles or loose skin from pregnancy or age
  • Are over the age of 18
  • Are non-smokers in good health
  • Understand that liposculpture is not a weight loss procedure

Why choose The Maercks Institute?

The Maercks Institute is a high-profile, Miami-based surgical center that offers a variety of advanced techniques for surgical procedures that challenge “status quo” plastic surgery by delivering bespoke results that appear as if they are made by nature. President and medical director Dr. Rian Maercks is a board-certified cosmetic, plastic, and reconstructive surgery specialist with a unique combination of specialized expertise in cosmetic breast and body procedures. Also an artist, Dr. Maercks’s approach to both surgical and non-invasive aesthetic interventions of the face and body has earned him international recognition by surgeons and patients alike. Dr. Maercks has changed the lives of thousands of patients over the years, and he will design the right treatment plan for your unique goals. Patients are never viewed in a cookie cutter manner, but rather as unique individuals with specific issues and goals. To learn more about our body contouring procedures, we invite you to reach out to us.

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