San Francisco Plastic Surgery & Laser Center is a Bay Area leader for liposuction utilizing ultrasonic & Smartlipo laser technology.

Liposuction is a technique used to remove unwanted fat from specific areas of the body to sculpt areas and accentuate your natural form.

Traditional Liposuction, or suction-assisted lipectomy, removes fat cells to improve your body’s natural shape. Those who undergo a liposuction procedure gain weight back more evenly and fat deposits before the procedure can no longer expand out of proportion. Liposuction is considered a body contouring procedure, not a weight loss procedure.

We are proud to offer multiple liposuction services using the latest medical technology and techniques.

  • 21 years of experience in liposuction and cosmetic surgery
  • Over 10,000 successful procedures completed at our location
  • Top-rated Bay Area female cosmetic surgeon (
  • Top-rated Bay Area plastic surgeon (
  • Televised beauty and cosmetic surgery consultant (Kron 4 News – “Body Beautiful”)
  • Over 20 years of local service in San Francisco, California

The Best Candidates For Liposuction Surgery

Those who are of relatively normal weight but have pockets of excess fat in particular areas are the strongest candidates for liposuction. If you are looking for fat reduction in the following areas, this procedure may be right for you:

  • Chin, Neck, Cheeks
  • Upper Arms (above the breasts)
  • Chest
  • Abdomen
  • Buttocks
  • Hips, Thighs
  • Knees
  • Calves, Ankles

You should be physically healthy, psychologically fit, and realistic in your expectations. Most important, having firm, elastic skin will result in a better final contour.

To determine if you are a good candidate for surgery, schedule a consultation with Dr. Usha Rajagopal at our San Francisco location at 415-392-3333. 


Liposuction Procedures

Classic Liposuction

Suction assisted lipectomy usually takes an hour to four hours, but the time required may vary depending on the area and amount being suctioned. To begin the procedure, Dr. Rajagopal makes a small incision, just large enough to allow the insertion of a hollow tube called a cannula. The opposite end of the cannula is attached to a machine that creates a strong vacuum. Dr. Rajagopal manipulates the cannula deep within the fat layers under the skin, breaking up the fat and suctioning it out. Sometimes additional incisions are needed to remove all areas of fat. 

Cynosure Smartlipo

Smartlipo laser body sculpting is one of the newest methods for performing liposuction.  A specialized laser is used to dissolve fat and produce mild skin tightening at the same time.  Smartlipo can be used in all parts of the body.  It can be performed under both local anesthesia (for smaller areas of the body) or general anesthesia (for larger areas of the body).

Read more:  SMART LIPO (Laserlipolysis/Laser-Assisted Liposuction)

Ultrasound Assisted Liposuction (UAL)

Ultrasound-assisted lipoplasty (UAL) is the latest technique utilized by Dr. Rajagopal for body sculpting. UAL uses sound waves to “liquefy” unwanted fat and can be an effective tool for removing fat from fibrous body areas, such as the male breasts or the back. It is also effective for removing larger volumes of fat in a single procedure and for improved body contouring. With UAL, Dr. Rajagopal can remove larger volumes of fat with less bleeding and she is able to sculpt more effectively than with traditional Liposuction. Additionally, UAL seems to allow the skin to shrink more effectively after the procedure.

Generally, the best candidates for UAL are no different than candidates for the traditional liposuction procedure: people of average weight with firm, elastic skin who have pockets of excess fat in particular areas.

Ultrasonic Liposuction Procedure

UAL generally takes a little longer than traditional liposuction because of the extra “fat liquefying” step involved. To begin the procedure, salt water containing local anesthesia and adrenaline is injected into the area to be treated. Then, a metal cannula connected to an ultrasound generator is inserted beneath the skin through a small incision. The ultrasonic energy causes the walls of the fat cells to break down allowing the fat to flow out of each cell. The “liquefied” fat combines with the injected fluid to create an emulsion, which is removed from the body by vacuum pressure.

After UAL Treatment

You will likely experience some fluid drainage from the incisions for the first 24 hours. To help control swelling, you may be fitted with a snug elastic bandage or compression garment to wear over the treated area. The bandage or garment is worn for up to six weeks, to help your skin shrink to fit its new contour.

The side effects of traditional liposuction surgery-pain, burning, swelling, bleeding and temporary numbness can be expected from UAL as well. 

If you have any additional questions regarding Liposuction, Ultrasound Assisted Lipoplasty (UAL), Smart Lipo or wish to schedule a consultation with Dr. Rajagopal, please call San Francisco Plastic Surgery & Laser Center.

Classic Liposuction Recovery

Temporary Weight Gain

You may be heavier than normal for a period with the extra fluids in your body. The suctioned areas will be swollen and bruised, and you may feel a burning sensation. Any pain can be treated with medications prescribed by your surgeon, though you may feel stiff and sore for a few days. You may temporarily lose feeling in the suctioned area, which will return shortly.

Compression Garments

There will be swelling and bleeding after a traditional liposuction. A snug elastic dressing, girdle, or body stocking must be worn over the treated area to control this. Liposuction compression garments are needed to help your skin shrink to fit your new contour. You will need to wear this garment for three to six weeks depending on the healing process (less for facial liposuction).

The only time you may remove the garment for a long period of time is to shower. Several days after surgery, you may unzip the garment from time to time to apply lotion or take a brief break. You can wear these garments under your everyday clothes (several colors are available).

Ultrasonic Liposuction Recovery

You will begin to feel better after about a week following your surgery and you should be back to work within two weeks. Any stitches are usually removed within the first week. Strenuous physical activity should be avoided for about three weeks as your body continues to heal. Although most of the bruising and swelling usually disappears within six weeks, some swelling may remain for six months or more. 

Getting Back to Normal After Liposuction

Dr. Rajagopal informs most patients to begin some walking as soon as possible, to help prevent blood clots from forming in your legs, and to avoid more strenuous activity for two to four weeks. Any stitches will be removed in five to ten days, and you should be back at work in 2 – 3 days, or as long as two weeks after your surgery. While most swelling and discoloration will be gone a month or two after surgery, some swelling can remain for six months or more. 

Liposuction Before & After Photos

*Disclaimer: Results are not guaranteed and may vary from person to person.


Liposuction Costs and FAQ

Learn more about financing options, discounts, and cost of liposuction.

 Read: Liposuction Frequently Asked Questions 

Why choose Dr. Rajagopal and the San Francisco Plastic Surgery and Laser Center for your personal liposuction?

  • Practice Led by Board Certified Female Surgeon
  • 21 Years of Cosmetic Surgery Experience
  • Friendly and Professional Female Staff
  • Reliable, Positively Reviewed Results
  • Affordable Pricing and Financing Options

Please call the San Francisco Plastic Surgery and Laser Center at 415-392-3333 for affordable pricing, financing & further details on fees.

Our Reviews:

Katie A. ( – San Francisco, CA  13 Apr 2012

“Dr. Usha Rajagopal is the BEST DOCTOR EVER!!!! I’ve had two liposuction procedures with her over a few years and she is just wonderful.  She always gives you important information regarding what to expect, she never claims to do what cannot be done and truly guides you through the process and what should be a reasonable expectation.

Her staff is stellar and makes you feel very comfortable (a difficult thing to achieve when considering surgery)… I have great results and couldn’t be happier to finally not have the excess that just would not go away no matter my weight or exercise””

How do you know if you need a Tummy tuck (abdominoplasty) vs. liposuction? How are the two procedures different, especially in regards to recovery time? Dr. Rajagopal answers these questions on KRON 4’s Body Beautiful.

How do you know if you need a Tummy tuck (abdominoplasty) vs. liposuction? How are the two procedures different, especially in regards to recovery time? Dr. Rajagopal answers these questions on KRON 4's Body Beautiful. 

*Disclaimer: Results are not guaranteed and may vary from person to person.