Liposuction at Portland’s Waldorf Center is a body contouring technique that surgically removes fat deposits from various large or small areas of the body, such as those at the chin, neck, abdomen, waist, back, arms, underarms, buttocks, hips, thighs, knees, calves, and ankles.

In certain areas that involve removing some fat and strategically reshaping the remaining fat to improve proportions for a more sculpted look, the process is often referred to as liposculpture.


Our team of board-certified plastic surgeons and clinical providers works with patients who have a variety of body types and a range of aesthetic goals. Some of these men and women may be looking for overall body contouring, while others want to get rid of a small pocket of fat—such as a double chin—that won’t go away despite a committed exercise plan and strict diet. In several cases, physical removal of the fat is the most appropriate option, making liposuction a go-to procedure for adults of all ages.


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While non-surgical options such as CoolSculpting® and Kybella® (to treat submental fullness, or fat between the chin and neck) are available, patients often choose liposuction, as the results are typically more predictable, more consistent, and more quick to appear. And while multiple treatment sessions of a non-surgical procedure may be required to achieve your fat reduction goals, one liposuction procedure may be all that it takes to reshape or debulk areas of concern.*

Remember that liposuction is not designed to help patients lose weight or improve health. It does not provide a solution for obesity, but it does tackle resistant bulges of subcutaneous, exercise-resistant fat. While liposuction can debulk areas when there are disproportionate-looking fat deposits, it should not result in significant weight loss, and so cannot be considered an appropriate weight loss procedure.


Non-smokers who are close to their ideal body weight (within 30 percent), have good muscle tone, and have firm, healthy, elastic skin are well-suited for liposuction. Preferred candidates are people who are in good overall health and have realistic expectations.

See how a cannula is positioned and works to reduce fat via liposuction at Portland’s Waldorf Center.

Liposuction at Portland’s Waldorf Center involves inserting a specialized tube, known as a cannula, through the skin’s surface and into the fat-filled area between the dermis above and the muscle below. Moving the cannula back and forth dislodges the fat cells, which are then suctioned out through the tube. This reduces the volume in the treatment area, resulting in slimmer contours.


Patients understandably have questions about surgical fat removal, from how to prepare for the procedure to liposuction cost and what to expect during the recovery process. Men and women in and around Portland, Salem, and Vancouver, as well as more distant areas, are encouraged to bring any questions they might have to their plastic surgeon for honest answers, after which they can decide whether the procedure is right for them.

There are a variety of liposuction methods, such as ultrasound-assisted, power-assisted, and tumescent liposuction, but they are all meant to achieve the same goal. The method that may be most appropriate for you will be discussed during your consultation.

Patients should also note that liposuction is often used as a part of other surgical procedures, such as a breast reduction, fat transfer breast augmentation, tummy tuck, arm lift, thigh lift, or lower body lift.

This is a decision that The Waldorf Center team understands is not to be made lightly. Each member is dedicated to ensuring patients feel sufficiently educated and comfortable with their choice of surgeon for liposuction, all of which encourages better healing and results.

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Once the final decision has been made to go ahead with liposuction, it’s common for patients to feel excited and maybe even slightly nervous about their upcoming surgery. In the weeks leading up to the procedure, patients are often asked to make minor lifestyle changes, like avoiding smoking or alcohol consumption or altering their intake of some medications and supplements. Dr. Kathleen Waldorf or Dr. Rachel Streu will explore your full medical history, and in some cases order lab tests to determine your current health status.

Patients are usually advised to refrain from eating or drinking at least 12 hours before the operation. Liposuction is an outpatient procedure or day surgery, meaning that it doesn’t usually require patients to be hospitalized overnight.

Our team strongly recommends asking a friend, family member, or partner to drive you home afterward and watch over you during the following 24 hours. The anesthesia may cause you to feel drowsy or disoriented, and slow your reflexes during this time, so you shouldn’t drive or operate heavy machinery.


Ultrasound-assisted, power-assisted, and tumescent liposuction are three of the most common forms of liposuction used on patients. Unlike ultrasound-assisted liposuction, which uses energy to “melt” fat, surgeons practicing tumescent liposuction infuse a sterile solution into the treatment area to facilitate fat extraction.

A thin tube called a cannula is then used to suction the fat. For power-assisted liposuction, a special cannula device that moves in rapid, back-and-forth vibrations is used to break up fat cells. This fast, safe method is especially useful on tough fat or large volumes of fat.


Liposuction (sometimes referred to as lipoplasty or suction-assisted lipectomy) is performed through small incisions (about a quarter of an inch each) made around the areas being treated. A saline solution that also contains a local anesthetic and a medication to constrict the small blood vessels is injected into the surgical site. This makes them easier to remove, reduces blood loss and bruising, and helps with post-operative pain management.

The surgeon then inserts through the incision a hollow tube known as a cannula. The tube serves as a wand that loosens and breaks apart the fat cells, turning the unwanted fat into a more liquefied form that is easier to remove. The cannula is also attached to a machine that applies suction to remove the loosened fat deposits while the surgeon guides it. Since fat cells are distributed differently throughout each person, the procedural details of each case are unique.

Depending on the case (as mentioned earlier), the surgeon may also use ultrasonic-assisted liposuction or laser-assisted lipolysis to aid in the removal of undesired fat deposits in certain areas of the body. These techniques make use of either an ultrasound device or a laser—as opposed to manually applied force—to assist in breaking up the fat cells, making them even easier to remove and providing a smoother result.

Lipo procedures usually take one to two hours to complete, and may be performed using a variety of anesthesia options.

Liposuction is an outpatient procedure, so you will go home the same day. As driving is not recommended for 24 hours after being under general anesthesia, you will require someone to take you home from the surgical center.

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Due to the nature of liposuction, the fat reduction results are technically visible right away. However, it may take some time for them to appear as they will in the long term due to postsurgical swelling. Other side effects may include bruising and soreness in the treated areas. Depending on the scope of the procedure, it can take up to three months to be able to clearly see the final results after these post-surgical conditions resolve.*

Recovery is relatively quick, and most patients find they are able to return to their regular routines at home or work within one to two weeks (although vigorous physical activity should be avoided for a few more weeks). Compression garments are worn during the first several weeks after surgery to limit fluid accumulation, help control swelling, and improve the final result.

Most patients can return to exercise and other physical activities in about four to six weeks.* It’s important to emphasize that while liposuction physically removes fat cells, it doesn’t prevent patients from putting on weight. If you add on pounds in the future, there is a risk that the remaining fat cells will expand. In these situations, it is also possible that your body will begin to store fat in new locations, causing bulges to appear somewhere else.



The experienced surgeons at The Waldorf Center for Plastic Surgery—Dr. Kathleen Waldorf and Dr. Rachel Streu—built the practice on a foundation of providing patients with high quality, ethical care. One of their guiding principles is a belief that cosmetic surgery is as much an art as it is a science.


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The experienced surgeons at The Waldorf Center for Plastic Surgery—Dr. Kathleen Waldorf and Dr. Rachel Streu—built the practice on a foundation of providing patients with highquality, ethical care. One of their guiding principles is a belief that cosmetic surgery is as much an art as it is a science.


To maintain the results long-term, patients should be committed to sustaining a healthy lifestyle with appropriate diet, exercise, and other habits. Understand that weight gain, pregnancy, and the natural aging process may affect the results of liposuction over time.

Because liposuction is not meant to eliminate all fat in the body or a given area, it is possible for new deposits to accumulate. It may be helpful to have a lifestyle plan ready in place before the surgery to ensure that the results last afterward.

Maintaining new contours is easier if healthy eating and regular exercise are already routine prior to the fat-reduction surgery. Establish these habits well in advance of the liposuction procedure so returning to them after your recovery will be second nature.


As with all surgical procedures, liposuction carries a certain amount of risk. It is important that you understand these risks, and the possible complications or adverse events associated with surgery. Your surgeon will discuss the risks with you during your consultation and pre-operative appointments. These are also ideal times to ask questions about the procedure in general, specifics related to the practice and the surgeon, as well as anything else you want to know about liposuction and related surgeries.

Our experienced, board-certified plastic surgeons at the Waldorf Center are very experienced with liposuction, having worked with a diverse array of patients over many years. They understand how to help each patient toward the best results possible, while minimizing risks before, during, and after the surgery.

Understanding the benefits and potential challenges of the procedure, as well as expected timelines and realistic results, can lower stress and allow for a faster, easier recovery.


As mentioned earlier, liposuction can be a component of many other surgical procedures that involve fat reduction or fat transfer to augment other areas. Fat grafting requires the careful removal and processing of healthy fat cells to be injected in small amounts into creases on the face for smoother skin, as well as to even out post-surgical or age-related contour irregularities.

Surgical fat removal is not the only body contouring procedure available at The Waldorf Center. Patients seeking the removal of loose skin at their abdomen may choose a tummy tuck to tighten that area. Liposuction and a tuck together may be elements of a Mommy Makeover, designed to help women regain the contours they enjoyed before pregnancy.*

Patients not ready for the dramatic results of surgery have nonsurgical options, too, including Kybella® injections to address a double chin, CoolSculpting® to chill and reduce large and small stubborn pockets of fat all over the body, and EMSCULPT® to stimulate muscle contractions that tone the abs and buttocks while metabolizing small amounts of fat away for fine-tuning the physique.

*Patient results may vary*