Conveniently located to serve St. Louis, Missouri

Liposuction St. LouisWhen properly utilized in carefully selected patients, liposuction is a powerful tool to remove excess fatty tissue and sculpt the body. While there is a role for non-invasive machines, liposuction is the gold standard for minimally invasive body contouring. The results are more predictable and more significant. Liposuction can be used as a stand – alone procedure or to enhance procedures such as tummy tuck, arm/thigh lift and neck lifts.

Dr. Cabbabe uses small, disposable (one-time use) instruments called liposuction cannulas which are are anywhere from 3-5 mm in diameter and powered by vacuum suction, power and/or ultrasound. These cannulas create multiple tunnels by removing fat with each pass. The fat is removed through the cannula by vacuum suction and out of the body into a container where it is either disposed of or re-injected. The fat can be re-injected into different areas of the body as in a lip augmentation procedure, breast augmentation with fat, or fat grafting procedure to the face or any other area in the body.

Prior to removing the fat, a solution is injected into the areas of the body where the liposuction will be performed. The solution contains lidocaine (to numb the area) and epinephrine (to reduce bleeding). Tiny incisions are used to inject the fluid and to remove the fat with the cannulas.

Types of Liposuction:

  • Traditional Liposuction: Cannula is powered by the surgeon and connected to vacuum suction. Dr. Cabbabe rarely uses this.
  • Power–assisted Liposuction: Cannula is powered by electricity and vibrates and connected to vacuum suction. This is Dr. Cabbabe’s preferred method of liposuction.
  • Ultrasound–assisted Liposuction: Cannula is powered by ultrasound and vibrates and generates heat. This is connected to vacuum suction. A damp, cool towel must be placed between the skin and cannula at all times to prevent burning of the skin due to heat generation. Dr. Cabbabe believes this is a high – risk, low – reward type of liposuction. The results are no better than power- assisted liposuction and the risk of burning the skin or causing deformity is higher due to the heat generated.
  • Laser–assisted Liposuction (SmartLipo, LaserLipo, VaserLipo, etc.): Any of the above types of liposuction are used to remove fat with vacuum suction. After the fat has been removed, a laser is passed under the skin to heat the skin. This has been claimed to “tighten the skin”. This has never been proven to be of benefit versus power – assisted liposuction. Dr. Cabbabe believes this is a marketing tool and much more expensive with no visible difference. This procedure is significantly more expensive due to the cost of the laser.
  • SAFE liposuction: Dr. Cabbabe utilizes this technique commonly. This is a 3-step process of separation, aspiration and fat equalization. Using cannulas to separate the tissues, remove fat, reshape the remaining tissues to prevent dimpling and contour deformities. Fat may be re-injected in areas where too much fat may have been removed. This is particularly useful in the thighs and hips where contour deformities may occur more commonly.

In some instances, minimal liposuction may be done in the office without the need for general anesthesia. Prior to the procedure, you may be given oral medication to help with anxiety and pain. However, Dr. Cabbabe believes the vast majority of the procedures should be done in the operating room with appropriate anesthesiologists to assist with your comfort and safety. As the fluid that is injected is removed, the procedure can become uncomfortable for patients. The oral pain medicine will no provide sufficient relief in these situations and an intravenous anesthetic can assist with this. Also, if complications were to arise, the board – certified anesthesiologist can deliver potentially life-saving care.

Dr. Cabbabe incorporates his experience with reconstructive and cosmetic surgery of the body to give his patients the best results possible to meet their desires. He is an expert in cosmetic, reconstructive and minimally invasive body surgery. During your consultation, Dr. Cabbabe will carefully examine you and will make recommendations in order to help you achieve your desired result.

Prior to Surgery

Dr. Cabbabe requests that all patients take iron (ferrous sulfate) supplementation, approximately 300 mg three times a day, for 3 weeks prior to surgery. This helps patients increase their red blood cell counts prior to surgery and makes recovery much smoother for patients.

Do NOT take any aspirin, plavix, or ibuprofen at least 10 days prior to surgery. Coumadin or any other type of blood thinner prior to surgery. Dr. Cabbabe may also recommend that you stop any hormones or oral contraceptives to reduce the risk of blood clots in the legs around the time of surgery.

It is helpful to have a recliner to sleep on for the first week or two when you transition to a bed. Extra compression garments, including FAJA’s in different sizes, are helpful as your size will decrease after swelling goes down. Female urination devices can be purchased on Amazon to be used while garments are worn.

Eat a healthy diet and avoid alcohol at least 48 hours prior to surgery to maintain hydration around the time of your procedure. Nicotine usage leads to a well – known higher rate of complications including infection and should be stopped at a minimum of 3 weeks prior. Take this as an opportunity to quit smoking forever to enjoy the health benefits long – term as well as improved skin texture with less wrinkling.

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Prior to surgery, Dr. Cabbabe will place markings on the planned areas of liposuction. The skin is cleaned and prepped with antiseptics. Sterile towels and drapes are placed around the areas to be treated. Dr. Cabbabe injects local anesthetic/numbing solutions into the planned areas of liposuction through tiny incisions using cannulas. After waiting a period of time for the solution to work, fat is removed by vacuum suction until the desired result is achieved. SAFELipo is used as needed in areas such as the abdomen, hips and thighs.

After the procedure is finished, compression garments will be placed. You will be asked to have someone present who can drive you home after the procedure. There will be some leakage of fluid for 24 to 48 hours after the procedure from the liposuction sites. Sutures may or may not be placed over the small incisions, depending on the amount of drainage anticipated.


Your Liposuction will be performed in a hospital or surgery center in St. Louis, MO.


Most patients are able to go home the same day. If large – volume liposuction(>5 Liters) is done, you may be asked to stay overnight for monitoring. Pain medication and antibiotics will be prescribed at the time of discharge. Some type of compression garment is provided. There may be some numbness of the surgical area which slowly improves with time. Patients are able to shower within 24 hours. Recovery time is approximately one week. Dr. Cabbabe will ask you to wear compression garments for 2 weeks after surgery to help minimize swelling and maximize your result.


Heavier patients (BMI >30) experience more complications. Complications include lidocaine toxicity, bleeding after surgery, fluid collections which may result in infection, thickened scars, skin necrosis, asymmetries, skin irregularities and blood clots. These may require additional procedures to correct.

Dr. Cabbabe takes measures to prevent complications including appropriate use of antibiotic, leg sequential devices to prevent blood clots in the legs and careful tissue handling to prevent skin necrosis.

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