Liposuction Body Contouring in Santa Barbara

Do you have a fat bulge on your body that is resistant to diet and exercise?

If so, you are not alone. Many women and men have problem areas that they cannot reduce and that is when they look to a cosmetic surgeon for help. 

Lately we have seen ads for very enticing non-invasive body contouring options, however liposuction remains the most reliable and quickest way to significantly improve contour issues on any part of the body. Liposuction is a “one and done” treatment and if there is excess skin, it can be removed at the same time. 

At Cosmetic Surgery Center in Santa Barbara, we offer liposuction for many parts of the body:

  • Arms: The most common concern is the upper arm area (above the elbow) where fat and excess skin can result in a “bat wing” appearance. Fat can be removed through liposuction and if skin removal is needed, the scar is placed on the inside of the arm (against the body) so it is not visible from the front or back.
  • Abdomen: Bulges in the abdomen area can be treated with liposuction. Incisions are hidden in the navel, pubic hair, or under the bikini line. If skin removal is needed, often a “mini tummy tuck” is sufficient.
  • Legs and Thighs: Inner and outer (saddlebag area) thighs can almost always be treated with liposuction. The overall goal is to decrease bulk with a smooth end result. 
  • Knees, Calves, and Ankles: These areas should only be done by experienced surgeons as fat removal needs to be precise and conservative while leaving a normal appearing shape that blends naturally into surrounding contours. Over-treatment can be difficult to correct.

Many people are surprised to find out the following facts about liposuction when done in our Santa Barbara cosmetic surgery practice:

  • General anesthesia is not needed; Oral and IV sedation plus dilute local anesthesia allows us to comfortably perform the procedure.
  • Incisions are small (less than 1/4 inch) and are placed in “hidden” locations.
  • A blunt cannula is used to selectively remove fat without injuring other tissues. 
  • Post-operative pain is usually minor (and controlled with Tylenol or ibuprofen).
  • Light physical activity can be resumed a few days after treatment.

Is liposuction the right choice for you?

If you have a larger amount of fat, are looking for a dramatic change, or just want to do 1 treatment and be done, then liposuction is a great choice.

See before and after liposuction photos performed at our Cosmetic Surgery Center in Santa Barbara, CA.

Schedule a consultation to talk about your liposuction options by calling our office – 805-563-0000. 

Liposuction in Santa Barbara by Dr. Perkins

Stubborn fat bulges that are resistant to diet and exercise are frustrating! Many women and men have this issue and – especially as summer beach days approach – they start to look for a solution. While there are many new non-invasive body contouring options on the market, liposuction still remains the most reliable and quickest way to significantly improve contour issues on any part of the body and it only takes one treatment!

We have gotten a lot of inquiries about CoolSculpting as people have seen advertisements around town. In light of this, I want to share with you information about CoolSculpting and Liposuction.

CoolSculpting is done without surgery or downtime for recovery. This is probably the biggest “draw” to the treatment. The procedure freezes the unwanted fat cells in areas that are resistant to diet and exercise. The cold that the cells are subjected to causes an “injury” to the fat cells and encourages apoptosis – death of the cells. Following the treatments, there maybe numbness, swelling, stinging, bruising, or pain. Over a period of weeks the cells die and they are eliminated from the body. The optimum result is a 20% reduction, but this is not a guarantee. Most likely more than 1 treatment will be necessary to see the full 20% reduction and the results may not be seen for 2 to 3 months post treatment.

Liposuction is not what it used to be in the past. We have refined our technique so that general anesthesia is not needed to perform the procedure. Oral and IV sedation plus dilute local anesthesia allows us to comfortably perform the procedure and patients do not have the post-operative general anesthesia “hangover”. One liposuction treatment guarantees noticeable results to the area being contoured. The extra bonus is that excess skin can be surgically removed at the same time to help with the result. I do feel that it is important to stress that liposuction is not a weight loss procedure but instead it is used to improve body contours.

One way to determine which procedure is right for you is to think about how much improvement you are looking for.

  • CoolSculpting will most likely take multiple treatments and may improve contours but the improvement may be minimal and not noticeable to others.
  • Liposuction is “one and done” and will give you a dramatic result.

View some of my before and after liposuction photos here.

If you are interested in liposuction in Santa Barbara, please call my office (805-563-0000) to schedule a consultation today.

Top Cosmetic Surgery Procedures in 2017

According to the annual report from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, there were almost 1.8 million cosmetic surgery procedures last year (a 1% increase from 2016) done in the United States.

Here are the top 10 cosmetic surgery procedures in 2017:

Any of the procedures listed above with a clickable link are those that we perform at the Cosmetic Surgery Center in Santa Barbara.

Contact us today (online or at 805-563-0000) to schedule consultation. 

Santa Barbara Cosmetic Surgeon Addresses Liposuction Myths

Liposuction was the 2nd most popular cosmetic surgical procedure in 2016 (breast augmentation was the 1st). Everyone has heard of liposuction but there are still myths that we get asked about at our Santa Barbara cosmetic surgery practice. Here we address some of the most common preconceptions:

Liposuction is a great procedure for weight loss. Not true! Liposuction is a body contouring procedure, not a weight loss procedure. Most of the patients we treat are near, or at, their ideal weight and want to get rid of stubborn areas of fat that are resistant to exercise and a healthy diet such as the abdomen, flanks, inner and outer thighs, or upper arms.

Liposuction is only for women. Again, not true. While most of the people seeking liposuction are women, men also have the procedure done. In 2016, 11% of liposuction procedures done were on men. Popular treatment areas include the “love handles”, abdomen, and neck for men.

Liposuction gets rid of cellulite. Liposuction removes deep fat just beneath the skin but it may not necessarily remove the cellulite. At my Santa Barbara medical spa, Evolutions, there is a one-time cellulite treatment called Cellfina that is clinically proven to treat the primary structural cause of cellulite and offers long term results (3+ years).

Abdominal liposuction and tummy tucks are the same thing. Liposuction and tummy tucks are not the same thing. A tummy tuck (abdominoplasty) is done to address excess abdominal skin and tightening of the abdominal muscles. Liposuction simply removes the fat. Liposuction is often used in a tummy tuck procedure.

Liposuction is much more expensive than CoolSculpting or SculpSure. This may not necessarily be true. The price difference may be much less than you think. Non-invasive body contouring procedures (such as CoolSculpting and SculpSure) take multiple treatments. states that cost “typically ranges between $2,000 to $4,000” for a personalized treatment plan.

Is Liposuction right for you?
Liposuction can quickly and permanently contour your body with just one treatment.  We are able to perform all of our liposuction procedures comfortably and safely using local anesthesia plus sedation – no general anesthesia needed. Our patients feel that liposuction was an easy and effective way to improve their contours.

If you are interested in a liposuction treatment in Santa Barbara, call my office – 805-563-0000 – to schedule a consultation. 

Santa Barbara Cosmetic Surgery

Dr. Terry J. Perkins has been practicing cosmetic surgery in Santa Barbara for more than three decades. He specializes in facial rejuvenation including facelifts, neck lifts, rhinoplasty nose surgery, and much more. He also does body contouring through liposuction.

Schedule consultation with Dr. Perkins by calling his Santa Barbara Cosmetic Surgery Center office: 805-563-0000.

Liposuction, Vanquish, and CoolSculpting in Santa Barbara

Over more than three decades of my cosmetic surgery practice, I have found Spring and Summer to be a popular time for people to “renew” their appearance. In preparation for beach gatherings and pool parties, body contouring is often addressed. While liposuction is undoubtedly the most reliable and quickest way to improve contour issues on any part of the body, patients are hearing/seeing advertising about non-invasive fat reduction and I thought I would use this blog post to discuss the pros and cons of liposuction versus non-invasive techniques currently available.

Liposuction is a surgical procedure that is now most frequently done using oral and intravenous sedation plus local anesthesia (so patients don’t have any added risk with general anesthesia). The procedure permanently removes excess fat from beneath the skin to improve “problem” areas and if you have excess skin this can often be removed at the same time. Liposuction incisions are small (less than 1/4 inch) and placed in “hidden” locations. Pain is usually minor – often controlled with ibuprofen or Tylenol – and light activity can be resumed a few days after the procedure.

Non-invasive fat reduction has been around for a few years now and we know that it can work. For patients who do not want or cannot have surgery, several devices are currently available and others are on the horizon. Two technologies currently available are CoolSculpting (freezes fat cells) and Vanquish (heats fat cells). Both devices cause cell injury that leads to eventual death and elimination resulting in less fat volume. Non-invasive methods involve a series of treatments and the results are not as predictable or dramatic as liposuction but there is usually some noticeable contour improvement.

CoolSculpting (or cryolipolysis) uses a vacuum-like applicator with cooling plates that cools skin and destroys fat cells by freezing some of them. The frozen cells die and are “cleaned up” over the next 2 to 3 months. An “optimum” result is about a 20% reduction, so several treatments are usually needed to obtain the contouring goal.

Vanquish is a selective radio freqency treatment that targets the deeper subcutaneous fat and heats the cells to cause destruction. As with cryolipolysis, the cells are “cleaned up” over the next few weeks. Treatment time is much faster than with CoolSculpting. The percentage reduction is variable but at least 20% is common. A series of treatments is recommended. A side-effect “bonus” with radio frequency is that some degree of skin tightening is also seen.

The answer depends on the amount of improvement you are looking to achieve. If you want a more dramatic change, have a larger amount of fat, or want to do just 1 treatment and be done, then liposuction is probably the better choice. Those needing only small changes, or who cannot take any time off and don’t mind doing a series of treatments to achieve an end result, may do well with non-invasive options.


If you would like to discuss your concerns, contact my office (Cosmetic Surgery Center in Santa Barbara) to make a consultation appointment (805-563-0000). I look forward to bringing out the best in your appearance now or any other time of the year.

Cosmetic Surgery Highlight: Body Contouring Liposuction in Santa Barbara

Have you exercised and eaten well all winter to look good for Spring and Summer but still have areas on your body that you are just not satisfied with? For some people, certain areas of the body and face are resistant to diet and exercise. You are not alone! The good news is that body contouring through liposuction is extremely effective to get rid of those unwanted bulges.

Liposuction is not a remedy for weight loss, instead it is very effective for spot reduction. At Cosmetic Surgery Center in Santa Barbara, Dr. Perkins often treats the abdomen, flanks (“love handles”), inner thighs, outer thighs (“saddle bags”), knees, arms, and the lower face/neck area. With liposuction by Dr. Perkins there is no need to worry about scars from the surgery. Incisions are small and hidden in natural creases such as the belly button and within the hair area and are normally closed with one or two stitches.
Our patients comfort level is one of our primary concerns during and after the surgery. Liposuction is done under a combination of oral and intravenous sedation that keeps the patient comfortable and unaware and does not leave them with a “hangover” that often occurs when general anesthesia is used.
For most people, pain is minimal after liposuction and can be controlled with over-the-counter medication. A person can return to work anywhere between two to seven days, depending upon how strenuous your job is.
Call Cosmetic Surgery Center at 805.563.0000 for a liposuction consultation with Dr. Perkins.

Liposuction May Benefit Health, Study Finds

People may opt for liposuction to better their aesthetic appearance, but recent findings show that they may also be improving their internal body. An article in the LA Times on Friday suggests that liposuction has additional benefits that may help to improve cardiovascular health.

Plastic surgeon Dr. Eric Swanson from Leawood, Kansas, conducted a study of 229 people that found that those who started out with triglycerides and had liposuction saw a 43% reduction in triglycerides three months after the liposuction procedure. Those who had normal levels saw no difference.
In addition to that, he also found that white blood cell counts fell 11% after liposuction. White blood cells are linked to inflammation in the body and associated with a higher risk of cardiovascular disease. It is unknown whether the lower triglyceride levels will remain. The article also noted that the reduction in triglyceride levels from liposuction is twice the reduction that people who are taking cholesterol-lowering medications usually get.
At Cosmetic Surgery Center in Santa Barbara we always stress that liposuction is not a weight loss procedure, but is a body sculpting procedure. Liposuction, with or without skin excision, can be done for those places in your body where stubborn fat persists, especially after a dedication to healthy eating and a steady exercise program.
Cosmetic surgeon Dr. Terry Perkins has been performing body-sculpting liposuction in Santa Barbara for many years and has refined the technique so that it can be done comfortably with local anesthesia plus sedation instead of under general anesthesia. This makes the recovery time for patients faster as they do not experience an anesthesia “hangover” the days following the procedure.

Male Plastic Surgery – FaceLifts, Liposuction – On The Rise

The latest news on plastic surgery is that in 2010 it was on the rise, with men! According to a recent Press Release on The American Society of Plastic Surgeons website, cosmetic surgery rose “2 percent in 2010 compared to 2009”. Two percent may sound like a small figure, until you read that 1.1 million men had minimally invasive and aesthetic surgical procedures done in 2010. Among those 1.1 million procedures, facelifts rose by 14 percent and liposuction increased by 7 percent. Top ten cosmetic procedures that saw an increase in 2010 were:

  1. Facelift (14 percent increase)
  2. Ear surgery (Otoplasty) (11 percent increase)
  3. Soft tissue dermal fillers (10 percent increase)
  4. Botulinum toxin Type A (Cosmetic Botox) (9 percent increase)
  5. Liposuction (7 percent increase)
  6. Breast reduction in men (6 percent increase)
  7. Eyelid surgery (4 percent increase)
  8. Dermabrasion (4 percent increase)
  9. Laser hair removal (4 percent increase)
  10. Laser treatment of leg veins (4 percent increase)

Santa Barbara cosmetic surgeon Dr. Terry Perkins has treated men and women over the years and is not surprised to see a rise in the number of men seeking cosmetic enhancements. With men and women living longer, more robust lives, Dr. Perkins understands that people want to look how they feel on the inside – vibrant and youthful. One of Dr. Perkins’ plastic surgical specialities is facial rejuvenation. Dr. Perkins’ goal is not about constructing a new face, instead he aims to give the person a natural, non-operated, restful look. Facial rejuvenation can vary, dependent upon what the person wants to address:

  • Facelifts mainly address skin laxity in the cheek and neck
  • Eye lid surgery (eye lifts) correct sagging skin and bulges around the eye area that often gives people an unhappy or tired appearance
  • Forehead lifts (or brow lifts) reposition the forehead and brow upward which helps to open up the eyes
  • Neck lifts re-contours the neck and chin area, helping to re-define facial features that have softened due to the extra skin and fat accumulation (often this surgery alone makes people look like they have lost weight)
  • Lip enhancement, which can be done with a fat graft or implant (and also on a more temporary basis with dermal fillers), adds volume and fullness

Dr. Perkins also performs body contouring through liposuction which can also be done in conjunction with skin removal (for those who have lost a significant amount of weight and are left with excess skin). Evolutions Medical Spa, a medical spa in Santa Barbara that is founded by Dr. Perkins, does non-invasive enhancements such as the anti-wrinkle treatments of Botox and Dysport as well as dermal fillers that temporarily add volume to the face by filling in lines and wrinkles. Evolutions’ newest treatment that may appeal to men (although it is for both men and women) is Laser Hair Restoration – a non-surgical hair restoration process that can stop hair loss and re-grow hair.
Let Dr. Perkins help you – men and women – look your best! For more information on Santa Barbara plastic surgery procedures, schedule a consultation with Dr. Perkins at his Cosmetic Surgery Center Santa Barbara near Cottage Hospital: 805-563-0000. For more information about non-invasive aesthetic procedures, call Evolutions Medical Spa Santa Barbara at 805-687-0212 or fill out this form to request a complimentary consultation.

January Surgical Highlight: Santa Barbara Liposuction for Stomach and Flanks (aka “Muffin Top” & “Saddlebags”)

Are you plagued by “muffin top” – the unwanted bulge over the waist band of your pants? Cosmetic surgeon Dr. Perkins can help you get rid of it through liposuction.

“Bulges” in the stomach and flanks can almost always be treated with liposuction. It is important to remove the fat evenly so that you are left with a uniform thin fat layer instead of the fat bulge. The small incisions are usually hidden in the navel, pubic hair or under the bikini line.

When skin removal is needed, a “mini tummy tuck” is often sufficient. This excision is done so the scar will lie at the upper edge of the pubic hair. It can be extended as far to the sides as is required to avoid a “dog ear” pooch of skin. If this is done, the abdominal muscles are usually sewn together in order to further flatten the lower abdomen. Skin removal is almost never necessary in the hips. Patients who are good candidates for this procedure are typically extremely happy with results.

Read more information on Liposuction and see more Before and After liposuction pictures of several of Dr. Perkins’ actual patients on the Cosmetic Surgery Center Santa Barbara website.

For a liposuction consultation with Dr. Perkins, call Cosmetic Surgery Center at 805.563.0000.