Liposuction surgically removes excess fat from specific parts of your body using a suction technique. Also known as lipoplasty or lipo, this cosmetic procedure contours desired areas to help you achieve improved body shape and proportion.
Despite eating right and exercising, you may find that there are certain areas of unwanted fat that just won’t disappear. Liposuction can help eliminate stubborn fat that commonly occurs in areas such as:
- Abdomen and waistline
- Cheeks, chin, and neck
- Calves and ankles
- Hips and thighs
- Upper arms
However, liposuction isn’t intended to achieve substantial weight loss. Liposuction may improve how you look, but it takes healthy habits to improve how you feel. It doesn’t treat obesity, and it can’t replace a proper diet and regular exercise. Cellulite or loose skin also can’t be treated with liposuction.
Is Liposuction Right for You?
Liposuction isn’t a weight loss method and is best for patients with a healthy, stable body weight. You may benefit from liposuction if you’re generally content with your appearance but are bothered by the presence of fat pockets in certain areas of your body. It’s extremely important for patients to have realistic expectations, since not everyone can achieve the best results and benefit from this procedure.
Typically, patients who experience positive outcomes:
- Are within a very close range of their ideal body weight
- Have firm and elastic skin
- Want to eliminate stubborn fat in certain problem areas
- Are healthy and don’t have a life-threatening illness or medical conditions that hinder the ability to heal
- Can set realistic goals and maintain a positive and healthy outlook
When to Consider Alternatives
Liposuction isn’t advisable for patients with serious health problems or medical conditions that may increase risk of complications during surgery or lower the ability to recover, such as:
- Chronic uncontrolled health conditions (such as diabetes or high blood pressure)
- Weakened immune system
- Heart disease
- Kidney disease
- Lung disease
You should also consider alternatives if you aren’t at your ideal body weight or if you have excess skin in the areas of concern.
Your Plastic Surgery Consultation
An experienced, board-certified Kelsey-Seybold plastic surgeon can help you determine if liposuction is right for you. Regardless of your decision, you’ll consult with your plastic surgeon before a liposuction procedure to discuss what you want to achieve and any concerns about liposuction surgery and recovery – including illnesses, health conditions, medications, and other risk factors that may increase any chances of complications.
Even if liposuction isn’t for you, your plastic surgeon can discuss other options and alternative ways to achieve your goals. Our plastic surgeons specialize in a number of body enhancement procedures.
Before committing to any decision, it’s best to learn and contemplate the potential risks as well as the benefits. Although liposuction generally has a high success rate, skin discoloration, contour irregularities, or infection may occur in some cases. The risk of developing skin irregularities can be significantly reduced depending on the expertise of the surgeon, tissue quality, and being conservative on the amount of fat removal.
Recovery and Results
Liposuction is typically performed as an outpatient procedure. Generally, patients recover relatively quickly, are able to return to work in days, and can resume normal activities within a couple of weeks. It’s important to follow any aftercare instructions from your plastic surgeon for proper healing and best results.