Liposuction has always been a popular medical term when it comes to extreme fat reduction. The goal of liposuction is not weight loss, per se, but the rid of fat for a better body shape. Many people have tried it and the results are always impressive.
However, because liposuction is invasive and generally costly, many are hesitant to try it out. A proper consultation with a doctor is essential to address these hesitations. You can reach out to Dr. Bret Johnson, MD, a Cosmetic and Reconstructive Plastic Surgeon in Dallas, to discuss your liposuction options.
What is liposuction?
Liposuction is a safe but invasive medical procedure that uses the suction technique to get rid of stubborn fat in the body that does not go away with diet or exercise. Most people who undergo liposuction choose specific areas in the body for the procedure such as the abdomen, thighs, hips and buttocks, arms, neck, and even the back.
Because the procedure promises instant eradication of unwanted fat in the body, liposuction has grown its popularity over the years.
However, it is important to understand that liposuction is not just a simple fat-reduction procedure. It is a medical surgery that can only be done on a qualified candidate.
If you want to know if you are qualified to have liposuction, talk to your doctor for a proper assessment.
What to expect with liposuction?
Before considering liposuction, take some time to do research about the details of the procedure and how you can prepare for it.
Since liposuction is an invasive procedure, the doctor will place you under anesthesia for the entire procedure.
Depending on what suits you best (and the location of the liposuction), your doctor will recommend any of the following types of anesthesia:
- Local anesthesia
- Intravenous sedation
- General anesthesia
After the actual procedure and when the anesthesia wears off, you may feel discomfort and pain. You may also see some swelling and bruising in the area where the incisions and suctions were made.
Although you can technically go home after the procedure, you may still stay a little longer in the hospital or clinic depending on your doctor’s advice.
To minimize pain before the liposuction, talk to your doctor and ask for advice. They may give you instructions beforehand such as what medications you can take before the procedure.
Meanwhile, for pain relief after the liposuction procedure, you can do the following:
- Take any prescribed medications
- Wear recommended compression garments to reduce swelling
- Relax and refrain from strenuous activity
- Drink plenty of fluids
- Avoid salt which can trigger swelling
If you have concerns about pain management or the actual procedure itself, do not hesitate to consult your doctor. Not all liposuction procedures are the same, so your doctor will tell you everything you need to know about the process and what you can do to be more comfortable.
Is liposuction considered plastic surgery?
According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, plastic surgery refers to invasive procedures done that repair, reconstruct, or enhance physical features. Since liposuction is performed to get rid of stubborn fat and improve a person’s body shape, liposuction is considered plastic surgery. In fact, it is one of the top 5 most common plastic procedures in the United States alone.
How to Know if You Are a Good Candidate for Liposuction
Just because you’re not happy with your size does not mean you are automatically qualified for liposuction.
A good candidate for liposuction should be:
- Diet and exercise do not help with your fat loss goal
- Within 30 percent of their ideal weight
- Has good, elastic skin
- Has good muscle tone
- A non-smoker
- Has no underlying life-threatening disease
- Psychologically ready for the procedure
While you can consult the list above for the characteristics of a good candidate for liposuction, your doctor will still evaluate your health in person to make sure you are fit to undergo a liposuction procedure.
Benefits of Liposuction
Besides improving your physical appearance, there are other reasons why liposuction is beneficial for your health.
Reduce Inflammatory Cells
According to studies, liposuction can reduce your inflammatory cells, which are linked to cardiovascular diseases, by 11 percent.
Reduce Blood Fat Levels
Triglyceride and cholesterol levels are linked to serious illnesses such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, stroke, etc. So in a clinical study in 2011, the triglyceride and cholesterol levels of 322 liposuction patients were measured before and three months after the procedure, and it was found to reduce to 30 to 40 percent from their initial level.
A Healthier Lifestyle
The instant fat loss is enough motivation to maintain it. This means you are now more likely to live a healthier lifestyle.
Not only does your body shape look better after liposuction, but you’ll also feel better. When you achieve the shape or appearance you have always wanted, you gain that extra self-esteem that builds your confidence.
It is common for people with excess fat deposits to have trouble moving around. When the excess fat is removed from the body, you become lighter. This is good news for your joints such as your knees and hips that carry most of your body weight.
Being overweight can affect your libido. There are many factors why this is so. One of these is the effects on the level of globulin, a protein that binds to sex hormones. Abnormal levels of the protein could lead to a drop in testosterone which affects your sex drive. Liposuction helps manage this by taking off the excess fat that changes the balance of your hormones.
Prevention of Serious Health Problems
Being overweight or obese is linked to many serious health problems. Liposuction helps prevent any fat-related illnesses from progressing.
How safe is liposuction surgery?
With the advanced technology today, liposuction is safer than ever. However, there are hesitations when it comes to its safety in specific cases.
Is Liposuction Safe Before Pregnancy?
Liposuction is safe before pregnancy and does not affect fertility or your ability to conceive. Since liposuction procedures only target fat deposits, they cannot affect other parts of the body such as your reproductive system.
Is Liposuction Safe for Men?
Liposuction is not limited to one gender alone. Therefore, the procedure is safe for men as well. However, you must be cleared to have liposuction with your doctor first. Consult your doctor so they can assess your health and provide you with the best liposuction options.
Is Liposuction Safe For Obese People?
People who are qualified for liposuction should weigh within 30 percent of their ideal weight. This means liposuction may not be appropriate or safe for you if you are obese. Talk to your doctor for further advice.
Is Liposuction Safe For Diabetics?
Surgery may be dangerous for diabetics, but there can be exemptions when they meet certain conditions. For proper evaluation and advice, it is best to talk to your doctor first before considering liposuction.
What are the risks of liposuction?
Liposuction is an invasive surgery that can come with several risks. It is important to understand them all before undergoing a liposuction procedure.
Risks during surgery
Here are some risks involved during a liposuction procedure:
- Injuries or wounds to other organs during incision or suction
- Complications during the administration of anesthesia
- Equipment burns
- Nerve damage
Risks immediately after the procedure
Here are some risks involved after a liposuction procedure:
- Blood clot
- Fluid in the lungs
- Fat clot
- Hematoma (blood clot outside broken vessels)
- Seroma (leaking fluid under the skin)
- Necrosis (death of body tissue)
- Heart and kidney issues
Risks during recovery
Here are some risks involved while recovering from a liposuction procedure:
- Unpleasant body shape or contours
- Wavy or dimpled skin
- Numbness and bruising
- Difficulty with healing
How to Reduce the Risks of Liposuction
The best way to minimize the risks of liposuction is to consult your doctor before the procedure and ask questions about what you can do to speed up the recovery process.
Experienced plastic surgeons will provide instructions for a safer (and less painful) liposuction.
Does liposuction have side effects?
It is common to have swelling and bruising after liposuction.
Besides these, here are other side effects you may expect after the procedure:
- Temporary numbness
- Inflammation in the area
What are the long-term side effects of liposuction?
Other long-term side effects of liposuction may include:
- Uneven, bumpy skin
- Loss of skin elasticity
- Kidney and heart problems
Remember that while these side effects may occur, they are not always present in all cases.
If you are worried about the side effects of liposuction, consult with your plastic surgeon before anything else.
Preparing for liposuction
When body fat does not respond to diet and exercise, liposuction sounds like a great solution. However, although it is popular and perfectly safe and effective, not everyone is qualified to undergo liposuction.
To get a better understanding of your options, contact a plastic surgeon. Dr. Bret Johnson is a Cosmetic and Reconstructive Plastic Surgeon in Dallas and offers only the latest and best surgical techniques for the best liposuction results.
Last updated on November 17, 2022