Is Liposuction for You?
September 02, 2017
Submitted by Twin City Plastic Surgery
For some people, even those who are not overweight, healthy eating and regular exercise is not enough to get rid of those stubborn fat deposits on areas of the body such as the abdomen, thighs, and hips. So, more Americans each year are also using surgical options to smooth out those problem spots. According to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, liposuction is by far the most popular surgical procedure. As liposuction becomes more common, significant advancements have been made in technology and techniques, creating less invasive procedures with reduced recovery time, while also providing patients with effective body contouring results.
The basic technique of liposuction involves the removal of fat via a hollow metal tube (cannula) that is passed through the fatty tissue. One of the most common types of liposuction involves the aspiration of fat by attaching a pump that generates a vacuum. This procedure is known as suction-assisted liposuction (SAL). In addition, a motor may be used on the cannula that causes the cannula to vacillate back and forth, performing much of the “work” of liposuction, known as power-assisted liposuction (PAL). An ultrasonic generator may produce sound waves above audible frequency that “breaks” the fat cells while the broken-down fat is removed by SAL. A laser can also be employed to break down the fat cells. Each of the methods has advantages and disadvantages, and techniques may be combined to yield optimal results. A board-certified plastic surgeon will recommend the appropriate technique for your individual situation.
Am I a good candidate for liposuction?
People often do not understand that liposuction can only be used for removing stubborn fat pockets on otherwise healthy individuals within their specific BMI range. It is not an alternative to weight loss from diet and exercise. It may be considered to treat areas of excess fat that are out of proportion with the rest of your body and do not go away with diet and exercise — so called “diet-resistant fat.” All told, liposuction will help you to fit better in the jeans you currently wear, but it doesn't help you drop pant sizes. Liposuction is equally effective in both men and women. Most common areas treated include the stomach, buttocks, hips, “love handles,” “saddlebags,” thighs, calves, ankles, breasts (including male breast enlargement), back, arms, and neck. Areas should have good elasticity and minimal amounts of excess skin, because liposuction removes fat, not skin.
There are non-surgical alternatives to liposuction, like CoolSculpting and Smartlipo, but as is the case with the traditional approach, a good candidate needs to be within their ideal BMI range without areas of loose or excess skin. Most plastic surgeons, including those with Twin City Plastic Surgery, will tell you that traditional liposuction provides the best results for the long-term removal of fat cells and, in the long run, will likely cost less than the non-surgical options available out there, but at the end of the day, researching each procedure and consulting with a board-certified plastic surgeon to answer all of your questions is the best first step to determine which option may be best for you and your body.
Most patients are extremely happy with the improvement in body contour from liposuction surgery. The results are permanent, but may be affected by weight gain, aging, pregnancy, and lifestyle factors. The healing process is gradual, so you should expect to wait several months to get an accurate picture of the results from your surgery. The small incisions used for access of the instrument will fade over time, becoming barely visible.
Your personal consultation
During the initial consultation, you may be asked to look in a mirror and point out exactly what you would like to see improved. This will help your plastic surgeon to understand your expectations and determine whether they can realistically be achieved. Your physician will discuss your ideal weight, realistic weight, any plans for future pregnancies, and determine the elasticity of your skin.
Liposuction is usually performed on an outpatient basis, and you will usually be able to resume most of your normal activities within 10 days or less. Significant complications are rare, however, your surgeon will explain the procedure in detail and answer any questions you might have.
Board-certified plastic surgeons Laura C. Randolph, Chad Tattini, and Paige Holt, along with their professional and compassionate staff, comprise Twin City Plastic Surgery. Their Bloomington office is located at 2502 East Empire Street, Suite C, which is one mile east of Veterans Parkway, turning on to Audie Murphy Drive. More information on their practice, surgical options, and their consultation services is available by calling their office at 309-662-6772 or visiting online at www.twincityplasticsurgery.com.
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