10 Common Liposuction Myths

With more than 400,000 surgeries performed each year, liposuction remains one of the most performed cosmetic procedures in the United States.

When performed by a board-certified plastic surgeon, liposuction is an effective and safe procedure. As with any medical procedure, it’s important to do your homework, research surgeons in your area who frequently perform liposuction, and ask lots of questions.

As a plastic surgery center, The Williams Center for Surgery has patients often ask questions about whether liposuction is a weight-loss procedure, who the ideal candidates for liposuction are, and more.

Even with its popularity, there are many misconceptions about what liposuction is and its capabilities.

Myth #1. Liposuction is a Weight Loss Procedure

Liposuction is an ideal procedure to shape and sculpt trouble spots like your midsection, thighs, and buttocks.

Patients can lose an average of 3 to 5 pounds with liposuction, since the fat is being removed. But it is not a long-term weight loss solution.

The ideal candidate for weight loss is very close to their ideal body weight but has areas of their body they wish to be more sculpted or slimmer, like love handles or saddle bags.

When these trouble spots don’t respond to diet and exercise, liposuction surgery can yield amazing, natural results.

Myth #2. Liposuction is Just for Young People

Age is not a factor of who is a good candidate for liposuction, but quality of the skin is.

Liposuction is ideal for shaping fat, but it doesn’t address loose skin. If there is a significant amount of loose skin, liposuction can actually make that worse.

Loose skin can be a result of many things, including aging and rapid weight loss.

As we age, we lose some of our tissue elasticity, which can change the skin’s ability to tighten over the new shape.

Myth #3. Liposuction Can Only Be Done Under General Anesthesia

The type of anesthesia used during liposuction surgery depends on the amount and extent of the planned procedure.

If only a small area (upper arms, inner thighs, etc.) needs to be treated, this procedure can be performed safely under local anesthesia alone.

If numerous areas need to be sculpted, patients would be most comfortable using deep sedation or general anesthesia.

Myth #4. Only Women Get Liposuction

Contrary to the popular belief that only women get liposuction, the procedure is quickly becoming more popular amongst men.

Liposuction was actually one of the most popular cosmetic surgeries for men in 2019. Men commonly undergo liposuction of the abdomen to create more-defined abdominal muscles and remove love handles.

Myth #5. After Liposuction, Fat Grows Back

Some people believe that when patients undergo liposuction, the fat will return in a few years.

Once a fat cell is removed with liposuction, it does not grow back. If patients maintain their body weight, their results will be natural and long-lasting.

If patients gain a significant amount of weight after liposuction, the areas of the body where liposuction was not performed would attract that fat.

But, in the areas where liposuction is performed, fat cells don’t magically grow back.

Myth #6. You Can Go to Work Right After Liposuction

Liposuction is a very safe and common outpatient procedure, but it is still a surgery.

It can sometimes result in soreness, bruising, pain, and swelling, so it’s important to take up to a week off from work.

In addition to staying home, strenuous activities should be avoided for a week after surgery.

The recovery time greatly depends on the invasiveness of the liposuction procedure. For smaller liposuction procedures that are performed under local anesthesia, there can be very minimal pain, discomfort, and bruising.

In these cases, patients can return to work within a day or two.

Myth #7. Any Surgeon Can Perform Liposuction

Liposuction surgery is a very high-demand procedure, and physicians with many different specialties have begun to offer this surgery.

As with any cosmetic surgery, it’s important to do your homework and research plastic surgeons who are board-certified and specialize in liposuction.

Myth #8. Liposuction is a Dangerous Surgery

Liposuction is a very safe procedure when performed by an experienced, board-certified plastic surgeon.

When patients follow the post-operative instructions, they have a smooth recovery and fantastic, natural results.

Myth #9. Liposuction Will Give Every Patient a Flat Stomach

Some see liposuction as the answer to all stomach fat problems.

There are two main areas of fat in the abdomen: the subcutaneous fat layer and the intra-abdominal fat.

The subcutaneous fat layer is the fat under the skin, and the intra-abdominal fat, also called visceral fat, is inside of the stomach surrounding the organs.

Liposuction can only target and shape fat under the skin — the subcutaneous fat.

If a patient has a lot of visceral fat, having liposuction might not have a large impact on the shape and contour of the stomach.

Visceral fat specifically can only be reduced with diet changes and weight loss.

During the plastic surgery consultation, patients can find out which kind of fat they are looking to remove.

Myth #10. Liposuction Removes Cellulite & Stretch Marks

Cellulite is caused by the tethering of small superficial bands under the skin, causing irregularities in the fat layer. These irregularities cause dimpling and stretch marks, which are essentially deep dermal scars caused by rapid, over stretching of the skin.

Unfortunately, liposuction does not have a direct effect on either of these two conditions.

Schedule a Consultation for Liposuction Surgery

For a surgical solution to improve body contours of the thighs, stomach, arms, and more, schedule a consultation with board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Alain Polynice today.