Too Much Turkey This Thanksgiving? Could Liposuction Be The Weight Loss Solution For You?

Liposuction continues to be one of the most popular procedures in plastic surgery with over 300,000 liposuction cases being done in 2018 Here are the top 5 most common questions I get asked about liposuction…
1- Who is an ideal candidate for liposuction?
The best candidates for liposuction are patients who are very close to their ideal weight but just have some trouble areas that do not respond to diet and exercise. Liposuction can be used to sculpt and shape those areas in order to give a nice contour. Liposuction is not a tool for weight loss so if somebody is overweight or has a very high body mass index (BMI) then liposuction may not be the right procedure for them. During a consultation for liposuction your surgeon will not only evaluate where you have excess pockets of fat but also look at the quality of the skin and the presence of stretch marks because traditional liposuction address takes care of excess fat but does not do much to tighten up the skin.
2- How long does the procedure take and how is it performed?
typically liposuction cases take about 1 to 2 hours to perform. The procedure can be done under local anesthesia or local anesthesia with sedation. There are many techniques of liposuction including traditional or power assisted liposuction which uses mechanical action to suction the fat. You also have laser liposuction and ultrasound liposuction which are other techniques that use ultrasound or light energy to loosen up or dissolve the fat cells before suctioning them out. All of these are very safe and effective in the hands of a board-certified plastic surgeon.
3- How long is the recovery and is it painful?
liposuction is not a very painful operation, typically patients say that it feels like the soreness after a very intense workout. There will be swelling and bruising after the procedure and your surgeon may recommend massaging or wearing a compression garment. Most patients are able to return to work after a couple of days but it should be about 3 to 4 weeks before you are able to resume strenuous physical activities like working out.
4- On what parts of the body can liposuction be performed?
liposuction can really be performed on any part of the body where you have a trouble area of fat that does not respond to diet or exercise. Common areas treated are the chin, the neck, the arms, the abdomen and love handles, the back and flanks, the thighs and saddle bags and other uncommon areas include the ankles and the upper back. The most important thing before deciding to undergo liposuction is to consult with a board-certified plastic surgeon who can go over all the options with you and go into detail about the risks, the benefits and the possible complications of the procedure.
5- Is liposuction a weight loss procedure. How much fat can be removed?
Liposuction is not a weight-loss procedure. It is a procedure design to sculpt and shape trouble spots. On average the amount of liposuction removed during the cases about 1000 to 2000 mL however up to 5000 mL can be removed if multiple areas are being treated. If a small area is being treated it can be done under local anesthesia but for larger volumes it is safest to have the surgery performed under general anesthesia or local anesthesia with sedation and always in a certified surgery center.
Author: Alain Polynice, MD the Breast and Body Specialist at The Williams Center