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What is Liposuction

Liposuction is a method used in the practice of plastic surgery- often cosmetic in nature- which removes fat deposits in the body in order to shape and sculpt the figure of that body.

Uses for Liposuction

While there are many uses for liposuction- reconstructive surgery, fat grafts, resolving certain childhood diseases- but by far the most common is for aesthetic surgery. Cosmetic uses of liposuction are the reason for more than 90% of annual procedures.

How you prepare

Preparing for liposuction is an important process, and shouldn’t be trivialized. The most important measures to take are dietary and chemically.

Food and Medications

Avoiding a salty diet is crucial to proper liposuction preparation. Eating lots of proteins and avoiding fatty foods is also recommended. If you feel medication is necessary, talk to your physician well in advance of the procedure.

Other Precautions

Beyond just food and medications, you should also stop allowing toxins into your body. Avoid smoking or polluted air. You should also avoid anti-inflammatory drugs and other blood-thinners, like aspirin.

Who is the ideal candidate

The perfect person to seek out liposuction treatment is an adult (18+) who has firm, elastic skin, and who has a developed and healthy muscle tone.

How is it performed

Liposuction is a relatively simple procedure. The patient is given a local anesthetic, and then a cannula is inserted into the fat of the procedure’s targeted area, and the fat is removed through the tube in the cannula.

Pros

The liposuction procedure has plenty of benefits to offer patients who choose to undergo the procedure.

Better Appearance

The most apparent and commonly noted benefit to liposuction is the improved physical appearance- it removes excess fat, and causes the body to appear more toned and regular.

Increased Confidence

The improvement in appearance is directly linked, of course, to a rise in the patient’s confidence and mood, making them a happier and more self-assured person.

Treating Conditions

Liposuction is used in the treatment of many common health afflictions which the procedure can be used to remedy.

Lymphedema

Lymphedema is an irregular swelling in the limbs, most typically in the legs, but also found in the arms. This is caused by the damage or removal of the lymph nodes, but it’s mostly fat and can, therefore, be treated with liposuction in many if not most cases.

Gynecomastia

When males have too high of an estrogen level for one reason or another, they sometimes develop gynecomastia, a condition that can cause fat deposits in male breasts. This fat can be removed with liposuction.

Extreme weight loss after obesity

Once obesity has been reduced or cured using regular diet and exercise, much of the excess fat is left as a large flab. Liposuction can remove this excess fat- though it should be noted that liposuction is not a cure for obesity.

Lipomas

These benign lumps of fat sometimes develop under the skin. While benign, they can cause mild pain and irritation, and the best method for treating them is with a liposuction procedure.

Lipodystrophy Syndrome

This disorder displaces fat in the body, removing it from the face and limbs and redistributes it to the abdomen, breasts, and neck. Liposuction can remove the misplaced fat.

Reducing the risk of cardiovascular problems

Built up fat can block the necessary arterial pathways that deliver oxygen across your body. Removing this fat with liposuction reduces your risk of cardiovascular failures and other heart-related issues in the future.

Within 2 years, most individuals lose ⅔ of their extra weight

While liposuction can remove lots of fat (up to 11 pounds) from your body, it must be accompanied by regular exercise and a proper diet. Luckily, many who go through with the procedure realize this, and most individuals who go through with the procedure lose two-thirds of their excess weight in the 2 years following the procedure.

Diseases associated with obesity often improve.

Because the procedure is literally removing fat, diseases like osteoarthritis and high blood pressure are often improved by the liposuction procedure.

Quick results

Thanks to the simple and straightforward nature of liposuction, you’ll begin to see results extremely quickly- inside of two months following the procedure.

Generally safe procedure

Liposuction, the only side effects being little nausea, some soreness, and low blood pressure, is a pretty safe procedure, especially compared to other weight loss methods that involve surgical medicine.

Sculpt body parts that exercise and diet can’t impact

There are some parts of the body that diet and exercise just won’t be able to reach- especially because targeting fat loss in a particular body part is almost impossible with traditional exercise. Liposuction can remedy that.

Long-Lasting Results

Liposuction is semi-permanent and will have results that last until the end of the patient’s life, meaning that the weight that’s lost is something you don’t need to worry about coming back with the proper diet and exercise.

Minimally invasive

The procedure doesn’t breach the body more than is necessary. The cannula only affects the targeted area and the targeted area alone.

Eliminates Cellulite

While liposuction can’t entirely remove cellulite from the body, it speeds the process along a fair bit and can be used to make it almost nonexistent.

Weight loss leads to increased career success

Studies done in the past half-decade have shown that weight loss can increase to increased success and wealth in your career path, likely due to the increased self-confidence from the procedure.

Smaller scars

Open body contouring is slightly more direct but can leave not insubstantial scarring on the body. Scars left by liposuction are small and barely noticeable.

Clothes fit better, the body is slimmer

After having fat removed, your clothes will fit better, and your body will appear far slimmer than before. Having clothes that feel like a second skin is well worth the procedure.

Fast Recovery Time

Unlike other surgical methods of weight loss, liposuction has a swift recovery period- only 2-6 weeks- which can have you back on your feet and leading an active lifestyle in no time.

Cons

Of course, no one procedure is a magic pill for weight loss, and liposuction has its fair share of drawbacks like anything else.

Risks

While there are rarely any real medical complications that can occur from the liposuction procedure, it doesn’t mean that they can’t happen at all.

Severe bruising

Patients with thin blood or other arterial complications can receive severe bruising from the procedure. It is advised patients avoid aspirin or other blood thinners before the operation.

Inflammation

Some inflammation and irritation can occur in the areas where the cannula is inserted. This will heal itself eventually. If it persists, see a physician.

Thrombophlebitis

Sometimes the procedure can produce thrombophlebitis, a blood clot that can block one (or more) veins. These should be treated immediately.

Contour irregularities

If done improperly, the procedure can sometimes produce contour irregularities, when one area has more fat than another. See the practitioner for more information.

Numbness

Problems with the anesthetic or slight damage to the nerves during the procedure can sometimes result in numbness. Speak to your physician if this happens to you.

Infections

Improper treatment of the affected area after the cannula is removed can result in infections. Treat these at a local medical center as soon as possible after discovery.

Internal organ punctures

Incompetence during the procedure can result in the puncturing of an internal organ. This is a serious medical emergency and should be treated immediately.

Death

A few of the complications that have been mentioned can cause death if left untreated. Try to avoid this.

Kidney or Heart Problems

The liposuction procedure can result in complications of the kidney or heart, especially if the patient has pre-existing conditions affecting those areas. If you have pre-existing conditions affecting the heart or kidneys, let your physician know before the procedure.

Pulmonary Embolism

Just as blood clots can appear in the veins from the procedure, so too can they appear in the arteries around the lungs. These should be treated immediately if found.

Pulmonary Edema

In very particular circumstances, the procedure can cause fluid to enter the lungs. This is called Pulmonary Edema and must be treated immediately.

Allergic reaction

People can sometimes have an allergic reaction to the materials used in the procedure. Clear all of your allergies with your physician before you commence the procedure.

Skin Burns

Skin burns are an occasional risk during liposuction procedures. Be sure to treat skin burns when they appear.

Insurance rarely covers it

Due to the cosmetic nature of the Liposuction procedure, it’s rarely, if ever, covered by most major medical insurance providers, so the vast majority of cases have to pay out of pocket.

Can be expensive

Liposuction can be expensive, though it operates on a case by case basis- though it can reach upwards of $1,800.

Results can be affected by weight gain, aging, and pregnancy

The results that come from liposuction are not permanent and can be affected by common fat-producing natural processes, like again, weight gain, and pregnancy.

Not meant to improve the look of cellulite or loose skin

While a change in the appearance of cellulite and loose skin sometimes results as a side effect of liposuction, this isn’t the express purpose of the procedure, and shouldn’t be an assumption of the patient.

You may need to lose weight to be a better candidate

There comes a point where too much weight can be dangerous to have in a liposuction procedure, so it may be necessary for the patient to lose weight in order to go through with the procedure.

Liposuction is not a weight loss surgery

Liposuction removes fat from the body but isn’t necessarily intended as a weight loss surgery, and this shouldn’t be a given result of the procedure as assumed by the patient.

If improperly performed, it can result in deformation of the skin

Sometimes people who are incompetent or otherwise incapable of properly applying the procedure perform it anyway, and this can result in improper performance of the liposuction procedure. This can have several adverse effects, but the most common is the deformation of the skin.

There will be some scarring

Because an incision is necessary for the proper steps of the procedure, a little bit of scarring is inevitable, despite how small those scars may be.

Stitches need to be removed after a week

In closed-drainage liposuction surgeries, the stitches will need to be removed a week after the surgery, along with the usual follow up checkups.

Alternatives to Liposuction

While the best method of weight loss is simply proper exercise and dieting, there are also alternative methods of medically-induced fat reduction.

Endermologie

A non-surgical method of massaging away cellulite, Endermologie is a method of removing cellulite that requires a trained massage therapist to use a special tool to massage the body into a different form.

Mesotherapy

Mesotherapy is a method of fat and cellulite control that uses an injection of vitamins, enzymes, and hormones.

Cryolipolysis

This method of fat control and removal literally freezes the fat off of the body using extremely low temperatures in order to permanently remove fat cells from the body.

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