The weight loss process can be very satisfying — very frustrating—and very often, a little of both.
While diet and exercise are always the number one recommendation, the fact is not all areas of fat will respond to diet and exercise. It is common for people to struggle with isolated areas of fat that won’t go away no matter what they do.
These “problem areas” can be disheartening and take the joy out of achieving weight loss milestones. For those struggling with problem areas, liposuction can be a great way to contour the body and remove the unwanted fat to finally achieve their best body.
Liposuction is well-known and popular for good reason. Patients can have almost any area of the body treated for excess fat, streamlining, slimming, and contouring the body. Liposuction is not a tool for weight loss, as the amount of fat removed during the surgery is relatively small. But the difference in the body’s aesthetics after the procedure can be significant. Most patients experience a boost in confidence and self-esteem afterwards.
There is an assortment of technology used in modern liposuction, and each doctor has his/her own preferences, tailoring each procedure to meet the individual patient’s needs. The latest methods produce excellent results while keeping discomfort low and recovery short.
A consultation with Dr. Sergio Alvarez or one of his hand-picked surgeons at mia Aesthetics is a must if you are considering liposuction. Besides giving your surgeon a chance to evaluate your candidacy and determine if liposuction is a good fit for you, consultations are your time to discuss your goals, ask your questions, get to know the surgeon, and figure out what your next step is. Your consultation is extremely valuable, so come prepared with specific questions and be open and honest with the doctor about your hopes and fears surrounding the procedure.
As with any cosmetic procedure, good candidates for liposuction are adults in good health. Ideal candidates have reached their goal weight but still struggle with stubborn pockets of fat. Liposuction candidates should not expect significant weight loss and need to understand the purpose and expected results of the procedure. Viewing a variety of before and after photos can help you develop realistic expectations. The consultation is a perfect opportunity to assess candidacy and address any questions about the procedure.
The type of anesthesia used will depend on the amount of fat being removed, the type of liposuction, and the patient’s preferences. Local anesthesia, sedation, and general anesthesia are all options, depending on the situation.
Once anesthesia is administered, extremely small incisions will be made in every area to be treated. There is no limit to the number of areas that can be treated at once, as long as the plastic surgeon is confident that it’s safe to treat multiple areas at a time. This is determined on a case-by-case basis.
In traditional tumescent liposuction, an anesthetic fluid is infused into the treated area to reduce trauma. A small hollow tube known as a cannula is then inserted into the incisions. This tube will loosen unwanted fat before it gets suctioned out through the cannula. The surgeon will carefully contour all the treated areas before completing the procedure.
After liposuction, mia Aesthetics will provide you with a compression garment you will wear for several weeks during recovery. The compression will guide your body into its new contours while reducing swelling at the same time.
Swelling, bruising, and discomfort are all normal after surgery. Depending on the extent of the procedure, the placement of temporary drains may be necessary, and any drains are usually removed 7-10 days later. Many patients can return to desk jobs within a week, but others may need more time to recover. Surgeon instructions should be followed as closely as possible to promote healing and reduce the risk of complications.
Choosing the Right Surgeon
If you are ready to move forward with liposuction, your next big decision is finding the right surgeon. You’ll want to consult with several experts before you make a decision. Besides technical skill and examples of excellent work, it is vital to choose a surgeon whom you feel you can trust—a surgeon who emphasizes safety and results while making you feel at ease. Consultations are the best way to get to know prospective surgeons and the best way for our surgeon to get to know you and your needs.
What are the most common areas of the body to be treated with liposuction?
The most obvious treatment areas for men and women alike are the stomach, hips, and thighs. However, other less common zones can be treated for unwanted fat as well. Areas such as the arms, back, breasts, knees, face, and calves can also benefit from liposuction. It all depends on what your needs are and what your surgeon recommends.
Can the fat come back after surgery?
The short answer is yes. While fat cells removed through liposuction are permanently destroyed, this does not mean you can’t regain weight again. Remaining fat cells can still expand, recreating an excess fat problem, though typically not in the same area. New fat typically crops up in a new, non-treated area. It’s important for liposuction patients to be dedicated to maintaining their results after surgery through diet and exercise to prevent this problem.
What are the risks of liposuction?
As with any surgery, there is some risk with liposuction, though they are small. Potential problems include bleeding, infection, anesthesia complications, irregular contour or pigment in the skin, damage to tissues, poor wound healing, and rippling skin. Your surgeon will go over the risks with you before surgery, and a skilled surgeon will be able to keep your risk for complications low, provided you follow all pre and post-operative care instructions as closely as possible.
Will liposuction leave scars?
Because the cannula used in the procedure is extremely small, the scars involved with the surgery are also small. Liposuction involves low risk for significant scarring, and most people who receive the treatment barely notice the incisions after a while.
What’s the difference between liposuction and “lift” procedures?
Procedures like the tummy tuck, arm lift, and thigh lift are very different from liposuction, though they are often combined with liposuction for comprehensive results. While liposuction is used to resolve unwanted fat, lift procedures tighten sagging skin, address contour, and sometimes even work with underlying muscle structures. Liposuction is excellent for removing fat deposits, but must be combined with a lift procedure to address sagging skin.