The truth about liposuction can be summed up in a single sentence: The procedure is an effective way to target pockets of fat in the body that are resistant to exercise and a healthy diet.
The myths about liposuction could fill paragraphs, however. Below, experienced Sacramento plastic surgeon Dr. Donald Hause addresses some of the common misconceptions, setting the record straight about this popular surgery.
Liposuction Is a Weight Management Tool
False. Liposuction is not a remedy for obesity, nor a substitute for a healthy lifestyle. In fact, it is important that you give diet and exercise a chance before you consider the procedure. Overweight patients should be within 20 pounds of recommended weight.
Liposuction is ideal for those areas of the body that seem immune to traditional lifestyle approaches. For example, a person may exercise regularly and lose weight through a balanced diet and still retain excess fat in the hips or thighs.
Some types of fat cannot be removed by liposuction. In many obese individuals, the abdominal fat that produces the unwanted overhanging belly profile surrounds internal organs. Because it is located below the muscle, it is not safe to remove this type of fat.
Liposuction Improves Skin Imperfections
Mostly false. If skin is already sagging or loose in a particular area, liposuction will not improve its appearance. Cellulite and stretch marks are also not likely to improve significantly, although there may be a slight smoothing of the area, depending on the firmness of your skin.
The elasticity of a patient’s skin is a key factor in how the skin will look after the procedure. If skin is elastic and muscle tone is good, the skin will conform well to the new body shape. With skin that has been stretched and is less elastic, folds of skin may be apparent after removal of fat.
A patient with realistic expectations will be pleased by the way the procedure can sculpt the body, restoring the attractive proportions of a fit and balanced profile.
Fat Will Return
True and false. If you change the behavior that led to obesity, you will not need to worry about those pockets of fat reinflating. The cells that were removed during liposuction are gone, and will never grow back. But if your weight begins to soar again, adjoining fat cells will expand to store the excess caloric intake. In this case, myth becomes reality. Regular exercise and eating nutritious foods in limited quantities are the best ways to preserve your new shape.
Liposuction Is Not the Only Option
True. Plastic surgery is a dynamic field, and new innovations continually expand the number of choices available to patients. When it comes to removing stubborn pockets of fat, there are several highly effective noninvasive alternatives, such as SculpSure, CoolSculpting, radiofrequency (RF) energy treatments and more. Some traditional surgical options may be appropriate as well, such as tummy tuck, mini tummy tuck or lipoabdominoplasty.
To learn more about liposuction and available alternatives, call Sacramento Aesthetic Surgery at (916) 646-6869 or send us an email to schedule a consultation.