Let’s face it – excess fat is hard to get rid of. Whether you’re trying to eliminate the dreaded muffin top, love handles or bra fat, it all might seem like an uphill battle. But don’t despair – that’s what procedures like liposuction are for!
And this might prove to be the ideal spot fat reduction for you. Without any rigorous diets or excruciating workouts. However, you’re probably wondering – Is lipo right for me?
That’s what we’re going to answer in this article because there are a few things to consider before you commit to lipo!
Who Is A Good Candidate For Lipo?
Someone who isn’t too overweight but has an issue with stubborn fat in a particular part of his or her body. Or to be more specific, a good candidate for lipo is someone who:
- Is a non-smoker
- Is within 30% of his or her optimal weight
- Has elastic and firm skin with decent muscle tone
- Has a specific goal in mind related to body contouring
- Is healthy and doesn’t have any life-threatening conditions or illnesses
Apart from that, each person will have to undergo specific health tests prior to the procedure. This is done to make sure that the individual is indeed a good fit for lipo. There are a few additional recommendations that might also be taken into account:
- People who have anemia might have to take supplements that contain iron
- Those on anti-inflammatory pills or aspirin have to cease taking them, at least two weeks prior to the procedure
- Women who take contraceptives might be asked to discontinue them
Once you’ve been given the green light you’ll have to sign a consent form. Although you now know that you’re a good fit for liposuction, you’ll still have to go through this step. Signing a consent form means that you’re completely aware of all the benefits and risks associated with the procedure.
What Is Liposuction?
Liposuction is a cosmetic surgical procedure used for removing fat from specific body parts. Other names for this aesthetic procedure include lipo, lipoplasty, body contouring, liposculpture or suction-assisted lipectomy. The last one refers to the suction technique that’s used in lipo that literally sucks out the fat from the body.
This is also the most common cosmetic surgery done in the US. According to relevant data, 258,558 patients underwent liposuction in 2018. This marks a 5% increase in lipo procedures from 2017.
Why Do People Consider Liposuction?
The primary reason is body image concerns. People generally resort to lipo because of fat that just doesn’t seem to go away. This is mainly the so-called stubborn fat that patients can’t eliminate via exercise or diet alone.
And it’s not only overweight individuals who undergo this cosmetic procedure. Many people who have a normal weight also consider liposuction. Such patients generally have problems with areas with stubborn fat, which are unresponsive to traditional weight loss methods.
However, liposuction isn’t always used for aesthetic purposes only. Depending on the case, it can be alternatively used to treat particular conditions, including:
- Gynecomastia – A condition affecting men of all ages that makes the male breast tissue swell.
- Lipoma – Benign tumors consisting of fat tissue.
- Lymphedema – A chronic condition that results in the swelling of certain body parts, mainly the legs or arms.
Where Can You Get Liposuction?
Wondering which parts of your body might be suitable for lipo? Here are the most popular body areas that people choose when undergoing liposuction:
- Love handles
- Upper arms
- Abdomen (belly)
- Lower legs
All of these areas can benefit from lipo if you’re struggling with excessive fat. The caveat is that this procedure doesn’t treat cellulite. Lipo is just used for removing the excess body fat underneath the skin from certain areas.
How Many Types Of Liposuction Are There?
There are several different types of lipo used nowadays. Each of them offers a set of advantages and disadvantages, thus the best liposuction method might vary from patient to patient. Regardless, here are all the different liposuction variations:
- Tumescent liposuction (suction-assisted or SAL) – The most widespread type of lipo. It involves local anesthetics and other solutions pumped below the skin before sucking out the fat by using tiny suction tubes.
- Power-assisted liposuction (PAL) – Quite similar to suction-assisted lipo, but relying on a slightly different method for sucking out the fat. Power-assisted lipo relies on an electrical wand that vibrates thus breaking the fat tissues into tiny pieces so that it can be removed more easily.
- Ultrasound-assisted lipo (UAL) – This method utilizes an ultrasound-powered cannula to melt the fat cells. Once the ultrasound has done its job, the liquified fat is then suctioned out by using the suction-assisted technique. UAL is generally used in places where lipo has already been performed.
- Laserlipolysis (SmartLipo laser) – SmartLipo is an FDA-approved laser method that relies on a tiny cannula with a laser fiber attached to it. After inserted under the skin, the surgeon moves the cannula back and forth so that the laser may rupture the fat cells, making them easier to suction out. SmartLipo is a great complementary tool to traditional lipo and it’s best used on small body parts like the arms, face and neck.
- Low-level assisted liposuction (4L Erchonia) – This is a portable low-level laser that’s applied on the skin externally. By doing so, the red laser light penetrates the skin, thus liquefying the fat cells. There’s zero pain associated with this method and it can be also used after lipo to improve healing and reduce bruising.
- Dry liposuction – As the name suggests, the fat is sucked out without injecting any fluid beforehand. However, this technique is mostly obsolete these days as there are much better alternatives. The main disadvantage of dry lipo is that there’s an increased risk for patients of bleeding and bruising.
What Happens After The Lipo Procedure?
After your liposuction is over, you’ll most likely be sent home to rest and recover. But in some cases, you might have to spend the night in the medical center This depends on whether you received a general or local anesthetic and if there were any complications during the procedure. Nonetheless, here’s what to expect after lipo:
- Numbness – You might experience numbness in the targeted area. Expect it to improve in roughly 6 to 8 weeks.
- Bandages – The medical personnel might fit support bandages or even a support corset on the targeted area.
- Analgesics – You may be prescribed painkillers to ease the pain associated with the operation.
- Bruising – Don’t panic if there’s notable bruising in the treated area, that’s normal.
- Antibiotics – The doctor might prescribe you antibiotics right after the procedure if needed.
- Stitches removal – Your stitches will be removed by the surgeon sometime after the operation and this will happen in a follow-up appointment.
How Much Weight Can You Lose With Lipo?
Generally speaking, around 11 pounds although the exact number might vary. The reason for that is simple – plastic surgeons follow strict guidelines related to how much fat they can extract. Currently, the extraction limit is set to 5 liters of fat per patient, which equals to about 11 pounds.
Still, most patients can expect to lose anywhere from 1 to 11 pounds as a result of lipo. Depending on where you do your liposuction, the surgeon might take your BMI into account. BMI stands for one’s body mass index and it takes into account things like your weight and height.
How Long Does It Take To See Results From Liposuction?
Around 6 to 12 weeks for most patients following the surgical procedure. The results of lipo become evident immediately after the operation, thus you can see your new body shape right away. However, you will go through what’s known as postoperative swelling in the targeted area.
This swelling happens several days following liposuction and may last from 2 to 3 weeks. During this period you might also feel extra firmness and even tiny contour irregularities in the treated area. Generally speaking, all of this is to be expected.
Things such as using a compression garment or massage therapy might help here, but your surgeon will be able to give you advice for your specific situation. Just remember that how fast or slow the swelling subsides depends a lot on the liposuction method used and the particular approach to postoperative care.
How Dangerous Is Liposuction?
Liposuction is safe for the most part, although any surgical procedure carries a certain degree of risk. This is generally related to how big the surgery is and the surgeon’s particular set of skills and training. Most of the time, the risks are associated with infections, anesthesia side effects and bleeding.
Here are a few potential risks and complications associated with lipo:
- Infection – Getting a skin infection might be rare but there’s still a possibility of such infections occurring.
- Significant bruising – The targeted zone can stay quite bruised for a few weeks following the operation.
- Allergic reaction – There’s a chance that you might be allergic to any of the medications used, that’s why tests are conducted prior to the procedure.
- Fluid accumulation – Fluid might accumulate under the skin in the form of temporary pockets called seromas and sometimes these have to be drained (generally using just a needle).
- Numbness – Experiencing numbness in the targeted zone after the operation isn’t uncommon.
It’s also worth mentioning that there’s a study conducted by The New England journal of medicine and published in 1999 that focuses on the deaths related to liposuction. This particular research managed to identify 5 deaths associated with tumescent lipo among a total of 48,527 deaths that were referred to New York’s chief medical examiner office.
Eventually, researchers found that tumescent liposuction can indeed be fatal, although the mortality rate is nonsignificant. The reason for these 5 deaths, according to this study is most likely lidocaine toxicity or other drug interactions with lidocaine.
Looking For A Less Invasive, Nonsurgical Procedure To Eliminate The Unwanted Fat?
Then our state-of-the-art CoolSculpting nonsurgical procedure is exactly what you need! What it does is basically freeze fat, be it stubborn, unwanted or else. You can count on this method for dealing with small bulges that might do with a less-invasive option i.e. CoolSculpting.
This FDA-approved noninvasive fat removal procedure will literally freeze your fat. All in an effective, safe and easy fashion, according to data courtesy of The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery.
Looking for quality liposuction in Orange County done by board-certified plastic surgeons? Then don’t hesitate to give us a call at 888-744-1828 and our friendly team will tell you more!