Understanding Liposuction: How To Make It Safe, Effective and Long-Lasting
Liposuction was first introduced to plastic surgery by the French surgeon Dr. Yves-Gerard Illouz in 1982, providing a new option for individuals who wanted to get rid of unsightly love handles or that extra pooch. After three decades of use, liposuction remains one of the most popular procedures performed by plastic surgeons, accounting for over 300,000 cosmetic surgeries in 2011, more than any other cosmetic procedure. The safety, and longevity of liposuction depend on knowing the facts and figures before undergoing the procedure. Here are the most frequently asked questions that will help you decide if liposuction is right for you:
1. Who is a good candidate for liposuction?
American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, the best candidates for liposuction are patients with isolated areas of fat that are (1) out of proportion with adjacent areas and (2) don’t go away with diet and exercise. “Love handles” and “saddle bags” are common areas of concern. Since liposuction removes only fat and not skin, other areas considered for liposuction (e.g. “belly”) should have good skin tone and minimal excess skin.
2. What kind of liposuction is best?
There have been many modifications in liposuction equipment over the years. All are variations on the theme of a metal tube being placed in the area of concern and a vacuum pump aspirating the unwanted fat. This is referred to as “suction assisted liposuction.” Various adjuncts have been added to this basic construct to improve results. These include, for example, technology to break the fat away (ultrasound) or melt it (laser). These newer technologies introduce additional variables into the procedure and therefore can have the potential for more complications. A board certified plastic surgeon can help you determine which approach is right for your specific body type and needs.
3. Is liposuction safe?
Yes, if performed by a well-trained physician competent in evaluation, judgment and surgical technique. Plastic surgeons certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery go through prolonged specific training, examinations, and requirements for recertification to avoid complications and make cosmetic surgery safe. All members of both the American Society of Plastic Surgeons and the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery must be certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery to be considered for membership. A fundamental theme of the educational efforts of both of these societies remains patient safety.
4. Are the effects of liposuction permanent?
It all depends on the patient and their actions after surgery. Liposuction removes fat cells in the area of the procedure and they are gone forever. However, if the patient takes in more calories than they burn, those extra calories are stored as fat. The remaining fat cells enlarge both the cells remaining in the area and cells in other parts of the body. The only way to maintain the effects of liposuction is to burn the same amount of calories as you take in. In any patient, with or without liposuction, extra calories get stored as fat.
To learn more about liposuction and if it is right for you, contact Shapiro Aesthetic Plastic Surgery.