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1. Liposuction Is for Shaping, Not for Weight Loss
A common misperception about liposuction is that it’s a way to “get skinny.” So, if you’re considering liposuction as a way to resolve a weight issue, unfortunately, it just doesn’t work that way. When you gain weight, the extra fat tends to spread throughout your body. Liposuction targets specific problem areas, such as love handles or a belly bulge, but it cannot effectively treat the whole body. There’s also a limit to how much fat can be safely removed at one time.
Bottom Line: Instead of thinking of liposuction as a way to lose weight, think of it as a powerful shape-changing tool that can help bring a problem area into harmony with the rest of your body. Also, remember that fat can come back, so it’s important to adopt healthy lifestyle habits to get and maintain the best results.
2. Patients Who Are at a Healthy Weight Get the Best Results
This ties in to our first point: Liposuction will give you the best results if you’re already at a healthy weight. If you get liposuction when you’re heavier than you’d like to be, your results will not be as dramatic. Studies show that patients who are happiest with the results of their body-contouring surgeries are those who have made a commitment to healthy eating and exercise prior to the procedure.
If you’re thinking liposuction will motivate you to lose weight and get you into shape, we’re sorry to tell you that usually the opposite occurs — these patients see an improvement in their appearance and wind up feeling LESS motivated to work on getting in shape.
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3. The Type of Liposuction Tool Used Is a Decision Best Left to Your Surgeon
There are several “types” of liposuction tools out there. Suction Assisted Lipectomy (SAL) uses narrow tubes that are smooth on the ends to “suck out” the fat. Power Assisted Liposuction (PAL) tools are often used in areas where the fat is more firm or dense, like on the back. PAL tools use vibration, lasers or fluid to help break up and remove the fat.
Of course, all these tools are made by companies. And no surprise here — companies advertise their products. But don’t be pulled in by fancy advertising. All liposuction tools can work very well in the hands of a well-trained surgeon who is experienced in their use. So, your job is to choose a qualified surgeon who can guide you in which technique will be best for you.
It is important to avoid being sedentary early on during recovery. Comfortable walking will help reduce the risk of blood clots, a complication that can occur after any surgery. It will also help you to feel better and more “normal” after the procedure. You should not become a “couch-potatoe” after the procedure, but strenuous exercise also must be avoided for 4 weeks. With less fat after liposuction, many patients tend to see results from exercise more quickly, and this motivates them to continue with a healthier lifestyle. Looking better helps to make it easier and more fun to exercise.
5. Where does all the fat go?
There are certain scenarios where your plastic surgeon may be able to transplant fat removed from one body area to another, maybe as a face filler or buttock enhancer.
6. People who suffer from an edema (swelling) condition throughout their body, due to certain lymph fluids collecting in the tissues of their extremities, can undergo liposuction to rid the problem.
7. Extensive surgery requires general anesthesia, which places the patient into a state of unconsciousness, but smaller procedures only require a local anesthesia, which leaves the patient awake. Patients could even be asked to stand up during the procedure.
8. Dry liposuction is not frequently used today. The more common procedures include injecting fluid into the treatment area. Your doctor will determine the amount of saline, anesthetic and adrenaline fluids to be used. Super-wet lipo is when the amount of injected liquid and fat removed is about the same. Wet lipo is when the fluid is less than the amount of fat. Tumescent lipo, which is probably the most popular choice, is when there is more liquid injected than the amount of fat being removed.
9. Although you should anticipate some post-surgery pain, it's not excruciating. Many describe the treated spots as feeling like a bad bruise.
10. As time and technology progress, patients can expect better results, including less risk, for liposuction and other plastic surgery procedures. The most recent innovation is the use of ultrasound to melt the fat on contact, which makes it easier to suction out. This method happens to work better on males because they tend to have more muscle.
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