Addressing the Top 10 Concerns with Liposuction: Dr Levesque gives the details!
Liposuction remains one of the most popular cosmetic procedures worldwide, offering individuals a way to sculpt their bodies and achieve their desired contours. However, despite its widespread popularity, many potential patients harbor concerns and questions about the procedure. In this blog post, we will cover ten most common concerns associated with liposuction, providing insight, clarification, and guidance to help individuals make informed decisions about this transformative surgery.
1. Safety and Risks:
Safety is paramount in any surgical procedure, and liposuction is no exception. While liposuction is generally safe when performed by a qualified and experienced plastic surgeon, like any surgical procedure, it carries inherent risks. These risks may include infection, bleeding, adverse reaction to anesthesia, and asymmetry. However, with proper patient selection, meticulous surgical technique, and adherence to postoperative instructions, the risks associated with liposuction can be minimized. Depending on under what setting liposuction is performed and the amount injected (tumescent) and fat removed (aspirate) there may be limits to the amount of volume removed in an outpatient setting versus inpatient. Many surgeons will stick to a less than 5 Liter of aspiration for outpatient liposuction but this can vary between surgeon and state. Also liposuction is combined with other procedures routinely and this needs to be taken into account as complications of all kinds increased steeply with longer procedures.
2. Recovery Time:
One of the common concerns with liposuction is the associated downtime and recovery period. While recovery experiences may vary from patient to patient, most individuals can expect some degree of swelling, bruising, and discomfort following the procedure. However, advancements in techniques and technology have led to shorter recovery times compared to traditional liposuction methods. Patients are typically advised to take it easy for the first few days post-surgery and gradually resume normal activities as tolerated.
Another concern for prospective liposuction patients is the potential for visible scarring. Fortunately, liposuction incisions are typically small and strategically placed in inconspicuous areas, minimizing the risk of noticeable scarring. Modern techniques such as Vaser (Ultrasound) assisted liposuction incorporate skin ports to protect the incisions from heat and friction so that scarring is minimized. Additionally post procedure treatments such as topical silicone, micro needling, intense pulsed light, and Kenalog or 5 fluorouracil injections to thick scars can help. Scarring can also be significant in the connective tissue layer from the abdominal musculature to the skin leading to irregularities. This can be prevented by attention to good technique, not overusing energy devices such as Vaser, Laser, or Plasma energy in addition to postoperative garments and massage.
4. Skin Irregularities:
Some individuals worry about the possibility of skin irregularities or contour deformities following liposuction. While skilled plastic surgeons strive for smooth and even results, factors such as skin elasticity and pre-existing irregularities may impact the final outcome. Patients can minimize this risk by selecting a board-certified plastic surgeon with extensive experience in liposuction and realistic expectations about the procedure's limitations. The more aggressive the liposuction the more likely for there to be some irregularities and care must be taken when treating the superficial fat layer in particular. However to get truly remarkable high definition results typically your surgeon will need to work in this area. Additional training and experience of the surgeon can maximize the chance to avoid significant skin and contour irregularities.
5. Weight Gain:
A common misconception about liposuction is that it is a weight-loss solution. In reality, liposuction is best suited for individuals who are close to their ideal weight but have localized pockets of stubborn fat that are resistant to diet and exercise. A patient that is significantly overweight such as 30-40 lbs above their ideal weight can certainly have liposuction but if a liter of fat is roughly about 2 lbs we quickly see that it would not be practical to achieve significant weight loss safely through liposuction.
Liposuction removes fat cells permanently from specific areas of the body, but it does not prevent future weight gain. To maintain the results of liposuction, patients are encouraged to adopt a healthy lifestyle, including regular exercise and a balanced diet. Liposuction is really about body proportions and should a patient increase or decrease their body weight in the future ideally the remaining body fat will increase or decrease their size in a proportional weight. It is a common myth that after liposuction that a patient can not gain weight. Weight gain can happen if the amount of calories consumed is larger than that expended with no exceptions to this rule.
6. Skin Tightening:
Another concern is whether liposuction can address skin laxity or sagging. While liposuction can improve body contours by removing excess fat, it does not directly tighten loose skin. Using Vaser (ultrasound), Laser, or plasma (renuvion) energies can heat the connective tissues in an around the fat that connect the skin to the muscle resulting in shrinkage. There are limitations to these technique that are multifactorial such as patient age, ethnicity, history of weight fluctuations.
In cases where significant skin laxity is present, additional procedures such as a tummy tuck or body lift may be recommended to achieve optimal results. However, advancements in technology, such as laser-assisted liposuction, ultrasound assisted liposuction, or radiofrequency may promote some degree of skin tightening as a secondary benefit.
7. Longevity of Results:
Prospective liposuction patients often inquire about the longevity of results and whether fat cells can return to treated areas. While liposuction permanently removes fat cells from targeted areas, it does not prevent the remaining fat cells from expanding if significant weight gain occurs. To maintain long-term results, patients are advised to maintain a stable weight through healthy lifestyle habits.
8. Pain and Discomfort:
The prospect of pain and discomfort during and after liposuction is a valid concern for many individuals. While some discomfort is to be expected following the procedure, advancements in anesthesia techniques and pain management protocols have significantly improved patient comfort during liposuction. Following early recovery protocols after surgery has changed the postoperative pain experienced by patients my a significant amount. It is rare for aggressive liposuction patient to need more than a few days of narcotic strength pain medications. Patients do however experience pain differently and we are practiced in the use of alternatives to narcotics such as muscle relaxers, neuropathic pain medications such as neurontin (gabapentin), anti inflammatories, and even Tylenol.
Cost is a common consideration for individuals contemplating liposuction. The total cost of liposuction may vary depending on factors such as the extent of treatment, the surgeon's experience, facility fees, and geographic location. While liposuction is an elective cosmetic procedure not typically covered by insurance, many practices offer financing options to help make treatment more accessible to patients. Every year the American Society of Plastic Surgeons and The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery surveys their members for average prices as well as other consumer focused websites such as Realself. We typically publish our usual prices on our website under menu of services. Remember, the price for plastic surgery procedure will include surgeon's fee, and possibly facility fee, or anesthesia fees depending no where the procedure is performed. For liposuction you can also expect additional expenses such as medications, garments, and post operative massage.
10. Realistic Expectations:
Perhaps the most important concern to address is setting realistic expectations about the outcomes of liposuction. While liposuction can yield significant improvements in body contours and self-confidence, it is essential to understand its limitations. Patients should engage in open and honest discussions with their plastic surgeon about their goals, concerns, and expected outcomes to ensure a satisfying experience and optimal results. Beware social media images of patients undergoing radical changes that seem impossible. They probably are and photos have been altered or clever photography tricks have been employed. Now combining a expert surgeon versed in high definition liposuction techniques in a patient near their ideal body weight that also does their part with diet and exercise the results can truly be breathtaking.
Liposuction is a transformative procedure that can help individuals achieve their desired body contours and enhance their self-image. By addressing the ten most common concerns associated with liposuction, we hope to provide prospective patients with the information and reassurance they need to make informed decisions about pursuing this procedure. Ultimately, selecting a board-certified plastic surgeon with extensive experience in liposuction and realistic expectations about the procedure's outcomes is key to achieving safe and satisfying results. If your in Austin, Texas or its surrounding area we would love to see you and happy to answer all your questions related to liposuction, Vaser (ultrasound) assisted liposuction, power assisted liposuction, and hi definition liposuction.