We see patients every day who are interested in having liposuction in order to reshape a problematic area of their body (or even a few problematic areas!). In our consultations with these patients, we get a lot of questions – questions we are more than happy to answer because we want our patients to be as knowledgeable as possible about the procedures they are considering.
But it dawned on us the other day that if we have patients considering liposuction who are asking us questions, there must be many more people out there that are curious about liposuction but, for one reason or another, are stopping themselves from making an appointment to discuss the procedure. If you have thought about liposuction, but haven’t made a consultation appointment yet, this blog is for YOU. Here are some of the most popular questions and even myths about liposuction we’ve heard from patients over the years.
Question #1: I’ve heard that fat removed during liposuction can grow back in other areas. Is this true?
There are some anti-liposuction articles out there that claim some liposuction patients experience an accumulation of fat in other areas of their body after liposuction. While this could potentially happen, it is not a result of having had liposuction: it is a result of the patient not maintaining their weight post-procedure. Liposuction will reduce the number of fat cells in the treated area. If you consume more calories than your body needs to operate, your fat cells will grow throughout your body. Some patients may perceive this as affecting only the areas not treated with liposuction (therefore creating the illusion that the liposuction “caused” weight gain in other areas of the body), but that is simply not the case.
We recommend that our liposuction patients maintain a healthy diet and exercise plan after their procedure for best results.
Question #2: I saw on the news that liposuction is dangerous.
Liposuction is a surgery and, like any surgery, it comes with certain risks. That being said, liposuction is a relatively safe surgery that is done on an outpatient basis. For years, liposuction was performed almost exclusively with general anesthesia (putting the patient “to sleep”). However, doctors have perfected a number of methods of performing liposuction with only local anesthesia, which makes the procedure much safer in itself. But even if your particular surgery will require general anesthesia, the doctors at Dermatologic, Cosmetic and Plastic Surgery have performed literally thousands of safe liposuction procedures for patients who are happy and healthy today.
Question #3: Will people think I’m vain if I get liposuction?
This question always makes us chuckle because if people only knew how many of their neighbors have undergone different cosmetic procedures to enhance their appearance, no one would worry about this! But here’s our answer to this question: liposuction, like other appearance-enhancement procedures, are about what you think – not what everyone else thinks of you. We encourage our patients to let friends and family know what they are going through, because they made need help in the days after surgery. But whether you want to tell everyone or no one, that choice is up to you. And believe it or not, we have patients who had liposuction, recovered at a private facility, and their friends and family were none the wiser. They chalked up the fine-tuning of their appearance to a spa weekend or something similar and kept their own secret.
If you’re concerned about how to talk to loved ones about your choice to have liposuction, talk to our staff. We guarantee they will help you ease your fears and give you tips on how to handle the discussion.
Question #4: What if I don’t like the end result after I get liposuction?
First of all, the full extent of your liposuction treatment might not reveal itself for up to 18 months, although you will likely see some changes right away. So, we ask our patients to be patient and to do things like keep video, picture, and even measurement history. Sometimes the changes can be subtle as the months go on so it might seem like nothing is improving, when in reality your body is slowly edging closer to your expectations.
Remember that liposuction is not a cure-all for your body woes. We discuss expectations with our patients thoroughly before setting up a surgery because the best way to be let down is to have unrealistic expectations going in.
The good news is that we have literally thousands of happy post-liposuction patients and a whole photo album full of pre- versus post-liposuction pictures for you to look at so you can judge for yourself whether or not you think you’ll be happy with comparable results.
Question #5: I’m not particularly overweight, but I hate my cellulite. Will liposuction fix this?
Actually, liposuction will not erase cellulite, although in some cases it may help the appearance of cellulite. The fat that causes cellulite cannot be targeted by the techniques we use to remove the fat during liposuction procedures. But here is the good news: we have other treatments to help reduce the appearance of cellulite! If you have cellulite, contact us today to set up a consultation about the ways we can help.
Question #6: My neighbor told me that I have to be at my ideal weight before my doctor will perform liposuction. Is that right?
No, but we understand where your neighbor’s confusion is coming from. Some people assume that liposuction can suck all of their excess fat out of their body, no matter what their weight or health status is. But liposuction is really designed to target stubborn areas of fat that don’t go away, even when we eat properly and work out regularly. Liposuction is not meant to be a shortcut to go from obese to thin – in fact, any doctor that says it is shouldn’t be trusted. That being said, you don’t need to be a fitness guru to get liposuction, either. We generally look for patients who are within 30% of a health weight for their height.
But no matter what your current weight is, if you’re interested in liposuction, we encourage you to come talk to us. We can evaluate your current health and fitness status and, if necessary, give you some direction about what you need to achieve on your own before we schedule a liposuction procedure.
Question #7: I can’t afford to be away from my kids / work / other responsibilities for very long. How long is recovery going to take?
Recovery will vary based on the extent of your procedure and your own personal health and body functions. However, many of our patients are able to walk out of the office on their own and return to most of the regular activities within a few days. We recommend that someone else become the primary caretaker for kids or other people you care for, for at least a few days, though. Don’t let this stop you from coming to talk to us about liposuction, though. We’ll be happy to listen to what you are hoping for as a result and to talk to you about expectations for your recovery.
Question #8: Can men have liposuction?
Of course men can undergo liposuction procedures – and many do! Because of biology, men generally have fewer fatty deposits on their bodies than women do so the rates of women who seek liposuction tend to be higher. But there are a few places on men’s bodies that do tend to accumulate fat and we see plenty of male patients who want to tweak these areas of their body. We frequently treat men who want to get rid of their “love handles” or men suffering from gynecomastia (male breast enlargement). If you’re a guy and have unsightly fat in a few areas that you can’t seem to get at with exercise and diet, we’re happy to discuss liposuction with you.
Question #9: Can I afford liposuction?
Many of our patients are surprised by how affordable liposuction is. The cost of your liposuction procedure will depend on the precise technique we decide to use, the size of the area being treated, and the number of places on your body being treated. For instance, the back of your arm may be a relatively small area, while your thigh is larger. And, of course, you’ll want to get both arms or both legs treated – not just one! As we’ve said previously in this article – don’t let this be the issue that keeps you from finding out more about liposuction. Your first consultation is free – so there’s no risk there! At that consultation, we’ll assess where you are now and where you want to be and which procedures might be right for you. Our staff will be happy to discuss costs of the suggested procedures so that you can get an idea of what will fit into your budget.
Question #10: I’m scared about the pain after liposuction. Is the pain really bad?
There will be some discomfort after any surgical procedure but the vast majority of our patients find that pain meds and ice packs mean that the pain is bearable after liposuction. Your doctor can discuss with you whether you might need prescription pain medications, which you should always get before the procedure just in case you end up needing them. We can also talk to you about other ways to ease your discomfort in the days immediately following your procedure, such as massage. By and large, most of our patients find that they are almost entirely pain free within a few days.
So what do you think? What’s holding you back from find out more about liposuction now?
If you still have hesitations or questions, we’re here to make sure you get answers. If you’ve considered liposuction, or even simply wondered if you’re a candidate for liposuction, make an appointment for a free consultation with us today.