Is Liposuction Right For Me?
You’ve spent hours in the gym and carefully count every calorie, but your most stubborn fat cells refuse to budge. No amount of dieting or exercises focused on “spot reducing” trouble areas are giving you the slim figure you desire, so what can you do? At Houston Center for Plastic Surgery, we offer liposuction to help you achieve that smoother, leaner figure you’ve worked so hard for. Liposuction can dramatically reduce persistent pockets of fat while sculpting and redefining your body profile. Thanks to its effectiveness, versatility, and minimal downtime, liposuction is consistently one of the top three cosmetic procedures performed in the United States each year.
While liposuction may seem like the perfect fix for your problem spots, not everyone is a good candidate for the procedure. Men and women who want to create a smoother, leaner body contour via cosmetic surgery must consult with a trained and experienced surgeon to determine whether liposuction is an appropriate option for them, and if so, which treatment method will provide the most desirable results.
You May Be A Good Candidate For Liposuction If…
- You are at a Healthy Weight – Liposuction is most effective for patients who are at a stable, healthy weight. Despite popular perception, liposuction is not a method for weight loss. You must have a BMI of under 30 and if you are in the process of losing weight, be about 15 pounds from your goal. The procedure is designed to contour your body by eliminating isolated pockets of fat that have not responded to diet and exercise, not to remove a large volume of fat for weight loss purposes.
- You Exercise & Maintain A Healthy Diet – Liposuction is not a shortcut to your ideal body shape or a substitute for diet and exercise. The procedure does eliminate fat cells in the targeted areas, but it is possible for the remaining cells in the treatment area to get larger if weight gain occurs after liposuction (though the overall improvement in contour will remain). It is important to stay committed to a healthy fitness and nutrition regimen following the procedure in order to maximize your results.
- You Are Not A Smoker – Tobacco use can increase the risk for complications during and after surgery. Smoking cigarettes, including e-cigarettes, causes vasoconstriction – a narrowing of the blood vessels that disrupts normal circulation to the tissues. This can lead to poor healing, longer recovery times, and excessive scarring. Liposuction patients who currently smoke should stop for several weeks prior to surgery, or simply quit altogether.
- You Have Realistic Expectations & Goals – Although liposuction can provide substantial improvements, those who view it as a “magic bullet” may be disappointed to find that it cannot completely alter your body shape or lead to dramatic weight loss. Good candidates for liposuction understand that the treatment is only used to target specific problem areas and improve body contour irregularities. Ideal candidates also acknowledge that the procedure is not a quick-fix, but rather a single tool in a broader strategy for overall health and wellness.
You May Not Be A Good Candidate For Liposuction If…
- You Have Loose Skin – Though liposuction can be performed on men and women of any age, the best results are seen in younger patients with good skin tone and elasticity. Skin that lacks elasticity may not shrink to fit the new body contour following liposuction, resulting in a slightly wrinkled or “crepey” appearance. Other options may be more appropriate for patients seeking to tighten loose skin after significant weight loss. Liposuction may also be combined with other cosmetic procedures to address both body contouring and skin tightening once you have reached your weight loss goals.
- You’re Hoping To Get Rid Of Cellulite – Liposuction is not a solution for eliminating cellulite. In some cases, liposuction can worsen the appearance of cellulite by removing the cushion of fat underneath the skin, causing additional dimpling.
- You Take Anticoagulants – Individuals who take anticoagulant medication or other drugs that may increase the risk of bleeding, such as aspirin or NSAIDs, are unlikely to be good candidates for liposuction. Substances that can impair the blood from clotting can typically pose a risk for surgery of any kind.
- You Have A Serious, Chronic Health Condition – Undergoing liposuction with a life-threatening illness or serious medical condition increases the risk of complications and can impair healing. As with other surgical procedures, good health is essential for optimal results. A past medical history of immunodeficiency disorders, seizure disorders, cardiac arrhythmias, heart disease, lung disease, diabetes, deep vein thrombosis, or pulmonary emboli may make liposuction inadvisable.
Liposuction Treatment Options
At Houston Center for Plastic Surgery, Dr. Norman Rappaport offers three different liposuction techniques in order to better serve the unique needs of each patient, including:
Tumescent Liposuction – Before fat removal, a saltwater solution containing small amounts of adrenaline and a local anesthetic is injected into the area targeted for treatment. This fluid allows fat to be removed more easily, reduces bleeding during the procedure, numbs the area, and diminishes bruising during healing.
Power-Assisted Liposuction – This technique uses a vibrating cannula to loosen the fat cells before suction, requiring less force during removal, especially in more fibrous tissue. The result is not only more efficient, but also produces less trauma to the surrounding tissue, leading to a quicker and more comfortable recovery.
Ultrasound-Assisted Liposuction – Also referred to as liposculpture or VASER, this two-step technique uses energy from sound waves to liquefy fat cells and visualize the treatment area for more precise results. Like power-assisted liposuction, ultrasound-assisted liposuction allows for easier fat removal, less trauma to the area, and a shortened recovery period.
Following a consultation, Dr. Rappaport will select the best technique for you based on the amount of fat to be removed and the treatment area. A combination of liposuction techniques may be required to achieve the best possible results, but you can rest assured that you’re in good hands with Dr. Rappaport. To learn more about liposuction, call Houston Center for Plastic Surgery today at 713-790-4500.