So what really is liposuction anyway? Is it a dangerous procedure? How much does it cost and how much weight can I lose?
These are all questions I get asked frequently which is why I have decided to create the ultimate guide to liposuction.
Long term weight loss isn’t as simple as “sucking out the fat” I’m afraid, and as you are about to discover liposuction is not a miracle treatment.
4 Facts about Liposuction Cosmetic Surgery
- First and foremost, it’s a cosmetic surgery hence I would say it isn’t medically necessary (though there could be some rare exceptions to this, morbid obesity being one).
- Secondly, it’s a procedure to “shape” your body; it’s not a procedure to make you lose weight. In fact, it’s a bad way to lose weight.
- Thirdly, the results may not be permanent. You could still gain weight after the surgery and the fat may return to areas where you had liposuction or to other areas even.
- Fourthly, the outcome may be less “glamorous” than what you were expecting and it can be disappointing, even to the point of causing you a lot of unnecessary depressions and emotional traumas.
OK, after giving you all the “no-gos”, I feel it’s good that I take you through the whole subject on liposuction, good and bad sides of it (err…..mostly bad, I think…..), so you can make an informed decision whether to go for it or not.
Here’s What Liposuction Really Is
It’s a surgical procedure to remove fat deposits primarily for the purpose of shaping your body.
The surgeon removes fat from under your skin using a vacuum-suction canula (a hollow pen-like instrument) or an ultrasonic probe that emulsifies your fat and then removes it with suction.
This procedure is more to remove localized fats like those deposited in your abdomen, arms, thighs, buttocks, back, neck or face.
The procedure itself may encompass more than one area, for example, your abdomen, back and thighs all on the same day.
Plastic surgeons or dermatologists or any licensed physician may perform liposuction. While some professional bodies may recommend training before performing liposuction surgery, surgeons normally do not require standardized training.
As a result, you can expect to have differences in experience and training in surgeons performing the liposuction.
You can ask your surgeon whether he or she has had specialized training to do liposuction and whether he or she has successfully done liposuction before.
But sometimes things happen….even the best trained and experienced surgeons may get you into complications.
What to Expect with this Cosmetic Treatment
Ask all questions about the procedure, the potential problems, the risks, the dangers, the complications, the cost, your concerns and any other relevant issues.
Your surgeon should answer these and any other questions that you might have about liposuction.
You should learn as much as you can about what liposuction really is and take your time to decide whether it’s right for you and whether you’re willing to take the risks of going through the procedure.
Don’t get carried away with commercials and advertisements that display perfect body shapes after liposuction.
You know, they’re selling a service so they won’t tell you all the likely potential problems that could arise as a result of liposuction.
Don’t feel pressured either just because you’ve consulted a surgeon, therefore you must go through with it.
Discuss the procedure thoroughly with him or her before deciding if you want to go through with it. You can still change your mind even after discussing the procedure with a surgeon.
The surgeon marks the area where the fat is to be removed. Then the anesthetist administers anesthesia, which is either a local anesthesia (i.e. anesthesia injected into the area where liposuction is to be carried out and you’re awake during surgery ) or a general anesthesia (i.e. to use anesthesia that puts you to sleep during surgery).
(P/S: Along with the anesthesia, the anesthetist also injects fluid, usually buffered salt water and epinephrine, which is a drug to reduce bleeding. He or she may inject large volumes of fluid, until your skin is firm and tight)
The surgeon then makes an incision in the marked area for liposuction. He or she uses a canula to insert into the incision.
The surgeon moves this canula back and forth to suction out the fat. He or she then collects the fat and the fluid that have been injected, in a flask.
The surgeon monitors the amount of fluid and fat that he or she removes. As you’ll be losing fluid and fat from your body, it may be necessary to replace some of these lost fluids vide intravenous (i.v.) line.
These are the things you’ve to “endure”:
- When the anesthesia wears off, you would have pain. You would also have swelling and in some cases, the swelling would remain for weeks or even months
- You would be able to leave (surgeon’s office, surgical center, hospital) immediately after surgery or you may need to stay overnight. This depends on the amount of fat removed. The more fat removed, the riskier it becomes hence the surgeon would ask you to stay 1 or 2 night, to monitor your condition
- The incision may be leaky or drain fluids for several days. Some surgeons may insert drainage tube to drain fluid away from the wound
- You would need to wear special elastic compression garments, usually for weeks, to keep your skin compressed. I heard that it’s no joke putting on this garment because it causes pain and you may need someone to help you.
- You would have to be careful of the activity you can do and considered as safe. This means limited physical movement and activity, most of the time
- You would have to look out for signs of problems that you should be aware of, like signs of infections or other problems that you need to know about
- You would have scars, where the surgeon cuts your skin and inserts the canula to remove fat tissue
I can see you grimace at these already…..Not pretty, huh?
What to Expect After Your Liposuction
I’ve said in the beginning that liposuction surgery is mainly for cosmetic shaping of your body. The result may be “good”. That’s good news for you.
What happens if you don’t get the results you wanted?
This is where you might get a “shock…
In other words, your appearance after liposuction may not be what you expected or wanted.
Some surgeons counsel you that reasonable expectations are important.
Well, the point is – it would be difficult to have reasonable expectations after reading advertisements and looking at glamorous pictures of men and women who have had liposuction, while yours is a disappointment and a far cry from what you dream about.
Hence, you’ve to be mentally prepared for this and be realistic about the results so you won’t feel depressed or traumatized.
What can go wrong with Liposuction?
Also, expect these cosmetic shortcomings that could surface after liposuction:
- Scars at the area where the surgeon made the cut to insert the liposuction canula. These scars are usually small and fade with time but for some people, these scars may be larger or more prominent
- The liposuction area may have a wavy or bumpy appearance after surgery
- I don’t want to sound like a recording machine…..I said in the very beginning – the results may not be permanent. You could still gain weight after the surgery and the fat may return to areas where you had liposuction or to other areas even
Alternatives to Liposuction
The whole thing about the subject on liposuction is this – I don’t mean to scare or intimidate you just because I don’t favor it.
But my take is this – when there are other better alternatives around, why risk your body and sometimes even your life (no joke, I come across a case where this lady went for an abdominal liposuction and died of complications arising from the surgery….)?
Are there better alternatives?
Sure, there are. I’m in for all these better, healthy options:
- Change your diet to shed off some excess body fat.
- Accept your body shape and appearance as it is.
And after my long “lecture” on liposuction, if you still want to go ahead with it, I’ve no problem at all because you know your body best.
The one thing I ask of you – ask questions, do research, weigh carefully the pros and cons, then only decide.
I’m not an expert on liposuction. But I’ve researched thoroughly on the entire subject, to help you here.
Liposuction Ultimate Guide & FAQ
What is the cost of getting liposuction surgery?
If you “stinge” and opt for cheaper cost of liposuction, you might suffer at the hands of surgeons who have bad track record of unsuccessful surgery and bad reputation.
Since you need to pay a hefty sum for the surgery, you might have to go into debts to finance the liposuction cost.
Not a very wise financial decision to make, surely? And it’s a luxury you can go without too…
Shall we zoom-in on the costs of liposuction and see how they could cause deep dents in your pocket?
How long does it take to recover from Liposuction?
Exactly how long does it take for liposuction recovery to get literally “done with”? (meaning you’re fully recovered from the surgery?)
The surgeon (the unprofessional one) will tell you: “Oh, it’s a short period, 1 month, tops. It’s about two weeks.”
So you happily go for the surgery not knowing you could be in for a recovery time way, way longer than the surgeon’s “magical” 1-month period!
What results can I expect from Liposuction treatment?
How Soon After do you begin to see results from your liposuction surgery, and How Long do the Results last?
I bet you want to know about liposuction results in 2 situations.
First, how soon for you to see clear, concrete, “optimal” results?
Second, how long the results last?
What are the risks associated with Liposuction Surgery?
The risks aren’t just some things that happen to other people and not to you.
You could argue that it’s a simple surgery and you’re healthy, so nothing’s gonna happen to you….
It’s a surgery, mind you. Anything can happen on the operating table…
I point it out because in the first place, the surgery isn’t even medically necessary (except for some exceptional cases), so why risk it?
Is liposuction actually a dangerous procedure to do? Complications?
The surgeon may tell you liposuction is safe and downplay its dangers and risks, if you’re unfortunate to get one who’s not qualified, unscrupulous and desperate for business.
Can’t blame you, really, when you’ve this intense desire to shed the excess body fat to have an attractive silhouette.
Your sense of judgment could take a back seat because you want the surgery badly.
What are the effects? Is liposuction a permanent fat-loss treatment?
I think I’m touching on a very controversial topic here.
Permanent? 1-5 years? Or could it be that fat may return? (The fat cells yell at you: “I shall be back”?!…..)
Hot topic, this.
First, let’s kill this myth about fat cells…
Do you have any pictures I can see “before” and “after” the surgery? What are the results?
Most people want to see photos before and after the liposuction surgery procedures before deciding whether it’s as treatment they may consider
So, let’s take a look before and also after the surgery. Not just the pictures, yet what is the preparation before, during and after?
What alternatives to Liposuction surgery exist, and do they work better?
It’s not surprising if you’re worried about liposuction because the surgery is such an invasive procedure and most people are scared to go through it.
It’s also costly , entails anesthesia, surgical risks and a period of recovery, not to mention the possible complications that you can get that can haunt you silly.
So, are there any so called alternatives to liposuction, you know, without the ugly risk of surgery?
What about Tumescent Liposuction? Is it a safer alternative to traditional surgery?
Well, Tumescent Liposuction is still a Surgery. And risks associated with any type of surgery are aplenty.
In the tumescent technique, local (instead of general) anesthetic is used. The surgeon then injects a solution of lidocaine (a local anesthetic) into the fatty layer together with another solution (typically epinephrine).
How about Ultrasonic Cavitation, does this work better than Liposuction?
Ultrasonic cavitation liposuction can cause burns, blisters, scars, blood clots and peripheral nerve injury…
It’s a procedure using high-pitched sound waves to liquefy fat in a specific area before the surgeon removes it.
The sound waves initiate fat removal by transmitting the ultrasonic waves to a thin, vacuum-like tube known as canula.
Is liposuction a good way to remove the fat on my stomach?
For a start, abdominal liposuction dpes not remove all your abdominal fat, especially the “deep” fat.
I’ve heard this lamentation many times: “I tried diet and exercises; eat 1,000 calories and do 200 crunches a day. Nothing happened. My tummy shape did not change at all. So, I went for liposuction….”
I have fat on my arms that I can’t get rid of. Should I get arm liposuction?
The surgeon tells you that liposuction can help your arms in these ways:
- To improve a disproportionate appearance of your arm, compared to the rest of your body
- To feel more comfortable and less self-conscious when donning a sleeveless or short sleeved blouse
- To savor the feeling of slim-shaped appearance when you lay your arms in a relaxed position
What is the best type of liposuction for thighs and especially my inner thighs?
Liposuction for your inner thighs, butt, legs or anywhere else in fact — is not a ticket to an “instant” slimmer body.
Since genetics still plays a huge part in determining how your thighs look and shape, and while your lifestyle is what will dictate your future, liposuction might not be the best way to go!
Are there any non-invasive and non-surgical procedures I can do instead of liposuction to remove fat?
I understand completely your question since you might be scare of the conventional surgical liposuction which carries risks that include infection, scarring and blood clot formation to name a few.
Who wouldn’t, come to think of it?
It’s human nature to want the fastest, easiest treatment available for solving our health problems now. We don’t like to have to wait a very long time to see results!
However when it comes to deciding on whether or not you would like to undergo liposuction surgery, please take your time and consider all factors.
It’s not some kind of magical treatment that does not require you to do anything to maintain results.
You MUST still exercise and stick to a healthy diet plan to maintain the weight loss results.
If this is true then why not just switch to a healthy eating plan now and use that to lose the weight?
That is my conclusion on surgery in any case. Unless you have an actual life and death fat problem, you are morbidly obese, then you should leave the surgery alone.
After that if you are seeing results then continue and you will lose the weight and also keep it off. If you are not seeing results then consider food intolerance, possibly switch to full vegan and see how that goes for you.
And if after that still you are not getting the results you want. Consult your doctor and see what he advises for you.