Some advertisements make liposculpture sound like it is positively magical. Featuring glossy, full-length photos of gorgeous swimsuit models and buff weightlifters, the ads can lead you to imagine that it is possible to achieve the perfect body through a relatively minor cosmetic procedure – without dieting, working out, or exercising any type of restraint. If only.
Just like the ads for any other type of product or service, liposuction ads are designed to be persuasive. The truth is, no amount of lipo – in and of itself – can guarantee you the body of your dreams. That said, when combined with an overall healthy lifestyle and weight maintenance, liposculpture can be very effective for reshaping areas of the body that seem out of proportion, such as the abdomen, flanks, hips, thighs, or back.
For any patient who is considering liposculpture, the first thing to understand is what it can do. Liposuction is a surgical procedure intended to work in conjunction with diet and exercise to eliminate localized areas of stubborn fat and improve the overall contour of the body. In other words, lipo can help sculpt the body through the permanent removal of small, diet- and exercise-resistant pockets of fat from targeted areas.
On the other hand, liposuction is not a treatment for obesity, nor can it remove excess skin or improve cellulite. Bottom line: The surgery removes excess fat; that is all. Therefore, if you don’t like a particular aspect of your body, but that aspect doesn’t have anything to do with fat, then liposuction won’t help you. For example, an individual might have a large bone structure, which makes his or her hips appear broad. Another might be displeased with the way a particular muscle bulges out on his or her stomach or side. Finally, a woman might discover that her abdominal muscles have loosened and sagged after childbirth. While all of these concerns are very real, liposuction cannot address any of them – all it can do is remove fat.
Another issue that liposuction cannot target is excess skin. A person might have an unstreamlined appearance or disproportionate silhouette that is actually attributable not to fat, but rather to excess skin. This can occur in an individual who has lost a significant amount of weight, or as a result of the natural aging process. Likewise, liposculpture cannot treat cellulite. Some people incorrectly conclude that because cellulite is caused by fat under the skin, the removal of the underlying fat will improve the dimpled appearance of the skin’s surface. That is not the case.
Who Can Benefit From Liposculpture
The best candidates for lipo are individuals who maintain a relatively normal and stable weight, have sufficient skin elasticity, and have pockets of excess fatty tissue that have resisted traditional weight loss methods. During the procedure, a surgeon will make one or more small incisions, usually in the natural folds of the skin in the targeted area. The surgeon will then repeatedly insert a cannula, or thin suction tube, through which excess fat cells are broken down and extracted from the body. The results can be long-lasting if the patient commits to maintaining her weight.
Following their liposuction procedures, many patients report experiencing a number of benefits, including:
• Having a feeling of pride in their bodies
• Enjoying their more streamlined appearances
• Dropping one or more clothing sizes
• Being able to wear shorts and swimsuits with confidence
• Having more energy
• Regaining control of the appearance of their bodies
In sum, liposculpture can be a good aid to sculpt your body by improving troublesome areas that are unresponsive to a healthy lifestyle, proper nutrition, and regular exercise. Liposuction is not a means to achieve weight loss, or to become someone you are not.
Consult with an Experienced Surgeon
A patient who is considering liposculpture is advised to first attempt to achieve the results he or she desires through diet and exercise. If those efforts prove unsuccessful, the patient should consult with an experienced cosmetic surgeon who is Board Certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery. A prospective patient should always feel free to ask a surgeon to see before and after photographs of other patients for whom the surgeon has performed the procedure, which can enhance the communication process by allowing the patient to better articulate his or her aesthetic goals. The surgeon can then gain a full understanding of the patient’s objectives, ensure that his or her expectations are reasonable, and determine whether liposculpture is an appropriate solution.
Katie Perry is an online content editor in the Tampa Bay area. She posts articles about plastic surgery topics and procedures including liposuction
and other cosmetic procedures.