Liposuction for Everyone?

I'm often asked if liposuction is a good procedure for everyone. The short answer is 'no.' The longer answer is 'definitely not!"

Nothing is a good procedure for everyone. And some procedures are specifically not recommended for some people. So, who are good candidates? Good candidates are those who have specific areas of fatty deposits that do not respond to diet or exercise. Good candidates are also those with reasonable, achievable expectations. Keep in mind that liposuction is not a form of weight loss. Only weight loss is a form of weight loss. The goals of liposuction are to provide contour and definition, not to remove significant amounts of adipose tissue. Adequate skin elasticity is crucial for redraping to properly occur following liposuction and the desired contour to be achieved. Excessive skin laxity and redundancy, as we typically see following massive weight loss, usually require skin excision rather than liposuction. Those offered liposuction when they clearly need an abdominoplasty or 'tummy tuck' are being offered the wrong procedure. In such cases, it is best to do nothing than proceed with an operation that will accentuate the skin laxity and redundancy.

Regarding 'traditional lipo' versus 'Smart Lipo' versus 'laser lipo' versus 'water lipo,' there are numerous technical variations on the liposuction theme but any type of liposuction when performed by an unskilled hand can result in complications. However, an experienced surgeon having sufficient training in the procedure will make it both safe and effective, regardless of the specific technique used. When the plumber comes to your house to fix your leaking sink, don't tell him which wrench to use. It's irrelevant as long he fixes the leak. Same thing here. Personal bias aside, you are most likely to achieve a desirable result if you seek treatment from a plastic surgeon certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery.

Like any other surgical procedure, liposuction does carry some risks though most complications occur infrequently. Post-operatively patients can experience discomfort and develop infection, bleeding producing marked bruising, skin irregularities including indentation, fluid collection, blood collection (hematoma), poor scarring, and, not uncommonly, require revision. With these things in mind, it is key to identify the best candidates for this procedure and even more important to identify poor candidates for whom liposuction should not be performed.


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Please note that unless you are actually my patient, in which case I have seen and evaluated you at JW Plastic Surgery, then I am technically not your doctor. These posts and responses to inquiries are provided for educational and entertainment purposes but cannot apply to any individual patient who has not been directly evaluated by myself or another Board-certified plastic surgeon.


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