6 things to consider before getting liposuction

By skinsolutions
August 8, 2017

Liposuction is a common and popular form of plastic surgery, designed to help patients achieve a slimmer look in certain parts of their body. As explained by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, the procedure itself involves the surgical removal of excess fat cells in self-identified "problem areas". For example, if a patient is unhappy with the shape or size of his abdomen, or perhaps his thighs or buttocks, he can elect to have liposuction treatment to reduce the amount of fat in those places and achieve a more proportionate look.

Liposuction is just one of the many procedures offered at Skin & Cosmetics Solutions. Our approach to liposuction is traditional - we perform the tumescent method, which was first developed by Dr. Jeffrey Klein in 1985. The tumescent method involves the use of a local anesthesia and is widely understood as the safest way to perform liposuction. Our very own Dr. Puente was taught the tumescent approach by Dr. Klein, and he has since gone to perform, successfully, in excess of 10,000 liposuction procedures.

As with any form of cosmetic procedure, there are a number of things you should consider before making the final decision to receive liposuction. This article will take a closer look at what you can expect during the procedure itself, before outlining some of the major considerations that all patients should have. Read on to learn more!

What happens during tumescent liposuction?
As detailed in an article from Dr. Jayashree Venkataram, published by the U.S. National Library of Medicine, the objective of liposuction treatment is to remove areas of subcutaneous fat in the desired area or areas. The term subcutaneous fat refers to the layer of fat cells located directly under the skin. 

During the procedure itself, which is conducted under local anesthesia, the surgeon will make small incisions in the area that you want treated. The surgeon will then insert Klein's solution into your fatty tissue. The purpose of this is several fold: To anesthetize the area, to reduce bleeding during the procedure itself and to swell the tissue, which makes the fat extraction process easier. Dr. Venkataram noted that this pre-stage can take up to an hour to complete.

Once the Klein's solution has infiltrated through all of the fat layers, you will be ready to have the area treated. During this stage your fat is removed via a microcannuale. This device provides suction, which sucks up the fat cells, removing them from your body. This stage can take an additional hour to complete, and in some cases it may run longer, contingent on the size of the area you want treated.

Tumescent liposuction is an outpatient procedure, with fast recovery times. It is likely that you will begin to see improvements in the area in the days and weeks after your surgery. Full benefits, however, may not be observed until six months after the operation.

Liposuction targets stubborn pockets of fat that cannot be reduced with diet and exercise alone.Liposuction targets stubborn pockets of fat that cannot be reduced with diet and exercise alone.

Major considerations to keep in mind
As explained, electing to have liposuction is a big decision. Before committing to the surgery, there are some important things you should consider:

1. New technology isn't necessarily better
As explained in an article from trusted patient resource Real Self, tumescent liposuction is still widely the preferred method, by both patients and doctors alike. In other words, newer approaches, such as laser liposuction, although often effective, aren't necessarily a better approach than the tumescent method. In fact, the article included a quote from Dr. Michael Kaminer, who elaborated on the efficacy of the tumescent approach.

"Tumsecent liposuction is the gold standard by which other fat removal techniques are measured," he stated.

2. Liposuction is not a weight loss strategy
This may come as a surprise, but liposuction is not an appropriate procedure if you are looking to lose a massive amount of weight, the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery explained. The best candidates for liposuction are those who are close to or slightly over a healthy weight for their height. The purpose of the treatment is to remove stubborn areas of fat that distort proportion and cannot be alleviated by diet and exercise alone. The source noted that patients with relatively firm skin will enjoy the best results.

3. Expectations should be moderated
Tumescent liposuction can produce some incredible results, and thanks to the skill of Dr. Puente, it's likely that you'll be very satisfied in the aftermath of your procedure. Still, as an article from the Mayo Clinic made clear, it is important to keep your expectations within the bounds of reality: While your liposuction will certainly improve your targeted area, it's unlikely to transform it beyond recognition. That's why it is important to moderate expectations. Furthermore, the article stressed that those who believe that their liposuction may improve other areas of their life - whether it's their love life, social life or professional life - may also be left disappointed. Personal happiness and life satisfaction cannot be based solely on the outcome of one procedure.

4. Risks must be considered
As with any surgery, tumescent liposuction presents risks, although they are small. Healthgrades mentioned some of the most common risks, which include bagginess and dimpling of the skin. As advised by Health magazine, it is important to ask the doctor you select what the risks are, and then weigh them up yourself - are they worth the likely results? The source stressed that all reputable plastic surgeons will be more than happy to talk over the risks with you. If they refuse, or imply that the procedure is risk free, then they are likely not trustworthy. 

5. There will be bruising and some pain
Often an unavoidable consequence of the surgery, it's highly likely that you will experience some bruising and mild pain after your procedure, Healthgrades detailed. This is usually easily treatable with over the counter pain killers. While most people are able to resume normal activities almost immediately after surgery, if you are sensitive to pain you may wish to consider taking a little time off to recover. The source noted that the pain and discomfort rarely last longer than a couple of days. In terms of strenuous activity, however, it's likely that your doctor may advise you to lay off heavy exercise for a couple of weeks. Walking, however, can be beneficial to recovery.

6. You may have to stop smoking
One final consideration - if you're a smoker, there is a good chance that your primary care team will ask you to ditch the habit in the weeks leading up to your procedure, the Mayo Clinic reported. This is because smoking has been shown to increase the risk of surgical complications. Anticipate being asked to cease smoking during you recovery period too. 

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