For years, liposuction has been one of the most popular cosmetic procedures in the U.S. – and for good reason. It’s a safe and effective way to streamline your figure by eliminating stubborn fat.
If you’re considering liposuction (or any cosmetic procedure for that matter), it’s important to do your homework. Below are four important things to keep before getting liposuction:
Not a Weight Loss Tool
Though it might sound like a quick fix for all of your weight loss woes, liposuction should never be considered a weight loss tool. Instead, it should be considered a body contouring tool. It’s not a treatment for obesity, but it can be used to address “problem” areas that have not responded to traditional diet and exercise.
For women, the most common areas for liposuction include the outer thighs and hips. While men are more likely to seek out liposuction for their waist and back. Liposuction is also frequently used to remove localized fat deposits on the face, neck, back, abdomen, buttocks and upper arms.
The Types of Liposuction
There are several types of liposuction available today, but it’s important to keep in mind that all the procedures below aren’t that different. The only major difference is the approach used prior to fat removal.
1) Tumescent liposuction: As one of the first successful methods of liposuction, the tumescent method remains one of the most popular options available today. This method involves an injection of an anesthetic to the treated region prior to fat removal. The solution (which actually contains a combination of salt water, adrenaline and anesthetic) shrinks blood vessels to minimize blood loss and enable easier fat removal.
2) Ultrasound-assisted liposuction (UAL): UAL liposuction often combines the tumescent method with ultrasonic energy to break down fat cells before they are removed. It’s important to note that there are two types of UAL – internal and external. Internal UAL delivers ultrasonic energy directly to the underlying fat using a metal rod or cannula inserted through the skin. While external UAL delivers ultrasonic energy through a paddle-shaped instrument placed on the overlying skin.
3) Laser liposuction: Also known as liposculpture, laser liposuction uses a laser device to heat up and essentially “liquefy” unwanted fat. In some methods, the liquefied fat is drained through tiny incisions. While other methods use a cannula to gently suction away the unwanted fat. Still controversial, many plastic surgeons feel laser techniques add to the total cost of the procedure without affecting final results. Additionally, lasers run an increased risk of skin burns.
Don’t Be Fooled By New Technology
New doesn’t always mean better. In fact, tried-and-true methods such as tumescent and ultrasound-assisted liposuction typically have the highest rates of patient satisfaction. Before settling with the latest technology, you should ask yourself the following:
- Is this method FDA-approved for safety and effectiveness?
- Is this procedure offered by reputable, board-certified plastic surgeons?
- Am I only considering this method because it’s less expensive?
If you’re considering surgery, viewing liposuction photos in San Francisco will give you a better idea of the type of results you can achieve. A reputable plastic surgeon should be able to provide you with a gallery of before and after patient photos.
As stated above, liposuction is not a weight loss method, but it can be used to sculpt and tone various regions of your body. Following surgery, it will take a little time to heal and recover. Swelling and bruising should subside within a month, revealing a leaner appearance. The final results will be long-lasting, assuming you maintain your weight.
Do you still have questions about liposuction? Contact us to set up a personal consultation today!