Considering Liposuction? Here’s What You Need to Know

Choosing your body just got easier.

Liposuction is one of the most popular cosmetic procedures. Nearly 500,000 liposuction procedures were performed in 2017, a 5 percent increase over 2016. If you’ve been thinking about getting liposuction, you’re in good company.

But like all types of cosmetic surgery, liposuction should be approached with caution and well-informed expectations. It’s important to know if you’re a good candidate for the procedure as well. The providers at Advanced Plastic Surgery Center offer this helpful guide about what you should know about liposuction.

Liposuction is a comparatively minor procedure

Some forms of plastic surgery, such as tummy tucks and breast augmentation, are more involved procedures that include a longer recovery period. But liposuction is comparatively much less invasive and requires a shorter time to recover. 

The procedure itself requires general anesthesia or local anesthesia with conscious sedation. It usually takes only 1 to 3 hours. Many patients go home on the day of the procedure. Most people can return to work within five days, though your doctor will tell you when you can return to strenuous activity. You’ll have to put high-intensity workouts on hold for at least a couple of weeks.

You should be in good health

While many types of people may want to get liposuction, not everyone is an equally good candidate for the procedure. You should be in good health overall. People who have diabetes, heart conditions, or who are current smokers should get a consultation to find out if the procedure is recommended for them.

The best candidates for liposuction also have surface fat, rather than visceral fat that forms around your organs. We can tell you which type of fat you have if you’re unsure.

Liposuction isn’t a substitute for weight loss

While it would be nice if you could get all your fat removed without having to diet and exercise first, unfortunately, liposuction doesn’t work that way. You should be within about 30 percent of your ideal body weight before undergoing liposuction.

However, liposuction is excellent for removing stubborn pockets of fat (such as on your tummy, hips, or thighs) that aren’t responding well to diet and exercise. You might already be at an attractive weight but these pockets of fat change your shape in an unappealing way. Liposuction can be one way to sculpt your body into a more appealing version of itself.

You should have realistic expectations

You shouldn’t expect to lose a lot of weight after liposuction. Most people have only a few pounds of fat removed. However, because fat weighs less than muscle, a few pounds lost can still translate to dramatic visual results and inches lost. And it’s important to know that liposuction can’t make a difference in cellulite.

Bruising and swelling are normal after the procedure as well. You may be sore and uncomfortable in the first few days after liposuction. The surgery itself does carry some risks, such as excessive bleeding, cardiac risks, and damage to tissue, nerves, or organs. These complications are rare, but it’s important to follow the post-operative instructions you’re given before discharge.

It’s also important to note that liposuction doesn’t prevent you from developing new fat, so you should follow a healthy diet and exercise regimen to maintain your new shape.

As with all types of cosmetic procedures, it matters who performs your liposuction. You want Board-certified doctors who have training and experience in performing your procedure. This is not an occasion where you want to look for the lowest cost option.

If you would like to find out more about liposuction, including whether you’re a good candidate for the procedure, the best thing to do is to schedule a consultation. To make an appointment, contact our Arlington office at 703-260-6446.

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