We live in an age of instant information, but as we all know, an overabundance of misinformation continues to stack up like so much snow on a January day.
As a board-certified plastic surgeon, there’s one area of my profession still makes me shake my head quite a bit. It seems there are long-standing legends around the procedure we call liposuction.
Today’s the day we grab some of these myths and discard them for what they are: half-truths or incomplete ideas.
Liposuction has changed considerably since it was introduced 30 years ago. Like all other aspects of medicine, we have made progress and eliminated poor outcomes. But myths have root in truth, so let’s look at the full facts. Why reconsider this procedure?
That’s simple: for many patients, liposuction can bring a quality of life, due to appearance improvements, that no diet, exercise routine or other approach can provide. With that said, it’s important to realize that liposuction isn’t a one-step cure-all. There are very few medical procedures that are that simple.
We use liposuction to remove excess fat, including fat around the thighs, stomach, upper arms, buttocks, or the waistline. There are many techniques that are used and our practice is familiar with each – and we’ll help you determine the best one for your situation.
It’s important to realize the body stores two types of fat. Subcutaneous fat makes up about 90 percent of the body’s fat, but another 10 percent of the fat cells in our bodies are (known as visceral or intra-abdominal fat) are not subject to liposuction.
That’s why we will help you identify your “problem” fat before we consider liposuction; so you have accurate expectations of what it can and cannot do. Speaking of which, let’s take a look at some of the myths – and the facts – around this helpful procedure.
Myth: Liposuction can only be used in certain places on the body.
Truth: While location of use varies between patients, we have successfully targeted and removed hard-to-remove fat in almost every part of the body.
Myth: Liposuction will help you lose weight fast – to heck with exercise!
Truth: The procedure, regardless of its target or method, is not a weight-loss solution. It has been proven to help “tough spots” on individuals who struggle to lose fat, especially in a place where all the sit-ups and dieting in the world cannot seem to reach.
Myth: Liposuction isn’t really surgery, so you’re facing no risks.
Truth: The procedures we provide are minimally invasive, but patients will have some soreness and will need time to recover, depending on the scope of the procedure, their health and fitness level and a number of other factors. It is surgery, so do not expect results that are “instant” – but expect good results.
Myth: Liposuction will get rid of this cellulite that I hate!
Truth: The process isn’t designed to remove cellulite, but we have other procedures besides liposuction that can help with the persistent dimpling of the skin known as cellulite. But liposuction isn’t a fix for it. It can create “near permanent” results but only if one avoids regaining weight through diet and exercise.
Myth: Only women consider liposuction; it’s just for ladies.
Truth: More and more men are taking advantage of this procedure, especially when fat around the waist won’t go away. Positive outcomes from liposuction are more common with both genders.
Finally, the truth about liposuction is that with good diet, proper exercise and grounded expectations on how it works, the procedure can produce long-last benefits and perhaps help you look and feel the way you want. That’s a priceless way to start the New Year, and it’s worth considering if you’re tired of the plateau where you now might be stuck.