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In 2017, liposuction was the second most commonly cosmetic surgical procedures performed, following only breast augmentation, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. It’s become an appealing option for both men and women who want to eliminate fat deposits, but it shouldn’t be considered weight loss surgery. While you may lose some pounds, the goal is to redefine and reshape the contours of the body in places that aren’t responding to dieting and regular exercise.
If liposuction is something you’ve been thinking about undergoing, whether it’s minimally invasive laser liposuction, power assisted liposuction using a motorized surgical device or something else, it’s important to determine whether it’s really right for you by asking yourself lots of questions, including these.
Are you close to your ideal weight?
It’s critical to understand that liposuction isn’t an easier path to achieving weight loss – it’s not going to get rid of that extra 30 pounds you’ve added over the years. The ideal candidate is someone who is within 30 percent of their target weight. Typically, the amount of fat removed during the surgery is no more than 10 pounds and may be as little as just a pound. The more fat that’s removed, the higher the safety risks as well as the risk for problems like contour irregularities and skin rippling to occur.
Are you in good health and/or taking certain medications?
Not only are the best candidates for liposuction within 30 percent of their body weight, there are other factors to consider too. Ideally you should be a non-smoker in good health overall with a realistic expectation about the procedure’s outcome. If you aren’t healthy, you may have a higher risk of complications. In particular, there’s a greater risk linked to those who have a past history of seizure disorders, blood clots in the lungs, immunodeficiency problems, cardiac arrhythmias, excessive bleeding or a significant history of deep vein thrombosis. Age is a factor too.
If you’re taking certain medications, they can increase the risk of bleeding making liposuction unsafe, including non-steroidal anti-inflammatories and anticoagulants like Coumadin. Of course, it’s a must to go over all medications you’re taking with the surgeon or his/her staff during a consultation.
Do you have the time and patience for recovery?
If you’re looking at a more invasive type of liposuction you’ll need to consider the recovery time involved. Patients have to wear a compression garment for at least three or four weeks to help prevent swelling and won’t be able to return to normal activities for a couple of weeks. While some improvement is likely to be noticed soon after the procedure, healing is gradual. There will be bruising and swelling during the weeks after surgery, with a new silhouette generally not revealed for three to six months.
Procedures like laser liposuction are performed under local anesthesia in a doctor’s office. Most patients who choose this option don’t have a lot of downtime to worry about, usually only just a few days, especially if the site is relatively small.