Liposuction is one of the most popular cosmetic surgeries performed to get rid of stubborn, localized areas of fat. The procedure involves using a hollow rod-like instrument, called a cannula, to suck out fat from the problematic areas. Liposuction can be performed on various areas of the body including the abdomen, hips, buttocks, thighs, back, upper arms, calves, facial areas and breasts. Furthermore, liposuction can be used to sculpt the body and provide a slimmer and more proportionate appearance. Although this procedure might seem ideal, anyone considering liposuction should reflect on its pros and cons before making a decision.
Pros of Liposuction
- Liposuction is a very common procedure and has a high success rate.
- Liposuction can instantly remove stubborn fat which diet and exercise has been unsuccessful with eliminating.
- This procedure can benefit patients who are within 30% of their ideal weight but have localized areas of fat.
- While liposuction can slim down fatty areas, it can also add more definition to the areas where the desires it. (For example: Taking fat from the thighs can give the buttocks a shapelier silhouette.)
- An improvement in the treatment area can usually be seen within a few days after some swelling has resolved.
- Liposuction can reduce the appearance of some cellulite and dimpling.
- Since only small incisions are made with liposuction, scarring usually fades over time and becomes nominal.
- Liposuction may be performed under local anesthesia depending on how many treatment areas are selected.
- Liposuction has proven to be safer and have less downtime when compared to other invasive operations.
- The fat removed during liposuction will not come back to the region that was treated.
- Liposuction can be done in combination with many other procedures such as a tummy tuck, neck lift or facelift to help achieve the best possible results.
Cons of Liposuction
- Liposuction is not a weight loss procedure and should only be used as a reshaping technique to contour various regions of the body.
- This procedure is not intended for overweight or obese patients so they may need to lose some weight to become a better candidate for liposuction.
- Liposuction is limited by the amount of fat which can safely be removed.
- Liposuction cannot completely remove cellulite and cannot tighten loose skin.
- Patients can expect common side effects such as pain, swelling and bruising.
- Some patients may not see results until a few weeks post-op due to the possibility of extensive bruising and swelling.
- Residual swelling can last for up to 5 months before it completely dissipates and reveals the final results.
- Recovery and downtime can last a week or two with such restrictions as no heavy lifting or exercise.
- Liposuction poses several risks including infection, bleeding, seroma, hematoma, wound healing issues, blood clots, asymmetry, scarring or irregularities.
- Complications with anesthesia can occur and can range from minor complications such as headaches, nausea or vomiting to serious complications including a coma or death.
- Lifestyle changes such as a healthy diet and exercise are needed after liposuction in order to maintain lasting results.
- Although the removed fat cannot come back, new fat can collect in a different region than what was treated causing the patient to once again be unhappy with their appearance.
- The results of liposuction can be affected by weight gain, aging and pregnancy.