The Top 5 Myths About Liposuction—and the Truths Behind Them
- 01 September 2016
- Dr. Mark Broudo
Liposuction may be one of the most easily recognizable cosmetic surgeries of all time, but it is also often misunderstood—no thanks to all the myths and misinformation surrounding the treatment.
Learn to differentiate liposuction fact from fiction as we detail the top five myths about liposuction—and the truths behind them.
Myth #1: Liposuction can help you lose weight.
Ask any woman why she is thinking of getting a liposuction and she will probably tell you that she wants to lose weight. But in fact, that is one of the most common misconceptions about liposuction. This surgical procedure is not meant for weight loss, as nobody can safely lose any significant weight from liposuction. Similarly, it cannot eliminate stretch marks and cellulite from the skin—although the latter can be significantly reduced.
Admittedly, there are rare cases when liposuction can be used to jumpstart a weight loss program. But such instances are rare and performed with extreme caution.
Truth: It can help contour your body.
What liposuction does is remove small and localized concentrations of fat from certain areas of the body like the abdomen, thighs, and buttocks, hence providing a nice contour. In most cases, a maximum of ten pounds is allowed to be removed from the treated area.
That is why the ideal liposuction candidate should already be close to her ideal weight, and this can be achieved through diet and exercise prior to the procedure. Liposuction should only apply to fat deposits that diet and exercise missed.
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Myth #2: The fat will come back somewhere else after liposuction.
Plastic surgeons often hear liposuction patients fret about their fear that their fats will return after they have had liposuction. While this fear is understandable, it does not have any truth to it, as there is no way that fat can magically find its way to another area of your body.
For patients who had liposuction, it might appear that way, as the treated areas would no longer fill with fat the same way that they used to. As a result, the remaining fat cells in the other areas of your body will pick up the slack—but only when you significantly gain weight.
Truth: The results of a liposuction are permanent, provided you maintain your weight.
The results of your liposuction will last a lifetime, but only if you watch your weight. If you gain significant weight, you will eventually fill out all the areas of fat deposition that you are predisposed to, as determined by your hormones and genes.
If, after your liposuction, you continue to make unhealthy lifestyle choices that cause you to gain weight, then do not expect your body to look as contoured as it was after your surgery. That is why weight maintenance is a key aspect in making the results of your surgery last.
Myth #3: Only young women can get a liposuction.
According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS), the majority of patients who underwent liposuction in 2015 were women aged 30 to 54 years old—a trend that has been going on for years. That is the reason why many seem to think that liposuction is only geared towards women of this age group.
But over the years, the number of men seeking liposuction have increased. These men are typically close to their ideal weight but have persistent fat pockets on their abdomens, love handles, or chest that can be easily solved by liposuction.
Similarly, liposuction can be done as early as age 18 if needed. On the other end of the scale, some cosmetic surgeons have even performed liposuction on patients in their 80s—as long as they are in good health.
Truth: Liposuction knows no age or gender.
Last year’s ASPS statistics showed that liposuction has been performed across all age groups for both men and women. Around 3,500 patients aged 13-19 underwent liposuction in 2015, up by seven percent from 2014. More than 30,000 patients aged 20-29 also had this procedure, as well as over 20,000 aged 55 and up. The biggest age groups are those in the 30-39 and 40-54 brackets, accounting for as much as 73 percent of all liposuction procedures done in 2015.
Liposuction also ranked as the fourth most common cosmetic surgery for men in 2015, accounting for 12 percent of all liposuction surgeries done that year—up by five percent from 2014.
Myth #4: The more fat removed, the better.
Isn’t it plain common sense that the more fat you remove from your body, the better the results will be? Surprisingly, that is not the case as it only makes you more susceptible to the risks associated with a liposuction.
Most plastic surgeons tend to go the conservative and low-risk route, despite the fact that many patients request aggressive treatment of localized fatty deposits to get rid of unsightly irregularities, bumps, and lumps. The ASPS recommends limiting liposuction to five liters in an outpatient setting.
Truth: Liposuction also poses some risks.
As with any type of surgery, liposuction has its own set of risks. These include infection, extended healing time, allergic reaction to anesthesia, the presence of fat or blood clots, excessive fluid loss, fluid accumulation, scarring, numb skin, skin pigmentation changes, skin or nerve damage, and even damage to vital organs. Excessive liposuction can also cause problems such as dents, lumps, and sagging skin.
To prevent the complications of too much lipo, it is advisable to schedule multiple treatments at least several days apart.
Myth #5: A liposuction and tummy tuck are just the same.
Some people might interchange these two, but strictly speaking, a liposuction and tummy tuck are not quite the same. As defined by the ASPS, a liposuction is the removal of excess fatty deposits in a particular location in the body in order to slim and reshape that area, improve your body contours and proportion, and ultimately, boost your self-confidence.
On the other hand, a tummy tuck focuses on removing excess fat and skin in the abdominal area. It also restores weakened or separated abdominal muscles to create a smoother and firmer abdominal profile.
Truth: These procedures can be combined for optimum results.
The good news is that you can take advantage of the benefits of both liposuction and tummy tuck by combining the two. A liposuction can help get rid of fat, while a tummy tuck can get rid of excess skin, reduce the appearance of stretch marks, and bring together your abdominal muscles to make it look more toned. You can ask your cosmetic surgeon about it.
Now that you have unraveled the truths behind the common myths in liposuction, you might want to learn more about liposuction in detail. Call us and Schedule a Free Consultation with one of Face + Body Cosmetic Surgery’s highly experienced and board-certified surgeons and let us know about your liposuction concerns.