Liposuction is often depicted as a quick, easy way to get rid of unwanted fat. While the procedure does remove fat, it’s not a magic bullet. There are a number of myths about the procedure floating around pop culture. These myths often lead to a misunderstanding of what liposuction is, what it can do, and what the results are.
Liposuction isn’t suitable for everyone. Your body might not be ready for the procedure now, but could be sometime in the future. Learning what’s fact and what’s fiction when it comes to liposuction will help you determine if the surgery is something to consider.
Myth #1: Liposuction is Designed for Weight Loss
One of the more prevalent myths about liposuction is that it can be used as a weight loss tool. If you are trying to lose weight, liposuction is actually not the procedure for you. According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, the surgery is best suited for people who are within 30 percent of the range of their desired weight.
Liposuction is best thought of as a contouring procedure. It removes extra fat that won’t go away with diet or exercise, giving you the body shape you want. You can choose to undergo the procedure after losing weight, if you still have areas of stubborn fat. But for weight loss, your best bet is to change your diet, exercise or consider bariatric surgery, based on what your doctor recommends.
Myth #2: Liposuction Treats Cellulite
Cellulite is the fat right below the surface of the skin. It typically looks bumpy and uneven because the fat pushes through the connective tissue. While many people think it is unattractive, cellulite doesn’t present any health concerns. It’s also not removed by liposuction, although the procedure might make your cellulite less visible. If it’s a concern for you, you can discuss options for reducing the look of cellulite with your doctor.
Myth #3: Liposuction Isn’t Surgery
Another persistent myth about liposuction is that it isn’t actually a surgical procedure. Non-surgical fat removal treatments are available, such as CoolSculpt, but liposuction isn’t one of them.
If you choose to undergo liposuction, you will receive either general anesthesia or heavy sedation. Local anesthesia and light sedation is also available as an option. It typically takes up to a year for final results to be appear as swelling resolves and you’ll need about a week before you can get back to your daily activities. Usually, you’ll be able to participate in strenuous activities, such as exercise, after four weeks. You should make follow-up appointments with your surgeon to make sure that your recovery is going well.
Myth #4: Men Don’t Get Liposuction
Liposuction was the fourth most popular cosmetic procedure in 2013. While some people think that only women are candidates for the surgery, it’s long been one of the more popular procedures with men.
The areas that are commonly treated by liposuction are usually different for men and women. While women most often want to remove fat from their thighs and hips, men commonly focus on the stomach area, such as the love handles, and even the area under the chin.
Myth #5: Liposuction Results Are Magic and Permanent
The results you get from liposuction should be long-lasting. It will require some effort on your part to make the results last, though. The surgery doesn’t remove every trace of fat from your body. If you stop eating a balanced, healthy diet or stop exercising, you are likely to gain weight, which will negate the results from your surgery.
If you are concerned about weight gain after your procedure, you can discuss diet and exercise options with your doctor. Making a commitment to maintaining your current diet and exercise habits will help your results last longer.
Now that you know the facts about liposuction, you can seriously consider whether the procedure is right for you. Contact award-winning, board certified plastic surgeons Drs. George Bitar and Robert Centeno for a consultation in the Virginia, Maryland and Washington, DC area. To schedule an appointment, call (703) 206-0506 today.