Are you really ready for liposuction?
What are your expectations of liposuction?
Liposuction is a surgical procedure to remove localised pockets of excess fat from the body. It works best to remove the stubborn subcutaneous fat you have inherited through genetics, which cause one part of your body to be more bulky compared to other parts of your body.
Liposuction is not a substitute for a healthy lifestyle and diet. If your diet has caused you to gain weight generally all over your body, it’s recommended you continue to exercise and improve your eating habits before going down this path.
While you will achieve significant improvements in body contour through liposuction, it may not result in particularly large amounts of weight loss, and it will not cure ‘cellulite’. It’s important that you don’t go into a liposuction procedure with a vision in your mind of coming out a much lower weight and cellulite-free.
The genetics factor
As discussed above, liposuction works particularly well on localised pockets of subcutaneous fat you’ve inherited as part of your genetic makeup. Maybe you’ve come from a long line of women with bulky thighs. Or, for the men, perhaps there’s a history of gynecomastia in your family.
Our genes determine where our body stores fat, plus the number of individual fat cells. Believe it or not, the number of individual fat cells in your body is predetermined by your genes and is fixed once you have passed puberty. What is variable is the amount of fat that is stored in these cells; this is controlled by diet and exercise.
Liposuction works by removing these actual individual fat cells. Once they are gone, your body cannot replace them – the removal is permanent. However, your body is still able to store fat inside other individual fat cells elsewhere on your body. It should be noted that it is possible the treated area that can enlarge with incorrect eating habits. However, with a sensible diet and a healthy lifestyle, it will not return to the size it was pre-surgery.
How’s your health?
As previously mentioned, liposuction is not a substitute for exercise and a good diet when it comes to weight loss. It’s recommended you be in the best shape you can be before undergoing liposuction. It’s also important to note that people who suffer from cardiovascular disease or diabetes can be more likely to experience complications when undergoing liposuction.
You should be aware there are a number of risks involved in liposuction including, but not limited to: bleeding, infection, skin irregularities, numbness or sensitivity, scars, bruising, seromas, allergic or toxic reactions to drugs, and blood clots. These risks and measures to minimise them will be discussed with you during your consultation.
Your mental health is also another consideration at this time. If you have concerns around your mental health, it’s important you address these before undergoing any liposuction procedure, and ensure that your expectations of its potential impact on your physique are realistic.
The “aftermath” of liposuction
Liposuction will not make you an overnight supermodel or millionaire, or suddenly give you an amazing love life. If you go into the procedure with an un-realistic picture in your head of what your body and life will be like afterwards, you may well be setting yourself up for disappointment.
The full results of liposuction may not be immediately obvious straight after your procedure due to residual swelling caused by tissue trauma. It’s also possible that you may retain some tumescent fluid, but this should be absorbed over a month or two.
If you have looser skin or lax musculature, you may need an additional procedure such as a tummy tuck, upper arm tuck, inner thigh lift, or total body lift to improve the overall look of your results.
So, are you really ready for liposuction?
If, after carefully considering all of these factors, you are positive that you are mentally, emotionally, and physically prepared for liposuction, the next step is to ensure you choose a trustworthy and caring surgeon.
Dr Margaret Anderson performs liposuction and body contouring in various hospitals in Adelaide.