Ideal Candidates for Liposuction
By Oren Zvi Lerman, M.D. on April 22, 2014
Despite leading a healthy lifestyle, some people still have small pockets of fat that make them feel embarrassed or unhappy. Because these problem areas may be due to genetics rather than proper diet or fitness, it can be especially frustrating.
When diet and exercise haven't worked, many people seek liposuction, one of the most common cosmetic surgery procedures. Although the popular procedure is very effective at reducing excess fat on the hips, abdomen, thighs, buttocks, and face, it's not suitable for everyone who seeks a slimmer physique. Let's take a brief look at how we evaluate liposuction candidates at our Manhattan plastic surgery practice.
What Is Liposuction?
During liposuction, a small, thin tube (cannula) is inserted through tiny incisions in the skin. As the tube is moved around under the skin, specific fat deposits are targeted and fat is suctioned out through the tube.
Recent techniques have made the procedure safer and less painful. These newer techniques include tumescent liposuction and ultrasound-assisted liposuction. In tumescent liposuction, a large amount of a saline-based solution is injected that contains a painkiller called lidocaine and a drug that contracts your blood vessels called epinephrine. In ultrasound-assisted liposuction, ultrasound energy is used to liquefy the fat before it is suctioned out.
In some cases, liposuction is performed along with other plastic surgery procedures, such as a breast reduction or a tummy tuck.
Who Is an Ideal Candidate for Liposuction?
Candidates should be in good overall health with realistic expectations about what liposuction can and cannot accomplish. Ideal candidates for liposuction are those who:
- Have specific areas of fat that do not respond well to diet and exercise
- Have firm, elastic skin and good muscle tone
- Exercise regularly and have maintained a stable, healthy weight
People with excess skin and fat may need an additional body contouring procedure - such as a thigh, arm, or buttocks lift - in order to achieve the best results.
People with cellulite are not good candidates for liposuction because they may develop skin irregularities after the treatment. Although age is not generally a major concern when considering liposuction, older adults may not be suitable candidates because of less-elastic skin that may not allow good results.
What Can I Expect after Liposuction?
A firmer, slimmer contour can usually be seen almost immediately after liposuction, although it will take time for your body to heal. You will notice swelling and bruising for at least the first week after the procedure. To help minimize swelling and support the skin as it shrinks to fit your new shape, you will need to wear a compression garment or elastic bandage over the treated area. You may also have small temporary drains in place to aid in healing.
As the swelling diminishes over the weeks and months, your new contours and enhanced self-image will be revealed. Controlling your weight and maintaining a healthy lifestyle will help ensure you continue to feel satisfied with the results of the procedure.
Learn More about Liposuction
If you are bothered by specific areas of fat that don't respond to diet and exercise, liposuction can give you a body that more accurately reflects the healthy lifestyle you lead. If you are interested in liposuction or another body contouring procedure, we invite you to schedule a consultation. During a private consultation, we can determine the best treatment option for your body type, concerns, and cosmetic goals.