Photo showing a person measuring body fat

Liposuction continues to be a growing trend in cosmetic surgeries across the United States. It helps patients by removing fat that is not being lost as a result of dieting and exercise.

Liposuction is a procedure involving small incisions near the patient’s problem area. Liposuction procedures are performed for isolated areas of fat usually located in the abdomen, hips, buttocks, thighs (saddle bags), knees, and upper arms. A surgical tool known as the cannula is used to extract fatty cells that exist on the outer areas of the body.

There are differences where fat accumulates between men and women. Women seem to accumulate fat in the abdomen, hips, thighs, medial thighs and medial knees. (Medial refers to the side close to the midline). Men on the other hand seem to accumulate fat around the lower torso – the tire tube area.

A common misconception is that liposuction will cause weight loss. Fat does not weigh much. An individual may have a lot of fat that increases the weight of the patient but this patient is not a good liposuction candidate. An individual with let’s say 100 pounds of fat should first lose the fat through dieting and exercise. If fat remains after losing the excess fat, then liposuction (or body contouring procedures) should be considered.

Liposuction is to remove excess fat that causes contours to bulge. Removing the fat will improve the contour and decrease the circumference of a body part. For example, if one removes fat from the abdomen and hips, then the circumference will be reduced. This improves the contour.

There is another misconception about removing fat using liposuction. Some patients believe all the fat is removed. It is not. There are two layers of fat below the skin. There is a superficial layer and a deep layer. The deep layer is removed in liposuction. The superficial layer is not removed. The superficial layer helps to hide any contour irregularities as a result of liposuction. Also, if all the fat is removed the dermis of the skin can scar down to the underlying tissues causing a significant contour irregularity which can be visible on the skin contour.

This procedure gives the best results when the patient:

  • Is within 30% of their ideal weight who have firm, elastic skin and good muscle tone
  • Healthy without life-threatening medical conditions making recovery harder
  • Non-smokers
  • Has a positive outlook and specific goals in mind for body contouring

Healthy diet and exercise are always recommended for reaching the ultimate health status. Once a decision has been made to transform your body for the better, you will be faced with many challenges of curbing your appetite, creating a new lifestyle, and discipline to exercising. Reduction of hard-to-burn fat with the Liposuction procedure can help jumpstart your path to a slimmer, healthier image so that you can overcome the sometimes discouraging pace in progress of body figure.

If you are in the research phase of considering this procedure for yourself or a family member, it is perfectly normal to be cautious about many aspects.  At Reynolds Plastic Surgery, we believe that our success hinges on how thorough we address your desires and concerns at the consultation.  For this reason, we dedicate a considerable amount of time to discussion with you regarding the procedure. Below are some questions others have asked who are considering liposuction.

What should I expect for recovery time?
The recovery time after liposuction is shorter than a Tummy Tuck. Patients are up and walking shortly after the procedure. The patients are expected to rest after the surgery but they often report they are resuming activities of daily living within a day.

What does bandaging and wound care look like for a liposuction post-operation?
There are multiple small incisions (depending upon the number of areas that had Liposuction) with small sutures and are usually covered with simple Band-Aides.

When can I resume exercising?
This is done soon after surgery. If a patient is a trained athlete then the patient may not be at his personal best immediately after surgery. The athlete will take some time to peak out.  Patients are encouraged to begin to activities as tolerated within days of Liposuction.

Will this get rid of cellulite?
No. There may some slight improvement initially but cellulite is more than a problem of fat accumulation.

Will I be able to walk during the recovery period after surgery?
Yes. Patients are encouraged to walk. As the days pass the distance one can walk will increase. Whatever level of activity the patient had before surgery, that level of activity is the goal to achieve after surgery.

If you are bothered by excess fat deposits – located anywhere on your body – that don’t respond to diet or exercise, liposuction may be right for you.  If you’d like to complete your research phase by discussing in-full with Dr. Reynolds, he can be made available to answer your questions.

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