Liposuction is designed to permanently eliminate unwanted fat and can be performed on nearly any part of the body. However, this surgical procedure is not intended for patients seeking dramatic weight loss. Liposuction is most effective for patients who are at or near their ideal weight but still struggle with isolated fat deposits around areas such as the lower abdomen, hips, or love handles. Our plastic surgeon believes that liposuction is best thought of as a body sculpting procedure that can complement an active lifestyle and a healthy diet, helping patients to fully realize their goals.
Benefits of Liposuction
Liposuction can benefit patients who are already close to their ideal weight but are unhappy with stubborn pockets of fat. When traditional methods of fat loss prove ineffective, liposuction can often be an effective method for revealing the natural curves or musculature of the body. Liposuction can be used to treat most areas of the body, including:
- Upper and lower abdomen
- Flanks/love handles
Some men also choose liposuction as part of the treatment for gynecomastia (male breast reduction) to achieve a more sculpted chest.
Ideal candidates for liposuction have pockets of fat that are resistant to diet and exercise efforts. In addition to being in good overall health, patients should have a body mass index (BMI) of 35 or under to minimize the risk of complications. Areas of the body with good skin tone and elasticity typically yield better results. The best way to determine your candidacy for liposuction is to schedule a consultation with a board-certified plastic surgeon.
The Liposuction Procedure
Liposuction surgery requires only small incisions that can be carefully placed within the natural creases of the body. By using cannulas that are only 2-3mm, our plastic surgeon can minimize postoperative swelling and bruising as well as reduce the overall recovery time. Liposuction is a less invasive surgery compared to procedures such as tummy tuck, and can typically be performed in 1-3 hours depending upon the patient’s customized surgical plan. Excess fat will be removed at the target area and the remaining fat can be sculpted to achieve a natural-looking, proportionate, and toned physique.
Risks Associated with Liposuction
Like all surgeries, liposuction will entail some risk. Most patients experience mild to moderate swelling, bruising, and soreness soon after their procedure. Some patients can experience numbness or itchiness, as well, though these side effects usually dissipate quickly when they occur. Additional side effects may include prolonged numbness as well as changes in skin color or texture.
Liposuction Recovery and Results
Immediately after the procedure, liposuction patients wear a compression garment to minimize any post-operative swelling. This garment is worn for approximately three weeks to aid in the healing process. Any discomfort experienced during this time can be easily managed with oral pain medication.
Most patients return to work and their normal daily activities after one week. However, strenuous exercise should be avoided for several weeks afterward. Though patients will likely notice an immediate change, the final results of the liposuction procedure will not be evident until the swelling has completely resolved and the healing process is complete.
To maintain these final results, patients should continue to exercise regularly and eat a healthy diet.
Contact Richmond Aesthetic Surgery
To learn more information about liposuction, or to schedule a consultation with Dr. Zemmel, please contact Richmond Aesthetic Surgery today.