What is liposuction?
Liposuction is a surgical technique that improves the body’s contour by removing excess fat deposits located between the skin and muscle. Liposuction involves the use of a small stainless steel tube called a cannula. The liposuction cannula, typically connected to a powerful suction pump, is inserted into the fat through small incisions in the skin, and fat is removed by suction as the cannula creates tiny tunnels through the fat. During the healing process after liposuction, these tiny tunnels shrink and disappear, resulting in an improved body contour.
Who would be a good candidate for liposuction?
The best candidates for liposuction are in good health and have realistic expectations of what liposuction can accomplish. Liposuction can provide a good candidate with a significant improvement, but it is unlikely to achieve perfection. There is no definite age or weight limit for patients who are “good candidates” for liposuction. Many patients are of average size, but they are concerned about localized accumulations of fat. However, some of the most satisfied liposuction patients have been individuals who are somewhat obese.
Who is not a good candidate?
A person who expects absolute perfection is not a good candidate for liposuction. Excessively obese patients are usually not good candidates for liposuction and anyone who has a serious medical problem is not a good candidate for liposuction.
Is liposuction the recommended treatment for obesity?
Liposuction is not a good treatment of obesity. Liposuction is not effective, even as a last resort, for people who are unable to lose weight by dieting and exercise. Obese patients almost always regain the weight that is removed by liposuction unless there is a dramatic reduction in calorie intake (by dieting) or a significant increase in calorie expenditure (by exercising).
Whenever large-volume liposuction has been used in an attempt to treat obesity by surgery, there has been a significant increase in the incidence of serious surgical complications. It is not safe to remove huge amounts of fat by liposuction. It is dangerous to remove more than 8 to 10 pounds of fat by liposuction in a single day. Thus, liposuction will not be of any significant benefit for an obese patient who believes that liposuction will aid in the effort to lose weight.
An overweight person whose weight has been stable for many years and has certain problem areas of fat may be a good candidate for liposuction. Liposuction in an obese patient is reasonable when the goal is to improve a troublesome body contour area. It is not reasonable to use liposuction as a surgical technique for weight loss.
Does liposuction yield permanent results?
If a patient does gain a moderate amount of weight after liposuction, then the figure will simply be a larger version of the new body shape. Fat cells that are removed by liposuction do not grow back. As long as the patient does not gain excessive amounts of weight, the new, more pleasing body is permanent.
Of course, after liposuction the clock keeps ticking, and advancing age will produce the usual changes in the shape of the body associated with the aging process. If a person gains weight after liposuction, she will not accumulate as much fat in the treated areas as would have happened if liposuction had not been done.
If you live in the Houston area or surrounding areas such as Pearland, Sugar Land or Friendswood and would like to learn more about liposuction, please contact cosmetic surgeon Dr. Leo Lapuerta today to schedule your initial consultation.