Have you been considering taking dramatic steps to help you get the body you have always wanted? Most conversations about losing fat quickly revolve around liposuction. This method of body contouring has been around for a long time. Although considered very safe, lipo is a form of plastic surgery and deserves careful consideration. The following is a basic guide to this treatment option. It is designed to help you make an informed decision.
What is Liposuction?
In simple terms, lipo involves suctioning out excess fat from the body. There are different techniques used to accomplish this, depending on the specific wants and needs of the individual. In order to suction out the fat, a small tube is carefully inserted into the treatment area.
One of the most common methods used is known as tumescent liposuction. This technique involves injecting a diluted anesthetic to plump up the target area. When it is time to suction out the fat, the diluted anesthetic is removed as well. At a consultation, the options for this procedure will be discussed and a treatment plan will be created.
Who is a Good Candidate for Lipo?
The best way to know if you are a good candidate for this procedure is to sit down at a consultation. This allows us to get to know your medical history as well as what you are hoping to accomplish with liposuction. The following things increase your odds of being considered a good candidate:
- Being at or close to your ideal weight
- Being at least 18 years old
- Being a non-smoker
- Having a decent amount of skin elasticity
- Being in good general health
- Having realistic expectations for your surgery and outcome
This procedure is a good choice for those who feel certain areas of their bodies are not in proper proportion with the rest. It is NOT ideal for those who are wanting to address loose or sagging skin. Liposuction will also not help improve the appearance of cellulite. Finally, it is not recommended to treat obesity. Of course, during a consultation at Old Town Med Spa, we can determine whether or not you qualify for this procedure.
What are Common Treatment Areas?
This procedure is meant to help sculpt areas of the body that have been clinging to stubborn fat. Areas of the body that people frequently use this procedure for include:
- Chest area
Different Types of Liposuction
As technology and medicine have advanced, new methods of performing this surgery have been developed. The most commonly used ones are:
- Tumescent: This technique, which was described above, is the most commonly done. Many people are able to have it done under local anesthesia. The injected anesthetic helps to minimize discomfort during the entire procedure.
- Laser Assisted: With this technique, a laser is used prior to beginning to help break up and dislodge fat cells. The goal is to make them easier to suction out.
- Ultrasound Assisted: This technique works in a similar fashion, but it uses ultrasound energy to break up the fatty tissue instead. This helps to speed up the surgery when dealing with large areas.
- Suction Assisted: Here, a vacuum-like device is used to help remove the fat more efficiently.
Preparing for Your Consultation
Prior to sitting down at your consultation, you will need to think about your specific goals for this procedure. It is also a good idea to make a list of questions you have. We will have questions about your medical history, current medications, and any allergies you may have. Sometimes, a different procedure combined with liposuction will get you the best possible results. Tummy tucks and other lifts are good examples. We will discuss all of the options available to you at your consultation.
If you decide you would like to go forward with this procedure, you will be given some instructions on how to best prepare for it. You may be advised to cut out certain foods. If you are on medications such as blood thinners, you will be asked to stop taking them temporarily for a set amount of time prior to your surgery.
What to Expect the Day of Your Surgery
It is important to bring someone with you to drive you home after your procedure. They should also stay with you for the first night as you recover from the anesthesia. Prior to beginning, the areas of the body that will be treated are marked.
The type of anesthesia you will use will depend on several factors. Liposuction is either done under general anesthesia or local anesthesia. General anesthesia means you will be completely “out.” With local anesthesia, you will be awake and aware of what is going on but you will not feel any real discomfort. How long the procedure takes depends on both the number and the size of the treatment areas.
Recovering from Lipo
Exactly what your recovery process will look like depends on many factors. In most cases, you will not have to stay overnight anywhere. You will be restricted to light-duty activities for the first few days. You can expect to gradually start resuming your normal activities in the days and weeks to follow. A compression garment is typically required to help with healing.
After your surgery, you can expect a customized aftercare plan. This will include answers to questions such as:
- When can I resume exercise?
- When can I return to work?
- How long will I need to wear a compression garment?
- What medications will I need to take? For how long?
- When do I need to come in for a follow-up visit?
Are the Results Permanent?
This surgical procedure will permanently remove fat cells. Your body stopped creating new fat cells sometime in your teenage years. In that regard, your results can be permanent. However, the remaining fat cells left behind can still stretch and grow. In order to enjoy your results for years to come, it will be important to maintain a healthy lifestyle. This is why the best candidates for this procedure are those who are already committed to eating healthy and those who have developed a sustainable exercise routine. If you do end up putting on weight after your surgery, it will likely start in areas of the body that were not treated.
The Benefits of Lipo
There are many reasons to consider this surgery if you are unhappy with the way your body looks. Believe it or not, not all of them are cosmetic. The procedure can be beneficial to those who:
- Have lost a lot of weight: Many people work hard and lose weight only to find that certain areas of their bodies are not cooperating. Certain areas like to cling to stubborn pockets of fat, which can be frustrating and discouraging on your weight loss journey. Liposuction can help eliminate them, giving you the results you have worked hard for.
- Need to tone certain areas: Fat deposits do not always distribute themselves evenly. If this sounds like your body, lipo can help restore balance.
- Have lipomas: A lipoma is a benign fatty tumor that can develop nearly anywhere on the body. Common areas include the shoulders, neck, arms, and torso. Lipo helps to break up and remove these fatty tumors.
- Have Lipodystrophy Syndrome: This is a disease that causes fat distribution on the body to become abnormal. Many people are embarrassed as a result. Liposuction will help even things out, improving self-esteem.
- Have Lymphedema: This chronic condition causes fluids to pool under the skin. As a result, the legs and arms swell. This can be incredibly uncomfortable.
Common Misconceptions About the Procedure
Despite the popularity of this procedure, there are many common myths that are out there and believed. One of these is that liposuction is the most beneficial for those who are severely overweight. This simply is not true. Only small amounts of fat can be removed at one time safely. Most experts will agree that liposuction is much more accurately a body sculpting technique than a weight loss one.
Another common myth is that only women have this type of plastic surgery done. This has never been true, and men are turning to this option in growing numbers. Common target areas for men include the love handles and the abdomen.
Some people falsely believe that “liposuction” and a “tummy tuck” are interchangeable terms for the same procedure. The two procedures do go together quite nicely, however. A tummy tuck will address excess skin and underlying muscles, where lipo only deals with the excess fat.
One myth you will be happy to know is false is that liposuction will directly cause you to gain fat in other areas of your body. While it is true that weight gained in the future will likely not go to the areas of your body that were treated, it is not a given that this will happen. Proper diet and exercise can keep your entire body looking and feeling great.
Ready to Take the Next Step?
If you are interested in learning more about lipo and whether or not it is the right treatment option for you, get in touch with our team of professionals at Old Town Med Spa. A member of our team will be happy to speak with you. Scheduling your consultation is the first step in this process, which may be exactly what you have been needing to reach your body goals.
Old Town Med Spa has two locations in Chicago and proudly serves men and women throughout the surrounding areas. Contact us today to book a consultation for body sculpting. We look forward to speaking with you!