5 Things You May Not Know About Liposuction

Published: August 22, 2023
Category: Dr. Robert Wilke, Liposuction, General

Liposuction was the most requested plastic surgery worldwide between 2021-2022, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons annual statistic report. For the last five years, an average of 200,000 people per year in the United States have used this safe, surgical fat removal procedure to contour their bodies and elevate their self-confidence. Even with its immense popularity, there are still some things many patients need to learn about liposuction surgery.

What is Liposuction?

Liposuction is a minimally invasive surgical procedure that removes stubborn pockets of subcutaneous fat throughout the body,” explains Dr. Robert Wilke, a board-certified plastic surgeon and partner at Edina Plastic Surgery. “This process redefines bodily contours and provides a new shape to the body based on the patient’s aesthetic preferences. Liposuction can be highly customized and performed on several body areas, making it one of the most versatile body contouring procedures available today.”

5 Things You May Not Know About Liposuction

#1 – Liposuction is NOT a weight loss procedure

Every plastic surgeon in the world wishes their scalpel was a magic wand that could solve every concern in a single surgery, especially when it comes to weight loss. However, even though liposuction removes unwanted fat, it should never be considered a weight loss procedure.

Liposuction is not a cure for obesity and should never regarded as a weight loss method,” says Dr. Wilke. “A more appropriate way to view liposuction is as a body contouring procedure. In fact, most surgeons will not perform liposuction on patients who have a significant amount of weight to lose. Instead, those patients are encouraged to get within 20-30 lbs. of their ideal body weight and maintain it for several months through diet and exercise before pursuing liposuction surgery. After that time, liposuction can be used to address stubborn pockets of fat that have proven resistant to diet and exercise in specific areas of the body. A patient’s results are usually permanent as long as they maintain a stable weight after surgery.”

#2 – It takes time to prepare your body for liposuction

If you are considering liposuction to reshape your body, you must prioritize how you prepare for surgery to ensure you achieve the best results. This can take time.

Liposuction is NOT a lunchtime procedure,” cautions Dr. Wilke. “Patients need to take how they prepare for surgery very seriously. This may include making several changes during the months and weeks leading up to your surgery, like losing weight, dietary restrictions, abstaining from alcohol and smoking, and stopping certain medications and supplements. All of these factors will be discussed during your initial consultation with your surgeon. They should not be taken lightly, as they can dramatically reduce the risk of complications from surgery.”

#3 – Liposuction isn’t limited to your abdomen and can be combined with other procedures

Perhaps it’s all the chiseled abs we see on social media, but many patients have the misconception that liposuction is just for the stomach area. Luckily, it is far more versatile than that!

Liposuction is fantastic for removal of fat in the midsection, but it by no means is limited to the stomach area,” says Dr. Wilke. “Liposuction can pretty much be used anywhere on the body where there are stubborn, excess pockets of fat, including the abdomen, ankles, arms, buttocks, hips, knees, neck, under the chin, thighs, flanks, and back. The cannulas that a plastic surgeon uses during liposuction surgery come in different sizes, allowing us to treat large areas like the stomach or small, detail-oriented areas like under the chin.”

Liposuction can also be beneficial when performed with other plastic surgeries, like tummy tuck and Mommy Makeover surgery, and can even improve a patient’s results from these procedures.

“One of the most popular plastic surgery combinations we perform at Edina Plastic Surgery is tummy tuck plus liposuction,” says Dr. Wilke. “Liposuction allows us to reshape the contours of the entire midsection, while tummy tuck removes excess, sagging skin on the abdomen. Together, they create a tighter, smoother, more contoured abdomen. But, if performed alone, neither tummy tuck nor liposuction would be able to produce the same result. If your plastic surgeon thinks you may benefit from combining liposuction with another procedure, they will discuss this at your initial consultation. Like you, their goal is to ensure you get the absolute best result from surgery!”

#4 – Recovery from liposuction is different for each person and involves A LOT of personal responsibility

In general, the recovery from liposuction takes about 4-6 weeks, but that can vary from person to person, depending on how disciplined you are with your recovery, your lifestyle, and what type of job you are returning to. How diligent you are about observing your post-care instructions can significantly affect how quickly and comfortably you recover from liposuction.

“Most of my liposuction patients return to work within two weeks after surgery,” says Dr. Wilke. “But, this will depend on several factors like the extent of their surgery, whether it was combined with another procedure, the work they do, especially if it involves lifting heavy things. It’s important not to rush your recovery, get lots of rest, and anticipate that it may take up to six weeks before you fully return to your normal activity level. Patients that push the envelope and do more than they should too soon can compromise their results and delay their recovery.”

As with any plastic surgery, you can’t transfer the responsibility of your recovery onto anyone else but YOU. Prepare for your recovery by ensuring you have a support network of family and friends who will help you for the first two weeks after surgery. Get your home environment ready with rest and recovery areas, pre-made meals, and loose comfy clothes to rest in. Clear your work schedule so you don’t stress about deadlines when you should be resting. Follow your post-care instructions to the letter, especially when it comes to wearing compression garments, icing, medication use, and lifting and movement restrictions. The more seriously you take your recovery, the better your outcome will be!

#5 – The biggest factor in maintaining your liposuction results is YOU

Liposuction results are permanent as long as you maintain a healthy weight and lifestyle after surgery. That means there is a high degree of personal responsibility if you want to enjoy your results for the long term.

“Unfortunately, or fortunately, your liposuction surgery doesn’t include your plastic surgeon coming home with you to monitor and maintain your results,” laughs Dr. Wilke. “The patients who enjoy the best longevity with their liposuction results embrace a healthy lifestyle after surgery that includes a clean diet, regular exercise, a solid sleep schedule, and reduced stress. Liposuction removes fat cells, but that doesn’t mean the remaining fat cells can’t grow larger if you gain weight after surgery. In fact, if you do gain weight after liposuction, the distribution of that weight may also change and accumulate in a different area of the body than normal. So, I can’t stress enough the importance of protecting your surgical investment by living the healthiest lifestyle you can after surgery. Like you, I want you to enjoy your results for as long as possible and the confidence that comes from your new shape!”

Schedule a complimentary consultation to discuss liposuction with Dr. Robert Wilke or another board-certified plastic surgeon at Edina Plastic Surgery by calling (612) 699-3177, texting (952) 925-1765, or CLICKING HERE.

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