Reshape Your Resolutions with Liposuction

Published: January 13, 2020
Category: Dr. Nathan Leigh, Liposuction

How surgical body contouring can help you reach your 2020 body goals

Each year, millions of Americans resolve to lose weight and reshape their bodies through diet and exercise. Even with significant weight loss and muscle gains, many find that they still have stubborn pockets of fat that seem to be resistant to their efforts in the gym and kitchen. It can be frustrating to see the number on the scale go down with each passing week, yet still have “trouble spots” that make you feel insecure or unattractive in certain clothing. When we lose weight, we tend to just become smaller versions of our original form. It is virtually impossible to target a specific area of the body with exercise, like “love handles,” and only lose fat there. But, this is EXACTLY what is possible with Liposuction Surgery! Liposuction can help you reach your New Year’s body goals by specifically addressing your areas of concern to recontour your body and reshape your resolutions!

Liposuction is one of the top five requested plastic surgery procedures year after year. According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeon’s 2018 Plastic Surgery Statistics Report, over a quarter million Liposuction procedures were performed in 2018. Liposuction continues to be the second most requested surgery after breast augmentation. Let’s take a closer look at what you need to know about this incredibly popular and effective body contouring procedure!

What exactly is Liposuction?

Rising to fame in the early 1980s, Liposuction, or “Liposculpture,” is a surgical procedure that both breaks down and permanently removes subcutaneous fat from the body. It is NOT a weight loss procedure, but instead, a surgical means to remove stubborn pockets of fat that are resistant to diet and exercise, and in turn, enhance the shape and contours of the body.

What areas of the body are most commonly treated with Liposuction?

“Liposuction is one of my favorite surgeries to perform because of its versatility and high patient satisfaction,” shares Dr. Nathan Leigh, a board-certified plastic surgeon with Edina Plastic Surgery. “We can remove fat from multiple areas at a time to achieve a more balanced, leaner body with more attractive contours and curves,” he continues. “Liposuction can also be combined with other procedures, like breast augmentation, to further enhance a patient’s results and body transformation, as with “Mommy Makeover” surgery.”

Common “problem” areas treated with Liposuction include:

  • Abdomen
  • FlanksĀ 
  • Muffin Top
  • Love Handles
  • Outer and Inner Thighs
  • Upper Arms
  • Back Fat
  • Bra Fat
  • Double Chin
  • Knees
  • Ankles
  • Breast Fat on both women and men

Who is a good candidate for Liposuction?

“Liposuction is not a weight loss solution,” says Dr. Leigh. “The ideal candidate for this procedure is a healthy, non-smoker who is close to their ideal weight and has maintained that weight for more than three months,” he explains. “Liposuction is really for healthy individuals who are struggling with resistant pockets of fat and want to create a more attractive shape to their bodies.”

Your plastic surgeon will perform a thorough evaluation of your “problem spots” at your initial consultation. If the majority of your abdominal fat is visceral fat, or fat that surrounds your organs, Liposuction is not an option, as this fat resides under the stomach muscle. Your surgeon will also analyze the condition of your skin in the potential treatment area. If this skin is very loose or has dimples or cellulite, he or she may advise you against Liposuction, as the procedure may make the skin more uneven or dimpled.

How is Liposuction performed in the Operating Room?

Liposuction is a surgical procedure during which most patients are placed under general anesthesia. During surgery, small incisions are made into the skin, and a tool called a cannula is inserted into the opening to access the targeted fat pocket. The cannula will carefully be moved back and forth under the skin to break apart fat as suction simultaneously removes it. Your surgeon will shape and contour the treated area into a slimmer, more desirable shape.

Only a certain volume of fat is safe to remove from the body at once. If you require more than this amount to reach your desired result, your Liposuction surgery may be divided into multiple procedures spaced weeks apart to ensure your safety.

What is recovery and downtime like after Liposuction?

Your recovery from Liposuction is very dependent upon the number of areas you had treated, and the volume of fat removed. Whether or not another surgery, such as breast augmentation, was performed with your procedure will also influence your downtime. Normal symptoms after surgery include swelling, bruising, and tenderness in the area you had treated. You will be required to wear surgical compression garments for several weeks following your surgery as well.

You will be advised to abstain from intense exercise for a few weeks after surgery, but most patients return to work within a week and resume normal activities after one month. Rest, movement restriction, hydration, and abstaining from smoking are essential to a healthy recovery after Liposuction.

Is there scarring associated with Liposuction?

As mentioned earlier, small incisions are made at the treatment site to allow the cannula to be inserted into the body. Therefore, tiny scars from these incisions are to be expected. The number of scars will correlate with how many areas were treated. The overall health and condition of your skin will also play a role in the appearance of any scarring. Your surgeon will recommend products and steps to take to minimize the appearance of any scarring after Liposuction.

What results can be expected with Liposuction?

“It can take up to several months to a full year to see the full and final results from your Liposuction procedure,” says Dr. Leigh. “This duration is due to the residual swelling and loose skin that commonly occurs after the procedure,” he continues. “I tell patients to be patient and to use this time to create and maintain a healthy lifestyle that will protect the investment they made in their surgery. After six months, you’ll be celebrating your new, slimmer shape and experiencing a whole new level of body confidence!”

Have you resolved to achieve your best body possible in 2020? Are you close to your ideal weight, but still struggling with stubborn pockets of fat? Schedule a consultation to discuss Liposuction with an Edina Plastic Surgery surgeon by calling (952) 925-1765!

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