is_liposuction_right_for_youWhile there’s no denying that liposuction has led to some of the most impressive success stories in the field of cosmetic surgery to date, it’s important for those considering it to recognize one important thing: liposuction is not for everyone.  Yes, for many, it can be the perfect solution to getting rid of embarrassing bulges or flabby areas, and may even improve one’s self-image.  For others, however, it may actually create more problems than it solves if chosen for the wrong reasons or if the individual isn’t prepared to follow through with the process.  And, of course, as with any type of surgery, liposuction is not without its potential health risks.  Know both the benefits and limitations of the liposuction procedure before deciding it’s right for you.

Contrary to popular belief, liposuction is not a quick-fix, dramatic weight-loss procedure–nor is it intended for general weight loss.  It’s primary purpose is to remove small deposits of diet- and exercise-resistant fat; deposits rarely exceeding 10 pounds.

Thus, the ideal candidate is someone who’s already put considerable effort into ridding their body of excess fat through sensible diet and sustained exercise before ever considering resorting to lipo.  If you’re obese, it’s much more advisable to lose weight through other methods before turning to a lipo surgeon who can then reduce fat in specific areas.

It’s also important to understand that liposuction is not a solution for excess or baggy skin after weight loss or dramatic weight-loss surgery.  Liposuction removes fatty tissue, not skin–making abdominoplasty and panniculectomy far better options for those kinds of issues.

You should also be aware that individuals using prescription medications, women on birth control pills, and smokers do not make good candidates.  Medication can cause unexpected side-effects and affect healing, birth control users are at particular risk when undergoing any kind of surgery, and smoking increases the risk of post-operative infection.  Additionally, liposuction carries greater risk for individuals with diabetes, heart or lung disease, poor blood circulation, or those who’ve recently undergone surgery near the target area(s).

Before committing to liposuction, consider your motivations and expectations for the procedure.  While liposuction can indeed enhance your appearance (and perhaps, your self-confidence), it won’t necessarily change your looks to meet your ideal or cause others to automatically treat you differently.  While you may notice a significant change in yourself after the procedure, it may not be dramatic enough for others to notice.

In general terms, the best candidate for liposuction is an individual close to their desired weight (within 20 –30%), with firm (not saggy) elastic skin, with pockets of excess fat in specific areas–easily targeted by the liposuction procedure.  They are in good health, psychologically stable (even if self-esteem issues are involved), and are not expecting liposuction to dramatically change their body proportions.  While age is generally not a major consideration, older patients must realize that mature skin is generally less elastic, and may not achieve the same results as a younger patient.

Liposuction is not a cure-all and not a substitute for a healthy diet and exercise.  And regardless of how anxious you may be to get your body image under control, keep in mind that removing too much fat too quickly can have serious health repercussions–and not something you should pursue.  Liposuction can improve body contour and set you on your way to a better, more attractive body, but it cannot change your overall figure nor help you maintain your physique once the procedure is completed.