Liposuction is the second most popular body shaping procedure in the United States. Following close behind breast augmentation, liposuction has shown a 5% increase (258,558 procedures) from 2017, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. It has also increased in popularity following the shutdowns during the COVID-19 pandemic.
With so many Americans seeking to change their body shape, there are inevitably many questions about liposuction procedures. We’re here to help give you the right answers to those questions and debunk some of the most common myths about liposuction.
What is Liposuction?
Before we dive into liposuction myths, let’s explain what liposuction is. Liposuction is a type of fat removal procedure used in plastic surgery. It’s meant to remove stubborn fat in common areas such as the thighs, hips, back, arms, love handles, chest, neck, or abdomen.
Six Common Liposuction Myths We’d Like to Set Straight
Myth # 1: Liposuction is for Weight Loss
Liposuction isn’t a weight-loss procedure; it’s designed to help improve the contour of your body. Liposuction isn’t a quick-fix weight-loss solution. Instead, it targets specific areas that have been resistant to diet and exercise.
For optimal results, we recommend our patients be close to their goal weight and maintain a healthy lifestyle before and after surgery.
The amount of fat a plastic surgeon can remove in an area during a single procedure will vary depending on a variety of factors. Dr. Bajaj will assess your aesthetic goals and your health to make the best decision on how much fat to remove.
Myth #2: Liposuction Gets Rid of Cellulite
Cellulite is the result of tough, long connective cords that pull down on fat cells just beneath the skin. This creates an uneven surface or dimpling. While liposuction can remove unwanted fat effectively, it’s not recommended for getting rid of cellulite. Occasionally, liposuction can make the dimpling worse since some patients may not experience adequate skin tightening following liposuction.
Myth #3: Liposuction Can Fix Loose, Sagging Skin
Liposuction won’t correct any existing loose skin. Any loose skin a patient may have before surgery will remain after liposuction. Heredity, pregnancy, and weight fluctuations are contributors to skin laxity, and eliminating unwanted fat bulges may add to the amount of loose skin.
For patients wanting to remove excess skin, combining liposuction with other procedures such as a tummy tuck, neck lift, and arm lift are appropriate treatments to create firm, tight skin to complement your slimmer body contour.
Read about one of our patient’s body contouring experiences after her extreme weight loss.
Myth #4: Fat Can Return After Liposuction
Once fat cells are removed, they don’t grow back. However, the remaining fat cells can expand with excessive calorie intake.
If a patient gains a small amount of weight after their procedure, fat cells throughout the body can get bigger. This slight gain can diminish results. However, with the fat being evenly spread, the overall body shape after liposuction will stay intact. For example, if you had liposuction of your outer thighs and then gained 30 pounds, the increased fat volume may be more apparent in your inner thighs or flanks.
If you want to maintain your newly contoured body, then it’s important to stay at your liposuction weight and stay healthy and fit.
Myth #5: Liposuction is Only for Young Women
Men and women of various ages can make great candidates for liposuction. You’ll benefit the most from this procedure if you’re at or near your ideal weight, you’re a non-smoker, or you’re generally in good health. It’s helpful to have a positive outlook and realistic expectations about the procedure’s outcome.
You may not be a good candidate for surgery if you have pre-existing conditions that could complicate surgery, such as restricted blood flow, coronary artery disease, diabetes, or a weak immune system.
Dr. Bajaj meets with each patient to discuss your health, weight, and your overall surgery goals.
Myth #6: Liposuction is Dangerous
While almost any surgery comes with risks, it’s important to note that liposuction techniques have become increasingly sophisticated. You will be in good hands with an experienced and board-certified plastic surgeon, like Dr. Bajaj who is certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery. Read more about her experience on her bio page.
Optimal Liposuction Technique
Dr. Bajaj uses the tumescent technique for liposuction. It involves a saline and epinephrine wetting solution that is injected into the targeted area before the fat is removed by a power-assisted handheld suction device. The wetting solution constricts blood vessels, which helps to minimize blood loss during the procedure. The tumescent solution also contains anesthetic lidocaine to control pain. While there are numerous devices that are used for liposuction, Dr. Bajaj cautions patients to remember that results are more dependent on the skills of the surgeon performing the procedure rather than the actual device.
Now that we set the facts straight about liposuction, we would love to talk to you one-on-one. Please schedule your appointment with Dr. Bajaj so we can help answer any additional questions you may have. If you’re looking for before and after photos, visit our gallery page.