Might liposuction sculpt your body?
Might liposuction be an effective way to sculpt your body? Let's investigate the pros and cons of the vacuum approach to removing body fat. There are several approaches.
So, what is this procedure? Well, it's a kind of cosmetic surgery, the vacuum approach to removing body fat.
Typically, a plastic surgeon makes a small (half-centimeter) incision and inserts a "cannula," which is a small tube, that is then pushed forward and backward in the cells in a layer of fat to suction them out.
How well does it work? What are its results? What are the costs? What is the recovery time? Is it dangerous? What are the alternatives?
Let's find out!
Review of this procedure
Obviously, it's an invasive procedure. Legally, someone licensed to perform surgery must perform liposuction.
It's now possible to perform it in different ways. Sometimes ultrasonic energy is used to liquefy the fat before it is removed.
Sometimes a pre-surgical saline solution that contains a mild painkiller and epinephrine is injected, which enables the surgeon to remove fat more easily and helps reduce blood loss and provide pain relief. Sometimes a laser is used.
It has a proven track record. After breast implants and nose jobs, liposuction is the third most common kind of cosmetic surgery in the United States.
Liposuction costs and results
The effectiveness of this procedure can be measured in the sense that what is removed can be weighed on a scale. In this sense, then, it works; it does remove fat.
The prices also affect your wallet. It is not inexpensive. The cost also varies depending upon the quantity of fat to be removed. Removing one to three pounds (from a small area) has an average cost of about $2500 (US), and removing fifteen pounds (from multiple areas) has an average cost of about $20,000 (US). Because it's cosmetic surgery, most health insurance plans won't pay for it.
The greater the quantity of fat removed, the greater the post-surgical pain, which can last for weeks. Any surgical invasion will result in at least temporary pain.
Who is a good candidate for liposuction?
Psychologically, you are not a good candidate unless your expectations are realistic.
Physically, you are not a good candidate if you are seriously overweight. Good candidates for this procedure should be of average weight or only slightly above average weight.
You are not a good candidate unless you have firm, elastic skin. Since we lose the elasticity in our skin as we age, the older you are, the poorer you are as a candidate. You are not a good candidate if you are in poor health overall. Good candidates for this procedure should be in good health.
You are not a good candidate unless you have pockets of body fat that respond poorly to the kind of serious diet and exercise plan similar to the one promoted on this website. Have you tried to use a good weight loss program?
If so, is there a specific place such as hips, abdomen, thighs, buttocks, or face that hasn't responded well?
What to expect during recovery
If you are considering an outpatient procedure, you can expect to miss a few days of work and to be unable to return to normal activities for about two weeks. If you are considering a more radical procedure, you can expect your recovery time to be longer.
Everyone should expect bruising, soreness, and swelling for several weeks. Everyone should understand that there is a small risk of infection and skin discoloration.
Discuss what to expect with your surgeon. Understand, though, that it is impossible for anyone to know for certain in advance what your individual outcome will be.
The less fat you have removed, the better your odds that your expectations will be realistic.
The dangers or risks of liposuction
The vacuum approach has infrequent but sometimes serious complications.
There's always the possibility that the cannula will penetrate an organ rather than sucking out fat.
Occasionally, it causes blood clots and nerve damage that retard healing. The greater the fat removal, the greater the risk of complications.
All surgery involves risks.
However, especially if it is performed by a specially trained, board-certified plastic surgeon, this procedure has a good safety record.
Seeking advice from experts
You've undoubtedly heard the advice to "get a second opinion." It's good advice. Before deciding about any elective surgery, one should think about getting advice from at least two experts.
In this context, who qualifies as an expert? It's not enough that someone be a medical doctor. Ensure that you are getting advice from at least two board-certified medical doctors. Basically, there are two types of medical doctors.
There are physicians, and there are surgeons. In addition to "M.D." ["Medical Doctor"] after his or her name, a board-certified physician is also entitled to use "F.A.C.P." ["Fellow of the American College of Physicians"] and a board-certified surgeon may use "F.A.C.S." ["Fellow of the American College of Surgeons"].
Naturally, physicians are trained to think first of treating physical abnormalities with medicine and surgeons are trained to think first of using surgery. So it's normal to anticipate medical advice from a physician and surgical advice from a surgeon.
Please pay particular attention whenever you get surgical advice from a physician or medical advice from a surgeon.
Since a surgeon may have his or her own self-interest as a motive in recommending surgery but not when recommending medical treatment, a surgeon's recommendation concerning medical treatment is especially valuable.
It works the same from the other perspective with respect to surgical advice from physicians. In other words, advice from your physician about this procedure may be more valuable than advice from the surgeon.
What to do next
If you are contemplating this procedure please begin by doing your own investigation. Find relevant articles on the worldwide web or in a local college library.
The idea is not to attempt to become an expert yourself; the idea is to read enough about it to enable you to ask the right questions.
Your final considerations
The two most important considerations from our lipodissolve investigation are also applicable to liposuction.
Even when this procedure works without complication to remove body fat, it cannot cure the causes of being overweight.
Without addressing those causes, even the successful removal of fat by this method does not entail that fat won't accumulate elsewhere in the future.
Even when this procedure works successfully to remove fat, it cannot promise to remove your dissatisfaction about your body.
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