If you’ve got a bit of extra fat on your tummy, hips or thighs, you now have more options than ever before when it comes to removing it. Fat removal has come a long way since the 1920s, when the first liposuction procedures were performed. These days, you don’t even need surgery to have extra fat eliminated from the body. It’s now possible to freeze fat away.
Since non-invasive treatments are readily available, you might wonder why you’d even bother with a surgical option. Although it’s a more involved procedure that requires a longer recovery period, for many patients, is still very much worth it.
One and Done
One factor that makes liposuction worth it for many patients is that many people only need a single procedure to get the results they want. Liposuction can take up to three hours, depending on the size of the area being treated, but after that, the fat is gone forever. A patient won’t need an additional procedure to remove any fat that was missed, unless he or she decides to have another part of the body operated on.
Works All Over
Liposuction can treat a larger area of the body, or more areas at once compared to non-surgical treatments. For example, if a patient decides to have Coolsculpting, the only area that can be treated at one time is the area that fits into the device. In contrast, during liposuction, a surgeon has greater freedom to move the cannula to various areas of the body or to start the procedure removing fat from the abdomen and finish it by removing fat from the thighs.
Removes More Fat
What’s more, liposuction is better at removing more fat from a single area than other fat-removal options. Patients who have a considerable amount of stubborn fat (and who are near or at their goal weight) usually benefit from liposuction more than from non-invasive procedures.
Combined with Other Surgeries
Typically, fat removing procedures are recommended for people with skin that is elastic and will likely bounce back after the surgery. If the skin is too lax, it’s likely to droop and sag after liposuction. The surgery focuses only on the removal of fat, not on skin tightening.
But, if a person is dealing with both loose skin and excess fat, it’s possible to combine liposuction with another surgery to get an all over smooth and taut look. For example, if you’re concerned about extra fat and loose skin in your abdominal area, you might consider combining liposuction with a tummy tuck. Combining procedures means that they are performed at the same time, which cuts down on the total length of the surgical process and can save you a considerable amount of money.
Of course, the biggest benefit of combining surgeries is that you see improved results. Tummy tuck and liposuction together mean that you have less fat and that your abdominal area looks flatter and more toned.
When you have liposuction, the fat is removed from your body right away. That means that you’re able to see your results pretty much immediately. There might be some swelling in the area and your surgeon will most likely recommend wearing a compression garment to help shape it, but since the fat is gone, you’ll be able to judge for yourself if the procedure was worth it or not from day one. In contrast, it usually takes several weeks for the results to become visible after a Coolsculpting treatment, as your body needs time to process and flush out all of the damaged fat cells.
Five Questions to Ask Before Liposuction
You might still be unsure about liposuction or might still be trying to decide between it and less invasive fat removal options. If you need help making the final decision, here are a few questions you can ask yourself. How you answer the questions will determine whether or not liposuction is worth speaking with a plastic surgeon about.
- Do you have time for recovery? After liposuction, you can expect to need to take up to a week off from work. Beyond that, you’ll most likely need to avoid a number of activities for up to a month.
- How much fat do you want removed? If you have a considerable amount of fat, more than an extra inch, or want to treat multiple areas, such as your thighs, abdomen, and upper arms, at the same time, liposuction might be for you.
- Are you at or within 20 pounds of your goal weight? Liposuction isn’t a weight loss trick. You need to be near your goal weight for it to be effective.
- Do you understand all of the risks of the surgery? Liposuction isn’t a risk-free procedure. Talk to a plastic surgeon about the risks and about what you can do to minimize them.
- Are you planning on maintaining your weight? Liposuction won’t stop weight gain. The fat removed won’t come back, but any fat remaining on your body can get bigger if you put on a few pounds.
To learn more about liposuction and to see if the procedure is worth it for you, contact Houston-based plastic surgeon Dr. Paul Vitenas today. Dr. Vitenas has more than two decades of experience and can help you weigh the pros and cons of the surgery. Call 281.484.0088 to schedule your consultation today.