All about getting good results after liposuction Introduction How about getting rid of those unwanted pockets of fat in your body overnight? Yes, we are talking about those adipose deposits that are stubborn and resistant to diets and physical exercise and often localized in the tummy, flanks, thighs or even the lower back. Well, liposuction can take care of this and eliminate these deposits in a matter of hours with limited risks and a rather short recovery process. Liposuction is the procedure used to address the subcutaneous layer of fat that can be in excess in certain areas of the body due to a genetic predisposition, hectic lifestyle and aging, among other things. While liposuction is among the two most performed plastic surgery procedures, this doesn’t necessarily mean that everybody can resort to liposuction and achieve spectacular results with it. In this article, we will discuss what liposuction entails, who can undergo the procedure, and all about getting good results. The ideal candidate for liposuction Getting good results after liposuction means the patient is a good candidate for it. A good candidate is a man or a woman with elastic skin and good muscle tonus in the area/s that will be addressed with the procedure. The plastic surgeon should mention this, and the patients should be aware of the fact that when a patient has a considerable deposit of fat localized all around the body or saggy skin, it is possible for liposuction not to deliver a good result. Skin sagginess could be even more accentuated afterwards. Moreover, liposuction is not a solution for patients who are overweight or obese. While the procedure indeed entails the elimination of adipose deposits that are in excess in certain areas of the body, it won’t get the patient rid of the 15 kg of fat that he accumulated over time. Liposuction deals exclusively with subcutaneous fat, which means that the plastic surgeon can only remove fat cells that are localized directly under the skin. When the patient is obese or overweight, this means that a considerable amount of fat is localized in the abdominal cavity, around the organs, etc. This means that even if liposuction is performed in some areas such as the tummy and the flanks, the only thing that will be achieved is a reduction of the thickness of the adipose tissue in the area and nothing more. Moreover, when liposuction is performed on overweight or obese patients, there is a risk of asymmetries to occur as well as skin irregularities. People who are overweight or obese also generally have poor skin tonus with a lack of elasticity as the skin has been overstretched to accommodate the excess weight and this means that it won’t retract on the new contours of the body after liposuction. Keep in mind that liposuction is a solution for patients who need extracting up to six or seven liters of fat. It is true that we can extract much more fat in one session, but this is not recommended as it is not safe for the patient. Moreover, the more fat we extract in one session, the more increased is the risk of developing irregularities and saggy skin after the procedure. The ideal candidate for liposuction is also aware of the fact that liposuction is not a treatment for stretch marks or cellulite. The procedure won’t have any effect on stretch marks as these are ruptures of the skin fiber, and liposuction targets the fat underneath the skin. When considering the effect liposuction has on cellulite, things can vary. Cellulite is also a skin condition that is more of an aesthetic nature than medical. When addressing the fat layer in areas affected by cellulite, the patient might notice that the cellulite is not as visible as it was before. Exactly the opposite thing might happen as well, and cellulite can become more obvious. Generally speaking, I advise my clients to see cellulite as a cosmetic issue that can’t be treated with plastic surgery. Getting good results after liposuction For patients interested in doing their best for getting good results after liposuction, it is important to know that there is a host of things that need to be addressed for this goal to be achieved. First, choose the right plastic surgeon to perform your procedure, get ready, and follow the post-operative instructions diligently. These are all crucial for the success of your procedure and to get good results. Choosing the plastic surgeon Liposuction is so commonly performed nowadays that most people believe that any doctor could do the procedure and deliver spectacular results. This is not correct. To get impressive results, you need to choose an experienced, talented board-certified plastic surgeon. Just like many other procedures, the experience of the plastic surgeon plays an important role in getting good results and also keeping potential complications at bay. When choosing an inexperienced doctor to perform your liposuction, you have an increased risk of getting unsatisfactory results and be left with bumps in the area treated with the procedure, such as saggy skin, asymmetries, skin irregularities. Make sure to ask the surgeon if he performs the procedure routinely and if you can see before and after pictures of patients he operated on before. Preparing for the procedure After finding the right plastic surgeon, the next important thing to do is follow his recommendations for pre-operative preparations. Liposuction is not like getting your nails done, even if the procedure might actually take less time than a manicure with gel in some cases. Liposuction is a serious surgical procedure that should be treated as such. This means that the preparation period starts about a month before the procedure is scheduled when the patient is advised to stop taking birth control medication. During the month before, the recommendation is to keep a balanced and healthy diet and not try to lose weight. Overeating is also discouraged at this time, and your results can be affected if you eat in excess before the procedure. Anti-inflammatory medication containing aspirin as well as natural supplements with blood-thinning properties should be avoided two weeks before the procedure. If general anesthesia will be used, the patient is advised not to eat or drink anything at least eight hours beforehand. Otherwise, complications can be triggered. Post-operative conduct Liposuction is one of the procedures that doesn’t entail a long recovery period in a vast majority of cases. This means that the patient can usually resume normal activities within the next few days after the procedure and even work if no intense physical effort is involved. The plastic surgeon will instruct you to avoid smoking for at least three weeks post-op to allow for a fast and smooth recovery process and to wear the compression garments according to the recommendations. Generally speaking, the compression garments or girdle should be worn non-stop for the first two to four weeks and after this just during the day for another month. Keep in mind that there are no two patients alike and the recommendations of the plastic surgeon are customized for each patient. This means that you should discuss this issue in detail with your doctor before undergoing the procedure. Intense physical exercises should be avoided for at least a month after the procedure, depending on the area that was addressed. Combining liposuction with other procedures In some cases, liposuction can provide good results only if performed with other plastic surgery procedures. For example, liposuction is frequently performed together with a tummy tuck where the abdominal wall is concerned, and the patient is after a certain age or has poor skin quality. Conclusion Liposuction is the plastic surgery procedure that aims to deliver a better-defined body. Getting good results after liposuction requires choosing an experienced, board-certified plastic surgeon, following his recommendations for before and after care, and having realistic expectations from the procedure. The first thing you should make sure of if you want to get spectacular results is that you are a good candidate. Keep in mind that the procedure is not meant to be used as a treatment for obesity or getting rid of excess weight. It is only a body remodeling procedure.