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Plastic Surgery Blog

What does Liposuction Involve?


Previously we’ve discussed some common misperceptions about liposuction, particularly the ideas that liposuction is a form of weight loss or that it will eliminate having to maintain a healthy weight after the procedure is done. It is important to note that the results of a liposuction procedure are typically long term when patients follow the proper guidelines and do not gain significant weight later on.

There are other common myths about liposuction as well, so here we’ll talk specifically about what liposuction involves. A number of different body sculpting procedures exist, but the one that actually demonstrates results, true liposuction, involves the creation of small incisions and the insertion of a cannula for targeted fat removal. The incisions a surgeon makes are small and strategically placed so that any visible scarring will be minimal. A cannula is a hollow rod attached to a tube that is used to suck the targeted fat from a patient’s body.

Because the incisions made are small and no muscles are cut or tightened, the recovery time for this procedure is shorter compared to other body contouring surgeries like tummy tucks. Don't let the small incisions lead to thinking results are minimal, as up to 5L of fat can be safely removed per session. After swelling resolves, the patient will notice a smoother silhouette and find that her clothes fit better and drape or hang more attractively. Liposuction is an excellent option for people who have noticed stubborn pockets of fat in their otherwise trim bodies. It’s the best way to target and eliminate problem areas in a minimally invasive way.

What kind of fat will your surgeon remove? Liposuction gets rid of subcutaneous fat, not visceral. Visceral fat is the fat that is located in your mid-section on the inside of your abdominal wall. It surrounds your internal organs and is the type of fat linked to diseases such as diabetes, high blood pressure, stroke, and heart disease. A patient with a significant amount of visceral fat will be noticeably thicker (think beer or potbelly) through the abdomen than the rest of his body. Men have more visceral fat than women.

In comparison, subcutaneous fat is what is found in love handles, in thighs, and in the rolls around your lower abdomen. It’s what you see jiggling underneath your arms and what may remain after you’ve conquered the bathroom scale.

The fat cells your surgeon removes via liposuction will then be gone forever; they won’t grow back. It is important to maintain your weight and continue exercising, however, as you could accumulate fat in other areas where liposuction has not been performed. Any kind of large physical change such as pregnancy or weight gain can result in permanent effects on your figure and silhouette and can negatively impact any investment you’ve made in your appearance.

If you are dissatisfied with your figure and would like to consult with a plastic surgeon in Houston to discuss body contouring options including liposuction, don’t hesitate to call Bancroft Feldman for your free consultation today.


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