By Sacha Obaid
When people think about plastic surgery, they often think about liposuction. And for good reason: There are hundreds of thousands of liposuction (or lipoplasty) operations performed in the United States every year. It’s the number one body-sculpting procedure for people who struggle to lose fat via diet and exercise.
But despite the procedure’s popularity, there are a number of liposuction myths that confuse and scare off many potential liposuction candidates. Below, we address four of the most common misconceptions, explaining why they’re wrong.
1. Liposuction is extremely dangerous.
You may have heard that liposuction poses extreme health hazards. While all surgical procedures—cosmetic and otherwise—come with certain risks, the truth is that liposuction poses no greater risk to your heath than any other kind of operation.
If you have never had general anesthesia before, or are afraid of having a negative reaction, we do recommend consulting with a doctor before planning a procedure. You may also want to consider less invasive liposuction methods that use local anesthesia.
2. Liposuction is only for patients at their target weight.
You do not need to be at your target weight for liposuction to dramatically your figure. As long as you are within around 30 percent of your ideal weight, you are a candidate for liposuction.
Although the results of liposuction are optimized when patients are at or near their target weight, somewhat heavier patients may experience even more satisfying results because of the dramatic changes they will notice in their body shape following surgery.
Having said that, it’s important to recognize that liposuction is not appropriate for extremely overweight patients and cannot be used to combat obesity.
3. Liposuction increases sagging.
Liposuction is an excellent way to improve your overall figure, but it does not alter the appearance of your skin. If you didn’t have loose skin before your procedure, you won’t have loose skin afterwards; by contrast, if you had loose, sagging skin before your procedure, it will still be there after your procedure.
If you are interested in cosmetic surgery to correct loose folds of skin or cellulite, consider having liposuction alongside a tummy tuck procedure. These surgeries are routinely combined to improve patients’ body shape and tighten the skin of patients’ abdomens at the same time.
4. Liposuction recovery time is very long.
Depending on the nature of the procedure, recovery time can range from a few days to a couple of weeks. You may be able to go home the night of your procedure, return to work in just a few days, and be back to full capacity within a week or two of your procedure.
While you should expect mild discomfort, your discomfort will be well controlled by pain medication. Your surgeon may also recommend you wear compression garments to speed up your recovery.