THE BIGGEST MYTHS ABOUT LIPOSUCTION
Updated: Nov 11
With Liposuction being as popular a procedure as it is, it’s no wonder there are numerous misconceptions surrounding it. Sure, we all want to believe that Liposuction alone will be the answer to all of our concerns, but just like any other surgical procedure, it has its limitations. To help clear up some of these “myths”, I’ve outlined below the most common falsities I get asked about from patients, friends and even the occasional family member.
Once the fat is gone, it’s gone forever.
This is probably the most common misconception that people ask me about when it comes to Liposuction. And it can be a little confusing because it is partly true but partly false. Once you reach around adolescence, the number of fat cells you have will remain relatively stable over your lifetime. When we perform Liposuction, we insert thin metal cannulas through which we permanently remove fat cells. So yes, once those fat cells are removed, they will not be replaced. However, we never remove 100% of fat cells in any given area. And those remaining little guys will get bigger if you gain weight, causing a return of the bulge and negating all the money and recovery time you have invested.
Once you have Liposuction, you can eat whatever you want.
Though most of my patients are independently motivated to live a healthy lifestyle before and after Liposuction, there are some patients who occasionally wander into my office who think that surgery is a way to cheat a good diet and exercise routine. This could not be farther from the truth. One of the key components of getting good, long term results with Liposuction is the maintenance of those results. This is the work that the patient puts in--through a healthy diet and regular exercise--after the surgery is done. The cycle of surgery, weight gain, more surgery, weight gain is not only an expensive one but also a dangerous one. With each round of Liposuction performed, scar is naturally created on the inside. As that scar builds up as a result of multiple rounds of Liposuction, the more likely it is that the patient will get visible and palpable contour irregularities (lumps and bumps in the tissue), permanent sensory changes, and potentially damage to surrounding tissues. Liposuction should never be used as a method of weight management, period.
Liposuction will help improve my cellulite
Think of all the things we have used over the years to treat cellulite. There’s been creams, garments, massage, lunchtime procedures, and most recently injections. Yet, despite years of trying, we haven’t quite figured it out. We know now that cellulite has 3 main components--the skin, underlying fat cells, and the underlying fibrous attachments that pull on the skin. In order to adequately treat it, we really do need to address all three components. Liposuction only really addresses one component of cellulite-- the fat. And often the layer of fat that is targeted with surgery is much deeper than the superficial layers actually responsible for the appearance of cellulite. While it is true that some people may see a reduction in the appearance of cellulite by using Liposuction alone, there are many instances where Liposuction can actually make cellulite look worse. While that may seem confusing, I think the underlying take home point is that if cellulite is your main concern, Liposuction isn't your answer.
Finding the best candidates for Liposuction is a fine balance between realistic patient expectations, appropriate patient anatomy, and a level of patient motivation to maintain the results we can achieve with surgery.
If you have more questions about Liposuction or any other Plastic Surgery procedure, or would like to schedule a consultation with me, please contact our Plastic Surgery office at 206.860.5582.