Is Liposuction Right for Me?

In the age of the 24-hour news cycle, it can feel like we get bombarded with the latest studies and findings about literally anything. Is the Paleo Diet still the recommended way to lose weight or have we moved on to something new and better? Are red wine and dark chocolate still ok as guilt-free pleasures because someone once said they made you live longer? Is there anything Botox cannot cure?

We can’t answer any of this, but we do know a thing or two about fat removal with liposuction. Our plastic surgery team has performed over 7,000 procedures over the years. We were the first to introduce Aqualipo in Tennessee, which has become a patient favorite due to its excellent results without the slow recovery of other methods. In the greater Nashville and Memphis areas, NuBody Concepts is synonymous with liposuction. In this article, we’d like to answer some simple questions about fat removal and liposuction.

I want to lose 35 pounds – do you recommend liposuction?

Contrary to common belief, liposuction is not a weight loss plan. The only way to shed pounds in a way that your bathroom scale will recognize is to do it the old-fashioned way: Diet and exercise. Once you have lost this weight, liposuction comes in. It can give you the extra boost by finishing off where diet and exercise reached their limit, leaving you with stubborn fat that won’t go away. Liposuction removes such fat by breaking down fat cells under the skin, liquefying the fat, and flushing it out of your body. These fat cells are typically not responsible for a lot of excess weight.

Think of liposuction as a belt tightening program rather than one for weight loss. The success of a liposuction procedure isn’t measured in the pounds you shed but in how many pant sizes you go down. And quite honestly, that’s what we all really care about. We love to extoll the virtues of living healthy, and by no means are we diminishing the value of a healthy lifestyle. But what many of us most crave is the ability to turn heads because we look fabulous.

Nubody Concepts patient after liposuction wearing loose pants
This NuBody Concepts liposuction patient went down two pant sizes.

Does fat removal with liposuction work?

On the surface, it sounds like a miracle cure. You don’t like the fat on your body, so you have it removed – done! But then why don’t millions of Ken and Barbie doll lookalikes roam America’s streets? As with everything, it’s not quite that easy.

Fat removal with liposuction absolutely works, or we wouldn’t be doing what we’re doing. But not everyone is a good candidate for it. To be a good candidate for liposuction, you have to be at or close to your target weight. You have a fairly healthy lifestyle with a healthy diet and regular exercise. There is no age limit for liposuction. If you have recently lost a lot of weight, or never gained all that much weight to begin with, you are probably a good candidate. Especially women who struggle to get back to their pre-pregnancy shape, even though they lost most of the weight, are good liposuction candidates.

If you fit those criteria, the best way to determine if you’re a good candidate is to schedule a consultation with a plastic surgeon. At NuBody Concepts, we only recommend going forward with the procedure if you are a good candidate and can expect good results. If you’re not a good candidate, we will refund your consultation fee (and if you are a candidate and have the procedure, the fee will be applied to the cost).

Does liposuction remove all fat?

As mentioned before, liposuction cannot remove every kind of fat. If you are overweight and have not lost any weight yet, you will not get good results from liposuction. Also, there are two types of fat, and liposuction can only remove one of them. The kind of fat targeted with liposuction is called subcutaneous fat, the fat right under your skin. But there is another type of fat called visceral fat that sits deeper under the surface. This type of fat occurs more often in men than it does in women. Visceral fat cannot be removed with liposuction. To learn more, read Can Visceral Fat be Removed With Liposuction?

What are pros and cons of the different liposuction methods?

It started with what we now refer to as traditional liposuction, a mechanical breaking up of fat cells by use of physical force. Needless to say, this wasn’t the gentlest of procedures and needed a longer recovery. The big break-through was tumescent liposuction, the breaking up of fat cells using the power of water mixed with an anesthetic. This is also referred to as water liposuction or Body Jet and is used in the majority of liposuction procedures. Laser assisted liposuction uses heat energy to further destroy fat cells and tighten skin, and ultrasound-assisted or ultrasonic liposuction uses radio frequency energy to achieve the same.

Aqualipo is a liposuction method that combines several of these techniques into a customized procedure tailored to the patient. Any of these methods faces certain limitations when taken all by itself. It’s the combination of water, laser, and ultrasonic liposuction that produces the best results. The most important element in all of this is your surgeon’s skill and sense of aesthetics. His or her experience translates into good results.

How about other fat removal options like CoolSculpting?

The 24-hour news cycle described above applies to cosmetic surgery just as much as healthy living. There is always something new that commands our attention. Manufacturers of medical equipment bank on the fact that we all flock to the latest new trend. In the cosmetic surgery field, among the biggest such trends are CoolSculpting® and SculpSure. One aims to freeze the fat away, while the other one promises to melt it.

Both are non-invasive treatments and therefore very popular. What’s not to like about something that needs no anesthesia or surgery? This is why patients often go for CoolSculpting treatments. It seems worth the try. All we know is that a fair number will tell us that they are interested in liposuction because several repeat treatments of CoolSculpting didn’t give them the results they wanted, or actually made things worse. To learn more, read Fat Removal: Why We Don’t Offer CoolSculpting.

This patient came to NuBody Concepts after disappointing CoolSculpting results.

What will keep me from building up new fat right after my procedure?

The good news is, liposuction will remove your stubborn, unwanted fat in one single procedure. The results are permanent. You might build up new fat if you don’t maintain your healthy lifestyle, but the same fat cells are permanently gone. Many of our patients tell us that this is enough motivation for them to keep up the regimen. It’s hard to diet when you see minimal results, but once you see a big change and love your appearance, you are much more motivated to keep it up.

We hope that we have cleared up your questions about fat removal with liposuction and other methods. If you have any other questions, give us a call or schedule a consultation with one of our doctors!

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