Despite being one of the most popular cosmetic surgical procedures in the country, many potential patients still have liposuction misconceptions. There is a lot of misinformation out there surrounding liposuction surgery, and while it is unclear where many of these liposuction misconceptions originated, it is time to set the record straight.
Dr. Leo Lapuerta is a trusted and respected plastic surgeon who has performed over 20,000 plastic surgeries, with his practice now serving Houston, Pearland, and Katy, Texas. With over 20 years’ experience, Dr. Lapuerta has had to debunk a number of liposuction misconceptions patients have going into the procedure. Below, Dr. Lapuerta clears up 9 misconceptions about liposuction.
1. Does Fat Come Back After Liposuction?
“Does fat come back after liposuction?” is one of the most common questions we receive during liposuction consultations. The answer is yes and no. Liposuction does not shrink fat cells or displace them; rather, liposuction removes the fat cells entirely so the results are permanent. It is a myth that fat suddenly appears in other areas of the body that did not have liposuction. These cells can grow back to the area that was previously lipoed should the patient gain weight so as long as the patient remains active and maintains a nutritious and balanced diet, they should be able to maintain their new figure and weight following liposuction.
2. Liposuction Scars Are Very Prominent
This is one of the liposuction misconceptions that is only true if a patient goes to an inexperienced and unskilled plastic surgeon. A talented and accomplished plastic surgeon will do everything possible to minimize the appearance of liposuction scars. The procedure should only involve small incisions where the cannula is inserted, which means that a majority of the time liposuction scars are quite small and will fade over time. For patients who want to minimize the appearance of liposuction scars, it is important to be thorough when choosing a plastic surgeon.
3. Liposuction Is Not Affordable for the Average Person
Liposuction may have once been a treatment that was reserved for the rich and famous, but that is no longer the case. While the cost of liposuction can vary based on each patient’s needs, typically liposuction will cost between $4,500 and $10,000. Most plastic surgeons offer flexible financing options, allowing patients to find a monthly payment plan that perfectly fits their budget.
During a pre-procedure consultation, the patient will get an exact quote for the procedure. At that point, they can find a financing option that features an easily achievable monthly payment plan.
4. Liposuction Is a Great Way to Lose Weight
Many patients think that liposuction is the solution to shed unwanted weight, giving them an easy way to avoid working out and eating right. Liposuction is not a good way to lose weight—in fact, patients only lose between two and five pounds post-procedure. Liposuction is meant to target and remove pockets of fat in order to change the shape and appearance of the patient’s body. In order to maximize the results of the procedure, most plastic surgeons suggest that patients get within 30% of a healthy weight prior to surgery. Before opting for liposuction, it is ideal to try to lose as much weight toward your goal weight as possible to increase the effectiveness of the procedure. Discuss your weight loss goals with a physician before entering a rigorous program, and seek out support from friends and family as your work toward your goals.
5. Liposuction Can Remove Cellulite
Areas on the body that have a lot of fatty pockets can form cellulite, so it is natural for patients to think that liposuction can help reduce the appearance of cellulite. While this is one of the liposuction misconceptions that seems to make some logical sense, it is not true.
Cellulite is not caused by the development of a fatty pocket. Instead, cellulite is actually caused by connective tissue under the skin being pushed toward the surface by subcutaneous fat (a.k.a. the “jiggle” we see under the skin). While liposuction removes fatty tissue, it does not impact the skin or connective tissue under the skin, meaning that the causes of cellulite are not addressed during liposuction surgery. If getting rid of cellulite is a priority, there are a number of other treatments that can help remove cellulite, including laser skin resurfacing.
6. Liposuction Hurts
Pain is subjective, but most patients tend to find that liposuction is a relatively minor surgical procedure. While there will be some mild discomfort after the surgery and during the recovery period, the pain is quite manageable. If for any reason the patient feels moderate to intense pain, a skilled plastic surgeon will do everything possible to reduce the pain and keep the patient comfortable. This can include writing the patient a prescription for pain management medication.
7. Liposuction Has a Long Recovery Time
Patients will definitely need some time to recover following liposuction surgery, but the recovery process is by no means lengthy or arduous. Patients should usually plan on taking about a week off work and a month off from exercising and vigorous activity, but compared to other procedures, a week is a fairly swift recovery time. Patients should expect to have swelling, bruising, and general soreness around the affected areas for one to two weeks, but will be able to return to their everyday activities after approval from your plastic surgeon and physician.
8. Liposuction Is Primarily for Women
This is one of the liposuction misconceptions that could not be farther from the truth. We get male patients coming in for liposuction, as the treatment is great for anyone who is trying to look and feel their best by getting rid of unwanted fat.
9. Liposuction Will Tighten Sagging Skin
As individuals age, their skin tends to lose elasticity. This lack of elasticity, combined with weight gain or the effects of gravity over time, can result in loose and sagging skin. While liposuction can target these areas to remove excess fat, it will do nothing to change the structure or appearance of the patient’s skin. A second procedure will be needed to tighten sagging skin, and oftentimes surgeons suggest combining the two procedures to maximize results via body contouring.
Clear Up Liposuction Misconceptions During a Consultation
The best way to clear up any liposuction misconceptions is by requesting a liposuction consultation with Dr. Lapuerta. During a consultation, Dr. Lapuerta will clearly communicate to the patient exactly what to expect before, during, and after surgery. Dr. Lapuerta has an excellent reputation in Texas as a surgeon who truly cares about his patients, partnering with them to achieve their goals. If you are interested in learning more about the procedure or would like to request a liposuction consultation, contact Dr. Lapuerta today by calling (713) 489-0169.