“You can have your cake and eat it too — that’s what liposuction is for!” That whimsical line is greeting-card wisdom at its best — illustrating liposuction’s journey in the popular culture from surgical procedure to sly punchline. Along the way, the truth about liposuction has sometimes gotten lost in a haze of myth and misunderstanding.
Here, experienced San Diego-area plastic surgeon Dr. Carlos Chacon of Divino Plastic Surgery clarifies liposuction’s benefits and limits, beginning with the greatest misconception of all.
Myth 1: Liposuction Is a Weight-Loss Strategy
Liposuction is not a remedy for obesity, nor a substitute for a healthy lifestyle. In fact, it is important that you give diet and exercise a chance before you consider the procedure. Overweight patients should be within 20 pounds of recommended weight.
Liposuction is ideal for those areas of the body that seem immune to traditional lifestyle approaches. For example, a person may exercise regularly and lose weight through a balanced diet and still retain excess fat in the hips or thighs.
Some types of fat cannot be removed by liposuction. In many obese individuals, the abdominal fat that produces the unwanted overhanging belly profile surrounds internal organs. Because it is located below the muscle, it is not safe to remove this type of fat.
Myth 2: Liposuction Improves the Skin
If skin is already sagging or loose in a certain area, liposuction will not improve its appearance. Cellulite and stretch marks are also not likely to improve significantly, although there may be a slight smoothing of the area, depending on the firmness of your skin.
The elasticity of a patient’s skin is a key factor in how the skin will look after the procedure.
If skin is elastic and muscle tone is good, the skin will conform well to the new body shape. With skin that has been stretched and is less elastic, folds of skin may be apparent after removal of fat.
A patient with realistic expectations will be pleased by the way the procedure can sculpt the body, restoring the attractive proportions of a fit and balanced profile.
Myth 3: Fat Will Inevitably Return
There is indeed a chance that pockets of fat could become plump again, but it is definitely not inevitable. If you change the behavior that led to obesity, you will not need to worry about significant amounts of fat returning. The cells that were removed during liposuction are gone, and will never grow back. But if your weight begins to rise again, adjoining fat cells will expand to store the excess caloric intake. In this case, myth becomes reality. Regular exercise and eating nutritious foods in limited quantities are the best ways to preserve your new shape.
Myth 4: Liposuction Is My Only Choice
Plastic surgery is a dynamic field, and new innovations continually expand the number of choices available to patients. When it comes to removing stubborn pockets of fat, there are several highly effective alternatives.
To learn more about the benefits of liposuction, schedule a personal consultation with Dr. Carlos Chacon at his San Diego-area office in Bonita by contacting Divino Plastic Surgery today.