Dr. Patti Flint

I Can’t Wait To Try on Swimsuits!

I would venture to guess that only a small minority of people I know would make that statement. Most of us have a few areas on our bodies that in spite of a balanced diet and an exercise program stubbornly are more prominent than we would like. Thankfully, liposuction offers an effective and safe option to improve the appearance of these stubborn areas so that appearing in a bathing suit does not have to be something to dread.

Liposuction caught on in the US in the 1980’s. Since that time improvements in the technique have led to quicker recoveries and better results. While some of the technologies used have come in and out of fashion since then, some have stood the test of time and continue to be used, providing excellent results and high levels of patient satisfaction.

Good candidates for liposuction are those who are in good health, and have stubborn regional areas of excess fatty tissue. Liposuction is not a good tool for weight reduction, or global size reduction. Following massive weight loss or in areas where skin is loose, liposuction does not provide acceptable results because it does not tighten loose skin. Cellulite is not improved by liposuction and can be worsened if the procedure is performed inexpertly. A board certified plastic surgeon is highly qualified to determine if you are a good candidate for the procedure.

There are a variety of different types of liposuction currently performed. Each surgeon may have a favored technique for a variety of different reasons. Currently in the US, most plastic surgeons are using a technique called super-wet liposuction. In this technique, fluid is infused into the desired area and then a room temperature hollow tube is used to remove the fatty tissue through a very small incision.

Other techniques can include a heating element such as laser or ultrasound energy to remove the fat. These techniques were originally purported to tighten skin. I was underwhelmed with the original data, and it appears many of my colleagues were as well based on the fact that fewer surgeons report using this technology today than when it first became available. Additionally, non-invasive body contouring is enjoying a media blitz currently. The pre and post-treatment photos I have seen are underwhelming, and several patients who underwent this type of treatment  have told me they obtained a minimal result and were disappointed. On the other hand, I have never heard a post-operative liposuction patient tell me they could not see a significant  improvement.

The post-op recovery from these procedures involves swelling and bruising, but most patients report they feel comfortable in a bathing suit within three weeks. Return to work depends on the activity level required, but can generally be  accomplished within a week to ten days. No lifting or exercise is allowed for three weeks. The most common myth about liposuction is that if you gain weight, the fat will deposit in unusual areas. That statement is patently false, and it is easy to understand why. Each person’s DNA direct how they deposit excess fatty tissue. There is nothing about having liposuction that alters your DNA. If you have a large weight gain after liposuction, you will put fat back on in the areas you always did before. Minor weight fluctuations do not diminish results.

In healthy patients who are good candidates, risks are exceptionally low and results generally exceed patient expectations. Why spend another summer dreading putting on your bathing suit? If you are tired of working out and dieting and not having any impact on your problem areas, liposuction may be a great option for you. Please contact my office to schedule a consultation. Summer is upon us!


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