Liposuction can create wonderful body transformations. Localized areas of fat excess can be reduced, leaving behind a person’s natural, more attractive body contours undisturbed by these bulges. BUT… as I was reminded this morning during a consultation with a patient that had previous liposuction, it has it’s limitations. A 43 year old woman had lost about 50 pounds leaving her skin a bit more lax than others her age. She had previous liposuction of her tummy and hoped to have more performed in that area. Unfortunately, her prior procedure created an unnatural appearance with some contour waviness and over-flattening of her lower abdomen. Nonetheless, when she grabbed her tummy, she could create a roll of skin and fat, so she reasoned that more liposuction was the answer. I discussed with her that further liposuction would not be advisable because it does not tighten skin and would only worsen any contour irregularities that she already has. In all likelihood, I would probably not have recommended liposuction of her abdomen in the first place.
This is a common scenario that I see daily in consultations: women that get a “muffin top” over their pants and understandably determine that liposuction is the answer to their problem. Unfortunately, when the jeans are released, no localized bulge exists! In these situations, liposuction is not the solution.
So how do you figure out what to do when frustrated with your body contour in the mirror? If you look hard enough, you’ll find the answer you want to hear. The internet will surely provide content that supports any desired conclusion. If you want to hear that liposuction will tighten skin, you’ll find it. If you want to hear that liposuction will carve out a waste, you’ll find it. If you want to hear that liposuction can chisel out six-pack abs, you’ll find it. But if you want to really find out the truth about the benefits of liposuction, it’s all in the pictures. Before and after pictures taken of real patients shows what can truly be achieved. Perform an honest evaluation of your bothersome areas in the mirror and then go online to find pictures of women with similar situations. If you can’t find the results you want, it may not exist.
Liposuction must be used properly. In my opinion, most bad results or unhappy patients after liposuction are the result of poor patient selection. In other words, usually the problem isn’t a poorly performed procedure, but a poor choice in performing the procedure! I tell everyone that I meet during a consultation that liposuction is the most over-hyped, over-marketed, and over-performed procedure in plastic surgery. But when it’s used correctly on the right person, liposuction can be fantastic.