The Surgeon Minute

Who is the Right Patient for Liposuction?

Who is the Right Patient for Liposuction?

Love or hate it, we all live in an on-demand world. Naturally, we’re focused on what is going to be the easiest and quickest way to achieve our desired result. Want food delivered to friends, but stuck in a meeting? There’s an app for that! Need cookies made for the class party? There’s a service for that! Want those sculpted thighs, but don’t have time for the gym? There’s liposuction for that!

Patients frequently present complaining of stubborn belly fat that makes wearing swimsuits and certain clothing unthinkable. They’re hoping to get a quick fix. With liposuction continuing it’s impressive streak of effective results, board certified plastic surgeon Dr. Steven Camp of Fort Worth, Texas explains how patients can align their expectations with realistic results.

What is Liposuction and Who is a Candidate?

You’ll often hear liposuction, or “lipo,” referred to as the swift way to eliminate unwanted fat, which to some degree is true. That is it’s purpose, but it’s not a one size fits all operation. Going under the knife without proper education can lead to disappointing results.

The liposuction procedure is performed by using a suction device attached to a cannula and inserting it through a small incision on/around the treatment site into fatty areas between the skin and muscle. Recognizing the difference between fat or skin and fat is significant when planning for the procedure. Liposuction only targets and removes fat, it does address or remove excess skin.

Liposculpting is popular to address unwanted fat around the abdomen, hips, thighs, buttocks, arms, back even the neck to create a slimmer, contoured result to the treatment area.

To begin a liposuction journey, finding the right surgeon and having a thorough consultation is key. It’s important that patients understand that not everyone is a good candidate for lipo, and it’s not a procedure that is meant to be a weight loss treatment. “The key to excellent plastic surgery outcomes, with liposuction especially, is understanding which patient is the right patient for liposuction,” explains Dr. Camp.

Ideal patients include:

  • Patients that are within 10-15 pounds of their ideal weight with good, firm skin
  • Non-smokers
  • Patients with localized pockets of fat that does not respond to diet and exercise
  • Patients that are overall in good health

Who is Not the Ideal Candidate for Liposuction?

When consulting with a board certified plastic surgeon to plan your procedure, part of the visit should include conversation over expectations, but a portion should also consist of the surgeon examining the area of concern and actually feeling your skin. Unsatisfactory results are usually products of individuals operating on patients that weren’t good candidates to begin with.

Non-ideal patients include:

  • Patients with moveable, sliding skin
  • Patients hoping to address cellulite, dimples, or stretch marks
  • Patients that are overweight

While it seems liposuction may give those that are overweight a jump in the right direction towards becoming more fit, Dr. Camp explains that overweight patients are at a higher risk in the OR. The chance of post-operative problems such as infection, pulmonary, and cardiac issues begin to rise when patients are not at a healthy weight. Even so, liposuction is meant to take out small amounts here and there while contouring what’s left. This is very different than a weight loss procedure.

Once you’ve established a healthy lifestyle, liposuction is an excellent, long-lasting option to gain confidence and reveal a more contoured, svelte silhouette.

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