Liposuction: Myths vs. Realities
Although body contouring has always been and continues to be a very sought-after procedure, fears regarding liposuction have fueled a massive non-invasive body contouring market in recent years. Many of these fears are not justified, and may be based on the way liposuction used to be performed. The truth is, liposuction is still by far the most effective and reliable body contouring method available. And you just might be surprised how easy and safe it is. Here are some common myths and misconceptions explained:
“Liposuction is an operation done in an operating room under general anesthesia”
Nothing could be further from the truth. Liposuction is now an office procedure performed under local anesthesia. In the modern era, there is absolutely no reason to subject a liposuction patient to general anesthesia. Once general anesthesia was eliminated, so too were most of the risks.
“Liposuction is painful”
Liposuction has become a virtually painless procedure. Infusion of lidocaine solution under the skin numbs the entire treatment area. This process is quite easy and the patient feels mostly a pressure sensation. After this step, the patient feels nothing. I am often having a conversation with the patient about their kids or their most recent vacation while I am performing the liposuction. We give patients a light sedative pill, that’s it.
“Liposuction has a long recovery”
Patients are up and about the day after surgery, with some soreness. Within 2-3 days they are performing most normal daily activities. Most patients return to full exercise in 1-2 weeks.
“Liposuction is dangerous”
The dangers of liposuction have been all but eliminated. Risk used to come from general anesthesia, IV anesthesia, IV fluids, long periods of immobilization, and aggressive technique. None of these techniques are used any longer. After decades of newer techniques, modern liposuction has proven itself to be incredibly safe. The main risks associated with liposuction are cosmetic risks: An irregular contour or asymmetric result. These are almost always correctable.
Having experimented with several so-called “non-invasive body contouring” devices, I was quite disappointed with the technologies. Results were inconsistent (and often non-existent), treatments were uncomfortable or painful, and patients often required multiple treatments. After these experiences, I now firmly believe that liposuction remains the best option for patients seeking high-quality, long-lasting body contouring results. Feel free to ask me if you are a good liposuction candidate.