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Why Lipo is Not a Quick Fix

May 11th, 2011

Why isn’t Lipo a quick fix?  I have found that cosmetic surgery results are far better when the fat layer located beneath the skin is as thin as possible before surgery.   In the case of skin tightening procedures, the skin can be draped more easily, yielding a better result.     Wound healing is also more efficient, there are fewer complications and patients see the best results  when  they are at a healthy weight.

Patients presenting for cosmetic surgery consultation frequently change their minds regarding which procedures they consider, after reaching their ideal weight.   One surgery in particular that comes to mind is breast surgery.   A woman considering breast reduction before weight loss will frequently choose breast enlargement after significant weight loss.   The volume of breast tissue is often affected by significant fluctuations in weight in both men and women.

In contrast, patients considering liposuction after gradual weight loss, usually need slight reduction of the stubborn remaining localized fat pockets.   A common area for this persistent fat is the outer thigh, often referred to as “saddle bags.”   Skin appearance also responds better when weight loss is gradual and exercise is part of the program.   Think of suddenly letting air out of a balloon- it collapses and leaves the balloon wrinkled.

I know the idea of having surgery first, followed by weight loss and conditioning has been popularized on reality TV.   It has never made much sense to me.   Why take this shortcut if there are increased risks, potential medical problems and compromised cosmetic results?   Consider being within 20 pounds of your ideal weight before considering cosmetic surgery. It is the best advice that I can offer my patients in this regard.

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