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Beach-ready Lipo

May 23rd, 2013

There are about 285,000 liposuction procedures performed each year. Early summer is the prime season that I see an uptick in calls from patients asking about liposuction. As the temperatures finally begin to moderate in Minnesota, consultations in my office gradually switch from a focus on facial rejuvenation to body contouring procedures. It makes sense that liposuction might offer a boost for looking good in beachwear.

When exercise and diet doesn’t seem to do the trick for localized fat deposits on the thighs or extra fat presents as a muffin tummy, it might be time to consider cosmetic surgery options. I do recommend that patients should be within striking distance of their target weight when considering liposuction or tummy tuck surgery.  Although over 1.5 million people had cosmetic surgery last year,  surgery is not a quick fix for considerable weight loss, but it is ideal for those stubborn areas.

Liposuction and liposculpture also continue to be very popular year-round, as new techniques are always hyped in the media.  The lipid or fat reducing method basically remains the same, but the new trendy gimmicks make great headlines. I find that refined traditional liposuction techniques are quite effective in body sculpting surgery.

Traditional suction-assisted liposuction still remains my main choice for appropriately selected patients in my practice. The procedure has evolved slowly and enjoys a long history with proven efficacy. Traditional liposculpture not only allows me to remove adequate volumes of fat, but the smaller specialized cannulas can be used for delicate fat removal. This is effective for designing customized sculpting for each patient. A consultation with a board certified cosmetic surgeon is the best way to find out if you might be a candidate for a slimming nipntuck.

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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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