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Is Lipo Quick Weight Loss?

May 9th, 2011

Earlier in my career, I had the unique opportunity to be interviewed on television by Roseanne Barr and Tom Arnold about liposuction.  Looking at the photo today, I don’t remember my hair ever being so dark, absent of all the gray!

Although the segment was meant to be light-hearted, I was able to convey my thoughts about why liposuction is not safe for patients that are not close to their ideal weight.  But as the weather turns warm in the Twin Cities, I usually have an uptick in consultations for liposuction.  Liposuction is proven to be a safe and an effective procedure to remove localized areas of fat, under certain conditions.

Unfortunately, liposuction is not a quick fix for having too many unwanted pounds. Most patients do take my recommendations in stride to get within a good 15-20 pound range of their ideal weight, before I will seriously consider doing their surgery. However, I suspect that a few patients leave my office and look elsewhere.

Liposuction is popular.  It is frequently used as an important tool in body sculpture surgeries, but patient selection is paramount regarding safety.  According to  The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS),  of the 9 million cosmetic procedures done last year, almost 300,000 patients had liposuction.

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Lipo as weight loss? Part 3

June 16th, 2010

Earlier in my career, I had the unique opportunity to be interviewed on television by Roseanne Barr and Tom Arnold about liposuction, which I discussed earlier this week.  This series continues.

Lipo as weight loss? Part 3

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 stretched more easily to give a better result.   I also believe that wound healing is 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 who are carrying extra pounds frequently change their minds regarding which procedures they are pursuing after reaching their ideal weight.   This is most evident with breast surgery.   A woman considering breast reduction before weight loss will frequently choose breast enlargement after significant weight loss.   Patients considering liposuction after weight loss usually only need a slight reduction of stubborn remaining localized fat pockets, such as the outer thighs.   Skin appearance often responds better when weight loss is gradual and exercise is part of the program.

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

Remember: A moment on the lips, perhaps a lifetime on the hips!

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