Liposuction exists for one reason: to rid the body of stubborn fat deposits. If you’ve been on the weight-loss hamster wheel and find that you just can’t get rid of an accumulation of fat in a specific area, you might be considering this popular surgical treatment. Let’s dive into what kind of results you can expect from a liposuction treatment and the risks that accompany it.
Liposuction is an invasive surgery that involves cutting, stitching, and the use of anesthesia. For this reason alone, many are not interested or eligible for liposuction in the first place. Candidates for liposuction typically include patients in good health without any underlying conditions that could complicate surgery. Additionally, it’s important that patients rely first and primarily on diet and exercise changes rather than turning to liposuction as a “quick fix.” Usually, doctors only consider a patient for liposuction if they have made concerted efforts to lose the fat naturally.
During the liposuction procedure, the patient is given anesthesia. Then, a small incision is made in the affected area. This allows the surgeon to “vacuum” the fat out of the area. Liposuction therefore allows a doctor to be highly targeted with the treatment area, which is helpful when people have lost weight overall but can’t seem to lose the fat deposits in a specific area of the body.
As liposuction is indeed an invasive surgery, recovery time will take a few days. Patients usually need to wear tight compression garments after surgery. These help to reduce swelling at the treatment site. Patients can also typically expect to see contour irregularities, which will dissipate over time as the remaining fat settles into its optimal position. Numbness and fluid accumulation are among the risks, though these are rare. Even rarer is the risk of lidocaine toxicity. Any strenuous activity should be eliminated for three to four weeks following the surgery.
Fortunately, liposuction is extremely effective, which can be a welcome relief to those who have struggled for years with weight loss. Typically, it takes just one liposuction procedure to see complete results, which should last a lifetime as long as weight does not continuously fluctuate. Liposuction is an investment, usually costing between $3,000 and $5,000 per procedure.
For those who are not eligible for or interested in liposuction, a non-invasive medical procedure called CoolSculpting might be the perfect alternative. This fat freezing or cryotherapy option helps remove extra fat cells from underneath the skin without surgery.
During a CoolSculpting procedure, the clinician uses a special tool to clamp down on fat and “cool” it to a freezing temperature. Within a few days to a few weeks post-treatment, the body naturally eliminates these frozen, dead fat cells. Unlike liposuction, CoolSculpting does require several sessions over a period of weeks in order to see optimal results. CoolSculpting is slightly more affordable, at between $2,000-$4,000 per session.
If you want to talk to a doctor about liposuction or CoolSculpting and you’re located in the greater New York City area, contact Vanguard Dermatology today for an appointment with one of our board-certified specialists.