Liposuction is a procedure for people with fat pockets that remain, despite healthy eating and exercise. Liposuction is not a solution for being overweight or obese, and anyone using it for this purpose will be disappointed. It’s a reshaping technique to improve contours.
There are no laws or restrictions on who can get liposuction, but your cosmetic surgeon will have limits to what they prefer to work within for optimal results. Additionally, not everyone will benefit equally from liposuction, so arrange a consultation with your chosen doctor to determine your suitability and likely outcomes.
Who gets the best results from liposuction?
People with firmer, more elastic skin
The firmer and more elastic your skin, the better your liposuction results. This is because elastic skin ‘bounces back’ better when tissue has been removed from beneath it. Less elastic skin can sag, and results can be disappointing. This happens more frequently as we age.
Having less elastic skin doesn’t mean you can’t have the procedure, but it can affect results. Your doctor will explain what to expect, and may suggest other procedures that can be used in conjunction with, or instead of, liposuction, to get the results you want.
People who don’t use nicotine products
If you smoke, your risk of complications is much higher. This is due to reduced blood flow to the skin, which is detrimental for healing. This is not because smoking is ‘bad’, but because nicotine is a strong vasoconstrictor, meaning it tightens and restricts your blood vessels, reducing their ability to deliver blood to all tissue adequately. This means that taking nicotine lozenges or patches is out, since these products still contain nicotine.
Abstaining from nicotine products is advisable when undergoing liposuction (and other surgeries). Your doctor will advise you. It’s important to be truthful about your nicotine use, as it could impact your recovery.
People who maintain a healthy weight post-surgery
It has been well-observed that after liposuction, people who don’t manage their caloric intake gain weight as per usual, but the fat is deposited into the fat cells that remain – in other parts of your body. This means the classic areas that fat would normally collect (in women it’s the hips, thighs, abdomen; men, abdomen) are left alone, but other areas may see bulges.
This happens because we have a relatively finite number of fat cells – we don’t grow new fat cells, but the ones we have just expand or deflate depending on how much energy they are storing. Maintaining a steady, healthy weight means your liposuction effects are retained and unwanted bulges are kept at bay.
People who are very healthy pre-surgery
The healthier you are, the quicker you recover, since healthy skin and tissue bounces back quickly. Age, illness, and unhealthy habits can impair our ability to heal adequately, which may impact optimal outcomes.