Liposuction: Facts You Need to Know

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Summary: You would think having a lot of excess fat would make you a good candidate for liposuction. Unfortunately, that's not the case.We are a society obsessed with image and staying thin. When diet and exercise doesn't seem to be working, many people turn to plastic surgery for a helping hand in obtaining their ideal slender physique. According to the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery, liposuction is the most popular cosmetic procedure in the world. It is important to note that liposuction is not a weight loss technique; it is a reshaping technique. So, having a lot of excess fat doesn't make you a good candidate for liposuction; in fact, it is actually the opposite. Individuals who maintain a healthy lifestyle but have a few problem areas make the best candidates because their skin is more firm and elastic. There are two layers of subcutaneous (lying under the skin) fat: deep and superficial. In a typical procedure, the doctor makes a tiny incision and inserts a hollow, stainless-steel tube (cannula) into the deep fat layer, because there is less risk of injuring the skin. The doctor pushes and pulls the tube through the fat while breaking down fat cells, and a "vacuum" pump or syringe removes the fat with suction. The liposuction heals in a few weeks, but be prepared for a considerable amount of bruising and swelling. You may also experience lumpy skin and numbness for several months following the procedure. Liposuction is generally not covered by health insurance. The cost varies based on the areas worked on, amount of fat removed, the state you live in and the doctor performing the procedure. Renowned Chicago plastic surgeon, Dr. Peter Geldner, MD, shares the latest technologies and techniques of liposuction, plus the risks and complications you need to know before undergoing the procedure.