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The Pros and Cons of Liposuction

By: Dr. Christopher Khorsandi


Woman in Bikini Photo

More than one in three adults in the U.S. are overweight. Many people have excess fat just hanging around, following them through their daily activities. Some have tried exercising, but with no luck.

Liposuction is becoming increasingly popular. But how does it work? Is it worth the money?

This article is going to go over some of the pros and cons of liposuction.

What Is Lipo?

Before reading the pros and cons of liposuction, it's important to know what it involves.

Liposuction is a clinical method to help remove fat from various parts of the body. It's considered a form of cosmetic surgery, although some people undergo the procedure for health reasons.

There are various techniques, such as tumescent, ultrasonic, SmartLipo laser, body jet, and laser liposuction.

A standard procedure is done by starting with two small incisions, typically in an easily concealable area. A cannula is inserted into the open and exposed area. This is a rod-like instrument that uses suction to break-up and remove fat from the body.

The surgeon will then inject a special fluid that contains epinephrine and an anesthetic to decrease pain and recovery time.

How fast you'll recover from the procedure depends on the type of procedure, and the amount of fat removed.

Liposuction is not a weight loss tool, but a cosmetic procedure geared toward enhancing or contouring the body into a more desirable shape.

It is not meant to treat obesity.

What Are the Risks?

Every procedure has risks. Anytime a person is put under anesthesia, there is a possible risk of bleeding, infection, or an adverse reaction.

Liposuction is safe for most people. A standard procedure will take approximately 30 minutes per body part.

The following is a list of possible side effects lipo may cause:

  • Severe bruising - Minor bruising is expected after surgery. It will typically take a full week to disappear.
  • Numbness - It is common to experience minimal numbness around the treated area. This is usually temporary and will fade over time.
  • Inflammation - Expect the affected areas to swell for at least the first week after the procedure. It may take up to six months for the inflammation to subside.
  • Anaphylaxis - This is what happens when the body experiences an allergic reaction. Be sure to forewarn the doctor of any known allergies.
  • Burns - Movement from the cannula can cause friction burns to the skin and/or the nerves.
  • Thrombophlebitis - This is when a blood clot forms in a vein. It may lead to inflammation or more serious complications.
  • Infection - With any surgery, infection is a risk. Infections are usually treated with a course of antibiotics.
  • Internal punctures - This is rare, however, it is possible for the cannula to puncture an internal organ. This can cause internal bleeding and serious complications.
  • Pulmonary edema - If the body rejects the special fluid that was injected, it can accumulate in the lungs.
  • Death - Death is a possible side effect any time anesthesia is used. It can occur due to a blood clot or an adverse reaction to the anesthesia.

Some other side effects of liposuction would include nausea or headaches.

How Much Does Lipo Cost?

Many people feel as though the high cost of liposuction is a major disadvantage. The cost depends on the extent of the procedure, but here is a list of expected price ranges:

  • Abdomen - $3,000-$7,000
  • Buttocks - $2,500-$4,000
  • Arms - $2,500-$5,000
  • Inner/outer thighs- $2,500-$5000
  • Hips or waist - $2,500-$5,000

Many people will consider taking out a small loan to cover the cost.

What Are the Benefits?

Now that you know the risks, it's time to find out more about the benefits. Many people who choose to undergo liposuction believe that the benefits far outweigh the risks.

Lipo can help treat certain medical conditions. These may include:

  • Lymphedema - This is a chronic condition in which excess fluid collects in tissue. The fluid is known as lymph and may cause edema.
  • Swelling - This procedure is sometimes used to reduce swelling. Whether liposuction is an option depends on why the swelling occurs.
  • Gynecomastia - This is a condition where fat tends to accumulate under a man's breasts, causing an undesirable appearance.
  • Lipomas - These are fatty tumors that are benign.

Liposuction can also help patients who've lost massive weight but are struggling with excess skin. In this case, this procedure will help contour the body back into its intended shape.

This type of surgery can increase a person's confidence. Many people struggle with low self-esteem because of the extra weight. Diet and exercise don't always remove fat from problem areas.

The procedure permanently removes fat cells and may help reduce the appearance of cellulite. This makes it ideal for those who achieved their weight loss goals but still have stubborn fat on their hips, waist, or other areas.

While some improvements are visible right away, it may take a few days or even up to six months to experience dramatic changes.

Consider the Pros and Cons of Liposuction

No matter what procedure is performed, whether it's cosmetic or medically necessary, there will always be pros and cons. All types of surgery carry some risk.

To put this in perspective, it's riskier to take a drive down the road than to have a lipo procedure.

The pros and cons of liposuction can vary from person to person. It's important to understand that every person is different and may react differently.

At VIP Plastic Surgery, we treat our patients like royalty. Besides liposuction, we offer a wide range of procedures, from breast augmentation and eyelid surgery to hair restoration. Our goal is to help you look and feel your best!

Need more proof? Check out these photos for some before and after shots! Don't hesitate to contact us.

* All information subject to change. Images may contain models. Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary.