Sometimes, no matter how hard you fight, you still find yourself losing the battle of the bulge. The reality is that some fat cells just refuse to shrink, despite everything you do to exercise and eat a well-balanced diet.

Liposuction is an option to remove pockets of fat that resist diet and exercise and to improve the overall shape and appearance of your body. Liposuction is an effective and successful treatment for almost any area; neck, arms, abdomen and legs are the most common sites.

If you are considering liposuction to boost your self-esteem and create a more shapely silhouette, here are the most important things you need to know about this popular surgical procedure.

Frequently Asked Questions About the Liposuction Procedure

Q: Can someone who is overweight benefit from liposuction?

A: An overweight person whose weight has been stable for many years and who wants to address specific problem areas may be a good candidate for liposuction. Liposuction in an obese patient is reasonable when the goal is to improve a troublesome body contour area. However, liposuction should not be mistaken as a surgical technique for weight loss.

Q: Can liposuction help me address fat that is resistant to diet and exercise?

A: Some fat stubbornly persists, despite our best efforts to lose weight through a diet and exercise regimen. Common problem areas that are resistant to diet and exercise include the abdomen, hips, abdomen and under the chin. Liposuction can be an effective way to address these spots of persistent fat. It’s important to note that liposuction does not remove cellulite, only fat.

Q: Are there any genetic factors that influence the areas where fat is distributed on my body?

A: Fat accumulation is often inherited, and in those cases, it is nearly impossible to eliminate through exercise or dieting. After about age 30, people often gain fat according to a genetically predetermined pattern. For these people, liposuction is the only realistic way to achieve the desired results in their appearance. In effect, liposuction is equivalent to being able to target weight loss to specific areas of the body.

Q: Why would a man want to get liposuction?

A: It’s a common misconception that all cosmetic surgery patients are women. Cosmetic procedures for men are rapidly on the rise, and liposuction is one of the most popular procedures for men today. Liposuction can help create more defined, toned-looking muscles by reducing belly and buttock fat. Men who want to look younger and more athletic can benefit from liposuction.

Q: How long does it take to recover from liposuction?

A: Liposuction is an outpatient procedure involving small incisions and a relatively quick recovery time. Most patients can return to work within a few days, and resume normal daily activities within one to two weeks. Minimal bruising, swelling and soreness are common for a least a few weeks after liposuction. However, every patient’s outcome will vary, based on factors such as volume of fat cells removed, the number of sites treated, your pre-surgical health and how well you follow our post-operative directions. Board-certified San Francisco cosmetic surgeon Dr. Michael Kulick will discuss what results you can expect to achieve, and how to best maintain your new body shape.

Q: Are the results of liposuction permanent? What if I gain weight after my liposuction?

A: Liposuction permanently removes fat cells, so if you gain weight after the procedure, it usually will not re-concentrate in the area that was treated. However, it is important to note that liposuction will not prevent you from regaining weight. To maintain your new shape and new weight after liposuction, you must follow a proper diet and exercise plan.

Who Is a Good Candidate for Liposuction?

A good candidate for liposuction should have realistic expectations about the results of this procedure, as well as these basic qualities:

  • Average or slightly above-average weight
  • Firm, elastic skin
  • Good overall health
  • Concentrated pockets of fat that resist diet and exercise

Age generally isn’t a major consideration when discussing liposuction; however, older patients often have less skin elasticity, and thus may not achieve the same benefits of liposuction a younger patient with tighter skin might expect.

What Do I Need to Know Before Undergoing Liposuction?

The first step before undergoing liposuction will be to arrange a pre-surgical consultation with Dr. Kulick at our San Francisco office. During the consultation, we will discuss what to expect before and after the procedure and all your expectations for the surgical outcome. This consultation is your opportunity to ask any and all questions you may have.

Once you have decided to undergo liposuction, we will give you detailed instructions on preparing for the surgery. For example, we may ask you to restrict intake of certain foods or alcohol. Be sure to tell us about any allergies you have, as well as any and all medications you are taking—including over-the-counter and prescription medications, as well as herbal supplements.

What Is LipoSelection?

LipoSelection® is a relatively new form of liposuction that uses ultrasound technology to break up fat before it is removed from your body. Because your comfort and safety are always our top priority, we recommend this type of liposuction because it produces optimal results, reduces pain and results in a faster healing time.

After applying a local anesthetic, Dr. Kulick will fill the area to be treated with a saline solution to shrink blood vessels and help minimize post-surgical bruising and swelling. Next, a small probe emitting high-frequency ultrasound energy breaks up fat on contact, with minimal damage to surrounding nerves, blood vessels and tissue. Then, it’s simple to extract the fat with liposuction tubes.

If you look at the before-and-after photos of our many liposuction patients, you can see the dramatic improvement this procedure can result in.

Are you ready to reshape your body and achieve the more contoured appearance you’ve always dreamed of with liposuction? Contact our office today to schedule a consultation with Dr. Kulick.