Liposuction is the second-most popular cosmetic procedure in the U.S. * If you have been researching whether to join the thousands of Americans who will get liposuction this year, we’ve put together a comprehensive guide to helping you understand what to expect from liposuction, how to get the best results and what characteristics someone should have to be a good candidate for this procedure.
Q: What is liposuction?
A: In simple terms, the liposuction process involves a skilled surgeon, like San Francisco’s board-certified liposuction expert Dr. Michael Kulick, removing excess fat using a thin tube called a cannula that is attached to a machine that creates suction. The technique can shape a firmer body by removing unwanted fatty deposits from targeted areas like the thighs, abdomen or buttocks. Dr. Kulick uses a high-tech method of liposuction called LipoSelection that relies on ultrasound energy to liquefy fat before removing it from the body. This technique helps breakdown the fat prior to fat removal even in difficult areas such as the love handles, which has a lot of fibrous tissue that could make fat removal hard to do.
Q: Is liposuction safe?
A: Though liposuction is a safe procedure, there are risks and potential complications ** associated with any surgery, including infection or numbness that can slow the healing process.
By choosing a skilled, board-certified liposuction expert such as Dr. Kulick to perform your liposuction, you will greatly reduce your chances of having any risks, and increase the chances of enjoying excellent liposuction results.
Q: Who benefits most from liposuction?
A: Liposuction is most effective for removing targeted fat deposits that remain on a person’s body despite their best efforts to change the shape of their body via diet and exercise. However, do not confuse liposuction with a procedure such as gastric bypass that is designed to help obese people lose dramatic amounts of weight all over their bodies. Instead, liposuction is a contouring procedure that produces the best results when combined with a regimen of physical fitness and nutritious “superfoods.” ***
Q: Am I a good candidate for liposuction?
A: Because liposuction is a way to address stubborn areas of fat that have resisted proper diet and exercise, the best candidates for liposuction are men and women who are already within their target body weight. Other characteristics that make someone an ideal candidate are good skin elasticity and excellent overall health, which includes being a non-smoker.
Q: When will I be able to resume exercise?
A: As you recover from getting liposuction, daily light walks at a moderate pace can help speed the healing process. A great deal of this answer depends upon how many areas were treated, how much swelling you have and what your definition of “exercise” really means! The need to wear compression garments is very important to your final result and usually limits patients from vigorous exercise.
Q: When can I expect to see my liposuction results?
A: Most liposuction patients will begin to see results within the first month or two of getting the procedure. Final results may take up to a year to reveal themselves, as the swelling resolves and the skin bounces back from surgery.
Q: What happens if I gain weight after liposuction?
A: The goal of liposuction is to permanently improve the contours of your body in the treated areas. Therefore, if you gain weight, your body will store the “extra calories = fat” based on your genetic profile. Some patients store fat primarily in their abdomen and others store extra calories “fat” in their thighs. The extra calories will go somewhere on your body based on your genetic profile. There may be some change in the treated regions but the fat removed in the treated area will not come back. If you lose the weight again, your body contours should go back to looking the way they did after you got liposuction.
Q: Are there any limitations to liposuction?
A: Although there are limits to the amount of fat that can be removed, Dr. Kulick will work with you before your surgery to help you determine potential areas for sculpting and what you can realistically expect to achieve by getting this procedure. The best liposuction results occur in body areas where there is reasonable muscle tone, where skin has good elastic quality and where fat is not excessive.
Q: What is the best age to get liposuction?
A: Technically speaking, Dr. Kulick can perform liposuction on any person over the age of 18 who meets all physical criteria. However, skin elasticity plays a vital role in liposuction results.
Because skin’s elasticity weakens as we age, Dr. Kulick may recommend a different procedure if he feels your skin is not resilient enough to adjust to smaller contours after liposuction.
Q: Is liposuction a same-day procedure?
A: Yes, we will send you home soon after your surgery. However, make sure you have arranged to have a friend or family member drive you home after surgery. We suggest you don’t drive for the first 24 hours after surgery, and that you ask someone you trust to stay with you for the first several hours after surgery.
Q: Will i have scars from my surgery?
A: Dr. Kulick makes tiny incisions during liposuction and takes great care to place the incisions in unobtrusive areas so they remain discreet and heal with minimal risk of scarring.
Q: What do I need to do before liposuction?
A: The first step in your process is to contact our San Francisco office to schedule a one-on-one consultation with Dr. Kulick. As a liposuction expert, he will thoroughly analyze where the fat pockets have accumulated on your body, and answer any questions you have, as well as what to expect from liposuction.
* Source: American Society of Plastic Surgeons, March 2018
** Source: mayoclinic.org
*** Source: health.com, May 2017