Are you almost where you want to be with your body – but not quite?
Sometimes you can’t lose weight in one area, even when you’re doing everything right. If this is causing you frustration and hurting your confidence, it may be time to consider liposuction.
What seems like an out-of-reach procedure is actually very accessible. Thousands of Australians get it done every year. You could be one of them!
Already schedule a consultation or want to learn more? Here are some questions to ask at your first meeting, below.
Liposuction isn’t a procedure you do when you’re very unhappy with your weight or body. It’s a procedure you do after you’ve lost weight or when you can’t get rid of that last pocket of fat.
The best candidates are within a few stones of their goal weight, but your body composition isn’t the only factor.
Your doctor will also look to see if you have a good amount of skin elasticity before agreeing to do the surgery. If you have loose skin or are prone to (a lot of) cellulite, this may not be the procedure for you.
Why? If your skin bounces back easily – great! When the fat is removed from under your skin it creates extra room. People with good skin elasticity see their skin pop right back into place.
However, if you already have loose skin, liposuction can cause dimples or what look like dents under the skin. It’s not a look a lot of people like, so doctors avoid doing it to avoid unhappy patients. (And malpractice).
While your doctor will go into more dept than this, you can test out your skin elasticity at home. Place one hand down on a table, palm facing down and relaxed.
Take two of your fingers and pinch the skin in the middle of the back of your hand. Hold that skin pinched for five seconds. It may be a tad uncomfortable, but it shouldn’t hurt.
When you let go of the skin, count how many seconds it takes for the skin to return to normal. 1-4 seconds is great, 5-9 is okay, and anything above ten isn’t great.
You can’t really improve your score, but you can prevent it from getting worse. Stay out of the sun when you can and wear sunscreen. Also – quit smoking!
Not every person, even if they’re near their goal weight and have very elastic skin, are a good fit for liposuction.
And even if you are a good fit, your results won’t be the same as someone else. That’s because our bodies store fat differently, at least, when it comes to location and distribution.
Liposuction is great for people who have concentrated areas of fat. But don’t give up hope! Your definition of concentrated and your doctors may be different.
There’s no harm in getting a consultation – which is where your doctor will tell you how much fat they think they can remove.
This is a multiple part question. If you want to know about the length of the procedure, it’s usually an hour or two. But you’re not going to walk in, have a consultation, then have surgery.
There’s a scheduling and screening process before you can go under the knife. Prepare to wait at least one month, if not two or three before you actually go through the procedure.
Scheduling depends on that doctor’s schedule and how many other procedures they’ve already agreed to in the near future.
Most plastic surgeons are well trained and well practised in this procedure. It’s a common one, up there with breast and nose jobs. So your doctor should do at least a hundred or so surgeries a year.
Obviously, it depends on your location. If you live in a small town and there aren’t many people who can afford to get liposuction, that number will be lower.
If you’re looking for a liposuction surgeon, you can usually ask your normal doctor. The medical community in each town is smaller than you’d think, so they probably know someone they can recommend.
It’s also a good idea to let your doctor know when you plan to do any type of elective surgery. They may have qualms about you going under the knife or want to talk to the surgeon about a certain condition.
If you didn’t find your surgeon through your primary care doctor, just go ahead and give them a call to let them know what’s going on.
They’re not there to keep you from getting liposuction – they’re there to keep you safe!
Most patients recover from liposuction with no issues, other than some light swelling and site pain. But it is a surgery and it has risks. The most common complications include swelling and blood clots, along with a “hardening” of the skin.
At their worst, your location site could get infected or you could react badly to the anaesthesia. That’s why it’s so important to choose a doctor with years of experience.
Yes and no. People have different pain tolerances, but you’re not going to be in extreme I-can’t-handle-this pain. Most patients describe the site as feeling tender and sore for the first couple of days to a week.
You’ll need to take it easy during this time, and you may not be 100% healed for six to eight weeks. Your doctor will go over all the post-operative information with you before the procedure.
Liposuction is a common procedure, risks and all. It’s not common for doctors to turn patients away, but we had to warn you that it can happen.
If you go in for a consultation, chances are good that you’ll get the surgery you’re looking for. Just remember to take this list of questions with you to your consultation and you’ll be set.
Take a look at some of our results here.
Dr Joseph Rizk became Australasia’s plastic surgeon of the year by making sure that each patient is heard, respected, and treated well. His patient-first approach provides you with the accurate medical information you need to make informed decisions about your course of treatment. At the same time, he offers his decades of knowledge and experience to help you along your path.