If you’re unhappy about fat deposits around your stomach that won’t surrender to diet or exercise, you have plenty of company. Liposuction is now the most popular form of cosmetic surgery in the United States, with 396,048 procedures performed in 2015, according to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery. While there’s no magic wand to make jiggly belly fat go away, liposuction may offer a solution for love handles and other unwanted forms of flab. If you’re considering liposuction for your stomach, here are five things you need to know to make an informed decision.
A technique called “tumescent liposuction" is the most common method for removing fat around the stomach, buttocks, thighs and ankles. It’s also considered the safest. “Tumescent” means that large amounts of buffered salt water are injected into fatty tissue beneath the skin. The doctor makes a cut in the fatty area to be treated, then inserts beneath the flesh a strawlike tube called a cannula that is attached to a vacuum. At the end of the cannula is a stiff wand. The doctor moves it back and forth in rapid motions to loosen fat. The procedure takes 45 minutes to two hours, with a recovery time of up to two weeks. The full effect of liposuction is seen six to 12 weeks after the procedure is performed. After the procedure, the area is bandaged and the patient must wear a compression garment for one to two weeks. Pain and bruising may last up to two weeks, and swelling may last for two weeks to two months.
Although liposuction is used to get rid of fat, it’s not a weight-loss solution. Liposuction works best on deposits of fat that are concentrated in particular areas and resistant to exercise, particularly around the stomach, thighs, hips and buttocks. You might lose a little weight, but it’s not likely to be significant. Liposuction also won’t fix a bulging stomach that’s caused by weakness in the abdominal wall, and it won't tighten loose skin. For toning and flattening the abdominal area, however, liposuction is sometimes combined with abdominoplasty, also known as a tummy tuck, in which fat is removed from the belly, the muscle wall repaired and excess skin removed.
A more experienced and esteemed plastic surgeon that specializes in Brazilian butt lift and receives a high demand from patients will probably charge a higher fee. This is why the particular procedure is overwhelmingly surgeon-dependent. That being said, though, the American Society of Plastic Surgeons recommends that patients should select the most appropriate surgeon for the cosmetic procedure they need to undergo, rather than make a decision based on the surgeon's fee. This is because working with the most qualified surgeons, who usually cost more up-front, will indeed save you expense in the long-term, considering that they tend to provide exceptional outcomes with a much lower risk of complications.
If you maintain your post-lipo weight, your surgical result should be long-lasting. But if you gain even five pounds, the fat cells in other areas of your body—as well as those that remain in the treated area—will grow larger, possibly diminishing your results. In cases of considerable weight gain, new fat cells can develop all over the body, including in the treated areas, though the area will still look better than if you didn’t have liposuction.
During your search for a surgeon, keep in mind that “as with any cosmetic procedure, the price should not be the primary factor in choosing your surgeon,” Orlando, Florida plastic surgeon Dr. Armando Soto, says in a RealSelf Q&A. “This is not to say that less expensive surgeons are uniformly going to deliver poor care, just that the costs should be secondary to your overall sense of comfort and confidence in the surgeon you choose.”
It’s important to understand exactly what your doctor’s quote includes. Does the number only include your surgeon’s fee? Or will it cover anesthesia, hospital fees, pre- or post-op appointments, and medications you’ll need throughout your recovery? If your doctor’s estimate doesn’t consider all those costs, be sure to factor them into your budget. Also be sure to ask how your surgeon handles revisions, in case you aren’t happy with your initial results.
Gaining in popularity is something called the vertical lift, which involves a scar around the areola and then straight down the breast, eliminating the underneath scar. Proponents think that the shape is good, that the breast maintains a lot of projection over time without bottoming out, and that the underneath scar is avoided. I believe that many of these breasts look overly projecting to my taste, and that bottoming out can be minimized with the inverted T style pattern. I also feel that the underneath scar is rarely seen, and that the scars that are seen - around the areola and going straight down, seem relatively more visible with this technique since it requires some bunching up of the skin during closure. Understand that some of the best surgeons in the world argue with one another about this issue at meetings all the time!