You hit the gym, count your steps and diligently watch what you eat. Still, you can’t seem to blast those last few extra inches on your stomach, hips or thighs. It’s incredibly frustrating. Chances are — especially post-baby — you’ve looked at yourself in the mirror at least once and wondered: Can I get liposuction?
While every case is individual, the list of liposuction requirements is fairly set in stone. And for good reason – this is major surgery we’re talking about. Although liposuction has long been one of the most popular cosmetic procedures in the United States and around the globe, it’s not for everyone, and it certainly isn’t without risk.
But before we dive into whether liposuction can and should play a role in your Viva Eve Mommy Makeover, let’s explore what this sought-after body contouring treatment is all about.
The 411 On Liposuction
Medically speaking, liposuction is a cosmetic procedure in which fat deposits are suctioned from the body via a hollow tool known as a cannula. The cannula is inserted into the fat deposit to “break it up” a bit and prepare it for vacuum suctioning.
While lipo can be performed on numerous locations on the body, the most common areas, from head down, are the upper arms, abdomen, lower back, hips, buttocks, thighs, knees and calves. Less prevalent for the face, it’s nonetheless often used to address a problematic “double” chin.
There are several different types of liposuction. Here are the best-known:
- Tumescent Liposuction: The most common type of liposuction, tumescent entails the injection of a large amount of medicated fluid into the fatty area prior to suctioning. According to The National Library of Medicine’s MedlinePlus, this liquid is typically a mix of the local anesthetic lidocaine and epinephrine to contract blood vessels, along with an intravenous salt solution. Blended together, the multi-part fluid helps reduce blood loss, swelling and bruising, and also makes the suctioning easier for the surgeon.
- UAL (Ultrasound Assisted Liposuction): This type of liposuction uses ultrasound to generate vibrations that liquefy fat so it’s more easily suctioned.
- LAL (Laser Assisted Liposuction): Similar to the fat-liquification achieved with UAL, but with lasers rather than ultrasound. A fairly tiny cannula is used with LAL, making it the ideal choice for smaller, more confined areas such as the chin.
Depending on the amount of fat to be suctioned, you may receive either local or general anesthesia, and you may be fitted with small tubes to drain accumulated fluids. Compression bandages keep the suctioned area intact during recovery. Expect to take at least a week off from work, and up to six weeks before resuming full physical activity.
Ideal Candidates For Liposuction
So just who is a good candidate for lipo? In short, it’s women who are already in pretty great shape. They lead an active lifestyle, adhere to a balanced, nutritious diet, don’t smoke and are already within 30 percent of their goal weight.
In other words, they’ve done what they can do to tone up and get back to their pre-baby body and still feel like they’re falling short. Oh, and they have good skin elasticity, too. More on that later…
Another one of the primary lipo requirements might be a little unexpected: good mental health. A key determinant of who is a good candidate for liposuction is having realistic expectations of what the procedure can and cannot do for you.
If you’re hoping liposuction can help you lose pounds, or remove loose skin after a substantial weight loss, think again. Its purpose is to contour and shape, essentially molding your body into a more attractive, desirable silhouette.
For post-baby loose skin on the abdomen, you might consider a tummy tuck. These are a popular Mommy Makeover choice and can even be combined with liposuction.
What Skin Elasticity Has Do With It
Every candidate for liposuction is evaluated in terms of skin quality and elasticity in the area they want suctioned. That’s because elasticity is crucial to a good outcome with this procedure.
If you’re unclear about exactly what “elastic” skin is, here’s a quick definition: it has the ability to snap back after being stretched. The proteins collagen and elastin are bountiful in elastic skin, and the biggies that can compromise elasticity are sun damage and weight fluctuations. Tobacco use is also extremely detrimental to skin elasticity.
When liposuction is performed, fat is removed – that’s a given. But what happens next is where elasticity comes into play. Essentially, the skin “envelope” over the suctioned spot needs to contract, or shrink, to adjust to the newly downsized area. If the skin isn’t elastic, it won’t adjust correctly, leading to unsightly buckling or waving. Definitely not the effect you’re after.
Pretty sure you have good skin elasticity? If you feel you meet this and the other liposuction requirements, speak to a plastic surgery expert at Viva Eve. A more body-confident, shapelier you – one that’s visually aligned with all those healthy habits you’ve already adopted – awaits.