Liposuction is frequently performed across the U.S. and throughout the world, yet a number of popular misconceptions about liposuction persist.

Readers who are considering liposuction should understand that what you read here is only a brief introduction to the procedure.

A liposuction procedure removes fat deposits and improves your body’s contours and proportions.

In most liposuction operations, a thin tube (a cannula) is inserted through small incisions and is then moved back and forth to loosen the fat, which is then suctioned out with an aspirator or a syringe.

For many patients who have struggled for years with other options and alternatives, liposuction offers real hope.

If you are considering a liposuction procedure for yourself in the New England region, you’ll need to learn more, and you’ll need to arrange for a personal consultation with an experienced Boston plastic surgeon.

MYTH #1: LIPOSUCTION IS ONLY FOR PATIENTS UNDER FIFTY

Liposuction is an individualized procedure that is not appropriate for everyone. Poor skin quality may mean that liposuction is not right for you, and the skin’s elasticity and firmness do decline with age.

Almost anyone in good health – at any age – can undergo a liposuction procedure successfully and achieve pleasing results.

MYTH #2: LIPOSUCTION HELPS PATIENTS LOSE A LOT OF WEIGHT

Most patients don’t really lose more than about five pounds in a liposuction procedure. Ideal liposuction candidates are already close to a healthy weight and are specifically looking to reduce localized “pockets” of fat on the body.

MYTH #3: LIPOSUCTION REMOVES CELLULITE

The American Society of Plastic Surgeons says liposuction is not effective for cellulite removal. Liposuction removes only soft, fatty tissue – not the connective, fibrous bands of tissue responsible for cellulite.

MYTH #4: LIPOSUCTION CAN BE DANGEROUS

While no surgical procedure can be entirely risk-free, if liposuction is performed by a board-certified, skilled plastic surgeon, and if a patient adheres to that surgeon’s instructions following the operation, liposuction is as successful and as safe as any other procedure.

MYTH #5: LIPOSUCTION TIGHTENS LOOSE SKIN

To be precise, a liposuction deals with excess fat rather than sagging skin. Your cosmetic surgeon may suggest a skin-tightening procedure along with (or instead of) a liposuction procedure.

MYTH #6: FAT DEPOSITS RETURN AFTER LIPOSUCTION

Fat cells that are removed in liposuction don’t grow back, but some fat cells may remain – and grow – if the patient consumes excessive calories.

A healthy exercise and diet regimen is the best strategy for maintaining a healthy weight after liposuction.

MYTH #7: LIPOSUCTION IS THE REMEDY FOR BELLY FAT

Liposuction deals only with the subcutaneous fat under the skin and above the muscles.

A protruding abdomen which is caused by fat underneath the muscle – “visceral” fat – cannot be remedied through liposuction surgery.

Only a proper diet and adequate exercise are effective against visceral fat.

MYTH #8: IT’S EXCLUSIVELY FOR WOMEN

You might be surprised to learn that liposuction is among the top five cosmetic procedures sought by men in the United States, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.

For men, the waist, the back, the “love handles,” and the chest are the most common areas for concern that prompt men to seek liposuction. Plastic surgeons create a customized, individualized liposuction “plan” for each patent’s procedure.

MYTH #9: LIPOSUCTION IS TOO EASY

It cannot be stressed strongly enough – liposuction is not primarily about losing weight. It is about contouring and streamlining particular spots – localized areas on the body.

Following a proper diet, exercising, and maintaining a healthy lifestyle are imperative after liposuction – and dealing with those challenges is seldom easy for anyone.

MYTH #10: YOU CAN GET RIGHT BACK TO YOUR DAILY ROUTINE

While liposuction is routinely performed as outpatient surgery, every procedure requires a period for recovery. The after-effects of liposuction surgery may include bruising, swelling, and general soreness around the treated areas.

A liposuction patient should plan for a week away from work to recover and heal fully, and a recovering patient should take at least a month before resuming regular exercise or other strenuous activity.

HERE’S WHAT LIPOSUCTION CAN AND CANNOT DO

What liposuction can do is make your body look more attractive and healthier. Here’s what liposuction cannot do:

1. Liposuction does not treat obesity.
2. Liposuction does not treat cellulite or sagging skin.
3. Liposuction does not replace proper exercise and diet.

Liposuction can be effective on these parts of the body: the thighs, hips, buttocks, abdomen, waist, upper arms, back, chest, cheeks, chin, neck, calves, and ankles.

A liposuction procedure can be performed separately or along with other cosmetic procedures such as facelifts, breast reductions, and tummy tucks.

WHAT WILL A LIPOSUCTION PROCEDURE COST?

Before you agree to a liposuction procedure, get a comprehensive written estimate for the full cost, and avoid a plastic surgeon who isn’t frank and up-front with you about surgical fees and the other costs of a liposuction procedure.

What can you expect to pay for liposuction in New England? The cost of a liposuction procedure varies widely. According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, the average cost of liposuction in 2016 was $3,200.

Factors that will impact the cost of liposuction include the number of areas being treated on the patient’s body and the presumed degree of difficulty that your plastic surgeon will face.

As a rule of thumb, a procedure for a patient weighing 280 pounds will probably cost more than liposuction for a patient weighing 180 pounds.

Most health insurance plans will not cover a liposuction procedure, but many plastic surgeons offer patient financing plans, so talk to your surgeon about the payment options.

WHAT’S REQUIRED BEFORE A COST ESTIMATE CAN BE PROVIDED?

A comprehensive cost estimate for liposuction requires a medical exam and a face-to-face consultation with an experienced Boston plastic surgeon who can answer your questions and address your concerns about liposuction.

Be candid during that first consultation regarding what you expect and hope to achieve through liposuction. This enables your surgeon to move forward with a surgical plan based on your personal desires and needs.

When selecting a board-certified plastic surgeon for a liposuction procedure, remember that the final cost of the procedure is not your only priority. Your doctor’s experience and your own level of comfort must also be considered priorities.

WHAT ELSE SHOULD YOU REMEMBER WHEN YOU CONSIDER LIPOSUCTION?

Patients who are seeking liposuction should also remember that the procedure is about improvement, and that “perfection” isn’t possible.

But if you have realistic expectations, you’ll probably be pleased with the results of liposuction.

You’ll feel happier, healthier, and younger. Don’t hesitate to contact a qualified cosmetic surgeon right away to discuss whether liposuction is right for you.