With the significant emotional and financial investments that go into having any cosmetic surgery performed, it is perfectly normal to wonder how long you may be able to enjoy your new look. For many procedures, the results can be long-lasting, but much of that depends on the patient’s lifestyle after their surgery. This is particularly true when it comes to liposuction. Board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Jules Walters is committed to providing the most exceptional level of patient service and takes great care to help his New Orleans, LA area liposuction patients maintain their results for as long as possible. To help better understand how you can enjoy your newly contoured physique for many years after liposuction, it is important to first know some of the basics about the procedure, including how it works, what the recovery entails, and what results are possible to begin with.
What Is Liposuction?
Liposuction is a relatively minimally invasive surgical procedure designed to remove stubborn deposits of fat from various areas of the body using a vacuum-like technique. During the procedure, your surgeon will make a small incision near the target area, through which a handheld wand called a cannula will be inserted. The fat will be sucked out using the cannula and the incisions will then be closed with sutures.
What Kinds of Results Are Possible with Liposuction?
While liposuction is certainly capable of producing stunning and beautiful outcomes, it is important that patients have realistic expectations about the results of their procedure. Liposuction is ideal for sculpting the body and enhancing the line of contour in the treated area. This means that patients struggling with small to moderately sized deposits of fat can finally achieve a smoother, flatter, more even shape. Liposuction is not designed as a weight loss or high volume fat loss tool, however. Patients considering liposuction for fat removal should already be near their ideal goal weight, within about 10-20 pounds, and have maintained that weight for at least six months prior to the procedure.
Are Liposuction Results Permanent?
Perhaps the most common question asked by patients considering liposuction is whether or not the results are permanent. The answer is: yes and no. When fat is removed by liposuction, those fat cells will be permanently gone from the body and never return. However, the change in a patient’s weight and body contour is not necessarily permanent. This is because, though fat cells have been permanently removed, the remaining fat cells can swell with weight gain and add inches to the patient’s body once again. New fat cells can also be generated. The bottom line is that while the fat cells are permanently removed during liposuction, new fat can return to the body and a patient’s physique can be compromised even after liposuction.
How Do I Maintain the Results of My Liposuction?
Despite the fact that liposuction results cannot be considered 100% permanent, there are absolutely things you can do to ensure that you enjoy your new look for as long as possible, perhaps indefinitely. The best ways to prolong the results of liposuction include:
- Eat a healthy diet
- Drink plenty of water
- Maintain a regular exercise routine
- Avoid excessive alcohol intake
- Make sure you are done having children before getting liposuction
Any significant weight gain or fluctuation can compromise the results of your liposuction and lead to the need for a second or subsequent procedure. For this reason, women are generally advised to wait until they are done with future pregnancies before having liposuction.
What Is Liposuction Recovery Like?
As with any surgery, the details of the recovery period can vary from patient to patient. Most liposuction patients can expect some level of bruising, swelling, and discomfort for the first 7-10 days, but these can be relieved with medication and at-home remedies and are generally well tolerated. Dr. Walters and his knowledgeable staff will provide you will both written and oral postoperative guidelines, which you should follow to ensure your recovery is as easy and successful as possible. These may include wearing compression garments, taking prescribed medications, and refraining from certain physical activities. Most patients are ready to return to light office work after 1-2 weeks, while resuming exercise may take 4-6 weeks or longer.
Am I a Good Candidate for Liposuction?
Fortunately, most men and women can be considered for liposuction. Generally speaking, a patient undergoing liposuction must be in relatively good health, be a non-smoker, and have maintained a consistent weight (within 10-20 pounds of their goal weight) for at least six months prior to the procedure.
The best way to determine if liposuction may be beneficial and appropriate for you is to consult with a qualified, certified, and highly experienced surgeon. Call our convenient Metairie, LA office to schedule your consultation with board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Jules Walters today, and find out how liposuction can give you the body you’ve always wanted for many years to come!