American Society of Plastic Surgeons
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How liposuction can get you ready for beach season


Many New Year's resolutions involve getting in shape and getting "beach ready" for the summer months. Now that summer is just around the corner, it is not unusual to notice those stubborn areas that have just not responded the way they should to all of those long, hard months of exercise and following a healthy lifestyle. Liposuction may be a good option for these areas.

Liposuction is the removal of fat from specific areas of the body. It is performed via small incisions in which a cannula is introduced and fat aspirated. This can also be combined with other excisional procedures in which skin and fat are removed, for example, an abdominoplasty (tummy tuck). There are various forms of liposuction including suction-assisted, ultrasound-assisted and laser. This will usually be determined by your plastic surgeon following consultation and examination of the area of concern. While liposuction removes the fat, it alone does not address excess skin. It is, therefore, important to have good skin quality and a firm tone without excess prior to surgery. The success of the procedure will depend on your own skin's ability to contract or tighten after the fat is removed.

Following surgery, it is not uncommon to be given a compression garment to wear. This will help minimize swelling and help shape your body to its new contour. The length of time required to wear these garments will be determined by your plastic surgeon. It is important to remember that final results of this surgery are not immediate. It can take 6 months to a year for all of the swelling to resolve, skin to contract and for your final results to be apparent.

It is important to remember that liposuction is not a substitute for weight loss or a treatment for obesity and appropriate patients should be within a normal weight range for their age and height. Additionally, liposuction is invasive and is surgery, so a good candidate should also live a healthy lifestyle with well-controlled medical problems, if any.

As with any surgery, it is important to have a consultation and evaluation by a board-certified plastic surgeon. He or she will be equipped to answer any questions you have and determine whether this is the right procedure for you to provide you with the best possible results.

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