5 Myths About Cosmetic Surgery You Probably Believe Are True

Cosmetic Surgery: Fact vs. Fiction 

breasts

Breast augmentation is still the most popular procedure for women, with over 1.5 million in 2015.

Cosmetic surgery is a hot-button topic. Ask anyone and they will either tell you it’s the best decision they’ve ever made or swear it off entirely. Whichever side of the fence you find yourself-or maybe the jury’s still out- it’s important to know the facts. Unfortunately, today most news worthy stories regarding cosmetic surgery are either completely ridiculous (and extreme), or centered around celebrities and reality television. And considering that more than 21 million people have a surgical or nonsurgical cosmetic procedure each yeah, we figured it’d be a good idea to shed some light on the facts and debunk the myths:

1. The Myth: Cosmetic surgery is the same as plastic surgery  

Believe it or not, the terms “plastic surgery” and “cosmetic surgery” are NOT the same. According to Dr. Shahram Salemy, MD, “The use of these terms interchangeably has led to many misconceptions about these procedures.” He adds, “Cosmetic surgery is performed solely for aesthetics and to improve appearance [and] plastic surgery also includes reconstructive surgery to repair birth defects or damages caused by trauma or illness.”

For example, breast reconstruction after breast cancer is considered plastic surgery, while breast augmentation is cosmetic. Very often, the difference lays in the eyes of the insurance companies. Generally, most policies will cover plastic surgery and not cosmetic surgery.

2. The Myth: It is (too) expensive 

Perpetuated by Hollywood’s rich and famous, it’s no wonder us ‘common folk’ believe we could never afford a bosom (among other things) like Kim Kardashian or refined nose like Megan Fox. In the past, this was often true. But today, thanks to a little phenomenon called medical travel, cosmetic surgery is becoming more affordable than ever.

According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, the average cost of breast augmentation in the United States is around $3,678. This price only includes the surgeon’s fee. It does not include the cost of anesthesia, facilities, and materials (stitches, bandages, drapes, etc.). The price will also vary depending on doctor, patient, and region. In the UK this price is between £3,400-£5,000. Now compare that to an all-inclusive breast augmentation in the Czech Republic ($2,645/£2,120) and you’re looking at some serious savings without sacrificing quality.

3. The Myth: Liposuction is a quick, easy way to lose weight 

lipo 2

“Liposuction” is a medical word for fat removal, but it’s not a treatment for weight loss or obesity.

We’d all love to lipo-away that extra weight we put on during the winter. Unfortunately, liposuction is not the answer- though it can help. Liposuction is NOT the same as bariatric surgery. Therefore it is NOT a weight-loss surgery. Liposuction removes stubborn, unwanted fat from trouble spot on the body (i.e. inner thighs, tummy, back, chin). Before undergoing the procedure, most surgeons require that you be as close to your ‘goal’ or ‘natural’ weight as possible. While lipo helps to slim and contour the body, the results will only last as long as your commitment to a healthy lifestyle.

4. The Myth: Cosmetic surgery means “going under the knife”

Topping the charts with 4.6 million procedures per year, Botulinum Toxin (BOTOX®) is the most popular cosmetic procedure for both men and women worldwide. Instead of “going under the knife”, more and more patients are opting to go under the laser or needle. Thanks to new innovative technologies, even traditionally invasive procedures like liposuction have new alternatives, like Coolsculpting®. In 2017, experts predict that non-invasive procedures, like Kybella (an injectable which eliminates double-chins), will continue to grow in popularity. Benefits typically include lower prices, little to no recovery time and only the use of local anesthetics; usually in the form of creams or injectables. Other popular non-invasive cosmetic procedures include: Hyaluronic Acid, Hair Removal, Photo Rejuvenation and Nonsurgical Fat Reduction.

5. The Myth: Cosmetic surgery is only for women

By far, women still dominate the cosmetic surgery market. However, in 2015, cosmetic surgeons saw a significant rise in men looking to boost their confidence and improve their image. 3 million to be exact. Recent statistics from the American Plastic Surgery Surgeons reveal that the most popular surgical procedures for men are: Eyelid Surgery, Liposuction, Gynecomastia (male breast reduction), Rhinoplasty and Fat Grafting. 

6. The Myth: The Kardashians have never had cosmetic surgery 

Still waiting for confirmation…

Top 3 Cosmetic Surgery Trends For 2017

2016: The Year Of Cosmetic Surgery 

2016 was the year of many influential, memorable moments. Most noteworthy include Great Britain’s exist from the EU, Donald Trump’s win as president of the United States, and Kim Kardashian’s social media silence following a robbery in Paris. But in addition to political uproar and selfies, it was also a record-setting year for cosmetic surgeries. In fact, the ISAPS (International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery) are predicting numbers north of 1.6 million surgical and non-surgical procedures worldwide.kybella

While old staples, like breast augmentation, liposuction and botox, continue to top the charts, it seems like new trends, such as the Brazilian Butt Lift and dermal fillers, have also been making a name for themselves. As the cosmetic surgery field continues improving and evolving, there’s no question that next year will offer even more, unique procedures. To feed your curiosity (and ours), we’ve rounded up 3 of the most interesting, new cosmetic surgery trends for 2017.

Top 3 Trends For 2017 

  1. Kybella (Double Chin)  Kybella first burst onto the beauty scene several years ago. It quickly gained popularity among men and woman who wished to finally say goodbye to their double chin-for good! If the double chin is Superman, than Kybella is his Kyrptonite. The procedure involves a highly
    potent substance which is injected into the neck and jawline to target and eliminate stubborn fat below the chin. While in the past surgical liposuction was a solution, Kybella offers a noninvasive solution. According to recent statistics released by the ASAP (American Society of Plastic Surgeons), Kybella treatments increased by an outstanding 78% in 2016. From the looks of it, Kybella is here to stay.ocular


  2. Cosmetic Eye Color Surgery Ever wish you had different colored eyes? Well now it’s possible to
    change them- permanently. For many years, the only solution to change eye color were color contacts. Science is now able to give patients those baby blues they always wanted. How does it work? The surgeons places an intraocular in the anterior chamber of the eye to change the appearance of
    the iris. Originally created and performed for medical reasons, such asocular albinism (no pigment) and heterochromia (two different colored eyes), ocular implants are becoming increasing popular for
    cosmetic reasons.

    Interested In Cosmetic Surgery? Get a Free Quote Today!


  3. Fat Grafting (Total Body) If you’re looking for fuller breasts, buttocks, face, or any other sectionsbutt of the body, look no further. The latest cosmetic craze to hit the market is fat transfers. During the procedure, the surgeon will first examine a patients body for sections of optimum fat cells to harvest. After extracting the cells using tumescent liposuction, the fat cells are purified. Next, the surgeon transplants cells back into the specific problem areas. Next the fat is shaped perfectly into the patients desired contours. One of the greatest things about fat grafting is it’s level of safety. The procedure only involves the relocation of your own fat cells to different areas of your body. This means that absolutely no “foreign objects” are introduced. It is becoming increasingly popular among women for breast and buttock augmentation.

Why Are Some Cosmetic Procedures “Normal” And Others “Too Extreme”?

Cosmetic Procedures: Did They Or Didn’t They? 

What if you came into work on Monday and noticed your boss looking more, youthful? Those crows feet had disappeared, her frown lines were less noticeable, and overall, her skin was looking significantly tighter and fresher. Would you chalk it up to a well-rested weekend? Or spend the rest of the morning around the water cooler discussing if Mrs. Jones had a little extra help?

In 2015, more than 21 million surgical and nonsurgical cosmetic procedures were performed worldwide. According to the ISAPS (International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery), this is an increase of over 1 million cosmetic procedures from 2014. Topping the charts with 4.6 million procedures, Botulinum Toxin (BOTOX®) continues to be the most popular cosmetic procedure for both men and women. Other popular anti-aging injectables, such as Hyaluronic Acid, have also increased 6.5% from 2014 to 2015.

So did Mrs. Jones go under the needle? Probably. And should we care? It depends who you talk to.

Which Cosmetic Procedures Are Considered Normal? 

young-manIn general, eyebrows aren’t exactly raising when new cosmetic surgery statistics are released. Thanks to the media, and a bombardment of beauty advertising, girls as young as 13-years-old have expressed interest in getting breast implants. In fact, breast augmentation remains the most popular surgical procedure for women, with nearly 1.5 million performed each year.

breast

Nearly 1.5 million were performed worldwide in 2015

ASPS (American Society of Plastic Surgeons) President, David H. Song, comments, “While more traditional facial procedures and breast augmentations are still among the most popular, we’re seeing much more diversity in the areas of the body patients are choosing to address.”

Other popular surgeries include: Liposuction (1,181,074), Eyelid surgery (988,620), Abdominoplasty (703,361), and Rhinoplasty (534,523). 

And though woman contribute to 85% of procedures performed worldwide, men are not shying away from a little nip and tuck. Popular surgeries include: Eyelid surgery (276,082), Liposuction (213,514), Gynecomastia (212,328), and Rhinoplasty (195,764). 

Jenny, 42, London adds to the debate,”I recently had botox and I love it. It’s perfectly acceptable for women, and men, to spend loads of money on gym memberships, organic foods, designer clothes and yoga retreats in the name of self improvement. So what’s the big deal about a cosmetic procedure to improve your appearance? Of course if you have botox, or any cosmetic procedure, your opening the door to criticism. But in general, if it looks natural, I really don’t think people care- or notice.”


“It’s perfectly acceptable for women, and men, to spend loads of money on gym memberships, organic foods, designer clothes and yoga retreats in the name of self improvement, so what’s the big deal about cosmetic procedure to improve your appearance?”


In a recent interview with Cosmopolitan, American reality TV star, Khloe Kardashian, 32, adds, “I think plastic surgery should be viewed almost like makeup, because we’re all putting on a f*cking mask basically every day anyway, when you dye your hair, you’re changing who you are, and I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that. I think people should get plastic surgery or fillers or lasers or whatever if they want it — that should be your own personal decision.”

When Does Cosmetic Surgery Become Extreme? 

If botox and breast augmentation are “normal”, at least according to statistics, then which procedures are considered too extreme? Where is the line?

before-and-after

Before and After, Hi Def Liposculpture (six pack creation).

In a recent survey, Americans considered buttock implants, pectoral implants and jawline reduction the most extreme cosmetic procedures. Other bizarre, but popular procedures include: dimple creation surgery, Hi Def Liposculpture (six pack creation), The Bra Line Back Lift, penis enlargement/lengthening and labiaplasty.

Adam, 27, Chicago weighs in, “Personally I think it’s all too extreme. I have three sisters, so I understand the pressure they feel to look a certain way. Even as a young man, I feel it too. But I think it’s a slippery slope. Sure, maybe a little botox isn’t something to get worked up over. But it can easily be the gateway to other, more extreme procedures. Like butt implants for example. It will never be enough”

New stats from the ASPS also revealed that 2015 was another “year of the rear”, as procedures focusing on the bottom dominated surgical growth. In 2015, buttock implants were the fastest growing type of cosmetic surgery in the United States. Overall, numbers showed that on an average day, one buttock procedure was performed every 30 minutes.


“Sure, maybe a little botox isn’t something to get worked up over. But it can easily be the gateway to other, more extreme procedures in the future. It’s ridiculous”


“What I don’t understand are the people who think ‘bigger is better’. Bigger lips, bigger breasts, bigger behinds. Too me that is extreme,” adds Anne Burns, 36, a personal trainer in New York City. “Everyday in my gym I see all body types, and work with people to improve their self-confidence. For some women, breast augmentation or rhinoplasty can dramatically improve their self-esteem. However, for others you can tell that they just want to achieve some unrealistic standard. For example, young college girls getting DD breast implants and lip injections. It begins to look extremely unnatural.”

 

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In 2015, buttock implants were the fastest growing type of cosmetic surgery in the United States.

The number of surgical and nonsurgical procedures are projected to increase in 2017. It is safe to say that the lines between what is “normal” and “extreme” will become more defined or blur even further.

“Personally, I think what is normal and extreme is obvious. When you see a woman with disproportionately large breasts, lip injections, and a face frozen in time, it’s quite shocking,” says Kim, 34, Birmingham. “In my opinion, if the procedure looks natural and makes you happy, then who cares. But when your spending thousands to look like a plastic barbie doll, then it raises some concern. In that case, I’d say it’s extreme.”

Read More: How Many People Had Cosmetic Surgery In 2015?

 

 

What Men Really Think About A Mommy Makeover

In a recent poll, men were asked how they felt about their wife getting a ‘Mommy Makeover’ after having children. Out of nearly 300 men, about 52% agreed that if it was something she needed to feel confident in her body again- then yes, go for it! It may also be the reason behind how so many Hollywood starlets seem to snap right back to their pre-baby bodies. 

kim-kardashian

Kim Kardashian 2016 post-baby body is nearly unrecognizable compared to 2015 when she was pregnant with her second child. Many speculate that she had a Mommy Makeover to help her transformation.

What exactly does a Mommy Makeover entail?

A little bit of everything. A Mommy Makeover is not cosmetic surgery procedures in and of itself. On the contrary, it consists of a series of smaller procedures which the surgeon performs at the same time. Case in point, meet Angelia.

Angelia (Liverpool, UK) is a mother of 3 young boys, and at the age of 38 decided that she was not happy with her body.

“Motherhood is the most beautiful, and most challenging thing I’ve ever done in my life. I’m proud of what my body has endured over the past 7 years but, I’m still human. I still have insecurities. When my girlfriends, who are also mums, and I get together for a chat, we always talk about how fantastic our bodies were before children. Things sag and giggle now were they didn’t use to, and even with diet and exercise, non of us have completely fit back into or skinny jeans. It’s totally normal, but I don’t want to spend the next 15 years raising my boys and worrying about my muffin top. That’s why next month I will be having a ‘mummy makeover’. It will include a breast lift, tummy tuck and liposuction of my buttocks and thighs.”


“Motherhood is the most beautiful, and most challenging thing I’ve ever done in my life. I’m proud of what my body has endured over the past 7 years but, I’m still human. I still have insecurities.”


After speaking we Angelia we asked her husband, Paul, 42, what how he felt about his wife’s decision to have cosmetic surgery.

mommy-makeover

“It’s her body, and her decision. Of course I told her what all good husbands do, ‘hun you’re perfect the way you are’. And I mean that. But I could tell she was insecure about her body after having the boys. She started opting for clothing that’s sole purpose was to cover her up. That’s not the confident, bold, sexy Angelia I met 10 years ago. So if this makes her feel sexy, and beautiful again in her own skin, then I support her.”

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Paul is not alone. In fact, another 12% of men polled actually said they would encourage their wives to have a few tips and tucks after pregnancy. Andy (Tampa, Florida), 36, even surprised his wife with a Mommy Makeover for their 5th wedding anniversary.

“[My wife] Kate complained for years after our daughter was born that she hated her breasts. I hardly noticed a difference, but after breast feeding and losing the baby weight, she said her breasts had actually shrunk. Like I said, from looking at Kate it was hardly noticeable, but what mattered was that she noticed. It bothered her to the point that she stopped wearing bikini tops, or changing in front of me. So as a gift for our 5th wedding anniversary I got her breast augmentation. I actually offered it, and she was over the moon about, thinking we couldn’t afford it. Kate is now a full C, slightly larger than her pre-pregnancy breasts, and she loves them. I do too.”

Which Procedures Should I Have Done? 

mommy makeover, tummy-tuck

Mommy Makeover tummy tuck, before and after.

A standard Mommy Makeover targets the following 3 areas: 

  1. Breasts According to the American Society of Plastic Surgery, one of the most common issues after childbirth is a change in the size or shape of breasts. To treat this issue, woman can choose from several different types of procedures. While breast implants are the most well-known, many mommy’s opt for a breast lift or breast augmentation instead. This helps change or enhance the shape of the breast after childbirth. 
  2. Tummy- After 9 months of pregnancy, a the shape of a woman’s stomach may change a lot. Although natural weight loss can occur with diet and exercise, many women have problems with sagging, excess skin left over. In this case, a tummy tuck is often suggested, rather than liposuction, restoring a more natural, thinner appearance.
  3. Lower BodySimilar to excess skin, women are often left with stubborn fat deposits after childbirth. Even intense diet and exercise may not always solve these changes. For these patients, Liposuction is one way to target and remove unwanted fat from the stomach, thighs or buttocks. Other women may choose to have a lower body lift, which tightens sagging skin around the thighs, hips or buttocks.

How Many People Had Cosmetic Surgery In 2015?

The numbers are in- and they might surprise you. Just how many people got cosmetic surgery in 2015?

On July 26, 2016, the ISAPS (International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery) released the results from its annual global survey. Compiling data from a questionnaire sent to approximately 35,000 plastic surgeons worldwide, more than 21 million surgical and nonsurgical cosmetic procedures were performed in 2015. This is an increase of over 1 million cosmetic procedures from 2014. According to a press release from ISAPS, they reported that Botulinum Toxin (BOTOX®), continues to top the chart as the most popular cosmetic procedure for both men and women. A total of over 4.6 million procedures were performed worldwide. Another popular injectable, Hyaluronic Acid, increased 6.5% from 2014 to 2015. Once again, breast augmentation continues to be the most common surgical procedure among women, increasing 10.4% from 2014. Eyelid surgery remains the most prevalent for men.

Top 5 Surgical Procedures: Women

In 2015, women had more than 18 million surgical and nonsurgical procedures. This is an astounding 85.6% of the total procedures worldwide. The top five surgical procedures were:

  1. Breast augmentation (1,476,498)
  2. Liposuction (1,181,074)
  3. Eyelid surgery (988,620)
  4. Abdominoplasty (703,361)
  5. Rhinoplasty (534,523) shutterstock_311958785

Top 5 Surgical Procedures: Men 

Contributing to 14.4% of the total, men had more than 3 million surgical and nonsurgical procedures in 2015. The top five surgical procedures performed on men in 2015 were:

  1. Eyelid surgery (276,082)
  2. Liposuction (213,514)
  3. Gynecomastia (212,328) 
  4. Rhinoplasty (195,764)
  5. Fat grafting (92,311)

Top 4 Surgical Procedures: Total

Of the more than 21 million procedures performed in 2015, 9.6 million were surgical. The most popular (total) procedures were:

  1. Breast Augmentation (up 10% vs. 2014)
  2. Liposuction (up 2% vs. 2014)
  3. Eyelid Surgery (down 11% vs. 2014)
  4. Abdominoplasty (up 11% vs. 2014)

Top 5 Nonsurgical Procedures: Total 

The remaining 12.1 million procedures in 2015 were nonsurgical procedures. Worldwide, the United States took the lead with 2.6 million procedures. The most popular procedures were:

  1. Botulinum Toxin (down 4% vs. 2014)
  2. Hyaluronic Acid (up 7% vs. 2014)
  3. Hair Removal (down 14% vs. 2014)
  4. Photo Rejuvenation (new to 2015 survey)
  5. Nonsurgical Fat Reduction (new to 2015 survey)

 Cosmetic Surgery By Country

According to ISAPS, the country with the highest number of procedures was the United States, setting the bar high at 1.4 million surgical and 2.6 million non-surgical procedures in 2015. The United States also has the largest number of active plastic surgeons with 6,500 followed by Brazil (5,500) and China (2,800). Coming in at a close second to the U.S. was Brazil, with a reported 1.2 million surgical and 1.1 million non-surgical procedures. Rounding out the list for the most procedures was South Korea, India, Mexico, Germany, Colombia, France, and Italy.

According to the ASPS (American Society of Plastic Surgeons), this is a 2% increase from 2014. In addition to continued growth over the last year, statistics indicate a shift in the types of procedures patients have chosen since the start of the new millennium. In a statement from ASPS President, David H. Song, he said,

“While more traditional facial procedures and breast augmentations are still among the most popular, we’re seeing much more diversity in the areas of the body patients are choosing to address…Patients have more options than ever, and working closely with their surgeon, they’re able to focus on specific target areas of the body to achieve the look they desire.”

New stats from the ASPS also revealed that 2015 was another “year of the rear”, as procedures focusing on the bottom dominated surgical growth. In 2015, buttock implants were the fastest growing type of cosmetic surgery in the United States. Overall, numbers showed that on an average day, one buttock procedure was performed every 30 minutes.

What Are The 4 Most Popular Liposuction Methods?

Thinking about liposuction? So are nearly 1.4 million other people each year. Liposuction is the 2nd most popular cosmetic surgery worldwide and has risen to fame for helping patients remove unsightly fat, often stubborn to exercise and diet, and reshape the natural contours of the body. Popular areas include the inner and outer thighs, stomach, hips, back, neckline and upper arms.

Since its debut in 1974, the cosmetic procedure has evolved above and beyond the wildest dreams of its earliest surgeons. Just like people, today liposuction comes in all shapes and sizes, giving patients more choices than ever when it comes to selecting the method that is right for them. And while more choices are better than none, it can be overwhelming when undergoing such a procedure. So to help simplify, we’ve put together a breakdown of the 4 Most Popular Liposuction Methods.

1. Tumescent Liposuction  

An innovative extension of traditional liposuction, tumescent is the most common and popular method worldwide, and is used in virtually every form of liposuction today. It is an invasive procedure and typically performed under local or general anesthesia, depending on the size of the target area. The procedure itself takes between 1.5-2 hours and the tumescent technique uses several litres of a saline “wetting” solution, which is injected below the skin and into the fat. This decreases blood loss, facilitates anesthesia and creates space between the muscle and fatty tissue, allowing the cannula to move more freely. Fat cells are then permanently removed (suctioned out) through small incisions with the use of a microcannula attached to a high-power vacuum.

liposuction, tumescent

A microcannula attached to a high-power vacuum suctions fat from under the skins surface.

Following surgery, patients are hospitalized for 1 night and fitted with elastic, compression undergarments which are worn for up to 8 weeks. It is recommended that patients do not perform any strenuous activity for at least 2 months. Final results can be seen within 3-4 months after surgery. Swelling and bruising are quite common during the recovery period.

2. VASERlipo®  

Vaserlipo® is a semi-invasive method, performed under general anesthesia. An average procedure lasts about 1-2 hours. Similar to tumescent liposuction, the target fat is injected with a with a saline “wetting” solution. The next step utilizes ultrasound technology, and ultrasound waves are emitted externally to the fat cells. The waves liquify the fat cells and after the target areas have been treated, are extracted from the body.

Vaserlipo® is popular among patients and surgeons because it minimizes the internal impact on surrounding tissues and nerves, and any excess swelling, bleeding or discomfort. Because the ultrasonic extraction method only affects the fat cells, recovery is quick and virtually painless. Patients are generally in and out on the same day and able to return to their everyday activities immediately- no compression garments necessary. The results are permanent and are typically visible immediately following the procedure.

3. SlimLipo

SlimLipo is a semi-invasive treatment performed under local anesthetic. The procedure itself takes approximately 2 hours and utilizes laser technology to directly target fat and protect the surrounding tissues and nerves. An ultra-thin, flexible cannula is then used to ensure minimal pain and reduce the risk of bruising and swelling by 79%, compared to more traditional methods. Up to 6 liters of fat may be removed during a single session, and the laser wavelengths promote tightening of the dermis (undersurface of skin), reducing wrinkles and cellulite. It is also popular for smaller areas which require more precision, such as under the chin.

After surgery, patients are fitted with special drawstring undergarments, which promote the proper reshaping and tightening of the skin. Immediately following they are able to return home or to work. Physical limitations may be determined by the surgeon on an individual bases, while final results can be seen within 1-3 months.

Read More: The Pros And Cons Of Liposuction 

4. Zeltiq Coolsculpting®

Zeltiq CoolScultping® is the newest, non-invasive method of liposuction which uses a handheld device to precisely freeze and permanently destroy fat cells below the surface of the skin. The treatment of one area lasts only 1 hour and is completely painless. Protected by a special gel membrane and device settings, only fat cells are targeted and all other tissues, organs and nerves remain unaffected.

CoolScultping is suitable for almost every part of the body, including the abdomen, inner and outer thighs, hips and buttocks. The only limitation is that the target area must be an appropriate size to fit the vacuum aspiration instrument (CoolSooth®). The biggest advantage of this method is its speed, simplicity and zero-recovery time. As soon as the procedure is complete, patients are able to return home or to work and resume their daily activities. Most patients only require a single treatment and effects are noticeable immediately. Full results are seen within 3 months.

Ready To Lose Stubborn Fat For Good? Click Here For Free Quotes Today! 

To Lipo Or Not To Lipo? The Pros And Cons Of Liposuction

Lipo Sucks! Literally

Liposuction, lipoplasty, liposculpture plasty or simply lipo, is the 2nd most popular cosmetic surgery among women, and 4th among men. In 2015, it was requested by more than 1.39 million patients worldwide.

Developed by two, Italian-American surgeons in 1974, the procedure literally sucks unwanted fat from various parts of the body. Patients who decide to undergo liposuction generally have a “normal” body weight, but want to remove stubborn body fat from specific parts of the body. Popular areas include the thighs, stomach, back, neckline and upper arms.

Lipo is not a treatment for obesity is not a “weight-loss method”. It does not even remove cellulite, dimples or stretch marks (sorry ladies). Rather than provide any immediate physical health benefits, the aim is to enhance how a person looks. This is done by contouring the body. For those looking for a little less love in their “love handles”, or to slim down the “saddle bags”, then liposuction is the perfect option. However, like any cosmetic surgery, there are techniques to understand and risks and benefits to consider.

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How’s It Done?

A hollow instrument called a cannula is inserted under the skin and attached to a power, high-pressure vacuum. The most popular lipo technique is tumescent liposuction. Several liters of a saline solution, local anesthetic and vessel-constriction epinephrine (adrenaline) is pumped below the skin of the target area. Small tubes, microcannulas, then suction the fat. The additional liquid helps create space between the muscle and fatty tissue, allowing the cannula to move more freely. Other variations include wet liposuction, super wet liposuction. Depending on the amount of liquid. Dry lipo (no liquid added before) is rarely used due to high risks of bruising and bleeding.

shutterstock_304162322

Other Techniques

Ultrasound-assisted liposuction (UAL) is another popular technique. Also known as ultrasonic lipo, it involves energizing the cannula with ultrasound and melting the fat on contact.  The ultrasound vibrations burst the cell walls of the fat, liquefying them. This makes the fat easy to suck out. In more stubborn areas (i.e. back and male breasts), UAL can be the best option.

However, it is important to note that this method requires a longer incision in the skin. This can increase risks of skin or internal burns. The procedure also takes more time and is generally more costly. It usually involves some tumescent (suction) assisted lipo to remove the melted fat.

Power-assisted lipo or (PAS), or powered lipo is similar to UAL. This method uses a specialized cannula equipped with a mechanized system that rapidly moves back-and-forth. This eliminates manual movements by the surgeon and makes the fat easier to remove. For smaller areas (i.e. neckline), PAS allows more precision and may result in less swelling and pain.

Laser-assisted, or laser-guided lipo (LAL) is another technique. The procedure uses tumescent fluid and is slightly less invasive than more traditional methods. With the help of a microcannula, laser energy targets subcutaneous fat (fat under the skin). Once again, this makes the removal process easier and reducing the risk of side effects.

What Are The Pros?

  • Stubborn fat is well- stubborn. Lipo removes fat deposits, stubborn to diet and exercise. In addition to adopting a healthy lifestyle, it can kick start patients to lose excess weight naturally.
  • It permanently removes fat cells, making it impossible for them to regenerate or grow back. As long as the patient maintains a steady weight, the contour changes resulting from lipo can be long-lasting.
  • It is the most popular cosmetic surgery among Americans and Brits, and second most popular cosmetic surgery worldwide. Generally speaking, lipo is a safe.
  • The recovery time is short and most patients are mobile within 2-3 days of the procedure. Extra bed rest may be needed for patients who have larger amounts of fat removed.
  •  Lipo can drastically improve self confidence and body image and patients report seeing changes in as little as 3-4 weeks.

What Are The Cons?

  • Similar results are achievable through normal diet, exercise and a healthy lifestyle. The procedure is for patients who have failed multiple times at achieving results naturally.
  • After the procedure, patients who do not lead a healthy lifestyle may risk their remaining fat cells growing bigger. They may also redistribute to new “problem areas”.
  • Lipo is not a treatment for obesity or long-term weight-loss, nor does not remove cellulite, dimples or stretch marks.
  • All major surgery carries the risk of bleeding, infection and adverse reactions to anesthesia. Bruising of the skin (sometimes extreme) and swelling as common.
  • Skin burns, temporary numbness and scarring may also occur. Contour irregularities are common in patients who have poor skin elasticity.

Is Lipo Right For Me?

Lipo is not for everyone. Patients must be in good health, over 18 years old. They must also consult with their GP before deciding to move forward. Those with circulation (blood flow) problems, diabetes or a compromised immune system should not undergo the procedure. It is also important that patients have good skin elasticity. This allows the skin to mold itself to new contours and prevents sagging in the treated areas.

Once again, lipo is not a treatment for obesity or a long-term weight-loss method. For patients who experience stubborn fat deposits or suffer from a medical condition, lipo is an excellent option.  

Read More: Liposuction 101 (How Stuff Works: Health)