1. Who is a Good Candidate for Liposuction?
A good candidate for liposuction is one who is in good health, has realistic expectations, and is likely to be happy with the results. Liposuction results are rarely perfect but liposuction can provide substantial improvements.
It is not realistic to expect dramatic weight loss as a result of liposuction. The small amount of fat removed during liposuction to reshape the body will not permit a person to wear much smaller clothes. Patients should expect realistic improvements to their current bodies. The main consideration is a prospective patient’s health more so than age or weight.
2. Who is Not a Good Candidate for Liposuction?
Unhealthy patients with a history if illnesses are at greater risks for liposuction complications than healthy patients. Surgical complications may be more likely if, for example, the patient has had immunodeficiency disorders, cardiac arrhythmias, seizure disorders, excessive bleeding, or a significant history of deep vein thrombosis (blood clots in the legs) or pulmonary emboli (blood clots in the lungs).
Liposuction should not be performed on patients who take certain drugs that can increase the risk of bleeding, such as aspirin, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), or anticoagulants such as Coumadin (warfarin).
Patients who take certain drugs that inhibit the metabolism of lidocaine, the local anesthetic used during tumescent liposuction, may be more likely to experience drug interactions. These individuals should stop taking the drugs at least two weeks before surgery, if possible.
Patients should not expect liposuction to treat obesity or cause permanent weight loss.
3. What are the most common reasons for patient dissatisfaction?
Some patients complain of insufficient improvement but these patients have often has liposuction on multiple areas on the same day. When several areas are treated, the improvement may be relatively small on each area compared to if a surgeon divided the procedures into multiple surgeries.
Irregularity of the skin is another common complaint. After liposuction, the skin should look smooth and natural. If it does not, it may be because the surgeon used a large cannula (the instrument used to extract fat from under the skin). Cannulas with large diameters tend to produce more irregular, less smooth results than smaller, narrower cannulas. Surgeons who do liposuction totally by local anesthesia typically use microcannulas (outside diameter = 2.8 mm) because they cause minimal patient discomfort and smoother results.