[subtitle]Understanding the Dangers of Liposuction And Why an Alternative Should Be Considered[/subtitle]
Liposuction is not a quick, painless method for fat removal. Instead, liposuction is a cosmetic surgery procedure involving anesthesia, incisions, bleeding, post-operative recovery time and pain. Commonly used to remove fat deposits accumulating on the thighs, buttocks, hips, abdomen and back, liposuction is now the most performed cosmetic surgical procedure in the United States. Nearly 500,000 people annually opt for liposuction when they decide they want to re-shape their bodies by having layers of fat destroyed and then sucked out through a hollow tube that is inserted into targeted areas.
People undergo liposuction’s primarily because they want to have a more attractive figure by getting rid of unwanted bulges. When continuous dieting and exercise cannot eliminate bulges or so-called “love handles”–especially those that develop fat due to pregnancy, aging or individual genetics–liposuction has traditionally been the procedure most applied to correct these unsightly fat deposits.
Why Do We Have Fat?
Fat, or adipose tissue, is designed to provide the human body with enough energy to function optimally. This energy is stored as lipids, which also help to insulate the body from extreme temperatures and protect inner organs by cushioning them against blunt force traumas. Although adipose tissue has recently been designated as an endocrinal organ due to its ability to produce estrogen, leptin and other hormones, too much fat tissue will cause serious health problems, especially hypertension, diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Excess fat develops when we ingest an overabundance of calories (energy) that are not eventually consumed by engaging our bodies in adequate amounts of physical activity.
What is the Difference between Cellulite and Fat?
Cellulite is another reason why many people seek liposuction. Predominantly affecting older women, cellulite’s development concerns excess fluid, aging and the presence of hormones rather than just fat, although cellulite is mostly comprised of fat cells. Cellulite forms when existing fat cells expand, putting pressure on the fibrous tissues in the thighs and buttocks. If fibrous tissues are continuously forced to expand due to weight gain, hormonal fluctuations and fluid retention, this leaves extra room for fat cells to proliferate. As time passes, fibrous tissue grows thicker and hardens, especially if the person affected by cellulite continues to gain weight and retain fluids. Eventually, fat cells push through the tissue and rise above the fibrous tissue, pressing against the lower skin layers to produce the telltale (and unsightly) dimples, lumps and ripples of cellulite.
Liposuction Techniques for the Removal of Fat and Cellulite
The standard method used by most cosmetic surgeons is called “suction-assisted liposuction“, or SAL. After placing the patient under anesthesia, the surgeon makes an incision and inserts a cannula (straw-like tube) through the incision. The cannula is connected to a powerful vacuum that sucks fat cells out of the body as the surgeon pushes the cannula into fat deposits and then pulls the cannula outward, only to shove it back it in again. This technique not only causes the disintegration of fat cells but also makes it easier for the vacuum to extract fat cells.
Cosmetic surgeons performing an ultrasound-assisted liposuction use a cannula that has the ability to send ultrasound vibrations throughout fat deposits. Since these vibrations facilitate destruction of fat cells and emulsification of thick lipids, the fat vacuuming process (suction-assisted liposuction) is made easier and quicker. Ultrasound-assisted liposuction (UAL) is primarily used to eliminate fat existing in more fibrous areas of the body, like the male breast or upper back of both men and women.
Tumescent liposuction requires application of local anesthesia to the body areas that are to receive liposuction instead of the patient receiving full anesthesia. In addition, a large amount of a “wetting” solution comprised of adrenaline, an anesthetic and salt water is infused into the fat layers to facilitate vacuuming of the fat. Adrenaline is implemented because it contracts blood vessels and makes them shrink to reduce blood loss.
Why Surgical Liposuction Can be Risky
Besides the lengthy recovery time associated with liposuction, numerous side effects and medical problems often occur to people both during and after they undergo the procedure, such as:
Most patients experience a one to two-week downtime period, followed by another ten weeks of recovery. Additionally, the cost of a surgical liposuction procedure is between $2000 and $10,000, depending on what part of the body the surgery is performed. Because liposuction is not considered necessary surgery, insurance will not cover the cost of a liposuction procedure.
A Convenient, Affordable Alternative to Liposuction
Instead of suffering through surgery and enduring post-operative complications, individuals interested in eliminating stubborn body fat will be happy to learn about CoolSculpting by Zeltiq™, a popular and non-invasive method of reducing fat deposits. Re-sculpting the hips, thighs, abdomen and buttocks has never been easier and quicker than with the CoolSculpting technique–and it is done without needles, bleeding, pain medications, downtime or anesthesia.
Find out more about this cutting-edge procedure that gives you a more shapely, attractive figure without the risk of surgery or anesthesia. Schedule an Appointment Online or Call us today at Mayoral Dermatology in Coral Gables (Miami, FL).