What You Don’t Know About Liposuction
Current trends in athletic wear have boosted the popularity of liposuction, the New York Post said earlier this month. Last year, Newsweek reported that looking better in selfies was the motivation behind rising numbers of liposuction, breast augmentation and facial plastic surgery procedures. And, of course, the desire to look like a favored celebrity is probably a factor for some people as well.
Whatever the driving forces of the day may be, liposuction continues to be almost universally in demand. According to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS), the procedure ranked second among women (after breast augmentation) and first among men in popularity in 2018.
The ASAPS also says that 92% of board certified plastic surgeons in the United States perform liposuction, and there are numerous gynecologists, primary care doctors and other non-plastic surgeons who offer the procedure as well. With all that in mind, it’s understandable that some people think they don’t need to worry too much about where they have the procedure done—a clinic, a medical spa, a regular doctor’s office or a surgical center—and who exactly wields the cannula.
If you’re among them, we’re here to change your mind. Actually, your choice of practice is ultra-important. Here’s some information that may help you understand why.
Strategy for New York Liposuction Patients
We see dozens of patients each year for liposuction revision in New York, both men and women who have “hills and valleys” created by a less experienced doctor. Here’s our approach for avoiding this kind of result.
First, wherever possible we “stay deep” – that is, we suction away fat from deeper layers of tissue, not right under the skin. An even layer of unoperated fat just beneath the skin gives a smooth appearance after healing.
Sometimes it does make sense to work on all layers of fat, including the one just beneath the skin’s surface. This can be the right strategy with male patients who are looking to reveal their abdominal musculature, or “six pack.” In these cases, we suction away fat from the deeper layers as usual and use much thinner cannulas just under the skin. At the end of the procedure, we look for any residual lumps of fat using a special instrument called a basket cannula with no suction applied. We break up the clumps into very small bits of fat that then redistribute themselves evenly under the skin. It’s a kind of “auto fat graft.”
With our gynecomastia patients in New York, liposuction needs to be carefully approached as well. We often will leave a thin pinch of fat on the chest after surgery to help provide the “sculpted, chiseled” appearance most guys are hoping for. We may use the basket cannula if we feel the result may not be smooth enough, but as a team specializing in gynecomastia surgery for many years, we know what to look for and we usually achieve the right result with no added techniques.
Another thing to keep in mind about liposuction surgeons—it’s important to choose one who also knows when to stop. A good example of a potential problem area is the back of the thigh, especially for women. There’s sometimes a crescent-shaped fat deposit (referred to by some as “the banana”) just under the butt. While some of this fat may be safely removed, if a doctor removes too much, the buttocks will sag.
One last aspect of liposuction you may not know: your cosmetic surgeon needs to be experienced at treating both men and women. The approach is usually a little different, and not just in the areas of the body that need treatment. Male fat tissue tends to be denser than women have, and the provider you choose should have extensive experience with both.
Our Liposuction History
We were fortunate to have the opportunity to work alongside one of the liposuction pioneers three decades ago, and we have been perfecting our techniques and tools ever since. We’re happy to welcome patients seeking revision liposuction in New York—but we hope you won’t be one of them! Contact us to find out about working with our team, or at least ensure that you choose a highly experienced board certified plastic surgeon for your procedure. Getting it right the first time should be your goal.