As we make the transition from our teen to our adult years many individuals develop at least some problems with what is called “adult fat distribution patterns”. What this means unfortunately is that our bodies change as we mature into adults and there is a natural tendency in most individuals to pack on a few extra pounds in unwanted areas. For men the common problem areas are the stomach and love handles. In women the most common areas of concern are the abdomen, flanks, back, inner and outer thighs and posterior arms. Women also have often the challenge of repeated pregnancies and the weight gain that usually follows.
Dieting and exercise are always the first and best solution to help deal with these areas of problematic fat gain. Unfortunately, for many patients dieting and exercise doesn’t always achieve their goals. Patients commonly present to my office saying, “I had my last child two years ago and I have been going to the gym regularly and dieting sensibly and I still have a problem with too much fat in my stomach and thighs”. These patients have begun to get discouraged and are usually beginning to fall away from their diet and exercise programs because of the lack of results.
So why are they having problems meeting their goals? It is not always a lack of effort or commitment. I feel many patients have a strong genetic tendency to retain unwanted fat in common problem areas like the stomach, flanks, and thighs. These inherited family traits can be a powerful force that can defeat even the most well planned diet and exercise program. These patients are working against a very unfair genetic disadvantage.
So where does liposuction fit in to the picture? It can be the patient’s secret weapon to erase any hereditary disadvantage that their grandmother has cursed them with.
Liposuction works best to bridge the gap between what the patient has been able to achieve on her own and the goals for her body she wants to achieve. It is not a magic wand that will cure all evils but it can be the great equalizer against the curse of the grandmother.
Liposuction can and should be more than the surgical removal of unwanted fat. In the hands of an artistic professional it can be the means to actually sculpt a more beautiful body shape. When patients come to my practice because they are disappointed with their results from diet and exercise and are considering liposuction, they are take through a through consultation and all questions concerning the procedure are answered. They are then examined and their problem areas discussed. If they are felt to be good candidates for liposuction they are photographed from multiple angles to help plan the surgery.
In surgery, the patient’s problem areas are treated from multiple angles in an artistic manner to again not just remove unwanted fat but to sculpt the shapes and contours they desire to achieve. Not uncommonly, fat is not just removed but also carefully transferred to other body areas such as the buttocks to add fullness or erase the atrophic changes that can occur with aging. Post-operatively patients usually wear comfortable compression garments for approximately four weeks to help optimize their surgical results. The final results from liposuction can take up to twelve weeks post-op to completely mature.