Many people think …daydream, even… that if they could just get the fat sucked out of them they could carry on with life just as they did before– but thinner and better-looking.
It’s a tempting thought! Who wouldn’t want a shortcut to a lean, sexy body?
How Liposuction Got It’s Start
What we know today as “liposuction” actually dates back to the 1920’s when French surgeons would literally cut the fat out of models and the well-heeled in an effort to “re-shape” their bodies. People liked the idea that they could have their cake and eat it too (an affluent society’s greatest ambition it seems).
But the growing popularity of these body-shaping surgeries came to a screeching halt when a high-profile model ended up with a bad case of gangrene in her leg following a procedure performed by French Surgeon Dr. Charles Dujarier. It’s kind of hard to get a modelling gig with a swollen, green leg, ya know?
This delayed the birth of our current multi-billion dollar cosmetic surgery industry– but only by a few decades.
Of course, we shouldn’t have expected that one incident to kill the cosmetics surgery industry altogether. There have always been plenty of opportunistic surgeons out there willing to fill a “need” in the marketplace. And when it comes to cosmetic surgery, they haven’t disappointed. Just about everything under the sun is possible today. You can “nip and tuck” yourself into just about whatever shape or size you want.
It’s like we’ve turned our bodies into human modeling clay, and if you’ve got the cash, there’s a surgeon somewhere willing to take it.
What the Procedure Takes
Speaking of cash, want to know how much a little lipo’ll set you back? Anywhere from $1000 to $10,000 (and in some cases more) depending upon which area(s) you’re getting sucked, the amount that’s getting sucked, the method used to suck it, the facility you get it sucked at and the surgeon doing the sucking.
And don’t think you’re going to get away with a little medical insurance co-pay either. Cosmetic surgery is considered an elective procedure 99% of the time. You, my friend, are going to be writing a very big check for your procedure.
How do they do it?
Techniques and tools vary, but generally speaking, the procedure is pretty much the same:
- The area is prepped.
- You are either sedated by IV sedation or put completely under via general anesthesia depending upon how extensive the procedure is.
- A small incision is made to access the subdermal layers of tissue (where the fat is).
- A tube called a “cannula” is inserted into the incision and moved around, breaking up the fat tissue and sucking it out of the body.
Sounds great, eh? Suck out a little here, a little there, and you’re ready for that tangerine speedo! Not so fast.
Don’t let the casual description of the process mislead you. Liposuction is a traumatic procedure. And it hurts.
Recovery depends on the extensiveness of the procedure(s) performed, but on average you can resume “normal” activity (with the assistance of big compression wraps, antibiotics and loads of pain meds) within a few days. You can’t resume vigorous physical activity for at least a month.
Common side effects of liposuction surgery are:
- Post-operative weight gain (due primarily to the fact that you will have limited mobility during recovery)
- Limited mobility (told you)
Risk factors include:
- Allergic reactions to medications or materials used during surgery
- Damage to skin and surrounding tissues (muscles, blood vessels, nerves, etc)
- Tissue necrosis (tissue death)
- Internal organ puncture (oops!)
- Contour irregularities (weird-shaped body)
- Thromboembolism (blood clot which in case you didn’t know can kill you)
- Friction burns from the cannula
- Lidocaine toxicity
- Fluid imbalance (can damage heart, lungs, and kidneys)
Recovery and Some Extra Ugly Side Effects
Now get this: after all the work, pain, money, and risks, in many cases, it’s not unusual for it to take up to 6 months to really see the difference. Wow. What would 6 months of eating right and exercising do? It’s a heck of a lot cheaper, a lot less painful, and way less dangerous!
In the 6 months you could have used to lose weight by eating the right foods and exercising every day you could easily lose 20-60 pounds. Naturally. Safely. And your savings account would be fatter.
The kicker is that if you haven’t learned how to do this after your liposuction, you will just gain all that fat back. Those fat cells can…and WILL…be replaced. Liposuction doesn’t change the behavior and bad habits that make people fat.
If you don’t learn how to put down the donuts there will be extra-ugly consequences. The cannula used to remove fat cells destroys the delicate fish-net matrix that holds fat cells together. If you thought a little cellulite was ugly, try the embarrassingly lumpy skin texture that happens when you gain weight in an area where the fat and supporting matrix was previously sucked off.
In the words of Santana, “You’ve Got to Change Your Evil Ways, Baby” or you’ll be right back where you started– and mad that you wasted so much money to look WORSE than where you started.
To put this in perspective, there are really just two rules to live by, and they apply to everything you do in life.
RULE #1: There are NO shortcuts.
RULE #2: There ARE consequences to your actions.
If you abide by these two rules, you’ll feel better, you’ll look better, you’ll live longer, and you’ll be happier and more successful in all areas of your life.
This is fantastic! I had considered doing an abdominoplasty (sp? Tummy tuck) until I found out it would cost half a car and I wouldn’t be able to work out for twelve weeks! I figured that after spending that long on the couch, I would need another tummy tuck!