By Nikesh K. Patel, MD

You have worked hard to give yourself the figure you have always wanted. Despite your best efforts to exercise and eat healthy, getting rid of that last little bit of unwanted fat can be frustrating. Although exercise and diet are factors in helping you shape your body, they aren’t always enough. When your efforts fail to produce results, you might want to consider other options that will help you to eliminate fat. Liposuction is one of the most common and effective body contouring procedures available, but you might not be sure if it’s the best fit for you. Read on to find out if liposuction is right for you.

Your Body and Weight Are Stable

Liposuction is not intended to help you lose weight. If you are within close range of your ideal weight but struggle with resistant fat that clings to trouble spots on your body, liposuction may be a viable option. Common trouble spots include the abdomen, the upper arms, the back, the buttocks, the thighs, and more. If you’re at your ideal weight, it makes it easier for your surgeon to identify spots on the body where liposuction would be most effective. If you’ve tried everything without satisfactory results, liposuction can help you.

You should only consider liposuction if your body is at a point you expect to maintain, as losing or gaining too much weight after the procedure will alter results. This is often the case for candidates who have finished having children, have lost all the weight they expect to lose, or have always maintained a stable weight but cannot get rid of fat in stubborn areas. If any of these descriptions fit you, liposuction may be practical for you.

You’re in Good Health

Similar to other surgical procedures, you also need to be in good health before you consider liposuction. Patients that are in good health are less likely to experience complications and will get the best possible outcome. While discussing which areas of your body you would like to treat, your surgeon should review your general health and well-being. If it is confirmed that you are a good candidate for liposuction, your surgeon can then begin developing a customized treatment plan for you.

You Have Good Skin Elasticity

When the skin is elastic, it can easily mold itself to the new contours of the body and appear smooth. Skin should not hang loose after the procedure, which is why skin elasticity plays such a crucial role in the success of liposuction. If you do have loose skin, it’s quite possible your surgeon will suggest another body contouring procedure, such as a tummy tuck.

You Understand the Importance of Aftercare

It is important to remember that liposuction is an invasive surgery that requires time to recover. For best results, it is best to take it easy and let yourself recover, as well as follow any post-op instructions from your surgeon. Your surgeon will provide you with a compression garment to wear for a few weeks after surgery. The compression garment is part of the recovery process and aids your body in adjusting to its new shape. Weight gain is still a possibility after liposuction. Therefore, a clean diet and exercise should be maintained.

Nikesh K. Patel, MD, is a member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, New Jersey Society of Plastic Surgeons, and is board certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery.