Is it Time for Liposuction or a Lift?

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For some women, there comes a point where she admits to herself: I've done all the squats and lunges I can manage, but this butt and these thighs are just not getting any more toned. If you can relate, it may be time to consider some professional help. The question is: how do you know if you need liposuction or a lower body lift? Here are some guidelines:

Liposuction: During this procedure, your plastic surgeon will make an incision and insert a cannula that will be used to suction out excess fat. This is an ideal procedure if you have reached your desired weight, but perhaps still have some pockets of stubborn fat.

There are several different types of liposuction: traditional, as described; laser-assisted to dissolve the fat cells before they're removed; ultrasound-assisted for fat in difficult-to-sculpt areas; and power-assisted liposuction that simply increases the work the cannula is doing. None of these procedures are used for weight loss, rather for fine-tuning the body. Liposuction is also not appropriate for people with loose skin. In fact, people with loose skin may look worse after liposuction because they've lost what little volume was plumping their skin.

Lower-body lift: Women with excessively loose skin around their hips or thighs can consider a lower-body lift, during which excess skin is surgically removed and the remaining skin is positioned in a more toned position. This is a common approach for people who have lost a significant amount of weight and have lots of hanging skin.

Body lifts can be isolated to just the hips and thighs, or can even be used in other areas such as flappy underarms or in the stomach, known as a tummy tuck. These lifts shouldn't be considered if ideal weight has not been maintained for six or more months, or for women who are considering having a child (or more children). Also, lifts leave significant scars, which should be considered before proceeding.

As always, consult with a board-certified plastic surgeon who can help you determine the best procedure for your body.



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