Liposuction Continues to be Popular for Many Issues

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Among the most common cosmetic surgeries in the United States, liposuction was the only procedure that increased in 2014. Transferring fat as a means of enhancing another portion of the body helps account for the rise.

According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, breast augmentation, nose reshaping, eyelid surgery and facelifts were down 1 to 4 percent last year while the number of liposuctions grew by 5 percent.

“Subtlety has been the keyword I’ve heard from patients over the past year,” said Dr. Scot Glasberg, a former ASPS President. “Minimally invasive procedures typically produce subtle aesthetic results and for many people, that is all they want or need at the time.”

Liposuction removes excess fat, most commonly from the abdomen, thighs, buttocks, neck, chin, and upper arms. During the procedure, a “cannula,” or hollow instrument, is inserted under the skin and a powerful surgical vacuum suctions away fat from the targeted area. The result is often a trimmer physique with tighter looking muscles.

While those benefits are the aim of liposuction, the ASPS warns that the procedure is not intended as a way of treating obesity or meant as a substitution for a good diet and exercise. According to a recent Medical News Today article, the best candidates for liposuction are those with a stable body weight who simply can’t get rid of unsightly fat deposits even with exercise and proper eating habits.

Like any surgery, liposuction comes with a number of risks, too. Minor scaring, infection and numbness are possible. Skin can also become lumpy or dented if too much fat is removed from a particular area, Medical News Today reports.

Still, statistics point to the willingness of patients to accept those risks. Plastic surgeons are also finding new cosmetic applications for liposuction. In microlipoinjection, for example, a patient’s own fat is used to plump up sunken or emaciated areas of the face or to add volume, according to a July 2015 Docshop.com article.

Microlipoinjection, or autologous fat transfer, is a three-step process. Fat is taken via liposuction and then fat cells are isolated and cleansed. Those fat cells are then injected into trouble spots such as smile and frown lines, hollows under the eyes or cheekbones. Autologous fat transfer is also sometimes used to fill out lips, reduce the effects of acne scars or even add shape to the buttocks.

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Troy Plastic Surgeon