When looking to see if liposuction may be the right choice, people must consider whether or not they can even be considered a candidate for liposuction.
The best candidate is someone who is in excellent health, is within 25 pounds of his or her ideal body weight, and has deposits of fat that have not responded to diet or exercise. This goes for both men and women, and any adults older than 18 that can meet the necessary health requirements.
Any candidates should make sure they have realistic expectations of the results that can be achieved through the procedure and should be in good physical and mental health.
General Requirements for Liposuction Surgery
- Patients should be at least 18 years old.
- Pregnant or lactating women cannot have liposuction.
- Men can utilize liposuction as well.
- Individuals with certain health problems may not be good candidates for liposuction.
- Anyone who is taking blood-thinning medication such as aspirin, ibuprofen, or any non-steroidal anti-inflammatory must discontinue use of the medication before and after surgery.
- Lidocaine anesthesia is used in liposuction, and those with lidocaine allergies will be unable to undergo the procedure.
Teens and Liposuction
There have been cases of children as young as 12 undergoing liposuction. While this is uncommon, the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) reports that 3,179 teens between the ages of 13 and 19 underwent liposuction in the United States in 2009. The majority of these patients choose to have one problem area contoured to help with self-esteem issues. Some teens are affected by excess fat under the chin, in the calves, hips, or other areas, and it can be a source of embarrassment and ridicule among peers. In these cases, liposuction can eliminate the extra fat and produce a more sculpted, toned appearance.
While there are no age limits for patients that can undergo liposuction, there are risks associated with any type of surgery and patients should be in good health and have good skin tone in order to safely undergo the procedure. Patients that suffer from certain medical conditions or take certain medications are not good candidates for surgery. Consult with your primary care physician and plastic surgeon to find out if you are an appropriate candidate for surgery.
According to ASPS 2009 Plastic Surgery Statistics, the majority of patients that undergo liposuction are age 30 to 54.
- 20-29: 30,023
- 30-39: 64,578
- 40-54: 79,231
- 55+: 21,240
Liposuction should not be expected to help you lose a substantial amount of weight, nor can it eliminate stretch marks and cellulite from the skin. Liposuction can only remove small, localized concentrations of fat. In most cases, 10 pounds of fat or less will be removed from the treated area. If you expect liposuction to dramatically change your appearance, you will probably be disappointed. The ideal liposuction candidate is already at a healthy weight, but is interested in subtle body recontouring.
Because liposuction removes fat but does not tighten skin, patients with good skin elasticity will experience the most aesthetically pleasing results. Older patients typically have less elastic skin than younger patients.
Visit the DocShop gallery to view liposuction before and after photos.
Photo credit: Aesthetic Day Surgery
Prevailing health conditions may prevent you from being a good liposuction candidate. Chronic ailments like heart and lung diseases, diabetes, and high blood pressure could cause a less-than-desired aesthetic result. Therefore, those that suffer from these diseases are advised against undergoing liposuction.
It is also important to remember that patients who are immuno-compromised or suffer from diabetes, poor blood circulation, or heart or lung disease should not undergo liposuction. If you have recently undergone other surgery in the area you would like to treat, you should wait until the area has healed before considering liposuction.
To See if You May Be a Candidate for Liposuction, Contact a Surgeon
The ideal candidate for liposuction is informed about the benefits and risks of surgery and has discussed the procedure extensively with his or her doctor. The first step toward a successful outcome is finding a liposuction surgeon with whom you feel comfortable. Find a liposuction doctor in your area to learn more about the individualized benefits liposuction may offer you.