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Patient Questions & Answers

Liposuction Q&A

If you’re frustrated by stubborn fatty deposits that diet and exercise haven’t managed to budge, you’ve probably wondered whether liposuction could help. While there’s lots of great information online about lipo, most patients have more detailed questions that don’t seem to be covered in the usual sources. Here, Tampa-St. Petersburg cosmetic surgeon Dr. Joseph J. Castellano answers a few of the concerns he hears most often from his patients.If your liposuction question isn’t answered below, contact us online today to schedule a consultation. Dr. Castellano is a skilled cosmetic surgeon who specializes in body contouring, and adopts a personalized approach that ensures that you have a positive experience with us from consultation through recovery.

  • I’ve read a ton about liposuction but I still can’t make up my mind. How can I decide for sure?

    Making the definitive commitment to move forward is often the biggest challenge of any major decision, and that includes cosmetic surgery. If you feel like you’ve done plenty of research and still aren’t sure, I advise patients to just come in for a consultation. Keep in mind that a consultation doesn’t lock you into surgery, and instead gives us the opportunity to get to know one another and talk in greater detail about the specific hopes and goals you have. You’ll learn a lot more about your options from a cosmetic surgeon than you will on your own, and that extra information may give you the certainty you need to finally schedule your liposuction appointment with confidence.

  • I keep hearing these different phrases like “liposculpture” or “micro liposuction.” Which kind of lipo is going to give me the best results?

    Liposculpture is just a fancy word for regular liposuction. Some marketing whiz along the way decided that “sculpture” on the end of “lipo” sounded more appealing than “suction” and a lot of surgeons decided that seemed like a good idea to them too. And micro liposuction refers to using narrower cannulas, which is common practice for smaller target areas like under the chin. Although there may be a lot of methods available out there, the most important thing to keep in mind for any type of liposuction is the surgical skill behind the procedure rather than the specific brand name or lipo technique that’s advertised.I usually recommend combining procedures for a few reasons. For one, it’s less stressful both physically and mentally to undergo one surgery instead of two. It also means you only have to deal with one recovery period, plus you won’t have that in-between time when your goals haven’t been fully met and you may feel unhappy with your appearance. Finally, surgical costs can be reduced by combining procedures.

  • Since liposuction physically removes extra fat, why does everyone say that it isn’t a weight loss technique? It’s literally taking the fat away from my body!

    It’s true that by definition, liposuction permanently removes fat cells. However, removing enough fat to see significant weight loss is not what lipo was designed for and isn’t safe for the patient. In fact, the FDA has set limits on how much fat can be withdrawn via lipo in order to maintain the highest patient safety standards. Additionally, there are two types of fat in the body: visceral fat, which develops around internal organs, and subcutaneous fat, which is closer to the skin’s surface. Weight gain is typically due to excess visceral fat (which can only be lost through diet and exercise), while liposuction only targets subcutaneous fat.

  • It seems like there’s a new nonsurgical alternative to liposuction invented just about every day. Why should I get lipo when I could get the same results without surgery?

    The short answer to this question is that liposuction has a long history of proven results, and the alternatives you mention… well, not so much. Whether the claim is that there are devices out there that can zap away fatty tissue with radiofrequency waves or freeze the fat cells right out of your body, FDA approval isn’t necessarily a guarantee that any of these methods actually work as well as liposuction. As the old saying goes, if something sounds too good to be true, then it probably is. Tumescent liposuction remains the gold standard for body contouring.

  • I want to improve the shape of my body and I’m trying to lose weight, but I think I like the idea of lipo better. Which is better: dieting or liposuction?

    Getting healthier vs. getting liposuction isn’t an either/or proposition. Liposuction isn’t a weight loss technique, so eating right and staying active are still essential if you’re trying to slim down. At the same time, no matter how you change your eating habits or which specific exercise routines you take on, you may still find that there are stubborn pockets of fat that remain behind, or that losing weight didn’t give you exactly the silhouette you hoped for. Once you’re within a few pounds of your target weight, liposuction can serve as the finishing touch that helps contour your body to better complement your weight loss efforts.

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