Liposuction is one of the most popular plastic surgery procedures in the country. Each year, hundreds of thousands of Americans look to this body contouring technique to bring out the best in their figure. Because liposuction can be used nearly anywhere on the body to target stubborn deposits of fat, the procedure is highly customizable. However, before you schedule your surgery, there are a few important things you need to find out.
1. Are You Board-Certified?
Talk with your plastic surgeon about their certifications and licenses. Unlike a medical license, board certification is a voluntary process that plastic surgeons can go through to show they are well-versed and educated about their specialty. A board-certified plastic surgeon has completed additional training, passed comprehensive written and oral exams and may be participating in ongoing education to maintain their certification. Board certification is extra assurance that you are working with an expert.
2. What Training and Experience Do You Have?
Ask about your plastic surgeon’s specific education and training. Your plastic surgeon may have learned liposuction techniques and aesthetics during an extra fellowship, practiced liposuction during a residency or taken a continuing education course later to update their knowledge and technique. You may also want to ask how many liposuction procedures they do a year and which areas of the body they most commonly contour.
3. Is the Surgical Facility Accredited?
Find out where your plastic surgeon performs liposuction procedures. Depending on how extensive your procedure is, liposuction may be offered with a local anesthetic at their office or under general anesthesia at a surgery center. Be sure to ask if the surgical facility is accredited.
An accredited center must meet strict standards designed to ensure quality and safety. To obtain accreditation, your plastic surgeon is required to have privileges to perform the same procedure at a hospital where they have been vetted and have a board-certified anesthesiologist or certified nurse anesthetist administer anesthesia.
4. Can I See Before and After Photos?
Ask your plastic surgeon to show you before and after photos of other people, they have done liposuction for. Photos can help you learn how your plastic surgeon uses their skill and experience to contour the body and will help you to better visualize your own results. Looking at the photos may prompt more questions you hadn’t yet thought to ask. For example, you may want to know where the incisions will be made or how many weeks post-op the photo was taken.
5. Which Type of Liposuction Is Best for Me?
There are different liposuction techniques and technologies, and one may be better for you than another. Generally, a plastic surgeon makes tiny incisions close to the target area, then inserts a thin surgical tube called a cannula and gently moves it back and forth to loosen and suction out fat.
In some cases, your plastic surgeon may inject a tumescent solution that makes fat cells easier to remove. Whatever your plastic surgeon suggests, ask detailed questions to make sure you understand what’s involved and how that technique can help you achieve the best results.
As you ask a plastic surgeon questions about liposuction, pay attention to how they answer. Do they welcome your questions? Are they attentive and patient? Do they thoroughly explain everything and ensure you understand the response? How a plastic surgeon handles your questions shows you more than just their knowledge and experience. It also gives you a preview of what it will be like to work with them and if they’re committed to helping you reach your vision.
The more you know about your body, the better you can control the final outcome. Whether you're interested in surgery, non-surgical procedures, or diet and exercise, keep up to date with the latest information.
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