‘Is Liposuction Safe’ and 8 Other Important Body Contouring Questions

posted on:
July 23rd, 2021
posted by:
Dr. Mulholland

Have you put on weight during the pandemic lockdown, or the so-called Quarantine 15? Or are you simply finding it more difficult to lose weight as you age? In either case, know that you’re not alone. Over 40% of surveyed Canadians have gained some weight over the last year.

Torontonians have faced a particularly high number of challenges. We’ve had to deal with red zoning, grey zoning, lockdowns and even emergency brakes. Even if your gym or yoga studio has been open, you’re probably not in a hurry to go back. This is why home workout equipment sales (and prices) have skyrocketed, while our Toronto Plastic Surgeons are booking a lot of liposuction consultations.

Most of our time during those consultations is spent listening to your challenges and answering your questions. Both of those steps are absolutely crucial in building a strong relationship, and making sure you’re comfortable knowing how safe and effective your procedure will be.

This blog will cover some of the most popular questions we hear every day, and hopefully address some of your concerns.

1. Is Liposuction Safe?

Yes, liposuction is safe! And it has never been safer.

The techniques and technology being used today are incredibly safe. For example, tumescent liposuction perfectly represents the evolution of liposuction technology. It is far more effective and less painful than liposuction techniques used in the past. One of the key advantages is that it doesn’t require a general anesthetic, nor does it involve putting you to sleep. This takes any risks associated with that completely off of the table.

Your target areas will simply be injected with a local anesthetic and epinephrine, which will block any pain or discomfort in these areas. This also keeps post-op swelling and bruising to an absolute minimum.

Our state-of-the-art Toronto liposuction clinic also offers 3 different types of energy-assisted liposuction devices. This includes BodyTite, which has the best-reported safety controls and soft tissue contraction in the industry.

The BodyTite technology has the following safety features to maximize results and minimize the risk of a thermal injury.

  •   The silastic coating and cap
  •   Thermal containment
  •   Automated feedback control loops
  •   Impedance cut-offs
  •   Temperature surge protection

The technology is particularly safe and effective when it’s being used by a skilled and experienced surgeon, and our clinic offers two of Canada’s finest plastic surgeons and body contouring experts.

Our Dr. Stephen Mulholland is one of Canada’s leading BodyTite authorities and liposuction experts. He is frequently asked by major media to comment on trends in the plastic surgery industry on TV, radio, podcasts, or popular magazines.

At the same time, Dr. Tom Bell is widely regarded as one of Canada’s top surgeons, with a proven track record of amazing results and delighted clients. The level of care and attention he provides, both before and after liposuction procedures, is what truly separates him.

2. How Much Fat/ Weight Can I Lose?

This is always one of the most popular questions. Obviously, a patient wants to know exactly how effective any given procedure can be, and how much of an impact it’s actually going to have on their appearance.

Every patient is different, and no two bodies are the same. But, as a general guideline, the maximum safe aspiration volume allowed through Ontario’s safety regulations is 5,000 cc or 5L of combined aspiration.

Any given patient’s fat and liposuction tumescent fluid should not exceed 3,000-4,000 cc or 3-4L of pure fat. A second procedure can be offered if the patient requests more fat pockets to be removed. Those additional pockets can be treated 6 weeks (or more) following the initial procedure.

At the same time, our safety policy requires that patients who lose 2L of fat will stay overnight at the clinic for monitoring. They will also be given blood-thinning agents to minimize the low risk of deep vein clots and lung embolisms. Your safety and comfort are always our top priorities.

However, when asking how much weight can I lose, it’s really important to understand that it’s more about the location of the fat being removed. Most of our patients will only lose 2-5 pounds. However, those pounds are removed from the most stubborn areas of the body. They can’t seem to lose those 2-5 pounds on their waist, legs, or upper arms through diet or exercise, so the procedure makes a huge difference.

3. What is the Ideal Weight/ Body Type For Liposuction?

There are no steadfast guidelines. But, generally speaking, we often say that the best candidates are within 30% of a healthy weight range.

Most often, it’s people that are frustrated by trying all sorts of trendy diets or doing countless planks and crunches. They can’t seem to lose those last few stubborn pounds or inches in stalwart areas of their body.

There is no need to take your diet to unreasonable or unsustainable levels to trim these areas. Live a healthy lifestyle, get a body contouring procedure like liposuction, and then use your healthy lifestyle to help maintain your results over the long term.

Liposuction is not really intended for people that are dealing with obesity or looking to lose a large amount of weight. Diet, exercise, and lifestyle changes will always be the best ways to lose that weight.

As always, it’s best if you’re a non-smoker. You will be asked to quit smoking for a few weeks leading up to, and a few weeks following, your procedure to ensure your absolute safety and prevent any unnecessary complications from the constriction of blood vessels. This is true of any type of surgery.

People that enjoy eating well and exercising regularly will always be the best candidates. They are the ones who will be able to easily maintain their results after the surgery.

4. What are My Non-Surgical Options?

Even though liposuction is a remarkably safe and effective procedure, there are still a number of people who simply don’t like the idea of any surgery. They would prefer to explore their non-surgical and non-invasive options.

The good news is that there are plenty of great non-surgical options out there, and many can give you a great combination of skin tightening and fat reduction. Like liposuction procedures, they’re not intended for people looking to lose a large amount of weight. They are more for targeting the notoriously hard-to-tone areas of the body.

Some of the best options include:

VelaShape (VelaSmooth)

Patients typically see an average cellulite reduction of about 50%, or a 2 or 3-centimetre circumferential reduction after about 6 to 8 weeks.

CoolSculpting

An hour-long treatment could destroy up to 30% of the fat cells in your desired areas.

SculpSure

The average patient sees roughly a 24% reduction of fat, or a 2-3 cm of circumferential reduction, after 1 to 3 treatments. This can actually mean 1-2 pants sizes or dress sizes!

Venus Freeze

You can see immediate results after only one treatment, with peak results probably coming after 6 or so treatments.

You could also consider other great options, such as:

  • Evolve
  • Vanquish
  • EMsculpt
  • BodyFX
  • Vanquish
  • Excilis

Which one of these procedures is the best? There is no simple answer to that, and don’t trust anyone that claims to have one.

We find that the best body contouring results come from customized plans, and a combination of 2 or more different types of non-surgical procedures. There are no magic cures or cookie-cutter solutions in the world of body contouring. We will work closely with our patients to find the best possible combination that will lead to the best possible outcomes.

5. Where on My Body Can I Get Liposuction?

One of the best parts of liposuction is that you can get it on all of the parts of the body that diet and exercise can’t seem to reach. Some of the most popular areas for liposuction procedures may include your:

  •   Abdomen
  •   Buttocks
  •   Waist and flanks
  •   Upper arms
  •   Face
  •   Neck and chin
  •   Thighs
  •   Lower legs
  •   Chest
  •   Back

Many of these areas may also be suitable for the non-surgical solutions we covered in the previous section.

If you’re looking to treat multiple areas of the body, you may also consider something like the Mommy Makeover procedure. This is a combination of procedures that may include liposuction, cellulite reduction, or other forms of body contouring. However, it could also include things like a breast augmentation procedure, breast lift, or tummy tuck.

Be sure to talk to your surgeon about all of your possible options.

6. How Much is Liposuction?

There is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all solution, so there is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all price. Generally speaking, our liposuction procedures start at $4,999 – $6,999. But, there are a lot of factors that will influence the price, including the zone size being treated and the technology being used.

If you were thinking about a non-surgical option, here are some of the sample prices you could be looking at:

  •   VelaShape (VelaSmooth): About $1,999 for 3 sessions/ zones
  •   CoolSculpting: Roughly $799
  •   SculpSure: Starts at $499 per session, or you can get a bundle of 4 treatments for $1699
  •   Venus Freeze: Roughly $1,999 for a 3-session bundle, or $2,999 for 6 sessions

Our clinic also offers procedure financing to make things even more affordable. When comparing prices, don’t forget to factor in the potential impact and long-term value of a surgical procedure (which has a bigger impact), versus a non-surgical procedure (which will likely have a smaller impact, relative to full liposuction).

Liposuction can be more impactful in trimming those difficult areas. Be sure to speak to your surgeon about all of your options.

7. Is Liposuction Suitable for Men?

Absolutely! Liposuction is actually the third most popular plastic surgery for North American men behind rhinoplasty procedures, and eyelid surgery (blepharoplasty).

Men accounted for about 13% of the liposuction marketplace. The non-surgical body contouring options we explored earlier are all perfectly safe and suitable for male patients looking to tone up a little bit.

However, if you’re looking to remove fat from the chest area, particularly a significant amount of it, you might consider a gynecomastia (male breast reduction) procedure. This is a targeted and effective treatment for men who are dealing with unwanted fat deposits in their chest.

Your surgeon will use energy-assisted liposuction technology to give you a more flattering and masculine-looking chest. There were well over 18,000 successful gynecomastia procedures performed in 2020.

Or, if you’re a man that has lost a considerable amount of weight, you might consider a tummy tuck/ abdominoplasty procedure. This would help you remove any leftover fat you’re looking to trim, while also removing extra skin that could be hanging in your core area right now.

8. How Long is the Recovery Period for Liposuction?

Everyone’s body is different, and people will heal and recover from surgery at different paces. That’s why we will stay in close touch with you following your procedure. We will monitor your healing, and advise you on when it’s safe to do things like jogging, working out, or going back to work.

Your recovery window could be anywhere from 5-10 days. However, if you went with a non-surgical procedure, your recovery time would be much shorter. Many of these procedures require no downtime whatsoever, and some people may get them during their lunch hours and go back to work.

9. When Can I Start?

Right now! You can begin your journey by booking a consultation with one of our body contouring experts. We are offering secure video call consultations during COVID-19 restrictions.

“Dr. Mulholland really delivered what he promised, and I am very happy that I finally took the plunge. The staff in the clinic are very warm and friendly. They really make you feel comfortable and at ease. This is the best gift to myself.” – A 5-Star Liposuction review at RealSelf.com.

You can start right now by clicking the Schedule a Consultation button at the top of the screen, or by calling 647-723-3739 to speak with one of our experts.

Posted by:

Dr. Stephen Mulholland, Md

Dr. Stephen Mulholland has been practicing plastic surgery for over 20 years. He is one of Canada’s most renowned and best plastic surgeons in Toronto with his wealth of experience, artistry, and humbleness towards his patients.

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