Liposuction has earned a spot among the top cosmetic procedures worldwide, with good reason — its less invasive process, well-documented efficacy and customizability make liposuction an easy choice for many body sculpting patients. It is a less intensive option than a full surgery, yet it can be more comprehensive than non-invasive procedures like Kybella or CoolSculpting — while this combination may sound like the ideal procedure, toeing the line between simple and complex can cause patients to take liposuction less seriously than they should. Liposuction is still technically a surgical procedure, and should be approached with care; you should enter into your liposuction fully informed about your surgeon, your procedure and your projected results. During your consultation with your liposuction provider, you can ask these four questions to help you feel confident that you are in good hands and that you know what to expect.
1. How Much Experience Do You Have With Liposuction?
Just like you would not want to receive heart surgery from an oral surgeon, you would only want to have body contouring type of procedures with a plastic surgeon who has extensive training in surgery and experience in liposuction and other techniques. You should make sure that your provider has years of experience performing liposuction, and that they can demonstrate their expertise about the area of your body that you want to treat. Body sculpting procedures like liposuction are as much of an art as they are a science, and require a trained eye to ensure balanced and proportional results. Asking about your surgeon’s experience can help you make sure they have the right skills to understand your goals and deliver the results you want.
When you ask your surgeon about their experience, you are looking for an explanation of their training and their practice. They should be able to provide proof of their credentials — such as membership in the Canadian Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery and accreditation through the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada or the American Board of Plastic Surgeons — and briefly outline the number of liposuctions they provide on a monthly or yearly basis. You can also ask about how long their current practice has been open, and what kind of offices or facilities they have worked at in the past. They should also be able to describe how they keep up-to-date on the latest liposuction techniques and safety measures, such as attending local conferences or demonstrations.
2. Can You Describe Your Liposuction Technique?
There are several different types of liposuction, as well as some “brands” of liposuction that are given particular names for marketing purposes. While the premise behind any liposuction is the same, it is essential to know what will happen to your body during your procedure. Additionally, the ability to explain their tools and process to a patient is a mark of an experienced and caring surgeon. You should feel comfortable asking for as much explanation as you need so you can fully understand how your surgeon will perform your liposuction.
In general, research has not shown that there is a significant difference in effectiveness between these types of liposuction. What is more important is your surgeon’s training and experience. Many of the different techniques available are more about marketing than they are about achieving good results. Your surgeon likely chooses their technique based on their personal preference or their experience using different types on different areas of the body; you should feel free to ask them about the reasons for their choice, as well. This question should also encourage your surgeon to talk about where they make incisions and why, and what they typically do during liposuction to minimize scarring and other risks like uneven contouring or numbness.
3. May I See Examples of Other Liposuctions You Have Performed?
A photo gallery of former clients’ results is a patient tool that almost any qualified surgeon will have on hand. Before-and-after photos are a great way to tell if your surgeon is a good fit for your aesthetic goals. If you can find examples of patients whose “after” photo matches the results you have in mind, it is a strong indication that this surgeon will be able to sculpt your body the way you want. You can also look for patients whose “before” photos are similar to the way you look — body type, age and gender all play a part in your results, and your surgeon should be prepared to account for these individual qualities during your procedure.
Aside from helping you determining your surgeon’s capabilities, a robust gallery is a sign that the surgeon’s patients are typically satisfied with their results and that the surgeon is proud of their work. It can also give you a sense of how many liposuctions your surgeon has performed, and possibly how their techniques have improved or changed over time. Photo galleries are useful for your surgeon as well since it allows you to point out concrete examples of the body shape you are seeking and prompts a discussion of what is and is not possible from your procedure.
4. What Can I Expect From My Liposuction?
Talking about your goals is a necessary part of any consultation — your surgeon needs to understand the look you are hoping for, and you need to know which parts of your goal are feasible and which are not. Liposuction produces different results for every patient, and your surgeon should be able to give you an idea of how your particular results can look. If you are a good candidate for liposuction, the discussion about expectations should be a positive but realistic experience. An experienced surgeon can explain to you how the procedure will contour your body, while also knowing the limits of liposuction and being able to tell you when your ideas exceed those limits.
It is important that your surgeon has all options available to treat patients. You do not want to choose a provider who only has one choice of procedure to offer. There is not one treatment that is good for everyone. Your surgeon should have the experience and ability to offer different choices and to be able to recommend a solution that fits your particular situation.
Your surgeon should make sure that you leave your consultation with a thorough explanation of how your body can change with your liposuction treatment. They should also discuss what you can do to prepare for your recovery, including taking any necessary time off work and arranging for help at home. Beyond your recovery, your surgeon should inform you of the best ways to make sure your results don’t fade, such as suggesting you create a diet and exercise plan with your primary care doctor. Your expectations and long-term dedication to your new body will make all the difference in your satisfaction, and your future happiness and confidence should be at the forefront of your surgeon’s mind.
The Banff Plastic Surgery team believes that empowering patients with tools and information is one of the best methods to ensure their satisfaction. We aim to work with you to make sure we meet your goals with procedures that are safe and effective and to help you fully understand your procedure and results. If you would like to learn more about liposuction or the other services we offer at our facility in Banff, Alberta, we encourage you to contact us today. Call us at 403-762-2055 to schedule a consultation, where your questions and curiosity will be welcomed and encouraged.