For more than 40 years, liposuction has been one of the most celebrated examples of cosmetic surgery. Several liposuction strategies exist – including tumescent liposuction,  ultrasound-assisted liposuction (UAL), and power-assisted liposuction (PAL) – all of which are designed to create a slimmer, more toned figure. The procedure involves the use of a vacuum-like device (or “cannula”), which breaks down fat cells and expels them from the body. Patients often pursue liposuction in order to reduce isolated fat deposits in the abdomen, thighs, buttocks, and a variety of additional treatment areas.

As is the case with many major surgeries, myths about liposuction have circulated outside of the medical community for decades. Our board-certified plastic surgeon, Stephen Herring, MD, considers it an essential part of his job to educate his patients about procedures offered at our practice. Accordingly, he has debunked the following liposuction misconceptions below:

  1. Liposuction can help you lose weight. This is perhaps the most common misconception about liposuction. Although liposuction can contribute to a slimmer and more toned physique when performed by a qualified provider, it is not designed for weight loss. In fact, patients are encouraged to be at a healthy weight when undergoing liposuction to limit the risk of obesity-related complications.
  2. Liposuction can tighten abdominal muscles. Many patients erroneously believe that liposuction can restructure stretched or torn abdominal muscles, which often appear as a result of pregnancy, weight fluctuations, or simply the natural course of aging. In reality, liposuction was developed specifically to remove stubborn bulges of fat. While the surgery is commonly performed on the midsection, patients who wish to reduce stretched abdominal skin and tighten underlying musculature are typically better suited for tummy tuck surgery. (In many cases, liposuction and tummy tuck surgery can be combined for a more comprehensive result.)
  3. Liposuction can get rid of cellulite. Cellulite is a very common aesthetic concern that manifests as “lumpy” or “dimply” depressions in the skin. Because cellulite often accompanies the large pockets of fat that plague many patients, some believe that liposuction can remove cellulite in addition to fat cells. Unfortunately, this is not the case, as cellulite is actually the result of pressure placed on the skin by fibrous connective tissue. In fact, a cosmetic surgery that can significantly improve this particular issue has yet to be invented.
  4. Fat cells removed during liposuction can regrow. Contrary to popular belief, fat cells are permanently removed during liposuction surgery; in other words, they cannot grow back even if you gain weight. That said, in the event of significant weight gain, the remaining fat cells can redistribute to a different area of the body.

If you would like to know more about what liposuction can and cannot accomplish, Dr. Herring will be happy to meet with you and discuss the specifics of this procedure. Whether you are local to Fayetteville or visiting from out of town, Dr. Herring can create a personalized treatment plan that addresses your cosmetic goals. Contact our practice to schedule your initial consultation with Dr. Herring.