In order to be a good liposuction candidate, a patient should be of sound mind and health, and at least eighteen years of age. Ideally patients shouldn’t be overweight (or at least not grossly overweight). In general, a patient should be within 25 pounds of their ideal weight before undergoing the procedure.
What Factors Prevent a Patient From Being a Good Liposuction Candidate?
Ideally, liposuction should be used to remove fat that hasn’t responded to traditional exercise and diet. Liposuction shouldn’t be considered as a cure for obesity. Obese patients are usually advised to lose weight before undergoing the procedure, firstly because they will be healthier and less susceptible to complications, and secondly because there will be less fat to remove, and the results will be more satisfactory.
Other patients who don’t make good candidates for liposuction include those with untreated hernias and clotting disorders, those with very stretched and inelastic skin, and those with other serious medical conditions.
What Should A Potential Liposuction Candidate Consider?
Liposuction patients need to have a realistic expectation of the procedure and what it can do for them. A patient who is in good physical health, eats well and exercises regularly is an excellent candidate for surgery. Liposuction can be used very effectively on stubborn areas of fat such as saddlebags, outer and inner thighs, the abdomen, flank and trunk areas, and under the chin.
Liposuction is also not a solution for cellulite, which will respond better to cellulite specific treatments (although if there are excess fatty deposits in the area, liposuction can remove them). Patients with a lot of stretch marks may also not get as good a result as a patient without them, and may have to consider other procedures to remove their fatty deposits, simply because the over-stretched skin is generally less elastic, and may become flabby after the removal of fat.
While the majority of liposuction patients are female (around 75%), increasing numbers of men are undergoing liposuction treatments. The most common location men want targeted by liposuction are the stubborn deposits of fat around the waistline commonly referred to as “love handles”. The most common areas for women are the stomach, buttocks and thighs.
Another consideration for the patient is their age. While liposuction can be performed on patients of any age, older patients may not be as ideal, simply because of their diminished skin elasticity. Patients who are over forty must be aware that they could end up with loose skin after the liposuction procedure, especially if they are having a fairly large amount of fat removed. Some surgeons will even refuse to operate on patients whose skin is too inelastic.
In general, the best liposuction patients are close to their ideal weight, are in good health, haven’t had previous surgery in the area where the liposuction will be performed, have firm and elastic skin, don’t have frequent weight fluctuations, don’t have significant medical problems such as diabetes, heart or lung disease or poor circulation, don’t smoke, exercise regularly and have realistic expectations about the outcome of the procedure.
A good doctor will always advise a patient on whether or not they are a good candidate for liposuction. A patient may be advised to lose weight, stop smoking and get more exercise before undergoing the procedure, or may be advised on other more appropriate methods for removing excess body fat.