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No Substitute for Fitness: Liposuction

No Substitute for Fitness:

What is liposuction?
Why do people have liposuction?
Is liposuction safe?

Liposuction is risky, painful, and expensive. You could die or go into shock as a result of liposuction. After the surgery a person who has had liposuction will be in a lot of pain and his or her stitches will ooze. His or her body will be covered with black and blue marks. Despite this, some people choose liposuction because they think it will make them look better. back to top

What is liposuction?
Liposuction (pronounced lie-po-suk-shun) is the surgical removal of excess fat from areas of a person's body using a vacuumlike machine. The doctor cuts the skin and sticks a hollow tube called a cannula (pronounced kan-u-la) under it. Fat, fluids, and blood are sucked out of the body, just like you'd suck up a milk shake through a straw. (Yuck!) For about six weeks after the surgery, the patient is sore, swollen, and bruised. Fluids continue to drain from the place the tube went in. (More yuck!) Liposuction is a cosmetic procedure, which means people have it to improve their looks, not to treat a medical problem. back to top

Why do people have liposuction?
Liposuction is not a cure for being overweight. In fact, it is for people who can't lose fat in specific areas of their bodies, like the knees, arms, thighs, stomach, and butt. True, fat cells removed through liposuction are gone for good. But you can still gain the weight back. That's because the remaining fat cells in your body can still absorb excess calories. If you are out of shape before liposuction, you'll still be out of shape after liposuction. The only way to get in shape is to eat a healthy diet and exercise. back to top

Is liposuction safe?
Liposuction is a surgical procedure, which means that it should be done by a medical doctor at a hospital. Like any surgery—having a kidney removed or a bone repaired, or getting your tonsils out—liposuction is serious business that carries many risks, including infection, scarring, shock, damage to your internal organs, dangerous drug reactions, and even death. Those are awfully big risks just to have fat sucked out of your body.

Keep in mind that having liposuction is no guarantee that you'll look better after surgery. If the doctor sucks more fat out of one side of your body than the other, you could end up looking lopsided. If too much deep fat is sucked out, the fat that remains under the surface of the skin may look lumpy and dimpled.

Liposuction can't help you lose weight. It won't make you healthier. It doesn't get you in shape or solve your problems. And it's expensive, costing anywhere from $2,500 to $3,500. You don't need surgery to love who you are or to prove that you're comfortable with your body—that feeling is priceless. back to top

Last Modified Date: 1/3/2001
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