Silly Myths and Real Facts on Liposuction

There is so much information overload out there today now that everyone and every device is connected. Sometimes, it's hard to separate the wheat from the chaff. It seems that every man and his dog have got something to say, and they're not afraid to speak out.

The problem is this: as convincing as some people or piece of information may be, if the advice or information is not from an authority source then it is best taken with a pinch of salt. It's especially true with regards to health and medical-related issues. In fact, misinformation in this area can be dangerous. This brings us onto this piece. Here we take a look at the silly myths and the real facts on liposuction.

Myth #1: The only reason people need liposuction is that they don't look after themselves properly. In other words, they eat too much and move too little.

This is the first of the silly myths. It's not only false but it's destructive too. "Shaming" overweight people is not helpful and nor is it their fault. The obesity epidemic has not come about by greed and sloth but by the poor dietary guidelines from the past 50 plus years. A lot of the long-term problems with excess weight are not resolvable by exercise, and nor can they melt away by diet alone. Sometimes routine surgery is the only option to get the patients weight back on track. Check out our liposuction vs tummy tuck article for more information.

Myth #2: The vast majority of overweight women need a tummy-tuck.

Not true! In some cases, the scars left behind by a tummy tuck are as bothersome as the flabby tummy was. Liposuction does not involve a scalpel and can, in many cases, produce beautiful results around the tummy area, without the scarring. The only time a surgeon might suggest a tummy tuck would be if an unusual amount of extra skin remains after liposuction. This does happen on occasions but only in about 10 per cent of cases at best.

woman grabbing excess fat on her belly

Myth #3: I won't be able to have liposuction until I'm at a certain weight.

Pure myth! In truth, contenders for liposuction tend to have a steady weight. Usually, this is somewhere within 25 to 30 pounds of their ideal weight. The only time a person is a "good candidate" for liposuction at a more "ideal" weight, is if they have out of proportion fatty deposits.

Myth #4: Liposuction surgery is just an alternative, less invasive tummy tuck.

Another common myth! Liposuction does so much more than just remove excess belly fat. Wherever there are fatty deposits, liposuction can work its magic. This includes all the following areas:

  • Back (upper and lower regions)
  • Bra strap swells
  • Buttocks
  • Chin
  • Dowager hump (center of your upper back)
  • Hips
  • Inner and outer thighs
  • Legs
  • Love handles
  • Lower cheeks
  • Neck (gobbler area)
  • Upper arms

female body with arrows on stomach area and thighs

Myth #5: Liposuction can only be carried out under a general anaesthetic.

Not true. Surgeons can perform the tumescent technique of liposuction with the patient fully conscious. Furthermore, this method can also speed up the recovery time and may promote more positive results than the traditional method. Patients are even encouraged to walk right after the surgical procedure. When everything goes well, as it usually does, most people are on their way home 30 minutes to an hour after surgery, and lighter too.

Myth #6: Liposuction is incredibly dangerous and people should only consider it in desperate cases.

It's true that the traditional procedure got a bad rap over the years. But this was more to do with poor practices and back street clinics. Traditional liposuction used to have a death rate of roughly one out of every 4,500 cases. There are no such stats with tumescent liposuction, which uses just a local anaesthetic. In fact, this is among the safest of surgeries performed in outpatient surgical suites. Latest figures suggest that tumescent liposuction is around 1000 times less risky than other surgeries.

work sign

Myth #7: This type of surgery will keep me off work for weeks.

Not any more it doesn't. Tumescent liposuction with local anaesthesia has a very fast recovery time. In the vast majority of cases the patient can return to work within one to three days. There will be some swelling, but a good long walk each day soon helps to bring that down.

Myth #8: Liposuction is a short term solution to a more permanent problem. You can expect to see the pounds pile back on at some point in the not too distant future.

Not the case at all. Once the fat cells have gone they are unable to grow back in those areas. That means this is a permanent, one time surgical procedure. Patients also have to embrace some lifestyle changes too. It is not an armchair solution to weight problems. Most people understand this. They are already prepared and committed to take better care of themselves. Liposuction is just one part of a bigger health plan.


Myth #9: The problem with liposuction is the huge amount of blood loss.

No there's not. The liposuction procedure removes fat, not blood. Patients will lose no more blood during this procedure than say the amount taken for a simple blood test. For the record, that's around 10cc or less.

Myth #10: Patients blow up like party balloons soon after surgery.

There will always be some localized swelling after surgery but patients certainly don't blow up like balloons. This will be restricted to the treated areas too. But it does not cause any extreme gain in water weight, or not in most cases. Any swelling has usually gone down within 48 hours. Any complications that do occur are mostly likely owing to IV fluids given with a systemic anaesthesia. This is typical with long surgeries (six plus hours). With the tumescent liposuction technique, doctors don't give the patient IV fluids. Furthermore, patients don't have systemic sedation, or if they do, it's a very small amount.

These are just some of the many myths surrounding liposuction. As you can see, there is a lot of hot air and scaremongering surrounding this routine surgical procedure. The reality though is something quite different.