When you’re considering a cosmetic procedure, it’s a good idea to do your research. Finding out the details like risks, downtime, and what to expect can help you make an informed decision— which you should always do when it comes to changing your appearance and undergoing potentially surgical procedures. It can be easy to get caught up in the fluff, though— everyone promises that your chosen procedure will transform your life, but it can be hard to find the science behind it all. Fortunately, the plastic surgery community is constantly studying the effects and benefits of certain procedures so that you can better understand what you’re getting into when you decide you want a change.

One of our most popular options for cosmetic procedures at Reflections is liposuction and its different forms. Liposuction is more than just a body contouring procedure, though— that’s because it has some excellent studies behind it to back up its results. Our cosmetic physicians strive to make sure you have the most accurate and up-to-date information, so if you’re considering liposuction, then here are two important studies to know about as you begin your consultation process.

Improved self-esteem and quality of life

Many people get cosmetic procedures to enhance their appearance and feel better about themselves, but if you’re looking at your options, it’s natural to ask the important questions— does it help? Even if your laser liposuction or Botox® treatment is effective at zapping fat and wrinkles, do you actually walk away with improved self-esteem? According to a study published in the American Society of Plastic Surgeons’ Plastic and Reproductive Surgery®, the answer is yes.

The study

Plastic surgeons found that patients who underwent liposuction or abdominoplasty (also known as a tummy tuck), reported that they experienced increased self-esteem and quality of life after their procedure. Researchers studied 360 people undergoing liposuction and/or a tummy tuck, although 30% of these individuals also received a facelift, breast augmentation, or other cosmetic procedure at the same time.

The results

According to the scientists, 98% of people who had a tummy tuck and liposuction said that they would undergo the procedure again. Additionally, 99% of these individuals said that they would recommend the operation to their friends. This is a significant finding, considering that an increased quality of life is the goal for many people who opt for cosmetic procedures. “Liposuction and abdominoplasty, individually and in combination, produce high rates of patient satisfaction and reliably improve self-esteem,” said researcher Eric Swanson, M.D. This means that nearly every patient who undergoes liposuction with the intent of feeling better about themselves and their body achieves this goal. This makes it a worthwhile investment, with research to back it up!

What it means

These findings coincide with previous studies that have shown the psychological benefits of cosmetic procedures. For example, back in 1998, researchers from Rutgers University found that cosmetic procedures significantly improved quality of life for patients. Furthermore, the scientists said that the positive feelings reported by patients were long-term.

Medical News Today reports that in the last few years, advancements have been made in liposuction that allow doctors to remove more fat cells with less blood loss, risk, and discomfort. For instance, laser liposuction is known to have fewer side effects because it liquefies fat before it’s suctioned out, resulting in smaller incisions and shorter healing time. This could mean that patients experience fewer downsides than ever before when opting for a minimally-invasive procedure, improving their satisfaction with the procedure as a whole rather than only the results.

According to Medical News Today, “if a patient has thought everything through carefully beforehand, talked to their general practitioner and surgeon about their aims, motives and expectations; the surgeon is skilled and well qualified, and there are no complications, most patients are pleased with their [lipo] results.”

Patient satisfaction and safety

Long term studies are always interesting because they typically offer a lot of data and can show how trends change over time. However, in this case, some things remain the same. Nearly every patient that considers a cosmetic procedure wants to know that they’ll be happy and safe with the results, and knowing that an overwhelming majority of patients who also went through your chosen procedure felt similarly can be the difference between scheduling your consultation and not. According to one 25-year study, the advances in liposuction types and techniques over the decades has only contributed to patient satisfaction and safe outcomes.

The study

In a 25-year study of 26,000 liposuction procedures, 82% of patients reported satisfaction with the outcome of their procedures. The study was performed by four Cali, Colombia plastic surgeons to determine if the new technologies and instruments used in liposuction have contributed to a higher level of satisfaction. The study collected data from a plastic surgery clinic in the area and was retrospectively reviewed and assessed, comparing different liposuction techniques. It looked at the different rates of complications and their frequency against different types of liposuction.

The results

Although satisfaction rates over time have remained approximately the same, the study’s authors did find that the traditional tumescent liposuction method carries an increased risk of post-surgical seromas (mass or swelling caused by accumulated fluid) when compared with newer forms of liposuction like laser liposuction. They also determined that ultrasonic assisted liposuction (or UAL) had a significantly higher instance of side effects than other techniques, which led the study authors to abandon that procedure in the study.

The study found that the safety of liposuction procedures (both traditional tumescent liposuction and laser-assisted liposuction) have continued to improve over time, reducing the risks of side-effects while still delivering the satisfying aesthetic results that you see in our liposuction before-and-after photos.

What it means

At Reflections, we find many of our patients prefer laser liposuction to traditional tumescent liposuction because there is typically far less downtime and bruising associated with laser liposuction. They can get back to their busy lives more quickly after the procedure, which is an important consideration to many of our patients. The Colombian study didn’t take these lifestyle factors into account but, if they had, we feel their findings would echo what we’ve seen here.

Determining your liposuction options

Liposuction comes with a lot of different options— what type, your treatment area, and your fat transfer options— but knowing that liposuction comes with a long track record of safety, satisfaction, and improved self-image can help make your decisions easier. Along with this, our cosmetic physicians can guide you through the decision-making progress to find the right liposuction package for you using our best options like laser liposuction or power-assisted (SAFE) liposuction. We’ll discuss the ins and outs of each option using the latest in research and studies so you can make the right informed choice for you.

Schedule a Consultation

At Reflections Center for Cosmetic Medicine, we’re proud to be a leading liposuction provider in the New Jersey area. Our award-winning team of cosmetic physicians includes some of the most experienced and leading liposuction experts in the field who can ensure you get safe, effective results that boost your self-esteem and ensure you’re satisfied with the new you. Liposuction is an excellent way to put the finishing touches on your new body, so we invite you to schedule a consultation with our expert team to get started. You can schedule a private consultation at our Martinsville and Livingston offices by calling or filling out our online form.

Cosmetic & Laser Physician at Reflections Center

Dr. Renata Wix-Harris has extensive experience as a general surgeon and work in the plastic surgery department has helped to her to become an excellent laser liposuction surgeon. She is also skilled at laser and energy-based skin therapies, injectables, and non-invasive body contouring.

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