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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Medical Devices

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Alternatives to Liposuction

When is Liposuction not for me?

You are probably NOT a good candidate for liposuction surgery if:

  • You are not a risk taker. Certain complications are unavoidable in a percentage of patients, and there are no long-term data available for current procedures.
  • Cost is an issue. Most medical insurance will not pay for cosmetic liposuction. The cost for liposuction may be significant.
  • You are overweight or obese and trying to lose weight. Liposuction is a procedure for shaping the body and is not recommended for weight loss.
  • You have a disease or are on medication that affects wound healing. These include current infection or past medical history of bleeding, emboli, thrombophlebitis, edema, or if you are taking medication(s) that may affect your wound healing or blood clotting (such as aspirin, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory agents, warfarin, heparin, or other anticoagulants) or are taking medication that may interact with the drugs used during liposuction.
  • Your skin elasticity is not adequate. Your doctor will evaluate the skin at the site where you are considering liposuction to determine if skin is elastic enough to shrink after liposuction. If it is not, it will be baggy after liposuction.

 

What are the Alternatives to Liposuction?

 


Illustration of various exercises, including kayaking, ballet, weightlifting, bicycling, and jogging
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Liposuction is usually cosmetic surgery so is not considered medically necessary (there are rare exceptions to this). Because of this, it is you who will decide whether or not you will undergo this procedure. You may decide that liposuction is not right for you. You may make this decision without consulting a physician or after consulting with a physician. A consultation with a physician does not obligate you to have liposuction if you decide that you do not want to.

Some of the alternatives to liposuction are:

  • Change diet to lose some excess body fat.
  • Exercise.
  • Accept your body and appearance as it is.
  • Use clothing or makeup to downplay or emphasize body or facial features.

Food Guide Pyramid - Relative servings per day for each food group. Fat, Oils & Sweets: Use Sparingly. Milk, Yogurt & Cheese Group: 2 to 3 Servings. Meats, Poultry, Fish, Dry Beans, Eggs & Nuts Group: 2 to 3 servings. Vegetable group: 3 to 5 servings. Fruit Group: 2 to 4 servings. Bread, Cereal, Rice, & Pasta Group: 6 to 11 servings.