When it comes to information about liposuction and plastic surgeries in general, their information is more widely accessible than ever before. Liposuction is regularly seen on television, in celebrity magazines, and other media headlines with the latest news on the procedures.

Unfortunately, this abundance of accessibility has come at the cost of a certain level of accuracy and has generated many factually incorrect myths about the procedure. Many articles and headlines find themselves becoming contradictory or misleading, leaving readers unsure of what to believe about liposuction. For example, contrary to common belief, the stomach is just one of many areas you can liposuction on the body; furthermore, liposuction is not even a weight loss procedure at all.

Here are six of the many myths about liposuction that can be put to rest.

Liposuction Is a Weight Loss Surgery

One of the biggest myths about plastic surgery; that it is strictly a weight-loss procedure, which is factually incorrect. Liposuction is not a weight loss surgery; it is a fat removal procedure, and there is a difference.

Liposuction removes the stubborn fat cells that resist elimination on their own, allowing for an overall improved body contour beneath the skin; in other words, the body appears smoother, tighter and gives the appearance of a slimmer body following the procedure. In actuality, while the results may appear the patient has lost a fair amount of weight, it is rare for a patient to lose more than a few pounds with liposuction, with the average weight loss post-procedure ranging between only 2-5 pounds.

In addition, a reputable clinic and surgeon will not perform liposuction on somebody who is not already within a healthy weight range close to their weight goal and who is in good physical health. Those who do not meet the qualifications or who have unrealistic weight-loss standards for the procedure will likely be denied from undergoing the procedure in the first place.

Liposuction Is Only for the Stomach

Often when people think of liposuction, they think of it being performed on the stomach. This is likely due to it being a popular area of concern among people and its confusion with a tummy tuck procedure (more on that later).

While it’s true that the abdomen is one of the most popular places to undergo liposuction, it can also be performed in a great number of areas on the body, essentially anywhere that stubborn fat can retain itself. All of the following areas of the body can receive liposuction:

  • Arms
  • Stomach
  • Love handles
  • Chest (popular among men for ‘man boob’ removal
  • Neck
  • Chin
  • Hips
  • Ankles
  • Knees
  • Thighs
  • Back
  • Cheeks

Tummy Tucks and Liposuction Do the Same Thing

Liposuction and tummy tuck procedures are often confused with one another for a few reasons. For starters, both are cosmetic surgeries meant to help improve the body’s overall contour, both are performed on the stomach, and they are also commonly performed together.

However, the two are different procedures with different goals. While a liposuction procedure works to remove the stubborn pockets of fat that lay beneath the skin, a tummy tuck works to tighten the skin of the stomach itself.

Loose skin can form on the stomach can form when pressure is put on the skin, stretching it out from either weight, pregnancy, or other factors. When the underlying body shrinks too quickly following dramatic weight loss or post-pregnancy, the skin can remain stretched and loose, unable to re-form quick enough against the body.

The loose skin can create a flabby looking appearance on the stomach, even if the underlying muscles are toned and in shape; this is especially true in cases of extreme weight loss, where copious amounts of excess skin can result in additional issues such as chafing, irritation, and needing to wear loose clothing despite their weight loss results.

A tummy tuck is performed by making discreet incisions along the hipbones, lifting the skin to a tighter position on the stomach, which includes a reshaping and recentering of the belly button if required. Excess skin is then removed.

While liposuction and tummy tucks can be performed separately, they are often performed together for the best overall end results, taking care of any loose skin and the underlying fat beneath it.

Diet and Exercise Achieves the Same Results as Liposuction

Many nay-sayers of liposuction like to claim that receiving the procedure is taking the “easy” way out and that a strict diet and exercise regime can achieve the same results as liposuction. This is simply not the case.

While it is, of course, factual that diet, exercise, sleep, and proper hydration are all contributing factors that have a massive impact on your internal and external health, which includes your overall physique, this does not mean it can target all areas of stubborn fat in the body.

Many people who are fit opt to receive liposuction for treating stubborn fat cells that are otherwise incapable of leaving on their own. Genetics, for example, often play into why people get liposuction, with factors such as rounder jawlines and chins creating a look of double chin despite having a small frame.

Likewise, there are those who even receive liposuction to etch out the muscles in their stomach, as stubborn fat can even collect itself between the “six-pack” muscles, hiding them from the proper definition.  

Plastic Surgery Is Only for Women

This isn’t a myth that is specific to only liposuction but to plastic surgery as a whole. Many people actually believe that only women receive plastic surgery. In actually, over 13 million cosmetic procedures were performed on men in 2020 alone. Of that, over two million were surgical procedures such as liposuction, rhinoplasty, cheek implants, and more.

A common area for men to receive liposuction is along the chest region to treat the unwanted appearance of gynecomastia, also known as man boobs.

Liposuction Needs to Be Surgical

This myth is both true and untrue. Strictly defined liposuction itself is a surgical procedure. However, in today’s medically advanced world, many non-surgical procedures now exist to help achieve similar results to liposuction. CoolSculpting is one such non-surgical procedure, utilizing a cold applicator on the skin to freeze and kill off stubborn fat beneath the skin, so it dissipates on its own.