Many people are only aware of liposuction as a cosmetic procedure that is motivated by superior concerns. But in fact, for many patients, it can be a viable option to improve health and wellness. It is important to understand the risks and costs associated with any medical procedure. For those who understand the potential problems, these benefits should be weighed in contrast.

Liposuction involves a number of different techniques, but all are extremely designed to remove body fat from “problem” areas on the body, including the abdomen, thighs, arms, and buttocks. The modern method of extracting fat via suction was invented in 1974 and has been popular since then. Today, it is the most common form of cosmetic surgery worldwide, with nearly half a million people getting the procedure each year.

Doctors are in agreement that reducing the amount of body fat a person retains is one of the most beneficial steps on the road to good health. By decreasing their weight, one brings the risk of heart problems, diabetes, and certain types of cancer. Carrying excess weight on your bone structure can also increase the wear on your knees, hips, and ankles. The healthiest approach is diet and exercise, but sometimes those options are not available. Patients who suffer from compulsive eating disorders or thyroid problems, for example, may be unwilling or unable to lose weight by taking in fewer calories or burning more. For those, liposuction can be a first step to remove excess weight. For women considering breastfeeding reduction surgery, it can be used to remove small amounts of fat tissue. This is particularly helpful for women experiencing back or neck problems, or even headaches as a result of disproportionately large breasts.

Another health benefit of liposuction that medical professionals are only beginning to fully understand is the mental well-being, and how that ties into physical health. A person's appearance and, more importantly, their self-image, can be greatly improved by cosmetic surgery. For many people, eating compulsions become a vicious circle where they are unhappy with their physical appearance and turn to food for comfort, which, in turn, drives their unhappiness. For many in this position, diet and exercise can seem like impossible, insurmountable obstacles. By removing some of the excess body fat, these people can “kick start” their move to healthy habits. The hardest step is the first one, and often a quick improvement in a short amount of time will provide someone with the motivation needed to do the rest of the work themselves.

There are many options for those struggling with weight loss or body image issues. For those people, consultation with your doctor and an honest evaluation of the options is critical to finding satisfaction with their outward appearance.