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Is Liposuction Cheating?

March 2, 2023
February 1, 2024

Dr Ivan Puah answers frequently asked questions, including how much liposuction costs and what the success rates are.

Table of Contents

Many people hold the misconception that liposuction is about weight loss, believing the myth that it’s a replacement for diet and exercise. Yes, lipo is great for specific reasons. You can use lipo for thighs or to reduce double chins, love handles and muffin tops. It can also be used to balance out a disproportionate body shape. If you already have quite good abs, it can even be used to enhance them! At the same time, liposuction is not and will never be a substitute for diet and exercise.

Dr Ivan Puah is an accredited liposuction doctor in Singapore with over 17 years of liposuction and body sculpting experience. He has received surgical facial and body contouring training in the USA, Italy and Argentina. Dr Puah is also the Chairman of the Lipo Peer Review Committee Singapore.

Here, Dr Puah addresses some issues around how liposuction techniques can be used. He also answers frequently asked questions, including how much liposuction costs and what the success rates are.

Is liposuction really cheating?

Most of the patients who consult me exercise and try to eat healthily, but sometimes despite a healthy lifestyle, they find it hard to see a significant improvement in stubborn fat reduction. So, is it really cheating if you use Modern Liposuction with MDC-Sculpt Lipo Technique to help you eliminate those stubborn areas? Not at all.

Many people don’t understand that making a choice to have lipo is about so much more than fixing the “problem areas” that diet and exercise can’t. Banishing that little pouch under your chin, for example, or erasing that bra roll bra, or muffin-tops above your best fitting jeans.

That’s because they don’t understand that lipo is really about transforming your relationship with yourself. It’s about making your outside match the way you feel inside: refreshed, renewed and full of vitality. With stakes this high, there is just no room for surprises.

Diet and exercise for weight loss

Many times, diet and exercise alone aren’t enough to achieve significant body shape changes. Areas such as the abdomen, love handles and thighs are resistant to change. This is because “external fat” – the subcutaneous fat on top of the muscle – is much harder to improve through diet and exercise.  

This is why we hear from our patients that they have been exercising and eating a healthy diet but still aren’t noticing much difference in those areas.  

On the other hand, visceral fat – the fat behind your abdominal muscle wall – is more amenable to diet and exercise. For patients who are bothered with excess visceral and subcutaneous fat, we recommend combining body sculpting (liposuction) with weight loss and management, not one or the other.

A combination is best

We also ensure all of our patients understand that a healthy diet and exercise are necessary, even after liposuction, to maintain the results.

Most of our patients become more motivated to maintain a healthy lifestyle after their fat removal and body contouring procedure because they can finally see the results they’ve been working for at the gym, but until the treatment were unable to achieve.

Liposuction isn’t cheating!

For these reasons, having liposuction done isn’t “cheating” but rather an avenue to improve your hard work at the gym and to motivate you to achieve the body you have always wanted.

Some of our patients share with us that when they first considered cosmetic surgery, they were surprised to find that they felt guilty – like getting surgery was some kind of cheat or “taking the easy way out”. They also mention how glad they were that they didn’t let that stop them from taking steps to look and feel beautiful.

Liposuction is not a weight loss solution but a body contouring procedure to target specific “problem areas” like love handles and muffin tops – those areas that don’t respond to diet and exercise in certain body types. You work hard. You deserve to look on the outside like how you feel. You’ve earned this new you… and it’s not cheating to get the help you need to achieve that last little bit.

Common questions

Here are some key questions that our patients often ask about liposuction.

How much does liposuction cost in Singapore?

In general, fees are based on the doctor’s experience, body regions involved, degree of skin laxity, and the complexity of the surgery. Liposuction is not just about removing unwanted fat. The doctor’s skill sets and eyes for aesthetics are vital to creating that desired natural-looking face or body contour. Each face and body part is different and requires experienced hands to sculpt positive cosmetic results. Other charges include the type of anaesthesia used, hospital or surgical facility costs, pre-surgery tests such as blood tests, surgical compression garment, and medications.

Can I use MediSave for liposuction in Singapore?

Liposuction is an elective cosmetic surgery that is not covered by MediSave or insurance.

Is liposuction good for weight loss?

No, liposuction is not a tool or method for treating weight loss. It’s a surgical procedure to remove unwanted stubborn fat that does not respond to diet, exercise or other means.

How many sizes can you go down with lipo?

It will depend on the area to be treated. The doctor must assess your clinical condition and advise you on the improvement you can see.

How long will it take to recover from liposuction?

Recovery is an exciting process, as it means you’re almost there! It is also a challenging phase because patience and adherence to the advice for postoperative care are vital in achieving results.

Some things to take note of include:

  • Moderate pain and soreness are to be expected. Medications for relief would’ve been dispensed by the doctor, so consume them according to the doctor's advice.
  • Expect some fluid draining from the incisions made. The treated areas may be bruised and swollen for a week or so.

The doctor will advise his patient when it is ideal and safe to resume their daily activities. Most patients can resume normal daily activities in a day or two. A highly-critical component in recovery is follow-up care. Ensure that you attend these sessions so that proper monitoring of your recovery can be noted. Give the doctor a call should you experience any abnormalities outside of what is to be expected.

Will there be pain after liposuction?

Pain and soreness are to be expected post-procedure. Below is a general guide of what to expect during the recovery process.

Weeks 1 - 2

Your pain and soreness will gradually reduce as the week progresses. But take note that strenuous physical activities or workout and water activities are not advised. should be avoided. The wearing of compression garments is also required during this period.

Weeks 3 - 5

Pain and soreness typically go away during this period. Tissue swelling may still be present but will gradually improve with time. Results are also visible and will be even more pronounced as the swelling continues to subside. 

Week 6 and beyond

The wearing of compression garments may be optional. 

What should be your diet after liposuction?

A well-balanced diet is helpful in many things, including in maintaining results after a liposuction procedure.

Incorporate more fruits, vegetables and other food items like whole grains and lean protein. Eat smaller meals to maintain energy levels, and remember to hydrate. Drinking water hydrates the body and helps reduce hunger, aid digestion, and maintain healthy metabolism. Ensuring long-lasting results takes effort, as weight gain is still possible even after liposuction.

Dr Ivan Puah: ‘Art’ in the lipo procedure is as important as science

You are a work of art. There is no body like yours, with its unique curves and contours. That’s why doctors refer to the most sophisticated cosmetic surgery as “body sculpting”. Only a doctor who views procedures artistically can work with your unique assets – your jawline or waist curvature – to bring back what time has softened and blurred.

The MDC-Sculpt Lipo Technique that I developed is a multi-dimensional contouring approach customised to work on each individual’s unique body shape, fat anatomy, fat distribution and skin laxity. Since surgical scarring concerns patients, I keep the incision scars to the bare minimum by strategically creating incisions to allow efficient access to the three layers of fat.

What’s more, the versatility of the MDC-Sculpt Lipo Technique means we can perform a comprehensive 360-degree fat removal and body sculpting for the abdomen and waist, for natural and optimal results for patients.


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