Many of us could name something we don’t especially like about our bodies. But how far would you go to change it?

One Halifax woman, 29, who requested anonymity, found herself asking that same question when after all else failed she still wasn’t happy with what she saw in the mirror.

The woman had liposuction done on her hips and thighs in Aug. 2006 at The Landings Surgical Centre in Halifax, Nova Scotia, one of Atlantic Canada’s only private plastic surgery centres.

“I’m not a huge person,” she says, “but I’ve always had a big butt and thighs.”

She says that even though she was in great physical shape, and had been using diet and exercise to try and shrink her target area, the fat wouldn’t budge. She had a hard time finding clothes that fit properly, because of her small torso and larger bottom.

After shunning bathing suits and shorts since childhood, she began looking into liposuction as a last resort. At the time, she says, the surgery seemed like a big deal.

She took a week’s vacation from work for the procedure and recovery time. She had bruising from her hips to her feet, and had to wear a support garment for six weeks to address the swelling, which in some cases can last up to a year.

But three years later, she says it’s almost like it never happened. “Nobody knows about the surgery, but nobody asked,” she says. “It seemed like a big deal to me, but to others it just looked like I lost some weight.”

Before her surgery, the staff at The Landings explained to her the importance of keeping a healthy lifestyle not only before the surgery, but after as well.

“They said if I were to gain any weight, dents in the flesh would show up where the surgery had removed the fat.”

Dr. Richard Bendor-Samuel, her plastic surgeon at the landings says it’s important to be healthy and active if you’re considering liposuction, and stresses it’s not a weight-loss surgery.

“Overweight patients who undergo liposuction tend to regain any weight or fat that is lost at the time of surgery unless they alter their eating habits,” he says. “Having said that, the results are excellent in patients who have isolated fatty deposits.”

Today, the liposuction patient says she has two tiny scars, and lost four pants sizes and 15 pounds. If she had to do it over again, would she have the surgery? “In a heartbeat,” she says.