Cosmetic Surgery Tips

Is Liposuction Good For Weight Loss

Liposuction is a cosmetic procedure used to remove fat from the body, usually in specific areas. It can be performed on both men and women to achieve many different aesthetic goals, from subtle changes to dramatic improvements. Liposuction can also be combined with other procedures such as tummy tuck surgery or breast lift surgery to produce a more complete body contouring result.

You may find it hard to access the right information on the internet, so we are here to help you in the following article, providing the best and updated information on liposuction side effects long term, types of liposuction, and stomach liposuction cost.

Is Liposuction Good For Weight Loss

Liposuction is one of the most popular cosmetic procedures requested from plastic surgeons, not just in the UK and USA, but around the world. But also there are so many misconceptions about the procedure that any board-certified plastic surgeon would quash in an instant.

That is why the team here at Linia Skin Clinic here in London, want to reveal some truths about this procedure that all patients should know before they even consider having it done.

While liposuction will not change your skin quality or help you lose weight, it will help to reshape and contour your body by removing fat cells from key areas of your body to give you a better looking figure.

Here are 9 questions, truths and myths about liposuction and losing weight:

How long does it take to see results from lipo?

Most people think when they have liposuction that the results are going to be instant.

Where as, often, the majority of patients tend to see around 90% of the results of liposuction within one to three months following the surgery.

Lipo is in no way a quick fix and due to the swelling and recovery, it will take a while before you really see the results of moving those unwanted fat cells.

Truth: Lipo is more of a short journey, than instant results.

Is Liposuction Good For Weight Loss?

One of the biggest liposuction misconceptions is that many think because lipsuction is a surgical procedure that involves removing excess fat and unwanted fat cells that it will be the best thing to help them lose weight.

However, as the surgeon will only remove a small amount of fat from the treated area, the results may be a little underwhelming, when they see remaining fat cells have not been removed. Or when you jump on the scales after surgery!

Liposuction surgery is not a ‘weight loss’ procedure – it reshapes the body and isn’t a quick fix for losing weight.

Truth: Lipo can help supplement the final result you want on your journey to lose weight but isn’t necessarily “good” for this purpose.

woman liposuction for weight loss on stomach

Liposuction is NOT a weight loss surgery

Following on from above, although Liposuction does reduce the body size and shape by removing unwanted fat cells, it is not a weight-loss procedure.

If you’re looking to lose weight then it is best to keep in good health, with a good balanced diet, lots of exrercise or depending upon how much you want to lose, maybe a gastric band could be an option.

We often have stubborn areas of fat on our bodies that we struggle to shift no matter how much we exercise or diet – this is where Liposuction/Liposculpture could be considered as a solution.

Myth: Lipo isn’t a procedure to lose weight

Is it easier to lose weight after liposuction?

Broadly speaking, the answer to this question is yes, but not because it changes your body or how you put on weight, but more because it changes how you think.

Often, we tend to get comfortable with fat in particular parts of our bodies.

When we exercised and dieted for a significant time and still have not been able to reduce upper arm fat or the stubby flabby thighs, we can find it easy to simply give in and think that dieting was not really working.

That’s when we start putting the pounds back on.

When you have liposuction, those troublesome areas can be reshaped, and your body starts to look the way you had tried to all that time.

Once this happens you may then realise that the exercise and dieting were worth it, and you then have the motivation to maintain that look with a stronger level of commitment.

Myth: It is not technically easier to lose weight after lipo but psychologically you may feel more motivated to.

Liposuction Before and After Weight Loss Transformations

What about the impressive liposuction weight loss transformations like below?

While the image below from one of our patients looks like she has lost considerable weight (and you will lose the weight in the amount of fat we take out), liposuction is one of many cosmetic procedures that gives the illusion of a more favourable body fat composition, rather than actual weight loss.

Always bear in mind that if your diet remains the same, the fat will be back but it will distribute to other areas of your body instead of the areas from which you have had fat removed with liposuction or vaser lipo.

Truth: Lipo may give the illusion that you have lost a considerable amount of weight due to your changed body composition

Can you get a flat stomach with liposuction?

This is what a lot of people believe, but really, it depends, because liposuction surgery only targets what is known as subcutaneous fat, that is the kind that you find just about muscles and underneath your skin.

It is, after all, called cosmetic surgery. If your abdomen protrudes because the fat you have is underneath your muscles and around your internal organs, known as intra-abdominal or visceral fat, it will not be improved at all with liposuction.

The only way you can effectively target visceral fat is with a healthy lifestyle involving balanced diet and exercise, whether it is working out at the gym or regularly taking part in strenuous activity.

TruthYou can’t target deeper, visceral fat with liposuction. This can only be achieved through a health lifestyle.

Why do I weigh more after liposuction?

It is true that the procedure liposuction will remove fat cells permanently from the treated areas, and the fat cells from those parts of the body that are suctioned away will not regenerate.

However, if you gain weight following the procedure, you may see an increase in excess fat in other areas of the body. If you maintain your body weight following liposuction, the fat is unlikely to return.

One of the reasons why patients see weight gain following these kinds of surgical procedures is because rather than stopping you gain weight; liposuction just prevents you from gaining too much in the treated areas where fat cells had been removed.

woman holding love handle before lipo

You will find there may be a relative increase in the fatty deposits around untreated areas if you are not sticking to a healthy diet and/or lifestyle. Studies also show that there is a long-term compensatory effect for fat gain in women after having lipo.

Be aware if you gain weight following liposuction, say on your love handles, around your abdomen and thighs etc, more fat that would normally be deposited there will be deposited elsewhere like the legs, back, face and even the breasts.

Truth: you can still gain weight after lipo

How much weight can you lose with liposuction?

Many people see liposuction as an effective weight loss method. The reality is that because it only removes fat deposits from parts of the body where it is not wanted.

The focus of liposuction is that it is a cosmetic procedure is contouirng your body shape.

In terms of pounds of fat you can lose with liposuction surgery, it is only usually between 3 and 5 pounds of fat.

Truthyou’ll only commonly lose between 3-5 pounds of fat with lipo

Can I lose 30 pounds with liposuction?

If you ever find a plastic surgeon that can promise that kind of results, you should question their credentials and motives.

Many people are looking at lipo for a quick way to lose a an extreme amount of pounds of fat, but the problem is that it is just a body contouring procedure that may take 3 to 5 pounds of body weight form the treatment areas.

The only real way to dramatically lose an extreme amount of body weight would be through a healthy diet and regular exerice.

Failing that, if you were a good candidate, a surgeon may be able to perform gastric band surgery to help you lose a larger amount of fat over time. But this should be thoroughly discussed with your doctor.

Myth: there is no chance of safely removing 30lbs of fat with liposuction. You may want to consider an alternative like a gastric band or other treatment.

We hope that has cleared up some of the unrealistic ideas you may have had about what kind of results you could see from lipo.

Lipo will not:

  • improve skin quality
  • is not the best thing for losing weight
  • an’t be used as a skin tightening procedure

That’s not what you should expect from liposuction. Liposuction will help you feel better about yourself and you may notice that clothes fit better.

Liposuction Side Effects Long Term

Liposuction is a surgical procedure that uses a suction technique to remove fat from specific areas of the body, such as the abdomen, hips, thighs, buttocks, arms or neck. Liposuction also shapes (contours) these areas. Other names for liposuction include lipoplasty and body contouring.

Liposuction isn’t typically considered an overall weight-loss method or a weight-loss alternative. If you’re overweight, you’re likely to lose more weight through diet and exercise or through bariatric procedures — such as gastric bypass surgery — than you would with liposuction.

You may be a candidate for liposuction if you have too much body fat in specific spots but otherwise have a stable body weight.

Why it’s done

Area under chin that can be treated with liposuction
Liposuction under chin
Areas on the abdomen, chest, back, legs and arms that can be treated with liposuction
Liposuction treatment areasOpen pop-up dialog box

Liposuction is used to remove fat from areas of the body that haven’t responded to diet and exercise, such as the:

  • Abdomen
  • Upper arms
  • Buttocks
  • Calves and ankles
  • Chest and back
  • Hips and thighs
  • Chin and neck

In addition, liposuction can sometimes be used for breast reduction or treatment of gynecomastia.

When you gain weight, fat cells increase in size and volume. In turn, liposuction reduces the number of fat cells in a specific area. The amount of fat removed depends on the appearance of the area and the volume of fat. The resulting contour changes are generally permanent — as long as your weight remains stable.

After liposuction, the skin molds itself to the new contours of the treated areas. If you have good skin tone and elasticity, the skin is likely to appear smooth. If your skin is thin with poor elasticity, however, the skin in the treated areas may appear loose.

Liposuction doesn’t improve cellulite dimpling or other skin surface irregularities. Likewise, liposuction doesn’t remove stretch marks.

To be a candidate for liposuction, you must be in good health without conditions that could complicate surgery — such as restricted blood flow, coronary artery disease, diabetes or a weak immune system.

Risks

As with any major surgery, liposuction carries risks, such as bleeding and a reaction to anesthesia. Possible complications specific to liposuction include:

  • Contour irregularities. Your skin may appear bumpy, wavy or withered due to uneven fat removal, poor skin elasticity and unusual healing. These changes may be permanent. Damage beneath the skin from the thin tube (cannula) that’s used during liposuction may give the skin a permanent spotted appearance.
  • Fluid accumulation. Temporary pockets of fluid (seromas) can form under the skin. This fluid may need to be drained with a needle.
  • Numbness. You may feel temporary or permanent numbness in the affected area. Temporary nerve irritation also is possible.
  • Infection. Skin infections are rare but possible. A severe skin infection may be life-threatening.
  • Internal puncture. Rarely, a cannula that penetrates too deeply may puncture an internal organ. This may require emergency surgical repair.
  • Fat embolism. Pieces of loosened fat may break away and become trapped in a blood vessel and gather in the lungs or travel to the brain. A fat embolism is a medical emergency.
  • Kidney and heart problems. Shifts in fluid levels as fluids are being injected and suctioned out can cause potentially life-threatening kidney, heart and lung problems.
  • Lidocaine toxicity. Lidocaine is an anesthetic often administered with fluids injected during liposuction to help manage pain. Although generally safe, in rare circumstances, lidocaine toxicity can occur, causing serious heart and central nervous system problems.

The risk of complications increases if the surgeon is working on larger surfaces of your body or doing multiple procedures during the same operation. Talk to your surgeon about how these risks apply to you.

How you prepare

Food and medications

Before the procedure, discuss with your surgeon what to expect from the surgery. Your surgeon will review your medical history, and ask about any medical conditions you may have and any medications, supplements or herbs you may be taking.

Your surgeon will recommend that you stop taking certain medications, such as blood thinners or NSAIDs, at least three weeks prior to surgery. You may also need to get certain lab tests before your procedure.

Other precautions

If your procedure requires the removal of only a small amount of fat, the surgery may be done in an office setting. If a large amount of fat will be removed — or if you plan to have other procedures done at the same time — the surgery may take place in a hospital followed by an overnight stay. In either case, arrange for someone to drive you home and stay with you for at least the first night after the procedure.

What you can expect

Before the procedure

Tumescent liposuction procedure
Tumescent liposuction procedureOpen pop-up dialog box

Before your liposuction procedure, the surgeon may mark circles and lines on the areas of your body to be treated. Photos also may be taken so that before and after images can be compared.

How your liposuction procedure is done depends on the specific technique that’s used. Your surgeon will select the appropriate technique based on your treatment goals, the area of your body to be treated, and whether you have had other liposuction procedures in the past.

  • Tumescent liposuction. This is the most common type of liposuction. The surgeon injects a sterile solution — a mixture of salt water, which aids fat removal, an anesthetic (lidocaine) to relieve pain and a drug (epinephrine) that causes the blood vessels to constrict — into the area that’s being treated. The fluid mixture causes the affected area to swell and stiffen.The surgeon then makes small cuts into your skin and inserts a thin tube called a cannula under your skin. The cannula is connected to a vacuum that suctions fat and fluids from your body. Your body fluid may be replenished through an intravenous (IV) line.
  • Ultrasound-assisted liposuction (UAL). This type of liposuction is sometimes used in conjunction with traditional liposuction. During UAL, the surgeon inserts a metal rod that emits ultrasonic energy under your skin. This ruptures the fat-cell walls and breaks down the fat for easier removal. A new generation of UAL called VASER-assisted liposuction uses a device that may improve skin contouring and reduce the chance of skin injuries.
  • Laser-assisted liposuction (LAL). This technique uses high-intensity laser light to break down fat for removal. During LAL, the surgeon inserts a laser fiber through a small incision in the skin and emulsifies fat deposits. The fat is then removed via a cannula.
  • Power-assisted liposuction (PAL). This type of liposuction uses a cannula that moves in a rapid back-and-forth motion. This vibration allows the surgeon to pull out tough fat more easily and faster. PAL may sometimes cause less pain and swelling and can allow the surgeon to remove fat with more precision. Your surgeon may select this technique if large volumes of fat need to be removed or if you’ve had a previous liposuction procedure.

During the procedure

Some liposuction procedures may require only local or regional anesthesia — anesthesia limited to a specific area of your body. Other procedures may require general anesthesia, which induces a temporary state of unconsciousness. You may be given a sedative, typically through an IV injection, to help you remain calm and relaxed.

The surgical team will monitor your heart rate, blood pressure and blood oxygen level throughout the procedure. If you are given local anesthesia and feel pain during the procedure, tell your surgeon. The medication or motions may need adjustment.

The procedure may last up to several hours, depending on the extent of fat removal.

If you’ve had general anesthesia, you’ll wake in a recovery room. You’ll typically spend at least a few hours in the hospital or clinic so that medical personnel can monitor your recovery. If you’re in a hospital, you may stay overnight to make sure that you’re not dehydrated or in shock from fluid loss.

After the procedure

Expect some pain, swelling and bruising after the procedure. Your surgeon may prescribe medication to help control the pain and antibiotics to reduce the risk of infection.

After the procedure, the surgeon may leave your incisions open and place temporary drains to promote fluid drainage. You usually need to wear tight compression garments, which help reduce swelling, for a few weeks.

You may need to wait a few days before returning to work and a few weeks before resuming your normal activities — including exercise.

During this time, expect some contour irregularities as the remaining fat settles into position.

Results

After liposuction, swelling typically subsides within a few weeks. By this time, the treated area should look less bulky. Within several months, expect the treated area to have a leaner appearance.

It’s natural for skin to lose some firmness with aging, but liposuction results are generally long lasting as long as you maintain your weight. If you gain weight after liposuction, your fat distribution may change. For example, you may accumulate fat around your abdomen regardless of what areas were originally treated.

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