Everyone wants a fit, attractive body that elicits praise and admiration. Unfortunately, in some cases, obtaining this enviable body isn’t possible with the traditional methods of exercise and dieting, without medical intervention. One way to effectively create a sculpted body, even when poor genes and/or post-pregnancy belly is an issue, is through a cosmetic procedure known as liposuction. Read below to learn more about this procedure and what how much weight loss you can realistically expect:
What is Liposuction?
Liposuction, also known as suction, assisted lipoplasty or lipectomy, is a cosmetic surgical procedure performed by a plastic surgeon. This procedure removes fat via suction from various areas of the body. Many patients come in for liposuction as a way to properly balance their body proportions. Often women will also get a breast lift or breast augmentation to complete their look. Other patients also add a tummy tuck when they have loose, excess skin.
Does Liposuction Result in Weight Loss?
Liposuction should not be considered a way to lose drastic amounts of body fat. At most, you can expect to lose anywhere from 1 to 10 pounds of fat. While larger amounts of fat; therefore weight, can be removed, it comes with an increased risk of complications, so most plastic surgeons will limit their removal amount to no more than 11 pounds. In fact, some have an even smaller limit and won’t remove more than 8 pounds of fat for the risk of complications.
What Can Liposuction Realistically Do?
There shouldn’t be a dramatic amount of weight removed during a liposuction procedure. Instead, it’s a strategic procedure used to make significant improvements in concentrated areas. It is a cosmetic procedure mostly designed to improve the appearance of the body, not necessarily to lose weight.
How Long Does it Take Before Liposuction Results Become Noticeable?
Patients usually begin to notice the results of their liposuction procedure between one- and three-months post-surgery. Immediately after surgery, it’s not uncommon for patients to experience some postoperative swelling. This will make seeing results difficult. However, when the swelling subsides, patients can expect to see results. Often, they will experience around 90% of the changes within four weeks’ time.
Will Liposuction Counteract Post Pregnancy Belly?
In short, yes. In fact, some plastic surgeons recommend liposuction over a tummy tuck to counteract the effects a pregnancy has on the abdomen.
Who is And Who is Not a Good Candidate For Liposuction?
The ideal liposuction patients will have both muscle tone and skin elasticity. Patients who get the best results are those who are already near their goal weight, meaning they are within 30% of what they want to weigh. Liposuction also works best for patients who have localized fat deposits that dieting and exercise simply aren’t reducing. Patients should also be in good health overall and nonsmokers for the best liposuction results. Liposuction is not ideal for patients who need to lose a significant amount of weight or who are not healthy enough to go through the procedure safely.
Does Liposuction Remove or Reduce The Appearance of Cellulite?
Unfortunately, no, liposuction is not considered a good treatment for cellulite. It’s important to remember that liposuction can significantly improve the shape of the body, but not the skin texture itself. There are other methods used to address cellulite.
Can Patients Regain Weight or Fat Lost in Liposuction?
While liposuction removes fat cells during treatment, permanently, new fat cells can develop, especially in other parts of the body. However, any patient who maintains their body weight, will not have to worry about fat cells returning. In general, even as patients age, if they maintain their body weight and stay active, they should always be able to see the results of their liposuction.
What to Expect on The Day of The Procedure: Step-by-Step
- On the day of the procedure, the patient will arrive at the surgeon’s office and begin the marking process, where the surgeon indicates where the liposuction will be performed by marking up the patient’s skin while they are standing.
- Surgery prep is the next step and usually includes IV fluid lines as well as hooking a patient up to various devices that will monitor their blood oxygen levels, blood pressure and heart rate throughout the procedure.
- A general anesthetic is now administered, putting the patient asleep for the duration of their procedure. If a patient does not want to use a general anesthetic, they can instead opt for intravenous sedation and local anesthesia. Surgeons determine which option is best for each patient.
- Once the patient is comfortably unaware, the plastic surgeon will make very small incisions, usually around 1/8 to ½ inch. Doctors attempt to utilize a patient’s body creases to hide the incisions when possible.
- Fat is prepared next before suctioning, using one of several techniques. Then, the fat is suctioned out via small hollow metal tubes, which are called cannulas that are inserted into the incisions. Fat goes from the body to receptacles.
- The surgeon closes incisions using surgical sutures. Some patients need extra drainage help. In these cases, small tubes will be inserted into the incision sites to ensure proper drainage.
What Does Recovery Look Like After a Liposuction Procedure?
Liposuction patients will usually be given a compression garment to wear to help control the selling within the area of liposuction. In most cases, patients are allowed to return home a few hours after their procedure, unless there are complications. Most patients can successfully return to their regular lives (unless jobs are very physical) between two and three days after their procedure. Any strenuous activity should not be attempted until at least two to three weeks after the procedure.
How to Start The Process
If you think you might be an ideal candidate for liposuction and want to learn more, contact us at JW Plastic Surgery for a consultation.