If you think that liposuction will tighten your tummy overnight, you’re not totally wrong. This popular cosmetic surgery can target stubborn areas of fat like the lower belly “pooch,” love handles, double chin, chest, and thighs.
But if you’re looking for a weight loss solution, then you might need to look elsewhere. Liposuction isn’t intended to help you change the number on the scale–it’s meant to change the shape or contour of your body.
What Liposuction Is
Liposuction is a popular and effective cosmetic surgical procedure intended to help men and women reduce stubborn fat in “problem areas” and contour one or more areas of the body. The lower belly, shoulders, arms, hips, thighs, breasts, and chest are all areas that respond very well to liposuction.
What Liposuction Isn’t
Although the procedure permanently removes unwanted fat, liposuction is not a weight loss surgery and is not intended to remove large amounts of fatty tissue all over the body. While you will lose fat during lipo, it will only be a small amount in very targeted areas. With that said, lipo can provide that “finishing touch” on a person’s weight loss efforts and get rid of stubborn bulges that may be affecting the contours of the body.
People who are interested in liposuction but have a significant amount of fat to lose in order to achieve their ideal body weight should consider diet and exercise or bariatric surgery before undergoing liposuction.
Who is a Good Candidate for Liposuction?
The best candidates for liposuction are individuals who are at or near their goal weight but struggle with pockets of fatty tissue that don’t respond to diet or exercise. These areas may include the love handles, lower back, lower belly, chest/breasts, under the chin, inner or outer thighs, ankles, and arms. Liposuction can be performed on most areas of the body where there is good skin tone and stubborn fat to lose.
When determining whether or not a patient is a good candidate for liposuction, the surgeon will also assess the overall elasticity and quality of the patient’s skin. Good skin elasticity helps to ensure the best results, as the skin must be able to retract over the new body contours.
Who is Not an Ideal Candidate for Liposuction?
Patients looking to lose a significant amount of weight might not be the best candidates for liposuction right away. Most people have better results once they’ve lost the weight first, then have liposuction done to improve the contours of their body and resolve lingering “problem areas.”
When patients have undergone massive weight loss and have loose, hanging skin, surgical lifting procedures such as a breast lift, tummy tuck, and sometimes even a body lift can be combined with liposuction. Liposuction in these cases can remove excess fatty tissue remaining in stubborn areas and provide a smoother body contour.
Alternative and Complementary Procedures
Individuals with thin, sagging, or loose skin from weight loss, aging, or other factors may not achieve the results they’re looking for from liposuction alone. These patients may benefit from other procedures such as tummy tuck surgery, breast lift, or a neck lift. Combining these procedures with liposuction will help to tighten the skin and ensure the best results possible.
Advantages of Liposuction
While there are many other body contouring procedures on the market, liposuction has been available for decades and is the only procedure to date which allows the surgeon to remove all unwanted fat cells in one treatment, with immediate results. Sometimes, multiple treatments are required depending on the size of the area to be treated; however, once the fat is gone, it is gone for good.
With other non-invasive treatments, such as CoolSculpting, multiple sessions may be required and the results are generally less dramatic. Furthermore, the body has to absorb the fat cells and remove them through natural elimination processes, which can take several months.
Liposuction is most often performed as an outpatient procedure and can take anywhere from 30 minutes to two hours. Local or general anesthesia is used, depending on the patient’s level of comfort, overall health, and the extent of the procedure.
Maintaining Results After Liposuction
Following a liposuction procedure, it’s important for patients to maintain a regular exercise regimen and eat a healthy diet to maintain results and to avoid weight gain in other areas of the body. While many of the fat cells are destroyed permanently from the area that was treated with liposuction, it’s not uncommon for patients to gain the fat back elsewhere on the body.
Weight gain happens for metabolic reasons. The hormones which drive fat to accumulate in one area of the body remain unchanged after liposuction. Therefore, the body will attempt to maintain homeostasis by gaining weight back in other regions that were not treated with liposuction. It is advised that patients resume an exercise regimen around the six-week mark post-operation to enhance the results of surgery and to prevent weight gain.
Selecting a Surgeon for Liposuction
It’s important to do your homework prior to booking your procedure. Liposuction is a surgical procedure and therefore requires the expertise of a licensed and board-certified plastic surgeon.
In order to select the best surgeon to perform your liposuction, make sure to check their credentials, read reviews, look at before and after photos, and schedule a consultation to get to know them better.
This meeting with the surgeon should help to ensure your peace of mind. The surgeon should see the relationship with the patient as a team effort. This trust is one of the most important aspects of selecting a plastic surgeon!
Contact Dr. Baker Today For a Consultation
Choosing a board-certified plastic surgeon like Dr. Stephan Baker helps to ensure that you receive the best results possible and enjoy superior patient care. Dr. Baker’s years of expertise and passion for delivering beautiful and natural results make him one of the most highly regarded cosmetic surgeons in Miami for liposuction or tummy tuck and other surgeries of the face and body. To request more info or to schedule a consultation with Dr. Baker, call our Miami office at (305) 381-8837.