Liposuction is one of the best treatments for fat removal, but it is not a weight loss alternative or a weight loss procedure. Liposuction in turn helps patients reduce stubborn localized fat deposits in their body that they’re unable to do so even with diet and exercise. To better understand why liposuction is not a weight loss procedure, it is important to understand how weight loss works and how liposuction works.
How does weight loss work?
By the time we reach our adolescent years, we have a set number of fat cells and this number doesn’t change much throughout our life unless there is a significant weight gain. When we lose weight through diet and exercising, the fat doesn’t burn off. Instead, our fat cells shrink in size and the lipid content stored is used up as energy. On the other hand, as we gain weight, our fat cells don’t increase in number, but rather increase in size.
It is also important to note that visceral fat is only reduced through a healthy diet and exercise and cannot be removed via liposuction. Unlike subcutaneous fat, stored under the skin, visceral fat is stored deep inside us, surrounding our organs. Subcutaneous fat is the fat we can feel, visceral fat is known as “hidden” fat. Liposuction only works on soft, subcutaneous fat removal.
How does liposuction work?
Even with a healthy lifestyle and a balanced diet, our fat isn’t always distributed the way we want it to be. More often than not, we have stubborn fat deposits in areas that we don’t want, such as our stomach, back, thighs, legs, arms, and even submentally even after losing weight or being at our ideal weight. This is mainly due to genetics and gender.
The goal of liposuction is quite simple: reduce localized stubborn fat deposits through surgery. Before the actual liposuction part of the surgery is started, tumescent solution is infiltrated into the fatty layer. This solution is a form of local anesthesia that loosens the fat, minimizes bleeding, and reduces bruising and pain post procedure. At this point, the subcutaneous fat is even more soft in consistency and can be removed by applying suction through a cannula while minimizing risk to surrounding tissues and nerves.
Though liposuction removes fat deposits, patients will not see significant weight loss since fat weighs much less than muscle, and there are fat deposits, such as visceral fat, that cannot be removed through liposuction. Liposuction isn’t a substitute for avoiding unhealthy foods and keeping active. Instead it removes stubborn fat and improves the contours of the body. To maintain and even enhance liposuction results, patients will need to continue eating healthy and exercising.
Who is a candidate for liposuction?
Patients who are a good candidate for liposuction are:
- Healthy men and women
- Adults within 30% of their ideal weight
- Patients seeking to remove stubborn, unwanted fat
- Patients seeking body contouring
For patients who have excess skin from weight loss or other postpartum, it is recommended by Dr. Crofts to combine liposuction with other procedures for optimal results. Curious to see if you’re a candidate for liposuction or other plastic surgery procedures? Use the contact form below to get in touch with us!