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.
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.
Truth: You 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.
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.
Truth: you’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.
If you’re in the United Kingdom, speak to a surgeon at Linia Skin Clinic for more information about whether lipo is right for you.