Summary: If I’m doing everything else right, will liposuction help me lose weight? That’s a question that many patients have asked of their plastic surgeons. Unfortunately, this question misunderstands what liposuction is intended to do. For most patients, liposuction is going to make small, targeted changes to stubborn areas of fat. As such, it’s usually used as a follow up to weight loss–not as a primary weight loss mechanism on its own.
Will Liposuction Help Me Lose Weight?
If you only know of liposuction through television and TV shows, you probably think of it as a weight loss solution. Sometimes it’s hard to think about liposuction and not think of it as a quick way to shed the pounds. But that’s not really what liposuction does (there are other, better surgical procedures designed to minimize one’s overall weight).
Will liposuction help me lose weight? Sure, but it’s not designed as an overall weight loss strategy. Instead, liposuction is designed around the concept of precision. That is, liposuction procedures are intended to target specific areas of fat.
And that’s actually very helpful. If you think about it, you have several means of reducing your overall weight. You can diet or you can exercise or you can engage in some kind of lifestyle change. Or you can undergo bariatric surgery. But the problem comes in when you want to get rid of specific areas of fat. Because sometimes your body doesn’t want to let those go. And no amount of diet or exercise will be able to diminish a stubborn area of fat. Will liposuction help me lose weight, you might be thinking? Well, yes–and no.
How Does Stubborn Fat Develop?
Theoretically, liposuction is intended only to help mitigate the development of stubborn areas of fat. But how does that fat become “stubborn” in the first place? That notion seems to run counter to the ways in which we conceptualize fat. In popular culture, fat is just kind of something that’s all around us at all times–like some kind of nice winter coat.
But that’s not actually how fat works. It tends to develop in certain areas more than others. In part, that’s just genetics. But changes made during your life may also have something to do with it (think about the hormone changes that occur during pregnancy, for instance). So your hormones start telling your body to hold on to fat here and there.
Once that fat becomes stubborn, it’s really difficult to get rid of it. After all, to your body that’s kind of your last line of defense–the last bit of nutrition you have stashed away in case of emergency.
How Liposuction Targets Stubborn Areas of Fat
That’s where liposuction comes in. This surgical procedure is actually able to target and sculpt those areas of fat. Liposuction of old was a relatively clumsy way to remove fat. But modern liposuction allows surgeons to achieve incredibly fine results. Essentially, surgeons are able to sculpt the areas of fat that they’re operating on.
This is a good thing because most stubborn areas of fat tend to stick out. That’s what gets them noticed in the first place. And so surgeons work very hard to ensure that liposuction results blend in seamlessly with the rest of the body.
This is achieved, in large part, thanks to advances in cannula technology. The cannula is the tiny tube that surgeons push back and forth under your skin to suction out fat. Sometimes there are other technologies that will assist with the breakup of fat cells (in some cases surgeons use heat, in others water, in still others ultrasonic radio waves).
Natural Looking Results
The idea is that your new results will blend in nicely with your natural body. That way, no one will actually know you’ve undergone a liposuction procedure. They’ll just know that you look good. And I think that’s, at least in part, why liposuction has such an entrenched reputation as a weight loss alternative.
When patients are finished with this procedure, they simply look good (generally speaking, and once recovery is completed). Or, at least, they look more like ideal selves–the selves they want to be in their mind’s eye.
Liposuction procedures can make significant changes to the body. But it won’t diminish the amount of overall fat you perceive. Instead, liposuction can sculpt your body in a controlled and targeted way. This means that your results will, overall, look quite natural.
Is Liposuction the Right Call?
Whether liposuction is the right call for you or not will ultimately be up to you and your plastic surgeon. You’ll want to consult with surgeon and determine whether your desired results can be achieved with a liposuction procedure. Many surgeons counterintuitively ask that their patients be a stable weight before considering liposuction surgery.
But the requirements vary from surgeon to surgeon and patient to patient. Will liposuction help you lose weight? It’s possible–but that’s a discussion you’ll have to have with your plastic surgeon to get the best possible answers.
About the Author: Dan Voltz is a writer and marketer who specializes in creating content for plastic and cosmetic surgeons. He loves writing about the kinds of transformations that cosmetic and plastic surgery can bring about.