Considering Liposuction, but Worried the Fat Will Come Back?
Liposuction is one of the most popular, and one of the most misunderstood, plastic surgery procedures in the world. If you ask the average person about liposuction, you will probably hear something along the lines of, “It’s a weight loss surgery.” This is an understandable misconception, but a misconception nevertheless.
Liposuction is a body contouring procedure where fat cells are selectively removed from specific areas, effectively allowing a plastic surgeon to reshape the body. In other words, it is a “fat removal” procedure, NOT a “weight loss” surgery. The closer you are to your ideal weight, the better your results will be. If you are looking to lose a large amount of weight, liposuction is not going to give you your desired result. A maximum of only 6 to 8 lbs. of fat can be safely removed during surgery. Not only can excessive fat removal prove very unhealthy (and in some cases dangerous), it can also cause entirely new cosmetic problems, such as ripping and excess skin. It should also be noted that liposuction is not an appropriate treatment for cellulite or dimples.
What liposuction excels at is removing fatty deposits from stubborn areas that exercise and diet just can’t seem to touch. You know the places: love handles, thighs, back and upper arms, and under the chin. With liposuction, you can remove the fat cells in these areas, resulting in a permanent loss of these fat cells and a major aesthetic improvement.
There are many different variations of liposuction being used by plastic surgeons all over the world, but generally they follow the same basic procedure. As this is surgery, the patient is put under a general anesthetic (put to sleep) prior to the procedure. Using a tiny tube called a cannula, their fat cells are sucked out of the body through a series of small incisions. Prior to being sucked out, the fat is usually broken up with ultrasound, lasers or injected fluids.
After the surgery, painkillers will be prescribed to help manage discomfort while the patient recovers. It can take a few weeks to see the full results of liposuction, as the tissue will be heavily bruised, swollen and possibly numb. These symptoms are all temporary. Once your body has recovered, you will be able to see how the liposuction has reshaped your body.
Many patients have concerns that the fat will “come back” in the areas treated after liposuction. As the fat cells in these areas have literally been removed from your body, you probably won’t have to worry about them expanding again. Fat cells do not regenerate, so you can expect your results to be permanent. You can maintain your newly sculpted figure by following a healthy diet and exercising regularly.
That said, if you gain a significant amount of weight, your body still needs a place to store the fat. After the surgery, you can expect the distribution of fat in your body to be altered. In other words, you can expect the fat to come back in different areas of the body, such as the triceps, upper abdomen or outer thighs, creating entirely new problem areas. If someone gains an excessive amount of weight, the remaining fat cells in the areas treated will grow and expand, but much less so than they otherwise would.
As with all surgical cosmetic procedures, you don’t want just anyone performing liposuction on you. Your results are going to depend on the skill, knowledge and experience of your plastic surgeon. The best way to make sure that you find a doctor who can deliver the results you want is to go with an ISAPS plastic surgeon. You can find the full roster of ISAPS certified surgeons here. Pick your doctor, make the call, book a consultation, and get ready to have the body you’ve always wanted thanks to liposuction!