Liposuction has become a popular procedure among men and women worldwide.
In 2016, there was a 3% growth in the total cosmetic procedures in the US alone which brings that number to a massive 17.1 million cosmetic procedures done in that year.
The research that was done by the ASPS (American Society of Plastic Surgeons) also indicated an increase in minimally-invasive procedures such as VASER liposuction – a procedure that utilise tiny cuts instead of large cuts to remove fat from your body.
With the increase in demand for liposuction, it is important for individuals to understand what liposuction is for and the basics of the procedure.
In this post today, we’ll cover a question that is often asked by many prospective patients:
How much weight can I lose with liposuction?
Understanding the purpose of liposuction
It is very important for patients to realise the purpose of liposuction; it is NOT a weight loss procedure.
Instead, liposuction is a body contouring procedure that is designed to improve the appearance of your body by removing fat cells from certain areas of your body. Think of liposuction as a cosmetic procedure that aims to sculpt your body based on your aesthetic goals.
Going for liposuction with the sole purpose of losing weight is a risky proposition. Liposuction patients are usually near or at their ideal body weight before the operation; so, if your body weight is not suitable for the procedure, your surgeon may decline your requests.
Usually, the fat removed for each procedure is rarely more than 4-5 pounds. The total weight of the fat cells that are removed from your body is not significant enough to cause a drastic change in your body weight.
In some cases, the amount of body fat removed from your body can reach up to 8 pounds but it is important to know that the risks of the surgery increases as more fat cells are removed from the body.
Normally, if a patient needs to remove more body fat than usual, the surgery would be broken up into several procedures, each being at least a month apart.
The best way to determine if liposuction is able to achieve your goals is to have a consultation with your surgeon.
In a nutshell, patients should not expect to lose a significant amount of weight from the procedure. Patients, however, can achieve an obvious change in the shape and aesthetics of their body. This means that liposuction can achieve cosmetic goals such as a flatter tummy or a slimmer waistline.
Can I gain weight after liposuction?
Liposuction removes the fat cells from the treatment area permanently. The fat cells that were removed by liposuction can never come back, however, if the patient puts on a significant amount of weight after the procedure, new fat cells may develop in other parts of the body.
If a patient stays at his or her bodyweight after the procedure, fat will not come back to the body. For example, if a patient’s body weight is 70kg after the liposuction procedure, fat will not come back to the body if the patient maintains or drops his body weight below 70kg.
If the change in body weight after the procedure is not massive (2-3kg), new fat cells in other parts of the body may be a little bit bigger. If there is a significant change in body weight (>10kg), new fat cells can return to other parts of the body which can affect the contour of your body.
Fat cells, however, accumulate less often on the treated areas. So, if you were to gain weight after the procedure, the results of your liposuction surgery will still be visible in your treatment area.
The reasons that this occurs is because the fat must go somewhere on the body. The treatment areas where fat cells have been removed by liposuction will accumulate less little fat, while in areas not treated by liposuction, more fat will be deposited.
Minimising weight gain after liposuction and maintaining your results
Taking care of your body after the surgery is an important aspect of the liposuction procedure.
Weight gain immediately after the procedure is expected due to swelling and excess fluids, but your body weight (and results) should return to normal within 4-6 weeks.
The most important thing to do after your surgery is to ALWAYS wear your compression garments. These garments are given to your by your surgeon to provide firm compression as well as draining the anesthetic solution from your body.
Failing to use the compression garments regularly or discontinuing the use of it too early can result in longer recovery times as well as infections. You would need to wear your compression garments for at least a week to ensure maximum drainage.
You are also advised to do some light exercises after the operation. Casual jogs and strolls are sufficient enough; do not perform any heavy and intense exercises (heavy weights) for at least 6 weeks after the surgery.
You should also take care of your post-op diet. In order to have the best results, it is essential to have a diet which includes a good balance of carbohydrates, fruits, proteins, and vegetables. including carbohydrates, fruits, vegetables, and proteins.
Overeating can cause weight gain even after the liposuction surgery, so always make sure that your calorie intake is optimal. You should also avoid food that is in high in sodium content.
It is important to understand that while liposuction can help you to get rid of stubborn body fat, maintaining the results of your surgery is just as important as the procedure itself.