Liposuction is one of the most popular cosmetic surgeries on the market. However, there are some misconceptions about what liposuction is intended for and the results it can give a person. Liposuction is a body contouring procedure used to eliminate fat in areas of the body resistant to diet and exercise. Some of the areas patients can have treated by liposuction include the abdomen, hips, buttock, back, thighs, calves, ankles, chin and neck. However, liposuction is not designed as a weight loss procedure.
The fact that this surgery can be performed on various areas often leaves a person with the notion that liposuction is a treatment for weight loss. Understanding why liposuction isn’t a cure for obesity can help patients determine whether this treatment is the correct choice to help them reach their desired results.
Patients who are overweight or obese are not suitable for liposuction for several reasons that can include physical, mental and health related issues. Liposuction is only intended for patients who are within 30% of their ideal body weight. Also, liposuction can only remove 8-10 pounds of subcutaneous fat per day which is the fat located just below the epidermis layer. It is the tissue which can be pinched externally and is often referred to as a pear shape in the abdomen.
Visceral Fat Play a Role
A person with excessive visceral fat is referred to as having an apple shaped appearance. Although everyone has both subcutaneous and visceral fat, the degree of visceral fat can hinder a patient’s idea of what is considered a successful liposuction procedure. Visceral fat is located inside the abdominal cavity and cannot be removed with liposuction. In fact, this type of fat surrounds the internal organs of the body including the heart, liver and pancreas.
Increased amounts of visceral fat can cause serious health issues including heart disease, diabetes and high cholesterol. These health issues also put a patient at greater risk during and after liposuction surgery which is another reason against performing lipo on an obese patient.
In addition to being within their ideal body weight, patients should also have firm yet elastic skin with good muscle tone. Liposuction cannot tighten loose or saggy skin after fat removal. Patients with excess skin from weight fluctuation may benefit from liposuction combined with another surgery such as a tummy tuck. Obese or overweight patients who proceed with liposuction for weight loss often have unrealistic ideas of what liposuction can do for them and are usually disappointed with the results.
Keep in Mind
Since liposuction cannot address the initial reasons a patient gained excessive weight, obese patients generally end up regaining the weight they lost because they usually do not make sufficient changes to their diet and lifestyle. Patients must understand that unless there is a dramatic decrease in calorie intake with dieting, and an upsurge in calorie expenditure with regular exercise, weight gain will likely happen again. This can leave a person unsatisfied with their results as well as cause emotional turmoil, depression or other mental health issues.
Patients should be aware there are several ways to reduce their weight, as well as the percentage of fat within the body, besides surgery. Patients are advised to eat a healthy diet which is low in saturated fat and sugar. It is recommended to exercise regularly in order to effectively burn calories. Patients are also advised to get plenty of rest as well as practice stress reduction techniques. Healthy lifestyle changes can positively impact a person on both physical and mental levels.