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Liposuction is a minimally invasive procedure that permanently removes fat cells from the body – creating a better contour and shape. Considered to be the most popular cosmetic procedure in the United States and worldwide, liposuction involves suctioning out superficial fat cells that accumulate between the skin and the muscle layers. Liposuction is not a substitute for diet and exercise, nor is it a magic bullet. Liposuction can help redefine or sculpt your body, but it can’t completely change your shape. It also can’t make you feel more satisfied with other aspects of your life. However, liposuction may make you feel better about yourself if you are bothered by a muffin top, spare tire or other pockets of unwanted fat.
Liposuction – Not a Weight Loss Procedure
While liposuction can make patients appear slimmer, one should not expect to lose a dramatic amount of weight with liposuction, beyond the weight of the fat removed during the actual procedure. For example, a 160 pound woman who has two liposuction surgeries, where each surgery removes 4 pounds of fat (total of 8 pounds, equal one gallon), should weigh 152 pounds after the swelling subsides from both procedures. However, because fat is removed from cosmetically important areas, liposuction should produce significant aesthetic improvements in physical appearance.
Fat Cells Destroyed During Liposuction
Liposuction removes fat cells permanently. The actual fat cells that are removed during the procedure can never grow back, but different fat cells can enlarge in other areas if the patient gains a significant amount of weight. With subsequent weight gain, existing fat cells simply get bigger by accumulating more fat within the existing cell, so one can expect fat cell enlargement in all areas of the body, including areas previously treated by liposuction. However, since this new fat cell deposition typically occurs in an even manner throughout the body, fat often appears to accumulate less in treated areas compared to untreated areas.
Ideal Liposuction Candidate
Liposuction is an ideal procedure for women and men who are able to maintain a consistently healthy lifestyle without a great amount of fluctuation to their regular weight. It is perfect to remove tough “localized” pockets of fat that have been resistant to a healthy diet and active lifestyle on an otherwise healthy person. Often, genetics, hormones and the general aging process make it difficult to lose excess pockets of fat in the tummy, love handles, thighs, chin or arms, making liposuction an ideal solution for spot reduction, which cannot be accomplished in the kitchen or the gym!
Although liposuction is a highly individualized procedure, there are some general guidelines for the type of candidate that will experience the best long-term results from this popular procedure:
- Adults within 30% of their ideal body weight with firm, elastic skin, and good muscle tone
- Healthy individuals who do not have a life-threatening illness or medical condition that can impair healing (eg. heart disease, diabetes, circulatory or inflammatory issues)
- Individuals dedicated to living a healthy life of good nutrition and regular exercise
At the end of the day, liposuction can never replace the need for a healthy lifestyle with regular exercise and nutrition, but it can smooth and reduce troublesome areas where you may hold a few extra pounds on an otherwise healthy body.
Exercise After Liposuction
Dr. Schwartz recommends that after liposuction, an individual may re-start their exercise regimen as soon as their motivation and pain tolerance will allow. Resuming exercise will not cause damage to the treated area, but obviously could induce discomfort. Generally, non-impact routines, such as yoga, pilates, or use of an elliptical can likely begin within a few days. Exercises that have an impact, jolt or bounce, such as running outside or on a treadmill, or step aerobics, will likely take longer, perhaps even several weeks. It is also vitally important to continue to eat a healthy diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and protein to maintain optimal cosmetic results. Along with cosmetic appearance, post-liposuction exercise is also vital for maintaining optimal health, as well. A study several years ago in The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, showed that liposuction patients who didn’t exercise and re-gained weight post-liposuction actually gained “unhealthy” visceral fat after having the less unhealthy “subcutaneous fat” (right beneath the skin) removed during the procedure. In this study, researchers recruited 36 healthy women, ages 20 to 35, who had not exercised regularly during the six months before the study began but were all of normal weight. They all had 2.5 – 3 pounds of stomach fat removed via liposuction. Two months later, half of the women started an exercise regimen and half did not. Six months after that, the women who did not exercise showed a 10% increase in visceral fat, compared with women who exercised three times a week, proving that a commitment to life-long experience is important post-liposuction for both cosmetic and medical results!
To learn more about the office-based liposuction procedures available at Premier Vein & Body by Schwartz, request a complimentary consultation with Dr. Schwartz by completing the form on this page or by calling (913) 451-8346. Premier Vein & Body by Schwartz is located in Leawood, KS and proudly serves Overland Park, Johnson County and the entire Kansas City metro area.
** This blog provides general information and discussion about medicine, health and related subjects. The words and other content provided in this blog, and in any linked materials, are not intended and should not be construed as medical advice. If the reader or any other person has a medical concern, he or she should consult with an appropriately-licensed physician.