Most of us have at least one area that’s going to annoy us forever. No matter how many calories you cut and miles you run, you can’t get away from it. There’s a bulge or a spillage of fat that stubbornly clings to your body like a parasite.
It’s no wonder that liposuction is the second most popular cosmetic surgery in the country. It has become integral to a population increasingly more aware of getting healthy and looking that way. According to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS), 313,011 men and women had the procedure in 2012.
Although, liposuction literally sucks fat out of the body, don’t confuse it with a weight loss method. It is recommended to actually lose as much weight as possible before undergoing the procedure, so that you are at a stable, ideal weight that you can maintain. Think about liposuction as sculpting instead of just suctioning. It can help you achieve the contours you’re looking for by removing fat from a stubborn area. The beauty of liposuction is that it treats various body areas, from the head down to the ankles – anywhere there is a pocket of fat that cannot be dieted or exercised away; it can be sucked out.
Different types of fat Fat is not all the same. Some of it grows around your organs and is associated with dangerous conditions like diabetes and heart disease. This type of “visceral fat” cannot be removed by liposuction; you have to eat right and exercise to get rid of it. The good news is that it’s easier to get rid of and through a good diet and workout routine; it goes away twice as quickly as the subcutaneous fat, which sits just underneath the skin.
This is where liposuction comes in. That stubborn fat that takes at least twice as much effort to lose and sits on your hips, calves, thighs and underarms can be suctioned out and the area contoured to look flatter and slimmer. It’s important that you have good skin elasticity so that when the fat is removed, your skin will shrink back and not hang loose. Otherwise, a skin excision or a “lift” might be needed.
Subcutaneous fat might not have the same effects on your health as visceral fat, but some studies recently have shown that liposuction might have some added benefits. Research showed that people who had high triglycerides (which lead to heart disease), had a 43% reduction in triglycerides and an 11% reduction in white blood cells (which causes inflammation). Those with normal levels had no change positively or negatively.
While this means that both types of fat might have an effect on your body and health, it also means there’s a chance liposuction could have an added bonus.
Demystifying the procedure It is suggested that you have a healthy BMI of below 30 to undergo this procedure. This is for your safety and to make sure you get the best results and ensure that the weight doesn’t come back. Once you have reached an ideal weight, liposuction can help you achieve your best contours and perhaps even motivate you to get in even better shape. Getting liposuction too early without sufficient weight loss could result in having to go back for more procedures and not getting ideal results.
During the consultation, after a thorough medical history and examination takes place, an assessment will be made and you will find out if you’re a good candidate for liposuction. The amount of operating time, fat removed and incisions required will vary patient to patient, but rest reassured in knowing that this is one of the most common and safest procedures. The incisions are small and some patients have been known to return to work in a few days. Healing from the bruises and swelling might take over a week to three weeks.
Does the fat come back?
Say you get liposuction and you’re 35-50 years old. You want to know what happens if you gain a little weight over the years. There’s no straight answer for this, but some studies have suggested that when you gain back weight, it may seem to travel to other areas in the body. Some patients who have had liposuction from the abdominal area might start gaining weight in the thighs or the arms instead. This doesn’t mean you can’t lose the weight or it will be disproportionate like before, but it may be redistributed differently. It is best to just not gain weight!
This is another reason why maintaining a healthy diet and exercise routine is important. You want to make sure your insides match what you’re trying to achieve on the outside.