Have you always wanted that slim figure from liposuction but wondered where to start? Do you ask questions like should I lose weight before liposuction or after?
Then this article is definitely for you. Read on to understand how liposuction works and why you need to shed a few pounds even before your procedure.
What Is Liposuction?
In an ideal world, simply working out and eating right would instantly make you lose weight, but that isn’t always the case. Chances are, your body isn’t responding to diet and exercise as you would like.
Liposuction is a fat-removing procedure used in plastic surgery. This surgical procedure isn’t new and is even one of the most popular for getting rid of stubborn fat.
By removing the fat, it’s possible to reshape just about any area of your body. Making you achieve a tighter, more toned, and contoured appearance.
How Does Liposuction Work?
A liposuction surgery is minimally invasive and involves breaking up your fat cells using high-frequency vibrations, laser pulses, or a high-pressure water jet.
To remove a few pounds of fat, surgeons use a thin tube called a cannula. That is inserted through tiny cuts in your skin which then sucks out the unwanted fat like a vacuum.
Depending on how much fat will be removed and the targeted area on your body, you can be put under general or local anesthesia.
Types Of Liposuction Procedures
- Tumescent Liposuction – the most common type of liposuction. This surgical procedure injects solution with medications before the fat is removed.
- Power-Assisted Liposuction (PAL) – this procedure is performed using a cannula that uses vibrations to break up fat cells so they can be suctioned out of the body.
- Ultrasound-Assisted Liposuction (UAL) – this technique uses ultrasonic waves to rupture the fat-cell walls and breaks down the fat for easier removal.
- Laser-Assisted Liposuction (LAL) – this procedure focuses on high-intensity laser light to break down fat for removal.
The procedure starts off with a consultation where you and the surgeon go over any areas of concern that you have. Here you will need to define your goals and learn what to expect.
An advantage of liposuction is that it can be performed on virtually any area of your body where there is excess fat. You can see improvements in the following areas:
- Under the chin
Any number of specific areas can be done at one surgical procedure. A determining factor is the quality of your skin over the area that is to be treated. Liposuction relies on your skin contracting down to prevent any looseness or sagging.
So if your skin is of poor quality due to some stretch marks or if it’s already sagging, then the amount of liposuction that is appropriate or safe will be limited or even contraindicated.
A younger skin will tend to have more tone and allows more aggressive fat removal. Different body areas have different quality skin and allow more or less aggressive fat removal.
Liposuction Procedure Precautions
During your procedure, since you are under anesthesia, there will be no pain. Though there will be pain soon after it.
It is expected to feel some soreness, achiness, and tenderness in the next few days. Your surgeon will be able to prescribe you pain medications, and you should take these according to their instructions.
Be sure that you do not use any pain medications that you haven’t cleared with your surgeon.
In addition, the procedure will leave a small scar. These scars are usually less than an inch long, although they can vary from procedure. If this concerns you, discuss with your surgeon about possible healing options.
After your procedure, you will have some small dressings on the cuts that were made. Tight bandages or compression garments will be placed, and will reduce the swelling and help your body adapt to its new shape.
These compression garments should be worn day and night, except when bathing, for at least two weeks and then during the day for another four to six weeks.
Liposuction is an outpatient surgery, and you will likely be able to go home the same day. If you have liposuction over a larger area, you may need to stay at the hospital overnight.
Your initial recovery may take around 2-3 months, with full recovery taking around five months. For smoother and possibly faster recovery, it’s always best to listen and follow your surgeon’s instructions.
When the bruising and swelling have subsided, you will be left with a more sculpted and defined shape.
Benefits Of Liposuction
You’ll experience significant benefits when you choose to do a liposuction procedure. These include:
1. Enhances Physical Appearance
In shedding unwanted body fat, especially from difficult areas, you get to rejuvenate your body physique. Boosting your self-esteem.
2. Long-lasting Results
Besides your improved appearance, the fat cells that are removed are permanently gone and will never return—provided you maintain a proper diet.
3. Fast and Less Invasive Option
As stated, it is a less invasive surgical procedure that removes fat safely with a normally short recovery. So you’ll be able to resume your normal life quickly.
Risks Of Liposuction Surgery
Since liposuction is still a surgery, and much like all surgeries, it has risks1. You must ensure that your procedure is done by a specially trained, board-certified cosmetic surgeon to reduce these probabilities. These are:
- Complications from anesthesia
- Shock (usually from not getting enough fluid during surgery)
- Fluid accumulation (pockets of fluid forming under the skin)
- Infections (strep, staph)
- Fat embolism (when tiny pieces of fat break away and block blood flow)
- Burns from instruments
- Uneven fat removal
- Reactions to lidocaine
- Change in skin sensation; numbness
- Damage to nerves, blood vessels, muscles, lungs, and abdominal organs
BMI And Liposuction
One factor that surgeons look into is your BMI. This is something they may consider in determining whether you are a candidate for liposuction treatment.
BMI, or body mass index, is a scale that helps determine overall weight health based on your height and weight measurements. It guides surgeons in determining general health and informs you whether you are at risk of developing certain health conditions.
Though a BMI is not always an accurate representation of body fatness.
Should I Lose Weight Before Liposuction?
As a general rule, for you to undergo liposuction, you should be within about ten to fifteen pounds of your goal weight. Those with a significant amount of fat from obesity will not benefit from liposuction and will be unhappy with the results2.
You may be asked to be at or near your weight loss goals before scheduling your liposuction surgery. This is because you may have loose, extra skin after weight loss and could benefit more from a tummy tuck or other skin removal procedures.
Losing weight before surgery also improves results. If you carry lots of extra body fat, surgeons will only be able to extract so much while the remaining unwanted body fat is untouched.
If you can lose as much weight as possible before surgery, surgeons will only need to remove minimal amounts of unwanted body fat, which means you will look leaner and trimmer by the end of the procedure.
While you may be recommended to lose weight, you shouldn’t undergo massive weight loss. Crash dieting and other quick weight loss strategies will typically result in all the weight that you lost to return. This negates the results of your liposuction and prompts it to disappear quickly.
Surgeon’s suggest losing weight through natural means, such as a balanced diet and an exercise program. If you have a diligent health regimen and your concern is that you just can’t seem to get rid of pockets of fat in certain areas of your body, you may be an excellent candidate for liposuction.
Candidates For Liposuction Surgery
Liposuction may be best suited for certain patients, but here are some other factors that would increase the likelihood that liposuction could work for you:
- You are in good health overall.
- You are generally fit.
- You are not obese and are within average body weight.
- Your skin is firm and has great elasticity.
- You have a reasonable muscle tone.
- You are a non-smoker.
Liposuction is only meant to remove small pockets of fat resistant to diet, exercise, or other heredity factors. It’s not magic, and having extreme weight loss expectations of what liposuction can do may leave you disappointed.
The surgery is not a substitute for diet and exercise. If you are not within ten to fifteen pounds of your weight loss goal, you may need to lose some weight.
Your weight should have stabilized to a normal level for a considerable period of time before your surgery. This also allows you to develop good eating and exercise habits while making you in control of your own body fat and maintaining a long-term healthy appearance.