Can Liposuction Replace Weight Loss?

June 16, 2018
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Weight loss is hard, and it often takes months, if not years, to achieve your desired physique through diet and exercise. And even for the most strong-willed of people, the constant effort that weight loss entails often becomes taxing. For this reason, many people who want to lose weight are tempted by liposuction. But is liposuction a viable replacement for weight loss? First, it's necessary to examine some of the important differences between the two procedures. 

How Does Liposuction Differ From Weight Loss?

Often, people who work on losing weight talk about losing fat. While fat mass is technically lost when you lose weight, what many people don't realize is that you don't actually lose the fat cells themselves. The fat loss that happens when we restrict calories and/or exercise more involves lipolysis, or fat cells opening up and essentially spilling their contents. This is how your body accesses the energy stored in fat cells. When you don't eat enough calories to power yourself through the day, your body must turn to its energy stores--to fat--in order to get the energy it needs. 

While the fat cells stay put, once they have had their contents used by your body, they flatten. So while they still remain present, they take up significantly less space. This is how progressive fat loss over time makes you look smaller. 

Liposuction also can help you look smaller than you are, but the process is fundamentally different. Liposuction involves taking a thin tube, called a cannula, and inserting it under the skin. The cannula then "vacuums" fat from under the skin. Unlike in weight loss, this removes the fat cells themselves, which do not typically grow back. Thus, you might think of liposuction as a more permanent form of weight loss. 

Can I Just Get Liposuction Instead of Losing Weight?

It seems like a great idea--you could just undergo a brief surgical procedure and save yourself the effort and pain of weight loss, right? While this might sound plausible in theory, the reality is that liposuction is best reserved for target areas. For one, full-body liposuction, even if one could theoretically afford it, would cause too much tissue trauma. 

The majority of plastic surgeons advise patients to be at or near target weight before undergoing liposuction. For many, even when you're at your target weight, "problem areas" still persist. The best way to go about weight loss and liposuction is to lose what you can on your own and then use liposuction to reduce stubborn fat. For many people, this stubborn fat is on their stomachs, love handles, or upper arms. 

You might wonder whether you can simply get liposuction on known problem areas before losing weight. This is theoretically possible, but undergoing liposuction would first create an unbalanced and unnatural-looking physique. And if your doctor can't see the proportions of your ideal physique, he or she may over- or underestimate the amount of fat they need to remove. 

Of course, if you think you are close to your ideal physique and are ready to undergo liposuction, having a consultation with a plastic surgeon can help you determine whether or not you have lost enough fat to be a great candidate. Plastic surgeons take great pride in their work, and they also are committed to helping you become more confident, so chances are good that they'll be honest with you. Your surgeon might say you're ready for a procedure, or they may recommend you lose a little more fat on your own before undergoing liposuction. 

How Do You Know If You're a Good Candidate for Liposuction?

As noted above, the best candidates for liposuction are typically at their target weight (or close to it). However, there are some other considerations to bear in mind, too. It's vitally important that you have realistic expectations about the procedure and what it can do for you. Many plastic surgery practices offer visualizations--these technologies take a photo of you and then show you the estimated result of your plastic surgery. While the result may not be exact, it should give you a general idea of what to expect. 

Of course, if you are planning on undergoing a liposuction, being in good general health is a must, as is understanding the healing process. Because of the initial swelling after the procedure, some patients panic and worry the procedure didn't work. However, particularly if you are committed to icing and resting the area, as well as wearing compression gear if needed, the swelling will usually go down sooner. 

In your initial surgical consultation, make sure that you are honest with your surgeon when it comes to your expectations for the procedure. Your surgeon can explain to you whether your expectations can be realistically addressed with your chosen procedure, and he or she also can answer any questions you have. Plastic surgery is often a collaborative experience, so having an open dialogue with your surgeon is a must. 

Ready to Get Started?

If you have never had a cosmetic procedure done before--or even if you have--making the decision to undergo a liposuction procedure might seem like a daunting one. However, for many, this is a decision that helped them become happier and more confident. If you are looking into liposuction and are in or near New York or Chicago, Doctors Plastic Surgery may be the practice for you. This practice has the benefit of being staffed by a team of surgeons so you can find a doctor who specializes in the type of surgery you need. And since Doctors Plastic Surgery is committed to helping everyone achieve the body they want, this practice offers affordable prices for high-quality procedures. 

This practice offers periodic specials, and they also offer financing, which can save you from putting your procedure on a high-interest credit card. If you are ready to schedule a consultation, or if you just want to know more about the practice, visit their site today at

This is a guest post.

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