How Much Weight Can You Lose With Liposuction?

Liposuction is a widely known surgical procedure for men and women who want to get rid of excess fat to achieve their desired appearance. It was in 1920 when the first known surgical procedure for body contouring and fat removal purposes happened. Since then, the liposuction procedure has vastly improved as the advancements in science and technology have flourished. With more studies, better equipment, and years of experience, the procedure now is quite considered safe and effective. It involves a low risk level of complications as compared to other cosmetic procedures.

What is liposuction?

As the name suggests, the procedure suctions off “lipo“, a word whose Greek origins spell “lipos” which meant fat or fatty tissue. Fatty deposits and fatty tissue formation can be seen in different areas of the body such as the face, chin, neck, stomach, thighs, and arms. Liposuction is considered generally safe. But because it is considered an invasive surgery, it still poses some health risks. Those who have the procedure can expect soreness, pain, and swelling and will need at least two weeks for a full recovery. Other risks also include complications from anesthesia, bruising, and infection.

While liposuction is mostly done for cosmetic and reconstructive purposes, this procedure can also be used for health reasons. Lymphedema is the buildup of fat usually in arms or legs, or simply swelling, due to the damage or removal of lymph nodes. Patients suffering from Lymphedema undergo liposuction, to remove excess fats. 

Liposuction versus weight loss

Because it removes fat, a myth that persists concerning liposuction is that it will result in a dramatic change in your weight. If you are willing to go to these lengths and consider liposuction in order to get rid of an excessive amount of weight, then perhaps you might want to reconsider all of your options before you proceed just to be sure. Even though liposuction removes fat from the body to achieve your desired body goal, it is not a weight-loss procedure. Therefore, the amount of weight you can lose is not a huge amount. 


Other alternatives to consider

If your goal is to achieve dramatic weight loss, it could be better achieved by creating a healthy lifestyle and adhering to proper nutrition and regular exercise. There may be advanced technology that makes procedures less invasive these days, but there’s always a great possibility for reoccurrence to happen. Other treatments to consider are fat transfer to buttocks, cool sculpting, UltraSound for treatment of fat, and also Radio Frequency (RF) that serves to achieve the same sliming down the body results. Both Cool Sculpting and Ultra Sound treatments are noninvasive with little to no downtime. These are proven to be effective in getting rid of stubborn excess fat and are often used for fat reduction in various areas such as the stomach, upper arms, back fat, and love handles. Meanwhile, RF treatment is minimally invasive and is the option for those who are targeting more difficult to remove fats and sagging skin, because it is also a skin tightening procedure, which liposuction do not guarantee.  

What’s involved in the procedure?

The procedure follows standard guidelines of extracting only a maximum amount of 5000 mL (11 pounds) of fat, regardless of your body type. However, a more current approach that surgeons use is by calculating the person’s Body Mass Index (BMI) to determine the maximum amount of fat that can be safely extracted. The BMI accounts for the body fat you have based on your height and weight. Therefore, the amount of fat that can be extracted depends on a person’s unique body type. More fat can be removed safely for those with higher BMI. Consequently, if a person is obese or has extremely high BMI, they may not be a good candidate for liposuction. For these individuals, it is recommended to lose more weight naturally before undergoing an operation, as complications might occur.

The procedure guarantees that the fat eliminated is considered permanently gone. Generally, you can expect that you will achieve a better physical appearance after the operation. However, the important thing to note is that the remaining fat cells in the area might continue to grow while new fat cells might appear in other areas of the body. While it is true that a person loses weight after liposuction, it does not guarantee sustained weight loss. In some cases weight loss that resulted from the surgery doesn’t usually last long because of unresolved eating habits and the unwillingness to exercise. Therefore, proper management and avoidance of a sedentary lifestyle are highly necessary to keep your newly contoured body.