It’s important to understand what liposuction can and can’t do for you, by understanding the basics of fat and the liposuction procedure itself.
The purpose of liposuction is to reshape the body, not to lose weight. The natural conclusion is of course you have to lose fat if it’s being removed from your body – which is weight – but just how much fat you can remove in one liposuction treatment is important when it comes to your individual treatment. It is not likely to be as much as you think.
Liposuction may seem like a quick way to a thinner you, but it’s not true. Liposuction is not a weight loss procedure per se; it’s a body sculpting treatment. In this way, it is a purely cosmetic treatment. If you want liposuction to lose weight, you will likely be sorely disappointed.
It’s important for you to be at a stable weight before having liposuction. You should be near or at your ideal body weight, because if you are obese or morbidly obese, you may be refused the operation. Having good eating habits is important for ongoing results.
Fat cells don’t weigh much, but they tend to take up a lot of room compared to other cells. This means what looks like a lot doesn’t necessarily weigh much. Fat is measured in litres, which is a volumetric measurement. That is, how much space does it take up, rather than how much it weighs. A litre of fat (1,000ml) is more or less equal to 900mg.
We can remove at most about 10 litres, but this is uncommon and may be done over several treatments. This volume of fat removed during liposuction is called mega or large-volume liposuction. The more fat removed, the riskier the procedure becomes. If you need a lot of fat removed, the procedure will be broken up into sections, with months in between sessions to allow for proper healing.
You should not expect to lose a lot of fat from your liposuction procedure, but you can achieve a marked change in the shape of your body. This is why liposuction is purely a cosmetic procedure.
It’s important to keep your regular lifestyle habits up such as exercise and a healthy diet. Putting on a lot of weight after liposuction treatments may result in the treatment not being as effective for body shaping as it was at first. You do need to put some effort into keeping your body healthy and at a sustainable weight.
You will initially ‘gain weight’ after your liposuction procedure, but this is temporary and due to fluids and swelling. Your normal body weight and size will be back to normal within a few weeks to two months, depending on how extensive your liposuction procedure was. You will need to wear compression garments post-procedure to help keep swelling down and improve recovery times.
If you have a lot of weight to lose, and it is safe to do the procedure, you may be considered for a more practical weight-loss type of liposuction procedure. This is not a decision taken lightly by your liposuction doctor, as the risks are higher, and post-liposuction commitments must be made to maintain the effect. Liposuction is not a weight-loss tool, but it can be used to benefit someone who is losing a lot of weight by kickstarting weight loss or being part of a bigger plan.
Talk to our Melbourne clinic experts about your weight-loss and body shaping goals.