As a well-known plastic surgeon serving Rockville and the surrounding Maryland areas, Dr. Joseph Michaels receives many serious inquiries about liposuction and body contouring. A question that recently came up is whether patients can lose weight from liposuction surgery. Dr. Michaels thought this question would make a useful blog topic. Here he shares the skinny on weight loss and liposuction.
Not an Appropriate Weight Loss Strategy
Liposuction is not a weight loss strategy, and any reputable plastic surgeon will never recommend it as such. Although liposuction removes localized pockets of fat that are unresponsive to diet and exercise, this does not generally correlate to a loss of pounds.
The ideal candidate for liposuction is someone that is at, or close to, his or her ideal body weight and has kept their weight stable for approximately six months or so. For individuals, liposuction may be an excellent way to contour and sculpt these resistant areas of the body (as opposed to reducing their overall weight).
A Means to Contour the Body
Liposuction is most often performed to improve the appearance of a long-term “problem area” that is out of proportion with the rest of the body, such as the abdomen, flanks, hips, thighs, back, buttocks or upper arms.
During surgery, Dr. Michaels targets these pockets of body fat. He breaks up the fatty tissue and removes it via gentle suction, which slims the treated area. Liposuction is not intended to remove all the fat from a given area. A layer of fat cells will remain to keep a normal and smooth body contour.
Liposuction can actually make someone that is above their ideal body weight look worse, especially if they have poor skin tone. Removing too much fat can result in loose skin, which can sag unattractively and actually worsen your contour. This is why Dr. Michaels encourages his liposuction patients to achieve their desired body weight before undergoing liposuction.
An Unexpected Benefit to Liposuction
With this information in mind, Dr. Michaels does see patients that are at their goal weight before liposuction, and end up losing weight after their procedure — but not because of the surgery itself. After seeing their newly sculpted, slimmer physique, most people feel reinvigorated and recommit themselves to following a healthy diet and regular exercise. The weight loss is a result of the healthy lifestyle habits.
By the same token, ignoring healthy lifestyle habits, eating poorly and not exercising after liposuction all cause weight gain and obscure the surgical outcome.
Learn More about Liposuction
For more information about liposuction, please contact Michaels Aesthetic and Reconstructive Plastic Surgery. Schedule an appointment today by calling our Bethesda office at (301) 468-5991 or our Fairfax office at (703) 957-8610.