So, it’s just past holiday season and maybe you’ve overindulged. On average most people gain only about a pound during this time, but this still explains over 50% of most people’s weight gain over the years. So what’s the big deal, let’s just hit the liposuction table and go to town!
Well, although in theory that sounds nice and easy, in practicality is simply doesn’t work out. Trust me, I’ve been tempted to start a liposuction “club” where people sign up, pay up front, and then we just lipo away for the rest of the year. However, it’s just not the right thing to do.
One of the biggest problems is that chronic weight gain can’t be defeated by liposuction. The fat that liposuction can remove is located outside the body, just under the skin. The more you remove from one area, the more weight gain will accumulate in other areas. The easiest way to think about this is to imagine removing every drop of fat from your entire body leaving only your forearms. As you gain weight, the fat will have to accumulate in your forearms as it has nowhere left to turn and eventually you will look like Popeye. Now, that is a bit of an exaggeration, but eventually much of it accumulates deep inside your abdomen where it can’t be removed and your belly will bulge regardless of how much we remove.
There is also a safety issue regarding how much fat can be removed with liposuction safely. This has been well studied, and is actually governed by law. At any one time, as an outpatient procedure, only 4-5 liters can be removed depending on which state you have the procedure. Although this seems like a lot, it is less than 10 pounds. If you try to remove more than 10 liters of fat, patients start getting into problems with anemia, fluid imbalance, and other issues.
Unfortunately, even modest weight gain of 5-10 pounds can undo some of the improvements seen from liposuction. So for most people, it is very imperative that your weight remains stable after surgery.
Now don’t despair! Many people in America struggle with weight issues. For those with modest weight problems, liposuction can be a great option to improve your appearance. Sometimes this can be combined with a tummy tuck or other procedures to really give you an excellent shape. If weight has become such a problem that you are experiencing health issues, then a bariatric procedure designed to help you lose weight is far and away the best option. Don’t let someone convince you that your health will be improved with liposuction. Although this is partly true, it is still the wrong procedure for people with serous weight problems – those individuals are best treated by bariatric surgery. Once the weight has been lost, fantastic results can be achieved through plastic surgery.
But don’t despair. Almost everyone can be helped in one way or another through plastic surgery. If it is something you are interested in pursuing, please don’t hesitate to contact our office. We are there to answer your questions and direct you toward your best possible you! Remember, “Be BeauifulTM!”