Is Fat Gone for Good after Liposuction?
Is Fat Gone for Good after Liposuction?
One of the most common questions about liposuction is whether or not the procedure yields permanent results. If you’ve followed liposuction news in recent years, you may have come across one study published back in 2011 that suggested that fat cells removed during liposuction will cause the fat in other areas of your body to increase, essentially redistributing your body fat. But this simply isn’t true.
There has been ample recent research that has since refuted this redistribution myth, and to understand why, it can be helpful to first understand just how liposuction works. (American Society of Plastic Surgeons)
How Liposuction Works
During a liposuction procedure, your plastic surgeon will first create carefully-placed incisions in the appropriate areas. Through those incisions, he or she removes excess fat cells using a small tube called a cannula, which has an attached suction device. Thus, your final results are a slimmer, leaner contour because the stubborn pockets of localized fat have been physically removed from your body. This is why that fat cannot redistribute itself to other areas, and your liposuction results can be very long-lasting and even permanent. (American Society of Plastic Surgeons)
Not All Fat Is the Same
Another key factor that can contribute to your liposuction results is the fact that there are actually two different kinds of fat: subcutaneous and visceral. Liposuction can only treat the subcutaneous fat that lies just beneath your skin. This is the fat that you can pinch between your fingers. Visceral fat, on the other hand, is located around your organs and cannot be addressed through liposuction or other body contouring procedures. This type of fat will only respond to diet and exercise, whereas subcutaneous fat is sometimes resistant to exercise alone. (Harvard Health Publications)
Tips for Maximizing Long-Lasting Results
It’s important to understand that although the fat cells removed during liposuction cannot return, the procedure does not change your ability to gain or lose weight. So although those fat cells are gone, it is possible to develop new fat cells in the same area, thus throwing off your results. Here are the best ways to get the most out of your liposuction:
- Be at or near your target weight prior to your procedure. Liposuction is not a weight loss method but rather a body contouring tool that can target small areas of fat that don’t seem to respond to exercise. It’s best that you reach or come very close to reaching your ideal weight prior to treatment. That way, fluctuations in your weight following your procedure will be less likely to interfere with the quality of your results.
- Maintain a healthy, active lifestyle. Because it is possible to gain new fat cells, even if you’ve had liposuction, one of the best things you can do to preserve your excellent results is to maintain a healthy and active lifestyle. While losing or gaining 5 or 10 pounds won’t do much to alter your results, significant weight fluctuations can require a second procedure in order to restore your original results.
- Work with an experienced plastic surgeon. Choosing the right plastic surgeon can have a huge impact on the quality of your liposuction results. You want to be sure to work with an experienced board-certified plastic surgeon who can offer professional advice before, during, and after your treatment. It’s also a good idea to ask to see before and after photos from the surgeon’s practice to get a better idea of the kinds of results you can expect.
The Bottom Line
If you’re thinking about getting liposuction, the best first step to take is to speak with a trusted, reputable plastic surgeon. He or she will be able to assess your body type and condition and help you determine if you are a good candidate for the procedure. Board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Brian Heil of Premier Plastic Surgery & Dermatology is one of the top plastic surgeons in the Pittsburgh and Wexford areas. He would be happy to meet with you one-on-one to discuss your unique needs and goals, as well as go over the details of a liposuction procedure with you.
If you’d like to schedule a consultation with Dr. Heil, please feel free to contact us at 724-264-3608 to take the first step towards looking and feeling your absolute best.