Liposuction may be one of the most misunderstood plastic surgery procedures out there. While the procedure indeed centers around fat removal, liposuction is not meant to lose weight nor remove massive amounts of fat. Liposuction is more of a fine-tuning procedure, taking out a little fat in order to properly, and proportionally, contour the body.
For those who are looking to lose massive weight, or get rid of a large abdominal “gut,” diet and exercise and/or bariatric surgery are the tools.
For those who are looking to remove fat problem areas in order to achieve a better contour, liposuction is the answer.
How Liposuction Works
The procedure involves making a small incision in the area to be treated then inserting a metal cannula. One can think of a cannula like a straw, rather than a needle. The cannula is attached to a vaccum device that removes the fat, which is either discarded or processed and reinserted per further body contouring goals via fat grafting.
When the acceptable amount of fat has been removed, and the fat that remains smoothed, the procedure is done. Recovery from liposuction is “long,” but only because the body requires a few months for it’s new inner contour to settle in. The immediate recovery is similar to being sore after an extensive muscle work out, then the patient will wear a compression garment to make sure that everything stays tight.
FAQ – Will My Fat Reappar?
One of the most commonly asked questions about liposuction is whether the fat will come back. Board certified plastic surgeon Dr. Kristi Hustak of Houston reminds, “[We] are all born with only a certain amount of fact, collectively.” What this means is, at birth, our body has a certain number of fat cells – a number that will never change. What happens when people gain or lose weight is the fat cells in the body shrink. When you eat an extra large pizza all by yourself, you won’t gain weight because you added a bunch of new fat cells. The existing fat cells will grow, and thus it will seem as if you are gaining weight.
Because liposuction is directly removing the fat cells, they are gone for good. “If I reduce that [region], you should not get any more fat in those reasons,” says Dr. Hustak. The keyword here is “should.”
Are fat cells gone for good after liposuction? Yes. Can the remaining fat cells where a patient had treatment grow and thus make the treatment area fat? Yes! Dr. Hustak thus stresses that the fat will stay gone, “as long as you maintain a healthy diet and lifestyle and maintain your weight between 5 and 10 pounds of your goal weight.”