Many body contouring treatments work by eliminating unwanted fat from one or more areas of the body. Liposuction is one of the most common fat-loss procedures of our time. This minimally-invasive surgery carefully suctions enlarged fat cells from areas such as the abdomen, hips, thighs, backs of the arms, and more. Too often, this procedure is misunderstood. When people hear “fat loss,” they may also hear “weight loss.” The two are not equivalent. It is important that patients make this distinction before they move forward with surgery. Here, we discuss why liposuction reduces fat but not weight.
There is More to Weight than Fat
Weight isn’t only an accumulation of fat but of several elements. Ratios may differ based on a person’s age and level of fitness. However, body composition generally includes:
- 10% to 30% fat
- 10% to 55% muscle
- 15% bone
- 10% to 25% water
When a person loses weight, all body elements may decline to some degree. Furthermore, a decrease in body weight may not result in a sculpted or toned appearance because of the various elements at play. A lack of change on the scale can lead to frustration when this is a perceived benefit of liposuction. Knowing what to expect, a patient is more likely to feel happy with the outcome of their procedure.
Why Liposuction and Weight Loss Don’t Go Together
- Liposuction focuses on the fat only. The minimally-invasive procedure involves suctioning fat cells through a small cannula, or hollow tube. Technology like a laser may be included to break down fat cells for an easier, gentler process. While the surgery removes fat cells, bone, water, and muscle are largely unchanged.
- Liposuction removes a limited amount of fat. Only so much fat can be safely removed in a single procedure. Studies have indicated that people with a higher Body Mass Index (BMI) have a greater risk of complications, such as adverse reactions to anesthesia.
- Body contouring is about shape, not weight. The purpose of liposuction and other body contouring procedures is to smooth specific areas where stubborn fat accumulates. The benefit of this procedure is an improved shape and the potential for long-lasting results. Fat cells are gone forever thanks to liposuction!
Are you a Good Candidate for Liposuction?
Dr. Lee is proud to provide liposuction services in our comfortable Sherman Oaks office. Ideal candidates for liposuction are within 30 pounds of their healthiest weight based on their height and body frame and have isolated areas of fat that are resistant to diet and exercise. If this is you, contact us at (818) 325-0400.