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How much weight can you lose with liposuction? MARK A. SCHUSTERMAN, MD, FACS

Fellow of the American College of Surgeons American Society of Plastic Surgeons American Board of Plastic Surgery American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery American Board of Cosmetic Surgery Association of American Physicians and Surgeons Texas Surgical Society Texas Society of Plastic Surgeons

The Amount of weight varies…

The amount of weight you can lose from liposuction varies. It also depends on where the fat is being removed on the body and the patient’s health, and age. The procedure removes fat cells permanently, this makes it very difficult for fat to reproduce in the treated areas.  Liposuction targets specific areas and while some weight loss will occur due to this, some weight will also redistribute to other areas on the body. Because fat is being removed from important areas, the procedure should provide a noticeable improvement in appearance. Patients should not expect dramatic weight loss, however, in many patients, it has shown to produce a significant improvement. 

Maximum is around 20lbs

The maximum is around 20lbs after the liposuction procedure. 4000-5000cc of fat is being permanently removed so it is common for patients to experience a loss of 20lbs following their treatment. Patients should maintain a healthy balanced diet and lifestyle following the treatment for the maximum amount of weight loss.

Combine with a tummy tuck to lose more weight

Combining liposuction with a tummy tuck to lose more weight is not at all uncommon. It is often suggested because each procedure targets specific concerns. Skin sagging and stubborn fat often go together, and both concerns cannot be taken care of in a single procedure. By combining liposuction and tummy tuck you will be given the most dramatic result and maximum weight loss. 

What to expect with the procedure

Expect to take time off from your regular schedule for this procedure. You will need someone to drive you to and from the surgery. Once you are prepped for surgery the iv fluid lines will be put into place so that your blood pressure, heart rate, and blood oxygen levels can be carefully monitored. Anesthesia will be administered to patients for the procedure to administer their comfort.  Be sure to keep in mind that you will be going under anesthesia and the recovery following treatment may be painful and an adjustment. 

Is the weight loss permanent 

The weight loss after liposuction is not considered permanent, however, the results can last for many years. Fat cells do not regenerate so patients can expect that to be permanent.  Because fat cells are manually removed the body will not replace them, and as long as you maintain a healthy lifestyle you will not accumulate more fat in the remaining cells of the treated area. Patients are encouraged to maintain their post-liposuction weight to avoid having the fat return. The fat will only return if the patient allows it to, and the more weight gained after the procedure the less substantial their results will be. 

What happens if I gain the weight back

If a patient gains the weight back after liposuction treatment. Fat cells will distribute themselves more evenly throughout the body and treated areas are expected to accumulate significantly less fat. The new weight gained will spread more uniformly throughout the whole body resulting in the treated areas to be more proportionately affected.  Following the removal of a patient’s fat cells, the treatment areas are flatter than before due to not having as many cells to contract and expand. Liposuction is primarily intended to be a contour targeting treatment and it is the patient’s responsibility to maintain a healthy weight.

When can I see the results?

After the surgery, it will take around a week to pass through the initial rest and recovery period. During this time patients should expect there to be swelling and this may make it difficult for patients to see their results right away. Depending on the individual and their treated areas, most patients can expect to see the results from liposuction as early as three months. Due to swelling and depending on the treated area patients will see 90% of their ultimate results 3-6 months after the procedure. 

Tips for maintaining weight loss

Tips for maintaining weight loss after liposuction include: following a regular exercise routine, drinking lots of water, reducing your stress intake, and committing to healthy diet choices. In order to get the most out of your liposuction treatment, you’ll need to make the commitment to improving your lifestyle habits all around.It is also helpful to develop these habits before even having your surgery. These habits will carry over after the procedure and make a remarkable difference in keeping the weight off. 

Eat Healthily

It is important to eat healthy following your liposuction treatment. If patients wish to notice significant results they should focus on eating a nutritious balanced diet. The goal is to limit your intake of sugars, carbohydrates, and saturated fats. Replacing foods that are high in saturated fats with foods that are high in polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats is recommended. This will ensure your body receives the nutrients it needs to heal from the surgery and will assist in balancing a patient’s diet. It is important to avoid eating bad foods and limit your sugar intake as well to prevent any unwanted weight from returning. It is important to watch your calorie intake and focus on meeting your calorie needs without exceeding them. Patients are encouraged to eat multiple smaller meals throughout their day instead of consuming three large meals. This will help boost the body’s metabolism and maintain its energy levels. It may also prevent unnecessary hunger that could lead to unhealthy food decisions.

Exercise regularly 

Exercising regularly is crucial after recovery. In order to maintain the changes achieved through liposuction, it is best to follow a regular workout routine. Preferably an activity that you enjoy, it is recommended to partake for at least 20-30 minutes a day. Exercising following your treatment and recovery will allow your body to use most remaining fat as fuel. This will help keep unwanted pounds off and assist the body in burning fat instead of gaining it. Patients that do not exercise frequently risk regaining the fat they lost during surgery and it is redistributed throughout the body. 

Contact us today to schedule your appointment with the renowned plastic surgeon and breast & body specialist Dr. Mark Schusterman. Take your first steps to a more beautiful you.

1200 Binz St Suite 1198, Houston, TX 77004