Liposuction, though a hugely popular procedure in the United States, is still largely misunderstood in terms of what it actually can provide a patient. From my perspective, much of this is a direct result of media misinformation, which tends to overstate if not sensationalize results. In addition, this is coupled with misleading advertising which, sadly, promises results that are not possible with liposuction.
To be clear, liposuction is NOT a weight loss procedure. It is a body contouring procedure, which helps remove limited amounts of fat in strategic locations to accentuate or minimize natural (and beautiful curves) in the body. Losing weight is not achieved surgically through liposuction, but rather bariatric surgery, which involves surgical manipulation in some way of the stomach or intestines.
The risks and benefits of bariatric surgery are an altogether different topic of conversation, but it is clear that although the benefits of bariatric surgery are dramatic weight loss, the benefits of liposuction do not include weight loss at all.
Nonetheless, many people still get confused because liposuction is a relatively easy and safe procedure when it is done properly, and it can remove a fair amount of fatty tissue (in some cases, up to 5L when a high volume procedure is performed). But still, it doesn’t help with weight loss.
The cornerstone of weight loss is a healthy diet and exercise, which I have written about extensively in this blog, and it is something I counsel my patients about. More importantly, I try to take the time to explain to all of my patients that losing weight is not simply about eating less, but in fact, it’s about understand how your own particular physiology works, and how you can eat to make it work at its very best.
This is not an insignificant point because many people are disappointed after undergoing liposuction to find out after a period of time (months to years) that the weight comes back. It will and it most certainly does, if you don’t watch your diet. One of the things our bodies like to do is store fat. This an unavoidable reality that I do take the time to talk about with my patients. That being said, it is not hopeless because the reality is that if you understand how this process works, it can be addressed so the result of your liposuction procedure can be durable over a long period of time.
Finally, liposuction shouldn’t be done in ‘an office’. You can do it in ‘an office’ but more often than not, you will be disappointed because in order to get the fat removed that will produce the curves you desire. You need to be in an OR, where a proper surgical procedure can be performed. Otherwise, it’s like rollerblading on the highway. You will get there more effectively using a car, and in some cases, it’s probably pretty dangerous.