If you are considering liposuction, you most likely have a weight loss goal you are trying to achieve. Maybe you’ve hit a diet or exercise plateau or think liposuction might be the golden key to unlocking your summer body.

Many ideas are floating around regarding liposuction, and not all are accurate. In this post, PureSculpting wants to set the record straight. Our goal is to help you understand when liposuction is the right choice and when it’s not the best course of action. 

Liposuction is many things and has come a long way since the first modern procedures were performed in the 1970s. However, liposuction is not a silver bullet. It’s one tool to help you achieve a figure closer to your ideal body image. 

By the end of this post, you’ll know a bit more about liposuction, including the following takeaways:

  • Liposuction is not a weight loss procedure. It’s a body contouring procedure.
  • Liposuction isn’t an easy way out of obesity—candidates need to be within 30 lbs of goal weight.
  • Liposuction can be performed at any age on men and women.
  • Liposuction can’t address excess or sagging skin.
  • If you are asking how much weight you can lose with liposuction, you are asking the wrong question!

PureSculpting Aesthetic Centers is the premier body contouring provider in Jacksonville and Tampa, FL. We are leading specialists in fat transfer, liposculpture, and liposuction. If you’d like to learn more about your viability for liposuction, schedule a no-obligation, free consultation with Dr. Pinnar and Dr. Dayal. 

Let’s learn more about what liposuction is and what it isn’t.

Liposuction Isn’t a Weight Loss Procedure—It’s a Body Contouring Procedure

Let’s say you asked a random person on the street a simple question—

“Can you name a weight loss procedure?”

Chances are they’d mention liposuction, gastric bypass surgery, gastric balloons, and other procedures. However, they’d be wrong to lump liposuction into the weight loss surgery category.

Liposuction is a body contouring procedure. 

Liposuction aims to improve the shape and proportion of different areas of the body. The process involves removing fat, but the actual weight of this fat isn’t very much—only a few pounds on average. 

The ideal liposuction candidate is already within 30 lbs of their goal weight, in good mental and physical health, and ready to embrace a healthy lifestyle post-procedure. Liposuction is used to reshape body areas resistant to fat loss, even with diet and exercise. 

Liposuction is primarily used to target stubborn, unwanted fat in the following areas of the body:

  • Abdomen
  • Buttocks
  • Upper Arms
  • Calves and ankles
  • Chest
  • Back and Sides
  • Chin and Neck

How Does Liposuction Work?

When people gain weight, they aren’t gaining new fat cells. Likewise, when people lose weight, they don’t lose fat cells. 

You are born with a fixed number of fat cells, called adipocytes, and that number stays consistent throughout your entire life (unless you receive liposuction). These cells store energy in the form of lipids, which are the body’s main reserve energy source.

When a person gains weight, their mass increases, but what does this process amount to in the body? On a cellular level, adipocytes store more and more lipids, expanding in size. An adipocyte can expand to more than fifty times its starting size.

Liposuction is a procedure that removes adipocytes from the body using a tool called a cannula and negative pressure (a fancy term for a vacuum). The procedure permanently removes fat cells, which do not grow back.

However, patients need to commit to a healthy lifestyle post-procedure because the remaining fat cells can still store lipids and expand, erasing the effects of liposuction.

The FDA Approves a Maximum Removal of 11 Pounds of Fat For Liposuction

So, liposuction isn’t a weight loss procedure, but certainly, some weight is lost during the process. The FDA set a limit on how much fat can be removed during a liposuction procedure—5,000cc of fat or roughly 11 pounds.

11 lbs is the maximum safe limit. If more excess fat is removed, it can lead to health complications and compromise your recovery process. Risks of removing too much fat during liposuction include:

  • Buildup of excess fluid (can affect breathing)
  • Infection
  • Dehydration-induced shock
  • Fat embolism
  • Seromas and hematomas 
  • Blood clots
  • Adverse reaction to anesthesia

If 11 lbs is the maximum safe limit, what’s the average amount of fat removed during a liposuction procedure?

The Average Liposuction Procedure Removes 2-5 lbs of Fat

Most liposuction procedures do not come close to removing 11 lbs of fat. Instead, the average liposuction procedure removes between two to five pounds of fat. Most liposuction recipients target small areas—the abdomen, the upper arms, or the sides of the torso.

7 Liposuction Facts

In an effort to bust some liposuction myths, PureSculpting Aesthetic Centers has compiled this list of 7 liposuction facts to help you draw a realistic picture of the fat removal procedure. 

1. Liposuction Is Not an “Easy Way Out” of Obesity

Liposuction is not a silver bullet for obesity. Liposuction is not a safe procedure if your body mass index (BMI) is above 30% due to the increased risks of surgical complications. People with a BMI over 30% should strive to lose weight through diet and exercise first. 

Once they have adapted to a healthier lifestyle and achieved a body composition below 30%, liposuction becomes a viable option to help them lose stubborn fat in treatment areas.  

2. Ideal Liposuction Candidates Are Within 30 Pounds of Goal Weight

Because of the risks associated with anesthesia and surgery, ideal liposuction candidates are already within 30 lbs of their goal weight. Some people frame liposuction as a reward for getting within 30 lbs of their goal weight.

However, liposuction isn’t a weight loss procedure. It’s a body contouring procedure. 

3. Liposuction Cannot Address Cellulite or Loose, Saggy Skin 

Liposuction cannot improve the appearance of cellulite, which gives the skin a dimpled appearance. Cellulite forms because fat cells are segmented into different sections, contained by connective tissue. These connective tissues pull on the skin unevenly, creating dimples.

A person with youthful, elastic skin shouldn’t have sagging or wrinkles after a liposuction procedure. However, older individuals or people having a larger portion of fat removed may have loose, saggy skin after liposuction.

Talk with your cosmetic surgeon about pairing your liposuction with Renuvion to tighten excess skin. 

4. Liposuction Cannot Remove Visceral Fat

Liposuction can only remove subcutaneous fat—that’s fat directly beneath the skin. It cannot remove visceral or deep fat that wraps around your internal organs. Diet and exercise are the best ways to deal with visceral fat. 

5. Liposuction Can Be Performed on Men and Women

Both men and women can be ideal candidates for liposuction. There isn’t a restriction on who can receive liposuction based on biological sex. Liposuction remains one of the most popular cosmetic procedures for both men and women.

Some men elect to have liposuction to reduce the appearance of breasts, a condition called gynecomastia.  

6. Fat Cells Removed During Liposuction Do Not Return

As mentioned earlier, fat cells do not grow back once removed. Your body has a set supply of adipocytes. However, you still need to follow a healthy diet and exercise regimen after receiving liposuction because the adipocytes you still have can grow and expand, leading to weight gain.

7. If You Are a Healthy Adult, You Can Get Liposuction At Any Age

As long as you are a healthy adult, you can receive liposuction at nearly any age. While you must be 18 years or older to receive liposuction, there isn’t an age cap for the procedure. Many patients receive liposuction well into their 60s. 

However, the older you are, the less elastic and youthful your skin is. You might have sagging, wrinkled and excess skin after a liposuction procedure the older you are. 

How To Prepare Mentally and Physically For Liposuction Surgery

How can you physically and mentally prepare for liposuction? Here are some tips to help you get in the right headspace for the procedure.  

Be Prepared To Embrace a Healthy Lifestyle

Remember, liposuction isn’t a get-out-of-jail-free card. For obese people to become viable candidates, they need to get down below a 30% BMI. You need to already be within 30 lbs of your goal weight to be considered for the procedure. 

It helps to adopt various elements of a healthy lifestyle in preparation for liposuction. You’ll need to maintain a healthy lifestyle after the procedure to maintain liposuction results. 

Be Realistic About Expected Results

You also need realistic expectations for the procedure. The results of cosmetic procedures like liposuction can be incredible, especially when you partner with experienced, board-certified cosmetic surgeons, but do not expect perfection

Be realistic with your expectations. One way to help you prepare for the results is to check your plastic surgeon’s before-and-after photos for the procedure. Nothing helps you get a realistic impression more than looking at real results. 

Be Prepared To Quit Smoking Before Your Procedure

Smokers are at a higher risk for many surgical complications. Your cosmetic surgeon will advise you to quit smoking two weeks before your liposuction procedure to reduce the risk of experiencing complications. 

Be Prepared to Get Within 30 Pounds of Your Goal Weight Before Liposuction

If you are more than 30 lbs away from your goal weight, liposuction can be a great motivator. If you put in the work to get down below a certain target, liposuction can help clean up those trouble areas where losing fat is more difficult—like the abdomen, upper arms, love handles, and thighs.

Achieving weight loss goals before your surgical procedure can help boost self confidence and put you in the success mindset to keep in good health after the procedure.

Learn More About Liposuction by Scheduling a Free, No-Obligation Consultation With PureScultping Aesthetic Centers

Ready to talk to board-certified liposuction specialists about your viability for liposuction? Schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with PureSculpting Aesthetic Centers to speak to Dr. Dayal and Dr. Pinnar about achieving your body goals and removing that pinchable fat.

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