Liposuction can seem like a dream come true for dieters. Sadly, removing the body’s fat is not that simple. Liposuction is NOT a weight-loss treatment. Its purpose is to re-sculpt the body by removing stubborn fat deposits. You might lose two sizes; however, it is rare for someone to lose more than 7 pounds from the procedure.
Let’s examine what can happen to your weight after a liposuction treatment and how you can keep the weight off with a healthy lifestyle.
Right after surgery
During liposuction, the doctor will remove some amount of material from your body, usually measured in cubic centimeters. This will mostly be fat cells and other fluids. Once these fat cells are removed, they won’t grow back under normal circumstances.
However, your body will still want to fill that gap with something, often fluid. After surgery, you might weigh the same or even more as your body swells with inflammation. This, among other reasons, is why you need to wear your compression garments as often as possible during your recovery, as well as check your drains if you have them. This fluid needs to move out so the body can correctly heal the internal space.
If you watch what you eat during your recovery, you should lose around 5-7 pounds, depending on how much your doctor removed. But if you gain weight during your recovery, you might not see a scale change at all, or even end up with more weight.
Changes in fat deposits
Liposuction forces your body to store fat in different places. It might have preferred to store it where you had surgery. Once those cells are gone, you may find other parts getting bigger if you aren’t watching your weight. There is no way to predict where fat will be stored as it is controlled by your unique genetics.
For this reason, liposuction is generally better suited for people with a steady weight but with a stubborn spot that just won’t go away. You do not want to play whack-a-mole with your body’s fat deposit preferences. The more procedures you have, the greater the risk of scarring and other complications.
Furthermore, if you gain more than 10% of your body’s current weight, your body will begin to create new fat cells. Some of these will grow in the spot you had surgery. Keep gaining weight, and all the benefits you received from liposuction could vanish. Again, liposuction is NOT for weight loss, but for the removal of fat that isn’t responding to diet and exercise.
Keeping the weight off
To keep the weight off, you’ll need to follow a sensible diet and a healthy lifestyle. It won’t be easy, but you can do it! Your primary care physician can refer you to a dietitian for food advice. If you’ve struggled with weight gain, you can also speak with an endocrinologist to check for hormone imbalances, or to a bariatric surgeon to reduce the size of your stomach.
If you would like to learn more about liposuction, contact The Lett Center today!