Is Lipo permanent?
With 222,051 procedures conducted in 2015, there’s a reason liposuction is one of the most popular cosmetic treatments in the United States. Liposuction achieves near-instant results by removing undesirable body fat in targeted parts of the body, resulting in the desired silhouette. Even the healthiest people turn to liposuction to get rid of stubborn pockets of fat that refuse to respond to diet and exercise.
Many patients considering liposuction are concerned about the long-term effects, in addition to the immediate stunning outcomes. In fact, “can fat return after my treatment?” is one of the most often asked questions about liposuction at our facility.
Liposuction is a procedure that permanently removes fat
While there are a variety of liposuction techniques available today, they all have the same goal: to remove fat cells from a specific (localized) area of the body. To suction out resistant fat, all liposuction treatments employ a combination of a cannula (thin tube) and an aspirator (suctioning device).
It’s vital to understand that liposuction does remove fat cells from the body permanently.
Is it possible to get obese again?
Unfortunately, fat can return after liposuction… if you allow it to. The more weight a patient gains following liposuction, the less striking the results will be.
If the patient maintains their “post-lipo weight,” fat will not return (and the best results will be preserved). For example, if a patient weighed 130 pounds before liposuction and lost 6 pounds as a result of the treatment, the fat will be gone if the patient stays at or below 124 pounds.
Fat cells throughout the body will grow in size if the patient acquires a small amount of weight following their treatment, say 5 pounds. While this minor weight gain may reduce benefits, the overall enhanced body shape achieved by a liposuction treatment will still be noticeable because treated body areas contain fewer fat cells (and so have a lower rate of expansion) than surrounding areas.
Finally, new fat cells can form in all places of the body, even treated areas, in situations of significant weight increase (i.e. 10% of their total weight). However, because the formation of new fat cells is usually distributed evenly across the body, fat accumulates less in treated areas than in untreated parts. As a result, many liposuction patients who gain a lot of weight after the treatment nonetheless look better than they would if they hadn’t had liposuction.
Tips on how to keep your liposuction results looking great
Maintaining your optimum weight is the most effective strategy to keep the results of any liposuction treatment long-term. Following your operation, make the following six healthy lifestyle changes:
Follow your surgeon’s post-procedure instructions to the letter.
Reduce your calorie intake while maintaining a balanced diet rich in protein and complex carbs.
Drink plenty of water to be adequately hydrated.
Throughout the day, consume many smaller meals.
Never miss a meal.
Exercise on a regular basis.
The author’s views are his or her own, and do not necessarily reflect the views of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.
Talk to board certified Santa Monica plastic surgeon Reza Nabavian MD about liposuction today.
Reza Nabavian MD
2001 Santa Monica Blvd #1180
Santa Monica, CA 90404