Although many people successfully lose weight by changing their diet and exercising more, this doesn’t always work. Because weight loss isn’t targeted to specific areas, you may not achieve the exact body shape you desire by simply eating right and working out. If this is the case, liposuction may be a great option for you. Here at Southwest Michigan Plastic and Hand Surgery in Portage, MI, we offer this treatment to a wide range of patients.
While it is a great option that works in many different scenarios, it’s not for everyone. If you have not tried dieting, are a senior, or are severely overweight, you may need to explore other options, either in addition to or instead of this treatment. Let’s explore who can benefit from it and what results you can expect.
What Is Liposuction?
If you’ve never considered this option before, you may be wondering what the treatment involves. Basically, it is a two-step process and the patient is under general anesthesia the whole time, which guarantees a pain-free experience. First, a substance called tumescent fluid is injected into the local area to numb the tissue, then a thin tube called a cannula will be inserted. Up to 6 liters of excess fat can be removed through this tube at one time.
The treatment can be applied to many different areas of the body, including the love handles, buttocks, thighs, neck, or back. The best part about it is that the fat cells are removed completely, which means that they won’t come back at a later date. Thus, you only have to undergo treatment once and the results will be immediate and permanent. What’s more, it can be performed in an ambulatory surgical facility and you won’t have to stay at the hospital overnight.
Who Can Benefit The Most?
Now that you know what the treatment does and how it works, let’s discuss who might be an ideal candidate for it and what factors may affect eligibility. Anyone who is in good general health, leads a healthy lifestyle, and has realistic expectations of both the process and the results should be able to benefit from this treatment. For women, it may be most appropriate once they are done having children.
The treatment is very safe and you are unlikely to experience any complications. Despite this, it is a surgery performed under general anesthetic, so patients have to be screened for health conditions before being accepted. Prior to getting started, you’ll come to the clinic for an initial consultation to determine whether you can benefit from this surgery. We will assess your current health and your goals to see whether it is the optimal solution.
When meeting with Dr. Elluru, be sure to disclose your entire medical history to avoid putting yourself at risk. Specifically, taking blood-thinning medication, being pregnant or breastfeeding, and cardiovascular issues may require special treatment or preclude you from taking part.
There is a double benefit to living a healthy lifestyle prior to having the surgery. Firstly, your recovery process will be much smoother if your body is generally well. If you abstain from excessive alcohol consumption, nicotine, and unhealthy foods, the general anesthesia will be much safer, so this is usually a requirement.
Secondly, having healthy habits will help you to maintain the benefits of the treatment in the long term. While surgery can provide you with the perfect body shape, you will maintain this by eating well and providing your body with plenty of healthy exercise.
Weight Gain Issues
When you undergo this type of treatment, your fat cells are removed from the body and they won’t return. However, that doesn’t mean that all of the fat cells in the area will be gone and you will have the perfect body shape forever. Some still remain, although they won’t be as plentiful as before. If you have trouble maintaining a healthy diet, you will still gain weight and lose the contours the treatment helped you to achieve.
That’s why it’s important that patients are confident they will be able to maintain the results in the months and years after their appointment. In certain cases, it may be advisable to speak to a nutritionist or a weight loss coach before undergoing surgery to make sure that the results remain in place long-term.
As a general rule, patients must be adults at the time of the surgery to guarantee good results. Once you’re past adolescence, you can’t produce any more fat cells, which means that the ones that are removed won’t be able to grow back. On the other end of the spectrum, the balance of your sex hormones has to be taken into consideration. After the age of 55, they may have changed significantly, in which case they can affect your weight.
If you are older, it’s important to test your levels of estrogen and testosterone to rule out an imbalance before undergoing surgery. Left untreated, this could cause you to put the weight back on after liposuction and prevent you from achieving optimal results. Luckily, you can still take part even if there is an issue, as this can be resolved with a hormone therapy. Your doctor will discuss this option with you if you suffer from hormone-related weight issues.
Condition Of The Skin
Another issue that affects older people is the loss of elasticity in the skin. After age 20, we lose 1% of the protein collagen in our skin every year. This is why certain areas of our body may wrinkle or sag as we grow older. In terms of fat removal, it’s important that the skin is elastic enough that it will snap back after several liters of liquid have been removed. We will assess the condition of your skin during your initial appointment to make sure this will be the case.
If not, you may need to undergo additional treatment to prevent your skin from sagging for up to 14 months after the surgery. There are several options open to you, such as micro-needling, which can be performed right here at the clinic.
Decreasing Body Fat Percentage
If you have been trying to lose weight and reduce your body fat percentage for a while, you are likely to be a good candidate. This is especially true if you have already lost some weight through dieting and exercising and are now looking to change the amount of fat in proportion to the amount of muscle in your body.
To achieve the two goals, cutting fat and gaining muscle mass, you may need to consult with a certified personal trainer. Such a professional can help keep your diet on track by including lots of protein, encouraging you to exercise regularly, and providing you with the motivation you need to stay on track. If in doubt, speak to Dr. Elluru or our team for some recommendations.
Realistic Weight Loss Goals
As mentioned, the ideal patient has already lost some weight or has been at a stable, healthy weight for a while, but would simply like to remove some excess fat from areas that are hard to target. In general, patients see greater success if they are within 30 pounds of their target weight, as the proportion of fat lost will make a much bigger difference.
Remember, only 5-6 liters can be taken off at one time to ensure the patient’s safety. This means that people with very big weight loss goals won’t notice much difference, but people who have almost reached their target will instantly see dramatic results from the surgery.
Factors Affecting Women
The FDA has been researching this treatment for years, and there is no evidence that a woman’s ability to have children is negatively affected by it. However, many doctors advise women to wait until after they are done having children because pregnancy and childbirth significantly affect the hormones in the body. For example, the stress hormone cortisol is increased when a woman is pregnant, which can cause more hunger.
To make sure the fat loss treatment is successful and you won’t need to undergo it again in the future, consider having it done after your last pregnancy. That way, your body’s hormones have returned to their normal levels.
Factors Affecting Men
Although men don’t have to worry about children affecting their treatment, they are still in the minority when it comes to undergoing this type of surgery. Only a little over 40% of patients are male, but numbers are soaring as more and more men are realizing that there is an easy solution for their issue with excess fat. There are many situations in which it can be beneficial, but maybe the most important one is pseudo-gynecomastia.
Men suffering from this condition have swollen and enlarged breasts because too much subcutaneous fat is stored in the area. This can be due to a hormonal issue, genetics, or medications, and does not necessarily mean a man is overweight. Unlike other types of gynecomastia, breast removal surgery is not an option because the issue is fat, not excess tissue. That’s why liposuction is the ideal solution.
Expectations of the Recovery Process
Aside from your physical health and goals, we will also discuss the recovery process during your initial consultation. Surgery will only be recommended if you agree to the recovery process, which may include resting at home for the first week, avoiding high-intensity exercise, and taking the antibiotics recommended by your doctor. The people who see the best results are those who religiously stick to these guidelines.
Expectations of the Results
The treatment can provide amazing results for anyone struggling with stubborn fat reserves, but it’s important to remain realistic. Patients who start to consume a large surplus of food after the surgery won’t be able to maintain the results, so keep in mind that you’ll still have to eat healthily and stay active. The surgery can create your ideal body contours, but it will be up to you to keep them in the long term.
This is because not all of the fat cells will be removed, so your body still stores extra energy. In small areas such as the underarms or chin, up to 80% of the cells will be removed, but in larger areas like the back, it is around 20-25%. This means that there’s a smaller chance of a recurring issue, but only if you work to keep your beautiful new contours by following a healthy diet.
Regain Your Perfect Contours Now
Liposuction is a great option for a wide variety of adults who struggle with excess fat, especially if it is in localized areas and doesn’t respond to traditional methods such as diet and exercise. To find out if this is the perfect option for you, contact Southwest Michigan Plastic and Hand Surgery in Portage, MI. We routinely perform this surgery and will be delighted to speak to you about regaining your perfect contours.