If you’ve lost weight – and even if you’ve reached your goal weight – your body will not necessarily look exactly like you hoped. Sometimes when people lose weight they still retain stubborn areas of excess fat that do not seem to respond to diet or exercise. In these cases, liposuction after weight loss can be a good option. Liposuction allows the slimming of a particular area, in a way that diet and exercise alone cannot achieve. Here are some of the questions our patients who have liposuction after weight loss often ask us:
What is the purpose of liposuction?
Liposuction is a procedure we use to target one or several areas of the body that have excess fat. We remove the fat, giving that part of your body a reshaped and leaner appearance. Liposuction is one of the most popular cosmetic procedures, because even with hard work with a good diet and targeted exercise, many people have areas of their bodies they are unable to slim the way they’d like to.
Can I have liposuction to help me lose weight?
Liposuction is not for overall weight loss, but for reduction of fat in a targeted area. While you will lose weight in the area we perform liposuction on, this procedure will not cause overall weight loss. Once you’ve lost the overall weight you want to, at that point you will be able to see what areas you’d most like to have liposuction on.
Why would I have liposuction after weight loss?
People like to have liposuction after they lose weight because the procedure lets you fine-tune your appearance. You could lose plenty of weight and do lots of exercises, but there is no guaranteed way to eliminate certain areas of fat. Liposuction can be a minimally invasive and successful way of contouring your body.
What parts of the body do people have liposuction on, after they lose weight?
Some of the most common areas we perform liposuction on are the abdomen, arms, buttocks, legs including thighs and knees, hips, and chin. We are often able to target more than one area in a single procedure day, and we can give you detailed recommendations based on your goals for your appearance. Different people lose weight from different areas of their body, so deciding about where to have liposuction is an individual decision.
Do many people have liposuction after bariatric surgery?
It is fairly common that after bariatric surgery, someone would want liposuction. Many of our post-bariatric surgery patients also choose to have skin removal, which takes care of excess skin. Remember liposuction will not help with excess skin, so we can help you understand the different procedures and which would be best after the weight loss following bariatric surgery. If you have certain areas of fat you want to target after weight loss surgery, liposuction may be the best choice.
How soon after bariatric surgery can I have liposuction?
Before you have liposuction, we want your weight to be stable. You would not want to have liposuction while you’re still losing weight because this will not give you the best result. After bariatric surgery, many people are in the weight loss phase for about 1 – 2 years. They then stay in maintenance phase, observing the changes in their bodies. Once you feel like your body shape and weight are not changing notably, that is a good time to come see us for a consultation about how liposuction may help fine-tune the remaining area(s) of excess fat.
Is liposuction good after losing pregnancy weight?
Some new moms to want to have liposuction to target areas that may be out of shape because of pregnancy. During pregnancy, you not only gain weight but your blood volume increases, hormones change, and your body undergoes all kinds of transformations. Your uterus will also be enlarged for some time, which makes it hard to tell what you’ll look like after a few months. It does take some time for your body to recover from those 9-month pregnancy changes. We encourage you to give your body some time after the birth of your child, to see how you look and feel after losing the initial baby weight. At that time, we can meet with you to discuss whether liposuction or abdominoplasty is a better choice to help you reach your goals.
Is it possible to combine liposuction with a tummy tuck (abdominoplasty)?
Yes - combining a tummy tuck with liposuction is a good option for some people because it allows you to benefit from both removing excess fat, as well as tightening skin. Since liposuction does not tighten skin, people who have loose skin as well as some excess fat in the abdomen area, are able to address both issues in a single procedure day. This can be a particularly good choice after losing pregnancy weight, or for people who lost a substantial amount of weight from their abdomen.
Can liposuction be done with a body lift?
Yes, in some cases combining liposuction with a body lift is a good option. This is because the combination of the two procedures can give an even more contoured final result. Not everyone is a candidate for combining two procedures though, so the best option is to see a board certified, expert plastic surgeon to discuss your treatment options and expected results.
Will liposuction tighten my skin?
Liposuction is not intended for skin tightening. If your biggest complaint is loose skin, we offer other procedures that are better suited to target that problem. Loose skin is caused by loss of elasticity and there is no type of liposuction that primarily targets elasticity. However, if you want to have liposuction to reduce excess fat, but also have loose skin, we are often able to do a combination of 2 procedures to help with both issues. The best way to find out is to come see us for a consultation.
Liposuction can be a good cosmetic option for people who have lost weight. No matter how hard you try, there are often specific pockets of fat that you will not be able to lose. Some people who’ve lost weight are also good candidates for combining liposuction with either a tummy tuck or a body lift. Each procedure has benefits for different types of cosmetic goals. Meeting with an expert at Athenix is the best way to understand the options, and find out what kind of results you could achieve with each one. We’re happy to set up a consultation with you.
How long after a tummy tuck can I fly on an airplane?
It is preferable to wait at least a month before you fly. A danger of flying after major surgery is the potential to develop blood clots. Ideally you can wait 6 – 8 weeks before you fly, in case you’ll have to lift heavy luggage on your trip. This is best done several months after tummy tuck surgery. If you find that you need to fly soon after surgery, call us so we can discuss potential medications to help protect you during your flight.
Tips for making the recovery process easier:
While there’s no way to avoid the necessary recovery process after a tummy tuck, there are some tips we can give you based on our experience. First, be patient with your recovery. Make sure you have help around the house during your tummy tuck recovery. Even putting away groceries will be too difficult at first. Another important tip is to go for short, slow walks as soon as you can, even around the house. These walks will improve your circulation, which can lead to better healing. They also help prevent blood clots.
Tips for setting up your recovery area:
Since you’ll have notably decreased mobility during the first week of your recovery process, you’ll want to set up your bed or sleeping area so everything you need is in easy reach. Some patients find they are more comfortable if they plan to rest and sleep in a recliner for the first few days. Wherever you decide you’ll recover, here are things to have within easy arm’s reach: thermometer to monitor for fever, cell phone and charger, paper towels, tissues, plenty of water to drink, a plain snack like low sodium saltines, your medications, and a notebook to track your medications. You’ll also want to have plenty of comfortable pillows to help support you as you rest.
If you are considering having a tummy tuck, your questions about the tummy tuck recovery process are important to us at Athenix. Please get in touch with us if you would like to set up a consultation. We’re happy to answer any additional questions you have.