Liposuction is a popular procedure to remove fat, with patients often choosing it for aesthetic motives. However, there are some misconceptions about liposuction and managing expectations is important before any surgery. We asked expert plastic surgeon Mr Navid Jallali the questions that anyone considering liposuction needs the answers to.
Why opt to have liposuction?
Liposuction is a surgical procedure in order to remove areas of stubborn fat. It must be appreciated that liposuction is not a method of weight loss, but is very useful for patients who have a stubborn area of fat and find that they cannot shift it with exercise and weight loss.
How much fat can be removed and why?
There is generally a maximum amount that can be removed in any one procedure. This is usually around 5-6 litres of fat. Beyond this point, there are fluid shifts and blood losses that make it unsafe for patients to have any further fat removed. Therefore, we generally tend to advise patients that no more than six litres of fat should be removed in any one go.
Are there any requirements for an ideal patient?
As explained earlier, liposuction is not a method of losing weight. It generally works better in patients who are non-smokers and have good skin quality and want to remove an area of stubborn fat, rather than wanting to lose weight.
What are the realistic expectations a patient can have if they choose liposuction?
Liposuction is very good at removing areas of stubborn fat, but the amount of skin retraction, is a variable. Some patients have good elastin quality, which means that the skin will retract very easily, whilst others find that they may be left with some areas of loose skin. In general, most patients achieve a very good result, and it is really in extremes of age or patients who are smokers that there might be problems in terms of skin laxity.
What happens if I gain weight after liposuction and where does it go?
Liposuction does not remove all the fat cells in an area. Therefore, there is the possibility that if there were severe weight gain, then the areas that had had liposuction would also deposit fat. In general we tend to advise patients to keep their weight steady after liposuction in order for the fat not to return.
What can I expect if I get pregnant after liposuction?
There is no contra-indication to falling pregnant after liposuction. In general, the outcome will really depend on the area that has had liposuction. If a patient was to have liposuction on the abdomen, there would be significant changes post-pregnancy, but other areas may not be affected so dramatically.
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