How to Liposuction Fat: Limitations and Techniques
- 31 March 2019
- Dr. Nidal (Nick) Masri
When people hear about liposuction, they often think about weight loss. After all, they think that you’ll suddenly transform from curvy to slim overnight when you liposuction fat from different parts of your body.
But that couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact, liposuction is a procedure that eliminates stubborn fat deposits to give your body a better and more desirable contour. It won’t magically melt all your fats and cause you to drop double-digit kilos on the scale.
Before we discuss the different liposuction techniques, it’s important to note first that liposuction is not an all-in-one solution for fat elimination. It has its own set of limitations, which are as follows:
Liposuction Fat Limits
Fat extraction in liposuction has certain limits. It’s not just in the amount of fat that can be removed in one sitting. It also lies in the results that you can expect afterward.
For the longest time, plastic surgeons can only extract a maximum of 5,000 milliliters of fat, equivalent to 11 pounds, regardless of body fat or weight status. However, many of them suction out way less than that because the risk of complication rises with the amount of fat removed.
There are also surgeons who base fat removal on the body mass index (BMI). The higher your BMI is, the more fat can be removed safely. People with higher BMI are better able to tolerate large-scale fat removal than those with lower BMI.
Still, BMI is not the main factor because each patient has individual risk factors that should be considered. In fact, a lot of plastic surgeons refuse to perform liposuction if your BMI is higher than 35.
Also, since liposuction has limits, patients with high amounts of body fat might not notice any visible weight loss.
That’s why it’s essential to reach your ideal weight first before getting liposuction. The procedure eliminates extra fat deposits, helping your body achieve a better contour.
Do you have sagging skin in your fatty areas? Unfortunately, liposuction can’t do anything for your skin’s laxity.
Some of the things that contribute to excess skin include weight fluctuations, pregnancy, and even your genes. You might even have cellulite, which is caused by fibers pulling down your skin and fat pushing against your skin.
If you have lax skin, getting liposuction might worsen it, so it’s important to pair it with a procedure that trims out excess skin. For instance, if you get belly liposuction but you have too much excess skin on the area, you can couple it with a tummy tuck to eliminate sagging skin and enjoy a better body shape.
You also have to remember that liposuction can’t remove scars or stretch marks. The procedure might minimize their appearance, but they never entirely disappear.
Liposuction produces permanent results since your fat cells don’t grow back. Despite this, you must make sure that you also maintain your results so that you can continue enjoying them in the long run.
While you’ve reduced your fat cells in the area of the body where you liposuction fat, other regions still contain fat cells. These remaining fat cells can expand with weight gain.
Maintaining your weight through proper diet is vital to achieving lasting results. Incorporate fruits, vegetables and lean protein in your diet. Avoid too many sweet and sugary foods as they can easily contribute to weight gain.
You should also maintain a healthy and active lifestyle to keep the fat away. Exercising also does wonders for your heart health.
Common Liposuction Fat Techniques
Now that you know what liposuction can and can’t do for you, it’s time to learn about the different liposuction techniques.
The process of liposuction involves using a cannula—a thin tube—connected to a vacuum to suction out fat from different body areas.
As a patient, you can choose from the following liposuction techniques, as long as your plastic surgeon also thinks it’s the best one for your condition.
As the most common liposuction technique, tumescent lipo is the traditional way of suctioning out fatty deposits in the least painful way possible.
Before suctioning out fat, your plastic surgeon injects a sterile solution into the operative area. The solution consists of saline mixed with lidocaine and epinephrine to numb the area before the actual procedure. The saline content also aids in the fat removal process, while epinephrine constricts blood vessels to minimize blood loss.
Sometimes, your liposuction fat is too huge to be suctioned out easily. In such cases, ultrasound-assisted liposuction breaks down these huge fat pockets using sound wave energy to rupture the fat’s cell walls and liquefy the fat. After your fats have been broken down, it’s now easier to suction them out.
It is used in conjunction with tumescent liposuction for best results.
A newer version of this liposuction type is called VASER-assisted lipo, which uses a device that can help improve your skin contours and lessen your chances of skin injuries.
Also known as laser-assisted liposuction, SmartLipo works pretty much like ultrasound-assisted liposuction. The only difference is that SmartLipo uses high-intensity laser light to emulsify fat deposits before suctioning them out.
With this type of liposuction, your plastic surgeon uses a particular kind of cannula that moves in a rapid back-and-forth motion. The vibration lets your surgeon pull out your fats faster and more easily as it causes less pain and swelling.
Power-assisted lipo is perfect for patients who need to have large volumes of fat removed. It’s also ideal if you’ve had liposuction before.
Is liposuction a procedure that you’re thinking of getting? Or are you having second thoughts because you’re not sure if it’s the right procedure for your body goals?
Schedule a Free Consultation with one of our reputable, experienced, and double board-certified plastic surgeons here in Face+Body Cosmetic Surgery. We’ll answer any questions or concerns that you may have to help you decide on the procedure that can best help you achieve the body that you want.