Summary: Diet and exercise are the tried and true methods of weight loss. Of course, some people don’t like to think of it as weight loss—more like a lifestyle change. So where does liposuction fit into the equation? Is liposuction a substitute for diet and exercise in a broad way? Or is liposuction better off augmenting a weight loss solution you’ve already invested in. Well, that’s what we’re going to find out.
Liposuction a Substitute for Diet and Exercise?
It seems like everyone’s trying to lose weight. If people put that much effort into improving their confidence and self esteem (instead of improving the body), the world might be a different place. But for many people, the road to that self-esteem improvement is through changing the body, usually making it more slender.
There is much debate, of course, over exactly the best way to do that. There are all kinds of diets and exercise routines that are designed to help you lose weight. But it’s tough, and it’s not always effective. In fact, the human body has a series of safeguards that actively try to keep you at a stable weight—meaning that if you’re trying to lose weight your own body is working against you.
It’s no wonder, then, that many people will try to look for alternatives, for other effective ways to lose weight. And in that conversation, liposuction almost always comes up. So is liposuction a good substitute for diet and exercise?
Targeting Stubborn Areas of Fat
The short answer the question is pretty simple: no. According to the website of the Dr. Tenley Lawton, a Newport Beach liposuction surgeon, liposuction is rarely prescribed as a weight loss procedure. Instead, liposuction is advertised as a kind of body contouring.
In other words, liposuction is designed to get rid of stubborn areas of fat that diet and exercise simply have not been able to touch. Most of those areas of fat are relatively small, though they can cover a wide area (such as the belly). That said, some patients do use liposuction as a way to eliminate a large and more substantial area of fat—but those patients are also looking to contour the body.
What Surgery is Appropriate for Massive Weight Loss Goals?
So if liposuction isn’t necessarily your go-to procedure for massive weight loss, is there another surgical procedure that can help with your body slimming goals? It turns out there are such procedures: they’re usually referred to as bariatric surgery. And, in general, you have two options:
- Gastric Bypass surgery involves creating a small “stomach pouch” above your normal stomach. Then, the small intestine is attached to the new stomach pouch, completely bypassing your normal (and larger) stomach. The result is that you feel full more quickly and, thus, tend to eat less. As you eat less, your weight will drop. Gastric Bypass procedures are considered to be the best possible weight loss surgery in most cases.
- Sleeve Gastrectomy is a procedure that involves literally removing 80% of the stomach. The idea behind this procedure is similar to a gastric bypass—a small stomach means you’ll eat less and, therefore, lose weight. Sleeve Gastrectomy tends to be a little more intensive than Gastric Bypass, but it’s still a popular option due to its relatively quick recovery (only two days in the hospital) and the changes it creates in the chemistry of your gut.
It’s also important to note that these procedures are not without their risks. Bariatric surgery of any kind is a big surgical procedure and is generally only recommended when the health of the patient is at stake.
Liposuction, on the other hand, is minimally invasive and is recommended for cosmetic purposes.
Whether you’re looking for bariatric surgery to make a big change or liposuction to get some body contouring done, it’s important to accompany the procedure with some good lifestyle choices. For some, this might be a big change (especially if you’re in the bariatric surgery camp).
Liposuction surgeons, on the other hand, generally like to see a consistent body weight for patients. So you’ll want to talk to your surgeon about the best possible way to achieve that for yourself. At the end of the day, “good lifestyle choices” will likely look considerably different for everyone involved.
In general, however, healthy lifestyle choices include eating plenty of fruits and vegetables as well as getting in some daily exercise (especially if your career is on the sedentary side).
Many patients have questions about what type of body contouring, liposuction, or bariatric procedure is best for them, and the best place to find answers is from your local surgeon. Remember, plastic surgeons usually aren’t afraid to tell you the truth, so if you aren’t a good candidate for liposuction, they will likely tell you that.
Most surgeons want you to have results you love and results that last. Sometimes liposuction is the best way to get that. Sometimes it’s not.