Liposuction is one of the top five most common surgical procedures in The United States, with approximately 363,912 operations performed each year. While consumers may feel educated on the concept of of liposuction, many are misguided in terms of who is an appropriate candidate, how long the results last, and what the procedure can and cannot accomplish. Dr. John Zannis, a plastic surgeon from New Bern, North Carolina, sets the record straight.
MYTH: Fat Will Return Somewhere Else After Lipo
The “fat return” fear is something plastic surgeons hear frequently. “New fat does not ‘find its way’ elsewhere after liposuction. This is one of the most common liposuction myths out there,” shares Zannis. “Liposuction removes part of the fat in an area, but if the body is overwhelmed by a large amount of calories that are not burned they are stored proportionately in every remaining fat cell in the body.” Fat cells are not distributed evenly throughout the body; after liposuction (or any type of fat cell removal procedure) they will not be redistributed evenly. “The more fat cells removed, the more the remaining fat cells will gain when you gain weight.”
FACT: Liposuction Is Permanent
The results of liposuction are intended to be permanent. “While the fat cells are permanently gone, you can once again find yourself with unwanted fat if you gain weight, so your healthy habits will determine whether you maintain your liposuction results,” explains Dr. Zannis. If weight is gained in the future, fat will accumulate in surrounding areas, enlarging the remaining fat cells in the treatment area.
MYTH: Liposuction Causes Weight Loss
Liposuction actually has little effect on the number on your scale. It is not intended to be a weight loss method; rather, it is a form of body contouring and a way to address specific areas of stubborn fat. Liposuction is most effective when a patient has already achieved their weight loss goal; it then fine-tunes the appearance they have worked so hard to achieve. In fact, “It is not effective, even as a last resort, for people who are unable to lose weight by dieting and exercise.”