The Difference Between Liposuction and Weight Loss

While liposuction may result in losing some weight, liposuction should not be considered a weight loss procedure. There are some very important distinctions between liposuction and the type of weight loss than can be achieved through diet and exercise.

Liposuction is a minimally invasive surgical procedure that physically removes subcutaneous (under the skin) fat deposits through a device called a cannula. Liposuction is considered a cosmetic procedure, meaning it affects the appearance rather than treating underlying health conditions. The goal of liposuction is to contour and shape the body for a more desirable appearance – not to lose pounds.

Traditional weight loss, on the other hand, is brought about by burning more calories than you eat over an extended period of time, generally through a combination of diet and exercise. This approach reduces the size of fat cells by forcing your body to tap into existing fat deposits for energy. The body areas where you lose fat will be determined by a number of factors, including genetics and age – but you cannot control the areas where you lose (or gain) weight.

What are the Benefits of Liposuction?

Liposuction is the most effective way to lose fat in targeted areas in order to sculpt and shape the body. Changing your diet can cause weight loss, but it will not allow you to change your body shape the way that liposuction does. The kind of targeted fat loss that is possible with liposuction is simply not possible through diet and exercise.

Modern laser liposuction like the kind done here at our liposuction clinic in Houston TX also has the benefit of tightening the skin. With any fat loss, you will experience some loose skin. By stimulating the skin with a laser during the procedure, laser lipo promotes the formation of new collagen, resulting in tighter, younger-looking skin in the treated area.

It’s important to note that liposuction does not have any negative impact on the health, as some doctors once thought. In fact, there have been some reported health benefits in patients who have had liposuction. It can sometimes have a positive impact on insulin resistance, and reduce the overall amount of lipids (fat) in the bloodstream. However, the best overall health improvements from liposuction are usually seen in combination with exercise – and you’ll see your best aesthetic results this way as well.

One of the most common health benefits we hear from liposuction patients in Houston is that they feel more motivated to keep up their diet and exercise routines now that they can see results. It’s often easier to maintain results than it is to achieve them, especially if your body naturally wants to store fat in places you don’t want it. 

The amount of weight lost through liposuction varies widely from person to person and shouldn’t be your main goal.

Lose Inches, Not Pounds

In general, we say that liposuction will cause you to lose inches, but not necessarily pounds. Liposuction removes fat cells in a single area, which can cause the impression that it must remove a large amount of weight – however this is not the case. Subcutaneous adipose tissue (fat under the skin) is not very dense – you may have seen the comparison of one pound of muscle vs. one pound of fat in health class. This means that a fairly large volume of fat – enough to dramatically change someone’s appearance – can be removed without the patient actually losing much weight. The total weight of the fat that can be safely removed during a liposuction procedure is generally somewhere in the range of 1-5 pounds.

The amount of fat removed via liposuction will vary depending on both the patient as well as the specific problem area being treated. Liposuction of the chin may remove only ounces of fat, whereas a Lipo 360 procedure (abdomen, hips and waist) will generally remove much more. Also, a patient who loses only two pounds from the procedure may still see better results (closer to their ideal body) than a patient who loses five pounds – the amount of fat removed will vary depending on how much fat you have in the treated areas. The goal of any liposuction patient should be to improve their appearance, not to lose weight.

Could You Remove 30lbs with Liposuction?

Liposuction is a body contouring procedure, not a weight loss procedure. Any weight loss as a result of liposuction is incidental. A lot of people mistakenly believe that liposuction is a short-cut – if only it were that easy!

Even the many extreme cases done for medical research purposes do not come anywhere near removing 30 pounds. Not only would suctioning such a large amount of fat result in excessive blood loss and a long painful recovery, but the results would likely not be aesthetically pleasing. While laser lipo procedures like SmartLipo provide some collagen formation after liposuction, suctioning this amount of fat would almost certainly leave patients with an excess of loose, saggy skin.

Liposuction in Houston, TX

If you are considering liposuction, the best thing to do is give us a call! Ideal patients should be in good general health and within 20-30 pounds of their ideal weight, with fat deposits in particular areas that have proven resistant to diet and exercise. However, if weight loss is your goal, we recommend Houston Weight Loss Center.

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