Liposuction is a surgical procedure designed to remove unwanted fat from localized deposits beneath the skin. A segment on NBC’s Today Show discussed a patient who underwent surgery despite being a size 2. The concerns raised were that this could be a slippery slope as patients would try to change every little thing that bothers them.
In reality, thin women who exercise or have little excess fat are the ideal candidates for liposuction. Since these women usually do not need much removed, have better skin quality, and the amount of skin contraction required is less.
This procedure is not a weight-loss procedure as fat weighs little compared to muscle or bone, which is why we don’t recommend liposuction to patients who are overweight.
On Why Thin Patients are the Ideal Candidates
The ideal liposuction patient is a healthy individual with a weight close to their ideal body type. Most patients have small, localized collections of fat that are resistant to diet and exercise.
Patients also must have good quality skin without overlying laxity or stretch marks. Also, patients must have realistic expectations as there must be some fat left behind to prevent contour irregularities or adherence to the underlying muscles.
The Benefits of Being Close to your Ideal Body Size
Liposuction allows us to contour and reshape the distribution of fat predetermined in each patient. This is more accomplished in women closer to their ideal weight. There needs to be a real “excess” of fat too, but if your physician confirms this, then proceeding forward can be done without hesitation.
When a patient is close to their ideal body weight, there is less fat that needs to be removed to produce the best aesthetic results. Also, the overlying skin needs to contract to the new shape after liposuction, and the smaller the area to be treated, the less contraction needed. This again helps to create the best outcome.
Overweight patients also need more surgery to ease the transition from the treated areas to non-treated regions of the body. Otherwise, there can be lines of demarcation where the procedure was stopped. This is rarely an issue for patients who are at or near their ideal body weight.
A Common Liposuction Misconception
Liposuction has been one of the most performed cosmetic surgery procedures over the past decades. But this procedure is not for everyone.
- Misconception #1: A weight loss procedure
One of the frequent misconceptions about the procedure is that it can help a patient lose weight. Fat is much like a bag of marshmallows, where it takes up space but does not weigh much. Thus, patients will see improvement in the shape of their bodies and how their clothes fit, but the changes on the scale will be limited.
- Misconception #2: Once your fat is gone, you won’t be able to gain it back
Unfortunately, fat cells do not divide or grow like normal cells, but they grow in size. New cells will not grow, but once cells get to a specific size due to increased caloric intake, they will cleave and create new cells. Which means you can create new fat cells if the calorie intake is enough.
- Misconception #3: Fat will come back in weird places after liposuction
Fat does not come back in odd locations, but after liposuction, you have fewer cells in the area treated. If you are going to put on 5 pounds, your body will find the fat cells to store that amount of fat, but less of it will go to the area before treatment.
In conclusion, liposuction is a wonderful procedure when performed on the proper candidate. This can only be determined after a full consultation and discussion with your surgeon.
Just because you are a size 2, it doesn’t mean that you should be excluded from liposuction because you take good care of yourself. It won’t make you a different person or fix your relationships, but it might make you feel better in a bikini or that little black dress.
*The content in this blog is developed to spread the awareness towards plastic surgery. Our blog is not intended to serve as a replacement for an actual in-office consultation with Dr. Marin. As such, the information within this blog reflects the unique cases of our individual patients.