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How to Prepare for Liposuction

How many times have you stood in front of the mirror wishing that you could simply remove fat from your body by some miraculous, magical process? Before the 1980s, such an idea seemed ridiculous. Now, not only is it possible, but it also involves less pain, and the results are spectacular.

But it's not magic. A physician's primary responsibility is to let patients know that liposuction is not usually about weight reduction. It's about reshaping and contouring the body, though in cases where large quantities of fat are removed, weight reduction does occur. When we work with overweight patients in our office, we like to know that they have some history of attempting to control their weight with diet and exercise. The ones who get the best results are those who demonstrate a willingness to continue that commitment even after liposuction. Providing counseling for overweight patients about diet, exercise, and a healthy lifestyle is important before making a commitment to surgery.

The Truth about Fat

One myth that keeps many people in the dark about liposuction is that fat will never return to the treated areas. Experience has shown us that the fat can indeed come back if the patient gains weight. However, most patients maintain their improved and more proportional shape, even if they do gain some weight after having liposuction. Check out some of the instruments used in a liposuction procedure.

By the time we reach physical maturity, we have a fixed number of fat cells in our bodies. When we gain weight, those cells actually grow in size. They aren't thought to multiply; it's believed that each cell actually gets "fatter." Liposuction cuts the number of fat cells in a local area of the body, but whatever cells remain can still expand if you gain weight. If, after you've had liposuction, you eat improperly without exercising, the extra calories always find a home. If you really lose control of yourself and gain a lot of weight, areas that were not treated, such as face, arms, buttocks, neck or breasts, can balloon. There are also fat cells inside the abdomen, behind the muscle. These can grow too.

For those with weight problems to begin with, I cannot emphasize enough how important it is to watch the diet and stick to an exercise program after liposuction. We advise some of our patients to consume whey protein powder several times a day. This may cut their appetite for carbohydrates, which are usually the biggest dietary problem. Although patients with a serious weight problem need to be aware of the problems associated with weight gain after liposuction, those who just have small areas suctioned do not need to diet or change their exercise to look great. Liposuction is a wonderful procedure to be sure, but it is not a surgical cure for bad eating habits or an alternative to keeping fit.


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