I was seeing a patient this week for a Smart Lipo consultation and she asked me this question. She was quite surprised by my answer which was, “not much”. So, I thought this might be a good topic to blog about so that you might better understand the role of liposuction.
First, conceptually, think of Liposuction as a shaping tool, a sculpting tool. It is a way that I can restore balance to your figure. Another way of saying it, and I tell every patient this, is to think of liposuction as you would a nail file. It is a tool we use to smooth out a rough edge. For instance, take your back as an example. Say you are OK with your bra line area and you are OK with your tush, but right above your buttocks, lets call this area your hips, you have a bulge. I use this as an example because it seems like every woman who has had a baby has a little extra fat right there. Well, using the nail analogy, I want to use liposuction to ‘file down’ your hips so that they blend more smoothly with your bra line above and your buttock below. So we are shaping/sculpting your figure to give you a smoother, better curve. This doesn’t mean I am trying to remove every fat cell in the area, if I did that I would leave you with a dent that doesn’t match what’s around the area. I just want to remove enough to improve your figure. Now, if I am doing liposuction on your tummy, I am trying to remove every fat cell that I can possibly get out as no one has ever complained that their tummy is too flat!
As far as weight loss goes, fat is not a very dense tissue. It falls into the “pound of feathers” category. In other words, it takes a lot of fat to weigh even a pound. With most of my liposuction cases the patient might lose between 3 to 5 pounds, but that’s about it. Now, losing 3-5 pounds might very well enable you to drop a dress size or two. If we get rid of the bulge on your hips or your tummy your clothes will fit much better and you might not have to buy that larger size just to accommodate your problem area. But the idea of liposuctioning off 20 or 30 pounds or more is simply not possible and not done.
Dr. Lee Corbett
Medical Director Corbett Cosmetic Aesthetic Surgery and MediSpa