Often times when I consult with patients who are considering a tummy tuck or liposuction, they will ask “How much weight will I lose?”. Unfortunately, for most patients the answer is a pound or two, so not very much. Plastic Surgery is just not intended as a weight loss tool.
While both procedures do remove fatty tissue, and in the case of a tummy tuck, loose skin, these just don’t weigh very much. Fat as a tissue, is not very dense. It takes a lot of fat to weigh even a pound. I always weigh the amount removed when I do a tummy tuck and it almost always between 2 to 3 pounds, that’s it. This if for the patients who have a fairly generous roll between their belly button and pubic area. For the patients who really only have loose skin, usually from babies, it might not even weigh a pound.
With lipo, the same applies. I am able to suction out the fat, but fat just doesn’t weigh that much. In the ‘pound of feathers vs pound of lead’ comparison, fat is in the feather category and a tissue like muscle is in the lead category.
What these operations are really intended to do is to shape and contour your figure by trimming off inches. They tighten loose skin and remove stubborn fat pockets to balance your body and improve your shape. They also change dress sizes for a lot of patients. So many patients tell me they have to buy larger sizes to accomodate their thighs or hips or tummy only to have their jeans or pants then be too loose every where else. These are the kinds of problems Lipo and Tummy Tucks do improve.
I hope this helps to answer the weight loss question. If you have questions please contact us at (502) 721 0330 or via our Virtual Consultation page at www.CorbettCosmeticSurgery.com
Lee Corbett, MD
Medical Director Corbett Cosmetic Aesthetic Surgery and Med Spa
Louisville Thigh Lifts are procedures that address mainly the inner thigh. The purpose of the surgery is to lift the skin and remove the skin fat excess that commonly collects on the uppr inner thigh.
The procedure is done in an operating room and requires general anesthesia. It can take 2 to 3 hours and can be done as an outpatient. Recovery takes about a week to 10 days.
I see lots of women, most of them Moms, who are completely frustrated because their skin won’t tighten up despite their working out like crazy. So they come to inquire about a Louisville Tummy Tuck or Louisville Liposuction. The bad news I have to deliver is that skin will not tighten up in response to exercise.
With exercise, especially resistance training (lifting weights), you can certainly loose fat and add muscle which is a great thing. As this process occurs, your skin will tighten up to some degree. Skin does have elasticity and so it will snap back. We see this all of the time with significant weight loss and after pregnancy. The skin is actually pretty amazing and tones itself back up rather nicely. But there is a limit and there isn’t much you can do to affect the process.
So, if you have lost a lot of weight and have been at a stable plateau for 6 months or more or if your last baby is more than 6 months old and you have lost your baby weight, what you see skin wise is probably what you are going to be left with. For some women with thicker more resilient skin, this can be taught, stretch mark free skin. For most though, there will be some residual laxity.
Age is also a huge factor. Our skin is more capable of snapping back the younger we are. Not much more explantion needed here.
So all you have to do is never age, never gain weight, and never have kids and your skin will be perfect! Just kidding 🙂
Swelling is universal after liposuction. Without a doubt, it is the most common lingering side effect of the procedure. So why do you swell much?
Well, the swelling is a totally natural process. When we do liposuction, be it laser lipo, ultrasonic or standard liposuction, we cause a fair amount of soft tissue trauma. Yes it is done in the OR, everything is sterile, you have antibiotics, you are under anesthesia, everything is as safe and controlled as possible. But, at the end of the day, we do beat up those fat cells pretty thoroughly and your body is responding.
There are three phases of wound healing, the lag phase, the proliferative phase, and the resolution phase. During the lag and proliferative phases, the blood vessels become more porous in areas of trauma. This allows the cells that are responsible for healing to leak from your bloodstream into the the area to do their work. Well, when the cells escape into your tissues, they attract water to follow them…and you swell. Compounding the problem is the fact that some of the tiny blood and lymphatic vessels that are responsible for returning the water back to your blood stream are distrupted as well…more reason to swell.
The swelling WILL GO AWAY! Don’t despair. But also, be patient, the swelling can last from 3 to 6 months before you see your final result after Liposuction.
The reason is because exercise only affects your muscles, it doesn’t do anything for loose skin or more importantly your fascia. I know, you have no idea what fascia is. So, I’m gonna tell ya. Every muscle in the human body is enveloped in fascia. Fascia is a whitish colored tissue that has the consistency of one of the white legal envelopes you can never tear open. It is a tough, sinewy tissue. In the picture, the fascia is the white stuff surrounding the 6 pack muscles. So, when you get pregnant, that fascia gets stretched out making your abdominal wall lax. Along your midline, the fascia from the right and left 6-pack muscles fuses in a line called the linea alba. Before kids, the linea alba is about 4 or 5 mm wide. But after, that line is stretched and thinned and can be a inch or two wide, so you get a midline bulge that looks like Alien is trying to escape! Here’s the bad news…fascia doesn’t respond to exercise and neither does skin. So all the situps in the world will tone the muscles but it can’t do a thing for the other two. But, there is still hope in the form of a Tummy Tuck or Abdominoplasty. A tummy tuck allows for fascial tightening thus muscle tightening, fat removal, and loose skin removal. In fact, it is part of a “Mommy Makeover”. It is usually coupled with Liposuction and is the procedure of choice for maximal abdominal wall rejuvenation.
All posts on this blog are authored by Louisville liposuction surgeon Dr. Lee Corbett. Dr. Corbett specializes in cosmetic plastic surgery including facelifts, browlifts, blepharoplasy, Botox, Juvederm, Restylane, breast augmentation, breast lifts, breast reductions, body lifts, liposuction, and tummy tucks.