Do you have contours that make you feel self-conscious? Do you wish you could achieve tighter buttocks, abdomen, or back? If so, you may be a good fit for liposuction at Tampa Bay Plastic Surgery. To help you figure out whether this body contouring procedure is appropriate for you, keep reading to find out how much fat lipo can remove and who generally qualifies.
You can generally expect liposuction to remove around 26% of localized subcutaneous fat cells if you’re trying to contour larger regions of the body, like the chest, back, or abdomen. If you’re targeting smaller areas for contour improvement, like the chin, neck, knees, or underarms, you can expect closer to 80% of the localized fat cells to be removed.
Even though lipo isn’t a weight loss procedure, you can expect some weight to be lost due to the fat removal. How much weight you can expect to lose depends on many factors, including the size of the areas being targeted for fat removal, how much subcutaneous fat is in those areas, and your body mass. If you’re close to your goal weight, you may be able to lose between one and three pounds.
On the other hand, if you have quite a bit of weight left to lose, you may be able to lose between 10 and 11 pounds. Once we have discussed your goals and evaluated your areas of concern, we can give you a better idea of how much weight you can expect to lose. Also, keep in mind that you may be able to lose several more pounds if you have lost a significant amount of weight and need an arm lift, tummy tuck, or other skin removal and tightening procedure.
You need to come in for an evaluation to verify you are a good candidate for lipo. You may be considered a good fit for this procedure if you aren’t happy with your existing contours. However, it is important that you are no more than 30 pounds from your ideal weight; the closer you are to your goal weight, the more likely it is that you will be satisfied with the results of your procedure.
It is also worth noting that there needs to be enough excess subcutaneous fat in your areas of concern. This procedure is generally recommended for people who have an inch of pinchable fat, but it can still be effective if there isn’t that much fat. For instance, you can effectively improve the appearance of your underarms, the backs of your knees, or your submental region. Verifying efficacy is one reason the evaluation is so important.
Verifying safety is another reason why the initial evaluation is such an important step in your body contouring journey. We will advise you on whether lipo is safe for you during your initial evaluation once we have discussed your health and health history thoroughly. If you are in fairly good general health, it will probably be safe for you. However, you should understand that it is not right for everyone.
For example, it doesn’t matter how healthy you are if you are pregnant, breastfeeding, or stopped breastfeeding only recently. Also, you may be considered a poor fit for this procedure if you suffer from uncontrolled diabetes, have cancer, or need to take daily blood thinners due to a heart condition. Furthermore, certain bleeding disorders will disqualify you from lipo.
Planning to become pregnant in the future will not necessarily disqualify you from lipo. If you are currently trying to become pregnant, you will need to hold off on this procedure until roughly six months after you have finished breastfeeding. If you think you will have a child in the future, you will need to carefully consider that women often store excess fat during pregnancy. You may find that a follow-up procedure is necessary to restore your desired results.
Lipo results are considered permanent because it improves your contours by suctioning out subcutaneous fat cells in the targeted areas. Fat cells are the only cells in your body that can’t be produced after the age of 25. Therefore, once the cells are removed, they can’t be replaced. However, you should remember that this procedure generally only removes between 26 and 80% of the localized fat cells near your skin.
This means that anywhere from 20 to 74% of the fat cells in your areas of concern will remain after the procedure. If you consume more calories than you need for weight maintenance after your procedure, it is possible that the fat cells in the treated areas will expand to store the excess fuel you consumed. There is no way to know for sure where you will store excess fat because that is influenced by numerous factors, like stress hormone levels and genetics.
We will advise you on how to prepare for your procedure during your initial consultation. Some of your preparation instructions will depend on whether you will be given general anesthesia or a sedative in addition to a local anesthetic. If you receive general anesthesia, a medication usually recommended when there are several large areas being treated, you will need to fast for several hours pre-op. You won’t need to fast before getting local anesthesia.
Regardless of the type of anesthesia you are administered, it is vital that you do not smoke or drink alcohol before your operation. These substances can negatively impact your blood pressure. It is also very important that you do not take blood thinners in the days leading up to your procedure. Other important preparation steps to follow include ensuring you are hydrated, well-nourished, and well-rested.
You will need to take several days off from work, but the exact number of days you need to take off from work will depend on the nature of your work, the scope of your procedure, how well you care for yourself post-op, and whether accommodations at your job can be made temporarily. During your recovery period, you will need to go six to eight weeks without performing vigorous physical activity.
If you have a physically strenuous job, you may need to take off many weeks to recover. One thing you can do to ensure your recovery goes as quickly and smoothly as possible is to stay hydrated. For your skin to heal itself from the incision or incisions made during surgery, the collagen in your skin needs to be as strong and healthy as possible. Adequate water is required for this, as is sufficient nutrition.
For your collagen to be as healthy as possible, you need to eat plenty of vitamin C and get plenty of amino acids from bioavailable protein in your diet. Some of the best foods to eat that are high in vitamin C are citrus fruits, tropical fruits, and broccoli. These foods are also great because they are high in soluble fiber, and broccoli is also high in protein.
Soluble fiber may not directly benefit the collagen in your skin and help facilitate faster healing, but it may make your recovery more comfortable. Sometimes, certain analgesics can cause constipation, and you will need to increase your fiber intake temporarily in such cases. Just make sure you’re drinking plenty of water if you increase your soluble fiber intake to counteract the effects of your medications.
It is also important that you get plenty of deep sleep if you want to recover as quickly as possible. Walking regularly will also help.
You can generally expect liposuction to remove between 26 and 80% of the localized subcutaneous fat cells depending on the size of the area being targeted. The smaller the treatment area, the larger the percentage of fat that can be removed. If you think this body contouring procedure is right for you, contact us now at Tampa Bay Plastic Surgery. We welcome the opportunity to help you sculpt your ideal contours.
Schedule your consultation with Dr. David E. Halpern today
Dr. David E. Halpern is Tampa’s nationally renowned triple-board certified plastic surgeon, carefully blending expertise and artistry with extraordinary care. For the past two decades, Dr. Halpern’s dedication to exceptional care and commitment to his patients have made him Tampa’s most trusted plastic surgeon. Place your confidence in the capable hands of Tampa plastic surgeon Dr. David E. Halpern by scheduling a consultation today.
Tampa Bay Plastic Surgery is located in the Hyde Park area of South Tampa. We serve patients in Tampa Bay, Hyde Park, and out-of-town patients across Florida and beyond.