Liposuction is a body contouring procedure that has been performed since the 1970s. It is now the third most popular aesthetic procedure behind nose jobs and breast augmentation. Over five decades of procedures have proven that the fat removal method works. The question is how long the results of the procedure last. That’s what the aesthetic experts at Metairie Plastic Surgeons in Metairie, LA are talking about today.
Are the Results of Liposuction Permanent?
Hundreds of thousands of Americans get liposuction annually and they all want to know the same thing: how long will the results of this procedure last? The bottom line is the results of this procedure are permanent. However, we think it is worth exploring the answer to this question a little further. The nuanced answer to the question is the fat cells are removed permanently but the contours can change.
The Mechanism of Adipose Tissue Cells
Regardless of body weight, adults typically have the same number of fat cells throughout their body. These fat cells are crucial for a number of functions, including the prevention of starvation and the communication between the brain and muscles. Adipose tissue cells primarily serve to store energy (fat) for use when available energy is scarce. However, it is important to understand that once you have gone through puberty, your body can’t make any new fat cells.
When you gain weight, your existing fat cells are expanding to accommodate the storage of extra energy. As weight loss occurs, fat cells shrink. However, they only “disappear” when they are destroyed and eliminated as waste. If you are having trouble reducing fat in certain regions of your body, the problem may be a large number of cells in the area. Liposuction may be the perfect solution for you if you wish you could spot-reduce unwanted fat.
Can Adults Ever Grow New Fat Cells?
No, adults can never grow new fat cells. Once they are suctioned out during the procedure, they will never return. However, the onus is on you to maintain your desired contours. You should know, this procedure is designed for people who are already at their ideal weight; it is not a weight-loss procedure. Rather, its sole purpose is to eliminate pockets of unwanted fat when diet and exercise has failed.
If you maintain a relatively healthy lifestyle, you should have no trouble maintaining your weight and contours. You should also know there is a limit to how far a fat cell can expand. Since there are permanently fewer fat cells in the targeted regions, the targeted regions will never be as large as they were before the procedure. This is true even if fat gain occurs after the procedure.
What Can I Do to Maintain the Results of My Procedure?
Remember, you need to maintain a fairly healthy lifestyle if you want to keep your desired silhouette. In other words, you need to ensure you stay hydrated, exercise regularly and eat nutritious foods most of the time. As long as you are getting your recommended daily allowance of micronutrients, it is okay to eat junk food in moderation. You must also adhere to all post-op care instructions until your recovery period is over.
Benefits of This Procedure
The most compelling benefit of this procedure is it improves self-confidence. We know how frustrating it is to reject unhealthy foods for months and exercise six times weekly without getting rid of pockets of stubborn fat. Lipo allows you to finally rid yourself of those stubborn pockets. With an improved silhouette, people feel more self-confident than they have in years and happier with their body and life. If you get lipo, you can enjoy a sleek, strong silhouette for life.
Since everyone has a different reason for considering this procedure, everyone will derive different benefits from the results of the procedure. It is sought most commonly to correct cosmetic concerns. However, it can also address certain medical conditions, including gynecomastia, lymphedema, lipoma and lipodystrophy syndrome.
A Closer Look at What to Expect From This Procedure
Now that you have a thorough understanding of how long the results of this procedure last, we’d like to take a closer look at what you can expect from the procedure. It is important to have a clear understanding of the full picture before you commit to any procedure. Here’s what you need to know.
What Is Lipo?
As stated previously, lipo is a fat removal procedure that has been popular since the 1970s. Sometimes known as lipoplasty, this procedure helps people who are a healthy weight to achieve contours a lifetime of exercise and healthy eating could never achieve. Most commonly, this procedure is used to remove unwanted fat from the chest, abdomen, sides and hips. However, it can also be used to recontour your back, thighs and buttocks.
Make sure you let us know during your initial consultation about all of the concerns you have. Although this procedure usually suctions out excess fat from large areas, it can also target small areas, like the backs of the knees, underarms, neck and chin. We will assess the areas you are concerned about to ensure there is enough fat for removal and your skin is elastic enough to recover from the procedure quickly.
How Is This Procedure Performed?
During lipo, you will not feel any pain or discomfort. Depending on the amount of fat that needs to be removed and the number of areas that need to be corrected, you may receive general or local anesthesia. We will discuss your health and personal preferences with you to identify the most appropriate numbing method. Once you are numb, we will make very small incisions around the area you have targeted for fat removal.
Then, we inject a special tumescent solution to further numb and soothe the targeted area. This solution also helps to dislodge subcutaneous fat cells so they can be suctioned out through a cannula efficiently. Depending on your unique case, we may decide to increase the efficiency of the suction process with special tools, such as a medical-grade laser or ultrasound device. Once the cannula has suctioned out roughly a quarter of the localized fat cells, the incisions will be closed.
What Should I Expect During My Initial Consultation?
During your initial consultation, we will review your medical history to ensure you are healthy enough to undergo this procedure. Once that has been determined, we will discuss your current health. It is important to wait at least two weeks after fighting off an illness before scheduling a cosmetic procedure, like lipo. We also need to know about all drugs and supplements you are taking or have taken recently. Certain drugs and supplements may cause contraindications with lipo.
We will also assess the amount of fat in the areas you would like to treat, as well as the health of the skin in the area. Remember, we are looking for elastic skin in the targeted areas because elastic skin will heal faster and bounce back faster, revealing the final results of the procedure. Furthermore, it is important there is enough excess fat in the targeted areas but not too much excess fat.
What Can I Expect During My Recovery Process?
You’ll feel uncharacteristically tired during the first 24 hours following your procedure. This is to be expected and a safe, natural result of receiving general anesthesia. If you rest when your body is tired rather than pushing yourself to be active, you will feel much better once 24 hours have passed. When you feel up to it, start walking. We recommend walking around your home so you can rest when you need to easily.
Note, one of the best things you can do for your recovery process is to listen to your body. On average, it takes eight weeks to recover from this procedure fully. However, if you don’t push yourself too hard in the beginning, you can easily return to work after only a week or two. You should also be able to engage in strenuous exercise after six weeks if you didn’t exert yourself too much in the beginning.
What Type of Liposuction Is Right for Me?
We will determine the appropriate liposuction technique for you during your initial consultation. Usually, we use the tumescent technique to perform this procedure. However, we also use other techniques, such as the super-wet technique, depending on the individual’s unique circumstances.
The Tumescent Technique
The tumescent technique may be right for you if you are at or very near your goal weight and you do not want to receive general anesthesia. Tumescent lipo is much more effective and efficient than traditional lipo. Remember, the tumescent solution we administer further soothes the targeted area and dislodged adipose tissue cells to make removing them easier. This means you can remove more fat and the procedure doesn’t take as long.
The Super-Wet Technique
The super-wet technique is similar to the tumescent technique in that it involves the injection of local anesthesia combined with a special tumescent solution. However, the super-wet technique uses less than half of the volume of the tumescent solution used in tumescent lipo. This technique is appropriate for individuals who are healthy enough to be put under general anesthesia.
The Ultrasound-Assisted Technique
The ultrasound-assisted lipo technique is most commonly used in more sinewy areas, like the calves, upper arms or upper back. The ultrasound-assisted technique is most effectively combined with the tumescent technique. It increases the efficiency of the tumescent technique by liquefying the fat cells using ultrasonic vibrations. The ultrasound-assisted lipo technique is most often performed above the skin using an emitter. However, it may also be performed internally with the help of a heated cannula.
The Laser-Assisted Technique
The laser-assisted lipo technique is usually used to remove unwanted fat from smaller regions of the body, such as the underarms, neck or cheeks. This technique is most often recommended for clients who have inelastic skin. The heat emitted by the laser encourages the production of extra collagen. Collagen is a protein found in the foundational layer of your skin that keeps it looking tight, young and healthy.
Schedule Your Initial Consultation Today
Lipo can change your life for the better. It can give you the silhouette you deserve, the silhouette you have spent years working towards. The fat removal results of this procedure are permanent and you can enjoy the body sculpting results forever with just a little discipline. Contact us now at Metairie Plastic Surgeons in Metairie, LA to book an appointment and learn more about this incredible procedure today.