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We Answer Your Liposuction Questions

When is liposuction appropriate?

Liposuction is a surgical procedure appropriate for patients with excess body fat in certain body areas that are usually not affected by lifestyle changes, exercises and a healthy diet. Women tend to accumulate subcutaneous fat in areas like hips, inner and outer thighs, buttocks and knees which is often difficult to be removed even with a strict diet plan. For men, problematic body areas can be the abdomen, back, neck and others. In such cases, liposuction might be a suitable treatment option. The procedure removes the excess fat giving a nice contour to the body. Candidates that are close to their ideal body weight usually get the best results of the operation.

Liposuction might be not appropriate for people who have poor skin elasticity or medical illnesses that can affect healing.

Can I have liposuction if I'm overweight?

Unfortunately, if you are overweight, liposuction surgery may not give you the desired results as it is not a treatment method for weight loss. You will be a good candidate for liposuction in case you have too much excess fat in specific areas of your body that cannot be easily reduced by diet and regular workouts.

Ideally, you should be within 30 pounds of your ideal weight prior to liposuction. The number may vary slightly depending on the body type, but 30 pounds is a realistic weight loss goal. When you need to lose more than 100 pounds, it is recommended that you try natural weight loss or consider bariatric surgery.

Overweight Woman Training with Ball

How much fat can liposuction remove at one time?

The amount of fat that can be safely removed during liposuction is usually from 3 to 5 litres or in other words from 6 to 8 pounds. A higher volume of fat removal increases the possibility of complications. The surgery can be split up into several sessions if the patient needs to have more than 5 pounds of body fat removed from various parts of the body.

The exact amount of fat that will be sucked out normally depends on some factors such as the size of the body area and whether one or more areas are targeted in one session. It is important to be noted that liposuction is not a suitable treatment for weight loss. For example, if 5 litres of fat are sucked out, it does not mean that patients will weigh 11 pounds less. In liposuction, the removed tissue does not necessarily mean weight loss. This surgery is a method of sculpting the body. So it is mainly about correcting body shape, not treating overweight.

How much weight can you lose with liposuction?

It is possible to lose between 2 and 5 pounds after liposuction surgery, but it does not apply for any patient. It really depends on the individual and how much fat is removed during the procedure. However, the aim of this surgery is to contour and shape the body. It is not a technique that reduces the weight so it shouldn’t be done with such a purpose.

Why do I weigh more after lipo?

It is possible to weigh more immediately after your liposuction surgery. This is usually due to water retention and swelling. After few days when the swelling decreases you will begin to notice results and your weight will go back to normal. It is important to drink enough water and try to move around during that time.

If you weigh more after few months following liposuction surgery then you probably gained weight. It can happen in case you eat more food and you are not active enough. In other words, if you eat more calories than you burn you will gain weight. That is why it is good to follow a healthy diet and do some exercises after you have had liposuction.

How long do liposuction results last?

Liposuction results are permanent as long as you maintain a healthy weight. If you gain weight your fat distribution may change. When fat cells are removed by liposuction, they usually disappear forever. The contour of the body is improved and the targeted areas are now proportionate to the rest of the body. However, there will always be residual fat cells in the area as well as in other parts of the body. Therefore, if you gain weight after your liposuction surgery, the remaining fat cells will grow as well. Nevertheless, you are more likely to accumulate fat in other areas which haven't been treated.

That is why it is important to maintain your weight after the liposuction procedure through a healthy diet and exercises. That way your results are likely to remain permanent.

girl after liposuction

What can you not do after liposuction?

After liposuction surgery you should not do the following things:

  • Taking blood thinners medications. They usually increase the risk of bleeding.
  • Lying in bed all the time. Lying stationary all the time will increase the risk of forming a blood clot.
  • Not wearing a compression garment/ socks. Wearing that special clothing is an essential part of your recovery. If you don’t wear a compression garment after your liposuction surgery you may experience fluid build-up or seroma. Most of the surgeons advise patients to wear the garment for 4 to 6 weeks.
  • Lifting heavy things or doing strenuous exercises. Although it is recommended to move around after your surgery you shouldn’t do vigorous exercises because it can lead to bleeding.
  • Taking a bath for a long time. It is best to avoid hot baths as that may lead to infection on the operation site.
  • Not following the instructions of your surgeon. If you want to have a smooth recovery you must follow your surgeon’s instructions.

When can I start working out after lipo?

You can resume your regular exercise for 5 or 6 weeks or until your plastic surgeon allows it.  After 2 to 4 weeks after the operation, you might be able to do some light exercises such as gentle walking or toning exercises. However, it should be always done after you have permission from your doctor.

It is important to exercise regularly once you fully recover from liposuction surgery. This will help you maintain your results in long term.

Is it easier to lose weight after liposuction?

Liposuction may help you stay at your ideal weight and can make it easier to lose weight.  During the surgery, only pure fat is removed from your body so your muscle and bony mass stay the same. The advantage of that is that you have the energy, the metabolism to move all of your muscle around and can do that with less body fat. For the first few months after surgery, your body doesn’t really know what happened and all it knows is it is still trying to move the same amount of muscle and bones but you don’t have the same amount of fatty stores that you were using in order to metabolize the energy to move around. It means that your metabolism will start to race quicker after liposuction. If you watch what you eat and you exercise you are going to be able to lose weight quicker and easier than before.

Will Lipo make my stomach flat?

Liposuction is one of the best methods for reducing belly fat and slimming your stomach. You can enhance your results by incorporating proper diet and exercise. However, this surgery does not work for everyone. If you are close to your ideal weight but you have some excess fat in your stomach then liposuction might be a good option for you. Another important thing that needs to be determined is the type of your abdominal fat - whether it is subcutaneous or visceral fat.

Liposuction can be used to remove subcutaneous fat. This type of fat is found directly under the skin. Visceral fat is fat that surrounds the internal organs in the abdominal cavity, and cannot be removed by liposuction. The only way to get a flat stomach if you have a lot of visceral fat is to lose weight.

Beautiful overweight Asian woman relaxing at the park

Does liposuction work on inner thighs?

Liposuction procedure can be performed on the outer or inner thighs, or on both. The inner thigh is a very common area for liposuction. The procedure creates a more defined silhouette and eliminates the problem of inner thighs rubbing on each other. Liposuction can make the legs look longer, leaner and shapelier by removing fat in the upper inner thigh. To get the best results and for symmetry reasons, it is recommended to treat the inner thigh and inner knee together.

Is liposuction safe?

When performed by well-trained and experienced plastic surgeon liposuction is a safe procedure. However, as with any surgery, it carries some risks and side effects. Possible complications after liposuction include reaction to anaesthesia, bleeding, infection, irregularities of the contour, fat embolism and so on.

This surgery might be not safe for patients that have any medical problems or illnesses. So before undergoing lipo you and your doctor need to make sure your heart, your lungs, blood, kidneys and liver are healthy. If proper precautions are taken liposuction is very safe. In addition, proper post-surgery cares are also crucial for your smoother recovery.

Is liposuction painful?

Liposuction surgery is done under anaesthesia so patients usually don’t feel any pain during the treatment. The procedure can be performed under local anaesthesia where only the operated part of the body is made numb and then the operation is done or it can be performed under general anaesthesia where you are put fully to sleep.

For the first day after liposuction, you are most likely to feel pain and discomfort but you will be given painkillers so that you can control the soreness. The pain and discomfort usually disappear after 3 to 5 days. Thighs liposuction tends to be a little bit more painful and downtime might be a little bit longer. This is because in many cases the surgeon removes not only fat but skin as well.

Does Lipo leave scars?

Liposuction is a surgical procedure in which small incisions are used and long cannula to remove fat. Although those incisions usually have less than an inch of length, they leave visible scars on the skin. However, those scars are very small and normally fade off over time and if they don't - there are scar removal treatments available.

It is important for liposuction surgery to be done by a knowledgeable and experienced plastic surgeon. He/ she will put the incision on hidden or inconspicuous sites so that to all intents and purposes the scars will then be very difficult to detect.

How much does liposuction cost in Singapore?

In Singapore, liposuction surgery may cost anywhere from $1500 to $3000 per body part. Keep in mind that plastic surgeons typically perform liposuction on at least 5 body parts. It means that the total price of the procedure may go up to $20000.

The main factors that have an impact on the price of liposuction include the type of liposuction (whether it is tumescent, ultrasound-assisted, laser lipo, etc.), the type of anaesthesia, the plastic surgeon experience, the amount of fat that is removed as well as the type and size of the treated areas. Larger areas are usually more expensive. For example, liposuction for the stomach may cost you around $5000 where the price for the upper abdomen is around $3000 and for the lower - $2000.

Since liposuction is cosmetic surgery, it is usually not covered by insurance.

Which is better liposuction or tummy tuck?

For patients with excess fat pockets, a flat abdominal wall and good skin tone liposuction might be the best option. Tummy tuck surgery might work very well after pregnancy. Although women who have given birth can still benefit from liposuction, the stretch of their abdominal wall and skin is most commonly best addressed with a tummy tuck.

The main goal of liposuction is to suction out excess fat whereas the main goal of tummy tuck is to remove excess skin on the abdomen. So what procedure will be best for you will depend on your body and whether you have excess fat or excess skin on the abdomen. We have a detailed post on which are the best procedures for reducing belly fat.

How many inches do you lose with a tummy tuck?

Women typically lose between 2 and 3 pants sizes, which is about 4 inches, after so-called abdominoplasty or tummy tuck surgery. Men are more likely to drop more pant sizes compared to ladies. A patient with loose skin before the procedure, for example, could reduce four more pants sizes.

Even though tummy tuck helps you lose some clothing sizes this surgery shouldn’t be used as a weight-loss treatment.

Is getting liposuction worth it?

If you are a suitable candidate, you are healthy, you are near your ideal weight and you can maintain your body weight after the operation then liposuction is definitely worth it. In case you are overweight and your goal is to lose weight then such surgery may not worth it because you may not obtain the desired results. If you have a high body mass it will be best first to lose weight through proper diet and exercise and then to consider a body contouring procedure.

Liposuction can give great results on different body areas such as the abdomen, love handles, inner and outer thighs as well as arms and neck. It can make your stomach looks flatter and your legs look longer and shapelier. If you have some extra fat on the arms and good skin elasticity then getting arm liposuction also worth it.

Liposuction is considered a safe and successful operation. Researchers found that regardless of whether patients gained weight or not, all of them were extremely satisfied or completely satisfied with their procedure.