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Liposuction and Weight Loss: Are They the Same?

Posted October 7, 2020 in Liposuction

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Liposuction has the reputation of being a weight-loss surgery. Unfortunately, this procedure is not an alternative for diet and exercise. It is correctly considered a body contour procedure as opposed to a weight-loss procedure.

Hand measuring waist with tape measure

Instead, liposuction works to remove the stubborn fat left on your body after weight loss to help you achieve your body contouring (sculpting) goals. 

What Is the Difference Between Weight Loss and Liposuction?

Many people confuse liposuction with weight loss because they are unaware of what each actually does. Liposuction physically removes unwanted fat cells from the body. The amount of fat cells removed in a given area is usually anywhere up to five liters (under ideal circumstances). 

Because liposuction reduces the actual number of fat cells, many people assume it is weight loss. However, traditional weight loss does not reduce the number of fat cells. When a person loses weight naturally, fat cells are not eliminated; instead, they are reduced in size. 

Every person is born with a particular amount of fat cells in their body (which is why some people are more prone to weight gain than others). Without a surgical or non-surgical body contouring treatment (like liposuction), a person cannot manipulate their physical number of fat cells. 

If Liposuction Surgery Is Not Weight Loss, How Do You Know if It Is Right for You?

1. You Should Be at Your Ideal Weight 

Before undergoing liposuction, you should be at or near your ideal weight to receive optimal results. If you are overweight or not at the weight you would like to be, liposuction may not be worth the recovery time and cost, and you may not receive the results you desire. Before undergoing surgery, you should have already worked to be at a healthy weight. 

2. You Have Fat Deposits That Are Not Reacting to Diet and Exercise 

Diet and exercise alone may not be able to remove all the unwanted fat from your body. This is where liposuction comes in––liposuction removes the small localized fat pockets from certain areas of your body that seem impossible to remove. 

Common treatment areas of liposuction include the: 

  • Abdomen 
  • Upper arms 
  • Thighs 
  • Back 
  • Neck 
  • Hips 

If you have stubborn fat deposits in any of these areas, liposuction may be right for you. 

3. You Have Realistic Expectations of Your Results 

Before undergoing liposuction, it is important to understand that you will not lose a significant amount of weight from the surgery alone. While you may lose a few pounds, it will not be a lot. Typically, liposuction patients lose five to 10 pounds (usually about one dress size). 

Just because you may not lose weight with this surgery, it does not mean that liposuction cannot provide you with beautiful results. Liposuction can enhance your natural body shape and contour by removing stubborn fat. 

Before and after image showing the results of liposuction on the back performed in Scottsdale, AZ.

How Can I Lose Weight to Prepare for Liposuction? 

Losing weight can be hard for everyone; however, it is crucial to be satisfied with your current weight before receiving liposuction. To help you lose weight before your surgery, you may wish to follow these tips and tricks: 

1. Have a Healthy, Balanced Diet 

This may seem like an obvious weight loss tip, but it is one that many potential patients do not follow. It can be almost impossible to lose weight if you do not have a balanced diet—it is important to limit your sugar, sodium, and saturated fat intake to lose or maintain your weight. 

2. Exercise Often

Getting your body moving is a great way to help you lose weight. In addition to weight loss, exercise can improve your physical and mental health. Whether this means going to the gym or for a brisk walk, getting your heart rate up has many health benefits. 

3. Sleep Seven to Eight Hours a Night 

There are so many benefits to getting a restful night’s sleep. Sleep helps restart your body and increases your metabolism. With an increased metabolism, it can be easier to lose weight and be satisfied with your results. 

Want to Learn More? 

If you would like to learn more about what liposuction can do for you, please schedule a consultation by calling our office at 480-359-1019 or filling out our online contact form

Contact Us Today

Dr. Spies is certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery and highly experienced in breast lift surgery for over 26 years. If interested in undergoing this procedure, please feel free to call 480-359-1019 to schedule a consultation.

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Dr. Spies' office is located in Paradise Valley, Arizona just adjacent to the Paradise Valley Cosmetic Surgery Center


Robert J. Spies, M.D.
5410 N Scottsdale Rd C 100
Paradise Valley, AZ 85253
Tel: 480-359-1019