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How Much Fat Can Be Removed With Liposuction?

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There are few things as frustrating as stubborn pockets of fat that won’t seem to go away despite your best efforts at the gym and in the kitchen. Millions of Americans struggle with this problem and turn to cosmetic surgery each year for help finding a solution to remove stubborn fat. The experienced and talented team of board-certified plastic surgeons at Austin-Weston, The Center for Cosmetic Surgery is thrilled to be able to help men and women of all ages finally feel comfortable in their own skin with liposuction in northern Virginia. 

When a person first begins to consider liposuction, one of the things they usually wonder about is how much fat can actually be removed during the procedure. This is certainly an important aspect of liposuction and can help you determine whether or not the procedure may be right for you. It is also important to understand liposuction as a whole, including how it works, what kinds of results you can expect, and how long they will last. 

What is liposuction?  

Liposuction is a highly effective surgical fat removal technique that is designed to eliminate excess fat that does not respond adequately to traditional diet and exercise. Using a handheld wand, also called a cannula, the surgeon breaks up fat deposits and essentially vacuums them out of the patient’s body. 

Where can liposuction be used? 

Liposuction is extremely versatile and can be used on a long list of common problem areas, including:

  • Face (can be used during a facelift to enhance the results)
  • Neck/chin
  • Arms
  • Upper back
  • Bra line
  • Abdomen
  • Hips
  • Flanks
  • Buttocks
  • Thighs

The ability to remove excess fat from so many different areas of the body is undoubtedly one of the most attractive and valuable aspects of liposuction. In many cases, patients are able to have more than one area treated with liposuction during the same surgery, cutting down on costs and maximizing the overall results. During your one-on-one consultation at Austin-Weston, The Center for Cosmetic Surgery, you will have the opportunity to discuss your areas of concern with one of our caring board-certified plastic surgeons in order to determine how liposuction can best be used to achieve your ultimate aesthetic goals. 

How much fat can I lose with liposuction? 

First and foremost, it is crucial that patients have realistic expectations for their procedure and understand that liposuction is not a weight loss or large volume fat loss tool. Instead, liposuction is a fat reduction procedure that is designed to remove small to moderate pockets of excess, stubborn fat. 

The amount of fat that can be removed during liposuction depends on a handful of factors, including the area(s) being treated, the patient’s weight and overall body habits, the surgeon’s technique, and more. In general, most reputable surgeons adhere to the guidelines that state about 5000mL (5.0 liters) is the maximum amount of fat that can be safely removed during a single liposuction treatment. This equates to about 11 pounds. 

Patients who have significantly more fat or weight to lose – or those who are more concerned with excess skin rather than fat – may be better served by diet and exercise, weight loss surgery, or one of the many other body contouring treatments offered at Austin-Weston, The Center for Cosmetic Surgery, located in northern Virginia.

Is liposuction permanent? 

It is completely understandable for patients considering cosmetic surgery to wonder how long the results of liposuction will last. Because the fat cells that are removed during liposuction are eliminated from the body, never to return, the results of liposuction are technically considered permanent. However, the physical outcomes, including a trimmer figure and more contoured lines, are not necessarily permanent. For instance, if a patient experiences significant weight gain after liposuction, the remaining fat cells will continue to swell, and he or she may, once again, develop stubborn pockets of fat. 

The best way to maintain your stunning new physique after liposuction is to avoid weight fluctuations by adhering to a regular exercise regimen, staying hydrated, and eating a healthy, nourishing diet. 

How long is the recovery after liposuction? 

In general, most patients tolerate the recovery period after liposuction relatively well and are able to return to work, depending on the physical demands of their job, after about 1-– 2 weeks. It may take several more weeks for the swelling to fully subside and your final results to become visible, but your doctor will provide medications and a list of postoperative guidelines to help relieve your symptoms and promote proper, complete, and timely healing. To ensure the best possible results, it is imperative that you follow their instructions closely, which will likely include wearing compression garments for an extended period of time after surgery. 

Am I a good candidate for liposuction? 

Most men and women who are in good health, nonsmokers, and at a stable and healthy weight are good candidates for surgical fat removal via liposuction. However, the best way to determine with certainty whether or not you can be considered for the procedure is to be examined by a knowledgeable and experienced plastic surgeon. Call Austin-Weston, The Center for Cosmetic Surgery to schedule your consultation with one of our exceptional board-certified plastic surgeons today, and learn how liposuction in northern Virginia can help you finally get rid of extra fat, trim your problem areas, and live your life with confidence once again!

* All information subject to change. Images may contain models. Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary.