One of the more common lines of questions that come up during a LifeSculpt consult is about the effects of weight loss on the liposuction procedure. Is there an ideal weight? Should I lose weight first? How will weight loss affect the procedure? Etc. The ideal candidate is at a healthy weight with a stubborn fat pocket that needs to be reshaped. Then there is the rest of us.
The first thing to know is that liposuction, laser assisted or otherwise, should not be considered a weight loss procedure. If your concern is health and weight loss is the number one goal then a weight loss program is the better choice. At Dermacare we use the Medifast and the Take Shape for Life program. The typical procedure only removes 2-4lbs of fat. The good news, however, is that because the fat is strategically removed the cosmetic impact is much greater than that.
As stated above the ideal candidate for the procedure is a person who is at healthy weight but with stubborn fat pockets. This person has enough of problem that removal of the fat will make a noticeable difference, but not so much that the skin cannot tighten back down. If one is too thin, then there will be very little difference seen after the procedure. There is also risk of leaving the skin looking uneven and irregular. When a person is greater than 20% overweight, for safety reasons the procedure should not be done in an outpatient setting. People that are overweight by less than 20% are still candidates as long as their expectations are appropriate. The dilemma here is that removing larger amounts of fat will leave some loose skin. I will ask if the goal is to look good in your clothes or to look good in a bikini. In clothes, the shape will be much improved but the skin will not be noticeable. Using the SlimLipo laser will increase this skin tightening by greater than 70%, but depending on a person’s genetics this may still not be enough. During the consultation process, we will go over the range of possibilities and make sure your expectations match what we can achieve.
As far as weight loss prior to or after the procedure, I always support getting to a healthy weight. If a person is overweight by > 20%, then they need to lose weight prior to considering laser assisted liposuction. For everyone else, I like to see some weight loss after the procedure. It has been a great joy to see people after the procedure get so motivated by the result that they follow through on their lifestyle goals and get healthier. Weight loss after the procedure is very beneficial. Not only do the effects of weight loss improve the results in the treated area, but also proportionally gives greater cosmetic results in non-treated areas. This is a win-win-win situation.
If this is the time for you to get your body under control come in for consultation. We can help you decide if LifeSculpt, a weight loss program, or both is right for you.