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Can Liposuction Help You Lose Weight?

Our body shape is something we’re born with and unfortunately, even losing weight from all over and lowering the number on the scale typically can’t change the overall proportions of your body. This means that it can sometimes seem almost impossible to get an hourglass shape with a small waist if you tend to store more fat around the abdominal area, for instance, or to get thin legs if you tend to carry more fat on your lower body. Furthermore, if you’re overweight, there are complex hormonal interactions going on in the body that prevent you from losing weight, which is why it can seem like the body itself is working against you. With all of this in mind, when we think of cosmetic procedures that help us slim down, the first thing that many people consider is liposuction. But can liposuction help you lose weight? Our St. Louis-based team at West County Plastic Surgeons of Washington University explains that the answer may surprise you.

One of the major benefits of liposuction is that it physically removes fat cells from the treatment area, making it ideal for directly targeting parts of the body that don’t respond to traditional methods of weight loss, such as reducing your daily calorie intake, exercise, and other healthy lifestyle changes. That said, what patients should always remember is that liposuction on its own is not intended to be a weight loss procedure. Nor should it be a substitute for exercise. It is strictly a cosmetic approach to the problem of excess fat.

However, surgical fat reduction is not a weight loss strategy, and the number on the scale won’t change significantly after the procedure. Patients will notice a loss—in terms of inches on certain areas of the body. Although you will lose some fat, it’s best to judge the results based on how you look in the mirror, how your clothes fit, and what the proportion are like in the treated areas. 

For many people, this can kick off a positive feedback loop: Once you look slimmer, you may be encouraged to “keep the ball rolling” and stick with diet and exercise to actually reduce your weight. Less fat hiding the muscles beneath can also prompt some people to focus more on strength training, which has overall positive health benefits and can further push your metabolism to burning fat.

Want to know more about liposuction? Contact our team at West County Plastic Surgeons of Washington University for more information about this body contouring technique. Call us at (314) 996-8800 or fill out a contact form to request a consultation.