If you're fed up with muffin tops, love handles, belly fat, thunder thighs or saddlebags, you may be considering surgical fat removal, also know as liposuction. But before you look up your nearest cosmetic surgeon, make sure you know the facts. Contrary to popular belief, liposuction is not the lazy man's way to weight loss. Unless you're ready to make some lifestyle changes, the results of liposuction may fall short of your expectations, especially if you gain weight.
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Liposuction is the most commonly performed cosmetic surgery in the United States. The procedure involves suctioning fat cells from beneath the skin to give a more desirable shape and contour to the target area. According to MayoClinic.com, liposuction is not intended to be a weight-loss alternative to diet and exercise, but rather a means of removing undesirable fat that is resistant to natural methods. Areas of the body most commonly targeted for liposuction are the abdomen, hips and thighs.
Skin Elasticity and Weight Gain
When you gain weight, your body does not grow new fat cells. Instead, existing fat cells become engorged with stored fat, causing the skin to stretch. When stretched beyond a certain point, some of your skin's elastic property is lost, resulting in stretch marks. If your skin is sun-damaged. if you smoke, or if you are older than 40, your skin's elasticity is already diminished. When fat is removed beneath inelastic skin, you may find the resultant loose skin less attractive than when it was plumped out by fat. Unfortunately, once fat cells are removed, they cannot be put back.
Weight Gain and Fat Redistribution
After liposuction, If you continue to eat calories in excess of your daily requirement, fat can no longer be stored in the cells that have been removed, so it must be stored in other ares of the body. Fat distribution is genetically predetermined, and varies greatly from one individual to the next. There is no way to predict where your body will store new fat. What's more, your practitioner will not remove all of the fat cells from your target area, so you could still increase the size of remaining cells in that area.
Are You a Candidate for Liposuction?
Liposuction is expensive and painful. Before having fat surgically removed, ask yourself if your lifestyle will undermine the results. The best candidates for liposuction are those who have a healthy lifestyle that includes balanced nutrition and regular exercise. Before you schedule a procedure, you should be close to your ideal body weight and have good skin elasticity. You should also plan to continue to exercise and practice healthy nutrition afterward to avoid unwanted fat redistribution.
Dealing with Weight Gain After Liposuction
If you do gain weight after liposuction, decreased caloric consumption and increased physical activity should be your first line of defense. Scheduling another procedure to remove the redistributed fat without making lifestyle changes will set you on an unhealthy downward spiral. Learning to manage your weight is the long-term solution to unwanted body fat. Find help and support for weight management by clicking the Daily Plate link at Livestrong.com