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how much weight will i lose with lipo?

Quick blog, for all of you no attention span people. 

Liposuction is not a weight loss technique.  You hear this, but then someone after liposuction drops 2 pant sizes, so you think, “how could they not lose weight?”  Liposuction is a body contouring and shaping technique.  We do remove fat, which has some weight to it, but it is never as dramatic as you would think. 

You should lose some weight.  I estimate for every liter of fat removed (not liter of fluid, but of fat) you should lose 2.2 pounds. 

  • You will not see this weight loss immediately.  In fact, some people weigh more after surgery than they did before surgery due to swelling. 
  • When I see you at your six week visit, you should have lost some of the weight.  If you have not, it means you gained weight during your recovery period (not a hard thing to do since you cannot exercise during this time. So watch what you eat!)
  • Weight gain is tricky- when I remove 5 liters of fat from your abdomen and love handles, your pattern of where you gain weight changes.  If your “fat” test used to be when your jeans are tight you need to cut back, after liposuction, you may gain weight and your jeans still fit you just fine.  Your fat pattern changes.  So your jeans may be fine, but your arms may have gotten a little larger. Or your chin. Or your breasts.  These are signs you are gaining weight. 
  • At 3 months, you should see the full weight loss.  It isn’t much, but it is something.  So for 5 liters of fat removal, you should lose about 11 pounds.  If you weigh the same as you did before surgery, it means you gained 11 pounds during your recovery.  You won’t get the results you should have from the surgery.

Liposuction is not a weight loss technique.  It is a sculpting procedure.  For the best results, have a good eating and exercise regimen firmly in place before surgery. So go hike that Stanford dish!

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Please keep in mind: subjects covered in this blog and certain tips and advice are not substitutes for professional medical advice. This blog is for general informational purposes only. If you are considering plastic surgery, reconstructive surgery, or cosmetic enhancement, you should always consult with a board-certified plastic surgeon and/or your general practitioner in-person for professional medical advice.

If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or (in the United States) 911 immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment.

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Lauren Greenberg M.D.

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