Summary: Liposuction continues to be among the most popular of cosmetic surgeries worldwide, and for good reason. This procedure has the power to remove the stubborn, diet- and exercise-resistant fat that can gather in bulges around the body. Patients emerge with sleeker contours and a trimmer, more proportionate figure. It’s easy to see why men and women interested in improving their figures may be tempted to apply liposuction to just about anywhere and everywhere, but how much liposuction is too much?
Recent Study Offers New Information
A recent article from the American Society of Plastic surgeons offers new insight into the question of whether there is a ‘safe’ amount of fat that can be removed during liposuction. It turns out that the quantity of fat that can be taken away depends on the patient’s BMI (Body Mass Index). In other words, how much fat content a person naturally has determines how much they can safely lose via liposuction.
Looking at the Numbers
The average liposuction volume is typically two liters. Five liters is considered “large-volume” liposuction and is associated with a greater degree of risk. Reviewing the data of 4,500 patients, researchers noted that those who had more than five liters removed experienced a higher overall complication rate. The most common liposuction complication involves a buildup of fluids near the surgical site, known as a seroma. A seroma is not considered serious. The condition is more of a nuisance, and is easily remedied with the use of post-surgical drains.
Higher BMI, Higher Tolerance
Interestingly, the study found that patients with a high BMI who were significantly overweight were better able to tolerate large volume liposuction and were less likely to develop seromas, while individuals with lower BMIs were at greater risk of complication when they underwent large-volume liposuction. The takeaway is that the amount of liposuction that is safe varies from person to person and depends upon their body weight.
Finding the Perfect Surgeon
In order to experience the best outcome from a liposuction procedure, your first step should be to schedule a consultation with a board certified plastic surgeon who is experienced in the art of liposuction. Ideal liposuction candidates are adults who are in good overall health and are close to their target weight. If you’ve reached a plateau with your diet and exercise and have some fat that just won’t budge, liposuction may be the ideal treatment for you. It can be performed in most areas of the body, including the thighs, buttocks, abdomen, waist, upper arms, back, chin, calves and ankles.
The Gold Standard of Liposuction Techniques
There are several methods of liposuction, but tumescent liposuction remains the most common and reliable technique for creating the best results. With this method, the surgeon injects a sterile liquid solution into the treatment area to both break up fat cells and maximize the patient’s comfort. Then, through an incision, he or she will insert a needle-like tool to remove fat cells using suction.
Aiding Your Weight Loss Goals
Although liposuction is not a substitute for weight loss, some obese patients may also experience benefits from the procedure. Liposuction can contour problematic areas of the body and balance proportions, allowing the results to offer extra motivation for overweight individuals to continue on their weight loss journey. Whatever your situation may be, be sure to discuss your goals with an experienced surgeon who can advise you of the safe amount of liposuction for your body.