Can I Lose Weight With Liposuction?

Q: I am a 35 year-old female and I exercise but not as much as I could because I just don’t seem to be able to lose weight. For years I would exercise for months, 5 days a week for 2 to 3 months and not lose weight that people can see, then I’d stop for lack of results. I start up again for a couple of months then the same results occur. With my history, is liposuction or SmartLipo not right for me? I thank you for your response.

A: As a general concept, any form of liposuction should not be viewed or undergone if the primary objective is weight loss. Liposuction is a body shaping or spot reduction method, not a weight loss technique. There is no doubt that many patients do lose weight after liposuction which is usually in the range of double (at 6 to 8 weeks after surgery) of the fat weight that is taken off surgery. This is the result of a combination of immediate fat removal followed by a metabolic weight loss due to a negative caloric balance from healing and reduced intake. Liposuction’s primary objective, which it can do very successfully, is to remove fat areas that are resistant to diet and exercise efforts. Any weight loss is a secondary benefit. This surgically-induced weight loss can be just short-term, however, if lifestyle changes do not support the new weight. It doesn’t take very long (at 3500 extra calories = a lb of weight gain) to regain the weight removed after liposuction if one is not vigilant over the long-term.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana