When it comes to fat, our bodies can be very stubborn about where they’re willing to give it up, despite our most ardent efforts. If you find yourself within 15-20% of your ideal body weight, with areas of fat that refuse to respond to dieting and exercise, you’re fighting a most formidable force — your hormones.
Here at The Aesthetic Surgery Center, we’ve helped many of our patients on the Upper East Side of New York City circumvent the hormonal hold on body fat through targeted liposuction, putting the final touches on their weight loss efforts.
To help you better understand how liposuction delivers great results in very little time, we’ve pulled together the following brief primer on the procedure.
The science of fat
Throughout your life, you generally carry the same number of fat cells, which increase in size, rather than number, when you gain weight. Your body determines where you store your fat and which fat it uses for energy based on your hormone levels. So, if you’re wondering why your fat distribution changes over the course of your life, it’s because your hormone levels change with every stage of your life.
In women, this effect is especially pronounced since the ebb and flow of hormones (namely estrogen) are tied to reproduction. Women tend to gather more fat around their abdomens, flanks, and thighs in order to protect their reproductive organs.
In men, testosterone largely controls how fat is processed, and as these levels naturally drop with age, men tend to gather fat around their midsections.
Unfortunately, when you embark on a weight loss program, you can’t direct where your body loses fat, which is why so many people can get within their target weight, but not all the way there, thanks to the overriding forces of hormones, or perhaps more importantly, the lack of hormones.
The liposuction difference
With liposuction, we can close the gap to your ideal body weight and shape by specifically targeting trouble areas, including your:
- Upper arms
- Above your breasts
During your liposuction, we permanently remove fat cells, which don’t regenerate, leaving you with fewer bumpy deposits of fat. It’s important to note that liposuction shouldn’t be considered as a weight loss procedure, but more of a body-sculpting technique that tackles the last strongholds of fat in your body.
Great results in less time
With modern equipment, liposuction is a minimally invasive technique that requires only small incisions. On the day of your procedure, we mark the areas you want treated and then put you under a “twilight” sedation anesthesia, which allows us to move you around during the liposuction to make sure we tackle your fat from every angle.
Once you’re comfortable, we introduce a saline solution to shrink the blood vessels in the targeted areas to reduce blood loss. The solution also contains a local anesthetic, and an enzyme which is infused under pressure into your fat pockets to break down the fat. With your fat loosened, we remove it using a number of small tubes called cannulas.
A typical liposuction procedure usually lasts only one-and-a-half to three hours, and you’re free to go home afterward.
Over the course of the following weeks, you’ll have some bruising and swelling, and you’ll need to wear a compression garment. But as the post-operative swelling begins to come down, your new body shape will gradually reveal itself.
At this point, it’s up to you to maintain your new shape. Liposuction does permanently remove your fat, but this doesn’t mean that you can’t still expand your existing fat cells. The results we provide are yours to keep and maintain through healthy diet and exercise.
If you’d like to learn more about getting rid of stubborn deposits of fat that years of diet and exercise can’t seem to touch, please give us a call or request an appointment using the online booking tool.