Happy Mardi Gras!!!

Fat Tuesday (Mardi Gras) is a celebration of excess on the last day before Lent and hopefully not a description of someone’s waistline. While many are indulgent during the days leading up to Mardi Gras, the after-effects can be reversed with liposuction. However, this is not a license to eat until your heart’s content. If someone uses those words to reference your figure, let’s explore a way to prevent them from doing so in the future…let’s talk about liposuction.

Fat is Limited

It’s true! We are only born with a certain number of fat cells in our body. As we gain weight, these limited number of fat cells expand in size and we appear fatter.  The capacity of each cell to expand is pretty remarkable, so while the number is finite, the size they can each reach seems to be unlimited.

Liposuction permanently removes fat cells

Liposuction works to remove fat cells forever. Liposuction is performed with a series of stainless steel straws or canulas that are used to literally suck the fat out of the body. In the past, the straws were all that was used and it was pretty barbaric. Techniques have evolved that involve a special solution called tumescent anesthesia that allow for a much more gentle extraction of fat. The tumescent anesthesia consists of a numbing medication, a blood constrictor, and a physiologic fluid that allows the fat cells to expand. With this expansion, the fat is more easily removed and the important structures, like nerves and blood vessels, are left behind.   The fat removed is part of the total number of fat cells in our body, and once they are removed, they are gone forever.

Liposuction is not weight loss surgery

Liposuction is best utilized for specific areas of the body that are resistant to diet and exercise. We prefer to spot-treat regions of the body and not attempt to blanket removal of all the fat from the body. Having a body weight that is within 10% of your Ideal Body Weight allows for the best results.

Liposuction doesn’t prevent future weight gain

Although liposuction removes that fat permanently, you can still gain weight after your procedure. You still have other fat cells in your body that can easily store the extra calories you consume. If you eat more calories than you burn off with exercise, you will likely gain weight. The catch is that after having liposuction, the area that stores the extra calories may be different. If before surgery, you carried your excess weight in your hips, after liposuction surgery, you may preferentially gain weight in your buttocks or abdomen. And, if the weight you gain is truly excessive, you will appear heavier in all parts of your figure…even the areas treated with liposuction. This is because not all the fat is removed with liposuction. A certain portion of fat cells needs to be maintained in your body. The fat layer is where some of the blood vessels travel to the skin and fat is also used as a cushion around some vital organs.

Liposuction causes some swelling that may last for a few months. I tell my patients to typically expect to see final results in three to six months time. The surgery can take between one to four hours, depending upon the amount of fat needed to be removed and is performed on an outpatient basis. The initial downtime from surgery is only a few days.

Don’t Be Fat on Fat Tuesday

Liposuction can be a quick procedure, with minimal downtime and can deliver a lifetime of results. After a liposuction procedure, you can confidently enjoy Mardi Gras and be certain no one is referring to you during this holiday.

Happy Mardi Gras!

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