“Can Liposuction Help in Treating Obesity?” by Dr. Hsu
by Board Certified Cosmetic Surgeon Patrick Hsu
Obesity is a condition where one has an excess amount of body fat. It is a common health problem suffered by 1 in 3 adults today in America. It can lead to other health issues such as stroke, heart disease, high blood pressure, and type 2 diabetes. To prevent an onslaught of medical problems, it is only wise to treat obesity as soon as possible.
Over the years, there has been an increasing interest in liposuction surgery as a quick fix for obesity. With the removal of excess fat, most people find the road to a healthier lifestyle easier to tread.
It must be acknowledged, however, that obesity is a condition that must be treated in a multi-faceted fashion. Here are a few liposuction myths debunked to better manage expectations:
- It removes fat cells quickly
With the injection of medicated solution into areas to be treated, fat tissues do become easier to remove. The solution is generally made up of “local anesthetic (lidocaine), a drug that contracts blood vessels (epinephrine), and an intravenous (IV) salt solution.” Together, this three-part mixture makes the procedure typically pain-free with reduced blood loss, bruising, and swelling. Prepped by the IV solution, fat is easily suctioned by a small tube-like instrument also known as the cannula.
An even more important question is not how fast but how much fat can be removed in a single procedure. Liposuction.com advises no more than 8 to 10 pounds.
- Diet and exercise are unnecessary after surgery
In fact, it is the opposite. To maintain a healthier amount of body fat rendered by surgery, one must moderate calorie intake and participate in some form of regular physical activity.
Aside from removing fat, liposuction can also help contour body parts that are known to be resistant to diet and exercise; for a shape that is more natural and flattering.
- Only the overweight and the obese can undergo liposuction
Commonly seen in advertisements, formerly heavy models who chose to undergo the procedure are used mainly to illustrate a point in a more dramatic manner. Liposuction itself is not solely for those with weight issues. Dr. Allan Wittgrove of ObesityAction.org points out, the procedure was done to “treat minor contour irregularities” originally. Over the years, it has been people’s (regardless of weight) choice for removing unwanted fat in the hips, thighs, and buttocks.
For everyone who is struggling with weight and everything that comes with it, liposuction may not be a magical all-in-one choice. It’s a great first step towards a healthier body, but modern medicine can only do so much. Other positive changes must follow in order to be able to live a truly healthy life.
- MedlinePlus – Liposuction <http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/002985.htm>
- Weight-control Information Network – Overweight and Obesity Statistics <http://win.niddk.nih.gov/statistics/>
- Obesity Action Coalition – Dear Doctor <http://www.obesityaction.org/educational-resources/resource-articles-2/general-articles/dear-doctor-why-doesnt-liposuction-cure-obesity>