Liposuction After Bariatric Surgery: Is It Necessary?
Obesity is a national and global epidemic. According to a study published by CMAJ Open, “rates of obesity have increased 300% while rates of morbid obesity have increased fivefold” since 1985 in Canada. Patients who suffer from obesity can experience dramatic weight loss after bariatric surgery, but this can lead to other cosmetic issues.
Our plastic surgeons help post-bariatric surgery patients in Halifax, Nova Scotia, and Prince Edward Island decide whether liposuction after bariatric surgery is appropriate. Patients who have trouble losing stubborn body fat may benefit from liposuction if they are at or near their body weight but have pockets of fat in specific areas..
A Way to Deal with Stubborn Fat
Many people lose significant amounts of body fat after bariatric surgery. Unfortunately, some pockets of fat may be more stubborn than others. People commonly store fat in the waist, thighs, buttocks, and arms. Fat that remains after surgery can cause annoying bulges or an unbalanced silhouette.
Can diet and exercise help eliminate fat in targeted areas? While balanced diets and active lifestyles are helpful, they may not be enough to remove isolated fat deposits, called spot reduction. In these situations, liposuction is the ideal choice for getting rid of body fat after bariatric surgery.
Can Liposuction Get Rid of Extra Skin?
In short, no. Liposuction removes unwanted fat, not skin. However, following significant weight loss after bariatric surgery, sagging folds of extra skin remain. Ideally, skin will naturally reshape to cover the body beneath, without sagging and wrinkling. In reality, skin that has been stretched significantly or for a long time can lose elasticity and the ability to go back to normal.
Surplus skin is a common complaint among post-bariatric surgery patients, and it affects more than 70% of adults.
Unfortunately, the non-surgical option of exercise and time will not remove excess skin. Body contouring treatments, such as a tummy tuck, arm lift, or thigh lift, can remove unwanted skin. Speak to your surgeon about your options.
At our office, we offer two liposuction techniques:
- Tumescent: A solution of saline, lidocaine, and epinephrine is injected into the treatment areas to loosen fat and minimize bleeding. The doctor inserts a cannula to suck out excess fat cells.
- Ultrasonic: Doctors apply ultrasonic waves internally or externally to liquefy isolated fat deposits and make it easier to remove.
Our plastic surgeons will discuss if liposuction will help you reach your aesthetic goals during the consultation process. Ideal liposuction candidates have:
- Excellent health
- Reached their ideal weight
- Sufficient skin elasticity
Make a Post-Bariatric Body Contouring Plan
Even after weight loss surgery, you may still want to change certain parts of your body. Liposuction helps patients eliminate persistent fat pockets that won’t go away with diet and exercise.
If you would like to learn more about liposuction and other body contouring techniques, contact us by calling (902) 492-2007 or messaging us online to schedule an appointment at The Landings Surgical Centre.