Liposuction, sometimes known simply as lipo, is a procedure that has been around since the 1920s. However, its popularity didn’t really take off until the 1970s, and it was FDA-approved in 2006. At Murphy Plastic Surgery in Englewood, CO, we offer this procedure because we believe everyone has the right to feel comfortable in his or her skin. Today, our experts are discussing whether you can remove fat from your stomach, where else you can get it and more.
Can You Get Liposuction on Your Belly?
Yes. You can get liposuction on your belly if you have enough excess fat stored in your abdomen. There have been many technological advancements made since the advent of this procedure, so it can now safely and effectively be used to remove unwanted fat from smaller areas and areas with less stored fat.
Ideally, you should have at least an inch of pinchable abdominal fat, but you can still consider this procedure if you have half an inch of pinchable fat.
Where Else Can This Procedure Remove Fat From?
Lipo can be used to remove fat from just about anywhere. However, just like you have to have enough abdominal fat for removal, you should ideally have at least an inch of pinchable fat in the area you’d like to target for treatment. Besides the abdomen, people most often want lipo to remove unwanted fat from the buttocks, chest, hips, sides, thighs and upper arms.
Nevertheless, it can be used to remove unwanted fat from smaller areas, like the calves, underarms, neck, chin and the backs of the knees. There doesn’t need to be an inch of pinchable fat in these areas and, generally, the smaller a targeted area is, the higher the percentage of removed fat cells. For example, lipo may remove 26% of your abdominal fat cells but 80% of the fat cells stored in your underarms.
How Much Weight Can I Lose After This Procedure?
You can lose up to 11 pounds after liposuction depending on how much excess fat you were storing in your belly before it was removed. Nevertheless, it is imperative that you understand this is not a weight-loss procedure. If you have too much weight (over 30 pounds) left to lose, you will most likely not be considered a good candidate for this procedure. This procedure was designed to remove unwanted fat from areas that are resistant to diet and exercise.
If you are 10 pounds from your ideal weight and want to remove unwanted belly fat to reveal the lower abs you have been developing, this procedure is appropriate for you. If you are 40 pounds away from your goal weight and have several large problem areas, you need to focus on weight loss until you get closer to your goal weight. It is also important to note that you have to be fairly healthy to be considered a good candidate for this procedure.
How Many Inches Can I Lose After This Procedure?
You can expect to lose a couple of inches from your waist after this procedure. A good rule of thumb is you can expect to lose around an inch for every five pounds of fat lost. However, it is imperative you keep in mind that some of the 11 pounds lost during the procedure is liquid that will be replenished as you rehydrate after your procedure. Only around 10 pounds of fat is removed during the average procedure.
How Soon Will I See My Results?
It can take up to six months to see the final results of your procedure. The unwanted fat cells are suctioned out during the procedure, but it takes several months for your skin to snap flush against your new, improved contours. How long this process takes depends on how much unwanted fat was removed, how elastic your skin is, how healthy your skin is and how healthy your lifestyle is.
How Long Will the Results of My Procedure Last?
On paper, the results of this procedure are permanent. Adults who are at least 25 years of age can’t grow any new fat cells. Therefore, when unwanted fat cells are removed from the abdomen, or any other area of concern, the fat cells are gone forever and will not be replaced. However, for the purpose of clarity, we must note that it is possible to gain weight after this procedure.
If you consume more calories than your body needs to maintain its weight based on your activity level, the excess energy will be stored in the remaining fat cells. There’s no telling exactly where your body will store its excess energy but it is possible your body will store some excess energy in your remaining abdominal fat cells.
A Helpful Tip
If you want the results of your procedure to last a lifetime, weigh yourself once a month. You don’t have to weigh yourself daily because your weight fluctuates daily and it can be hard to see the big picture clearly if you’re looking at too many details. If you weigh yourself monthly, it will be easier to see if you are gaining weight, losing weight or maintaining weight. Weigh yourself around the same time each month.
For example, if you drink alcohol and eat wings every weekend, weigh yourself on the first Monday of every month. If you weighed yourself one Monday after a long weekend of drinking and one Friday after five days of clean eating and exercise, you may think you’re losing weight when you really just lost water weight. If you notice your weight creeping up, cut back on your portions. Try to not gain more than 10 pounds to maintain your ideal contours.
How Long Does This Procedure Take?
How long this procedure takes depends on how much fat there is to remove from your abdomen. As a good general rule of thumb, you can expect this procedure to take around an hour. However, your lipo can take several hours to complete if you are removing unwanted fat from several large areas, like your abdomen, back and chest. We will discuss the desired scope of your procedure and give you a better idea of how long the procedure will take.
How Should I Sleep After This Procedure?
If you get liposuction on your belly, you should sleep on your back. If you usually sleep on your stomach, practice sleeping on your back for a couple of weeks before your procedure. It is of the utmost importance that you get plenty of rest during the first several weeks following your procedure. If you never sleep on your back, you may feel too uncomfortable to get adequate rest after your procedure.
How Can I Make Sleeping on My Back More Comfortable?
There are a couple of things you can do to make sleeping on your back more comfortable. The easiest thing to do is to buy a pillow that elevates your head without overextending your neck. If you don’t want to spend a lot of time searching for a better pillow, simply roll a hand towel up and use it to elevate your neck. Most discomfort that occurs when you sleep on your back is caused by your neck being overextended because your head is elevated too high.
You can also buy a firm mattress pad to make sleeping on your back more comfortable. Pain while sleeping on your back may also be caused by your spine being out of alignment. A firm mattress pad ensures your spine has all of the support it needs to stay aligned.
Can I Sleep on My Side?
Sleeping on your side after lipo is not recommended. If you sleep on your side, gravity will apply pressure to your incisions. We strongly recommend that you sleep on your back for the first three weeks following your procedure. However, if you have fat removed from your abdomen and back or buttocks, sleeping on your side will be okay. Make sure you don’t roll over in your sleep, particularly if you get fat removed from the front and back of your body.
What Should I Eat After My Procedure?
You should focus on eating healthy foods after your procedure. During the first 24 hours following your procedure, you may be too tired to feel hungry. Your comfort is ensured during the procedure by general anesthesia; general anesthesia may make you feel groggy for several hours. You should also expect to feel very tired for at least the first three days following your procedure because it takes a lot of energy for your skin to heal.
If you find yourself exhausted and without much of an appetite, have someone make you a healthy green smoothie. Instead of choosing a smoothie base of ice cream or sorbet, opt for whole milk, plant milk or a nut milk and ice. Before you come in for your procedure, make sure your freezer is stocked with your favorite fruits and your fridge is stocked with nutritious veggies, like kale and spinach. Here is what you should incorporate into your post-op diet:
Fruits and Vegetables
You should also incorporate plenty of fruits and vegetables into your post-op diet. Make a point to eat produce of different colors, like red and green grapes, clementines, yellow bell peppers and blackberries. Typically, different-colored produce is chock-full of different nutrients. For example, orange produce, like orange bell peppers, clementines and carrots, are known for their high vitamin C content.
Discover How to Sculpt the Body of Your Dreams Today
It is possible for liposuction to remove unwanted fat from the belly but to be considered a good candidate, you have to be at or within around 10 pounds of your goal weight. You can also remove unwanted fat from virtually any other part of your body. If you’re in the Denver, CO area, please contact us today at Murphy Plastic Surgery in Englewood, CO to schedule your initial consultation. We look forward to meeting you.