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Weight loss versus liposuction – I hear questions pertaining to this topic often. In fact, because it’s such a common question, I’ve made several videos about how to decide, which can be found here.

  • Which is better, lipo or weight loss?
  • Is liposuction a long-term solution?
  • Who is the ideal candidate?
  • What happens to my fat cells exactly?

Truth be told, a firm, curvy body is difficult to get and harder to maintain, and if you’ve done any research about weight loss or the body’s various types of fat, you are likely familiar with the fact that no two opinions seem to be the same surrounding goals, body composition and diet. What’s more – we are composed of several types of fat, and each is not created equal.

Deciding whether lipo or weight loss is best for you depends on which fat is predominant in your body and your fat content ratio.

Both weight loss and liposuction reduce the appearance of fat; however, only external or subcutaneous fat can be safely removed during liposuction. Conversely, fat loss, despite whether the fat is internal or external, only shrinks the cells.

External or Subcutaneous Fat

Poke your belly – do you feel the jiggly layer that’s soft to the touch? This cushy layer is your external or subcutaneous fat, and it lives just under the skin.

While no one wants fat of any kind, especially not the type that causes ballooning bellies, love handles or cellulite, external fat is the most common, making up about 90% of a person’s overall body fat, and it is often the hardest to lose.

It’s apropos because the person with excessive external fat is the ideal candidate for lipo, as subcutaneous fat cells are the only kind that can be removed during the procedure. And remove is the keyword because liposuction eradicates the fat cells. Period.

That’s why so many people who come and see me for a second round BBL don’t have enough fat for the secondary procedure. During their first BBL, I remove all the external fat cells to give them that perfect Ogee shape and deposit it in the butt, hips and thighs. Once the surgery is complete and the cells are gone, you can kiss the fat goodbye forever.

Internal or Visceral Fat

On the contrary, visceral or internal fat lives just under the abdominal wall, in the spaces around the liver, intestines, and other organs and is also stored in the omentum. Computed tomography (CT) scans are often used to gain a complete analysis of your subcutaneous and visceral fat content.

Though it isn’t usually the kind that is predominant to the eye, internal fat is the nasty, disease-causing kind. Chronic conditions like cardiovascular disease, cancer, asthma, dementia are just a few health risks associated with excessive internal fat.

Sadly, to get the perfect flat stomach, this type of fat has to be lost through diet and exercise rather than removed. While losing visceral fat is important, weight loss only encourages fat cells to shrink, not to go away altogether.

So, here’s the bottom line – Patients with high external fat are the ideal candidates for lipo. Contrarily, others with more internal fat and low subcutaneous fat are often encouraged to lose weight before liposuction treatment, so their results align better with the ideal shape they envisioned.

Whether you have to lose weight before lipo, or you can proceed with the procedure right away, the best version of you is right around the corner!

Dr. William Miami

Author Dr. William Miami

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