Can't Lose Weight - Will Lipo Help?

I weigh 180 lbs and can't lose weight. Will lip help meDiets just don't work for me. I'm very depressed and feel unattractive. What can I do?

Doctor Answers 7

Liposuction is a great motivator when you reach a plateau with your diet and exercising.

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Liposuction is such a great motivator when you get depressed about not seeing much change with diet and exercising.  The quick recovery and ease of the procedure makes everything seem better and more obtainable. 

Beverly Hills Dermatologic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 46 reviews

Liposuction Review

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Liposuction, also called lipoplasty or suction-lipectomy, is the surgical removal of localized or regional fat deposits from designated areas of the body. The goal of liposuction is to create a more proportional and sculpted body by permanently removing fat cells. It is not a method of weight loss or a substitute for proper diet and exercise. The most frequently treated areas in men are the “love handles,” breasts, abdomen, and neck. In women they include the thighs, hips, buttocks, abdomen, knees, jowls and chin. The amount of fat removed varies by doctor, method, and patient but is typically less than 5 pounds. Although many patients do notice an improvement in the appearance of the dimpled skin that appears on the thighs, hips, and buttocks after fat cells are removed, liposuction is not a treatment for cellulite.

Liposuction has become one of the fastest, most effective, and safest cosmetic surgery procedures available today. Liposuction is the only scientifically proven method for removing fat cells permanently. According to the American Society for Aesthetic Surgery, liposuction has been the top overall surgical procedure performed since 1997. It can be performed alone or in conjunction with other cosmetic or medically necessary procedures. Good candidates for liposuction surgery are healthy, within 30% of their ideal weight, have realistic expectations for their surgery, and have skin with good elasticity.

Marisa Lawrence, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon

Liposuction and diet

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Liposuction is never an antidote for good eating habits and exercise. It is not a way for you to lose weight. It is for sculpting purposes.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Will liposuction stimulate weight loss?

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You state that you weigh 180lbs, but you don't say how tall are you. If you are 5' tall than you are morbidly obese, if you are 5'8" than you are slightly overweight according to the BMI chart. The treatment for morbid obesity is different than for someone who is a little overweight. Both conditions require good nutrition with calorie restriction (not dieting, we know they don't work in the long run, because no one is able to stick to them) and a regular exercise program. Liposuction will help you reduce some of the "excess bulges", reshapes your body, but will not cause major weight loss. The best candidates for liposuction afre the people who are close to their ideal body weight, have realistic expectations and practice good nutritonal and exercise habits.

Weight loss seems to be impossible

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Liposuction is not a substitute for weight loss. some physicians, though, feel that a limited procedure with liposuction may act as a catalyst to stimulate your focus and interest in pursuing a diet and exercise regiment once you see some reduction in the fat.  If you have an endocrine problem such as a low thyroid, then it is very difficult for you to lose weight. You might benefit by having a general physical and ask your doctor to check your thyroid levels.  Nutrition counseling can help. followup with the counselor frequently and follow the homework diet and exericse plan. you may feel obligated to do your homework because you will see that nutritionist in follow up and prove to them that you are doing the right things. once you see you are dropping pounds, you will have more willpower to avoid eating the high calorie carbohydrate-rich, and/or fat-laden food. It may also help you maintain the exercise program.

Ronald Shelton, MD
Manhattan Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 39 reviews

Liposuction improves contour even if you are overweight.

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This is a very important, fundamental question.  We do liposuction on overweight patients all the time, but you have to understand what can be accomplished.  Liposuction will not make you thin.  Liposuction, well done, will get rid of bulges and give you better shape, and our patients are very happy with this improvement, even though they are still somewhat overweight.  That's because they know what to expect.

George J. Beraka, MD (retired)
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon

Liposuction will not help you loose weight.

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We live in a metabolically toxic environment.  Just too much food around and some of it is destined to end up in our mouths.  Diets often don't work because they make the primitive part of our brains feel like we are starving to death.  What works is a change in lifestyle.  Increased physical activity combined with a better understanding of what you are eating and why.  I would encourage you to seek professional help to reengineer your lifestyle so you slowly loose weight and build lean body mass so your body does not rebel.

Unfortunately, liposuction is for body sculpting not weight reduction.  Unless you change how you eat and how you exercise, whatever fat is removed by liposuction will find its way back on to your body.

Kenneth D. Steinsapir, MD
Beverly Hills Oculoplastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.