Liposuction or Surgical Removal of Body Fat? All You Need to Know

Dr. Bibilash Babu

Plastic And Cosmetic Surgeon

The accumulation of fat in various parts of the body is a very common problem in today’s population. According to WHO, more than 1.9 billion adults were overweight in 2016. This accounted for 39% of the adult population. 


The reason for fat accumulation is simple enough. It is caused by an energy imbalance between calories you consumed and calories you expended. The answer to the question “what brings about this imbalance?” however, requires a few points to answer. They are:

  • Consuming high amounts of calories continuously
  •  Poor Diet and Lifestyle choices such as consumption of too much- processed food, excess alcohol, drinking high amounts of fizzy drinks and comfort eating.
  • Lack of physical activity 
  • Genetic and Medical reasons


It Accumulates Over Time in Different Parts of the Body… 

You might have noticed that body fat often gets accumulated in the chest region and on either side of the abdomen for men. Whereas, for women, this most commonly occurs in the belly and upper parts of the leg. 


Among Indian Populus, specifically in the South Indian female population, it is very common to have accumulated fat in the biceps. Fat accumulation also occurs in the chin area for either gender. 


But even with exercises and diet changes, accumulated fat in certain parts of our body just won’t burn away at times. This fat is called ‘stubborn fat’ because of how it just won’t burn regardless of whatever exercise you do.  Liposuction, a surgical fat removal procedure, is the most suggested solution for such problems.




Liposuction, in simple terms, is a keyhole surgery. It removes fat from targeted areas without scarring. For this, small metal tubes of 3mm and 4mm are inserted through non-cosmetic areas of your body using very small incisions. Fat is then sucked out of the targeted area via these tubes, giving you a scar-free fat removal experience.


It isn’t as Complex as You Think!


Depending on the area of the surgery, the amount of fat that needs to be sucked out, and your other health conditions, it might or might not require major anaesthesia. But in 80-90% of the cases, Liposuction can be performed without going into general anaesthesia, using sedation only.


Additionally, 80-90% of Liposuctions do not require staying in the hospital. For procedures done under sedation, discharge can be acquired in about 3-4 hours after your complete safety has been ensured. 

For procedures done under anaesthesia, it could take about 5-6 hours to be discharged. 


Liposuction Procedure Heals Quite Quickly too!

Liposuction won’t take too much time out of your day to day life either. However, the amount of area on which it is performed is a factor in your recovery speed. Small Liposuction procedures such as the ones performed on the sides and front of the stomach or the chest region will only require complete rest for two or three days. Moderate exercises and daily activities could be resumed after that.


Heavy lifting, exercises of the upper arm, shoulders, and those that include major movements of the Liposuctioned areas can be performed after two weeks.


Could Fat Accumulation Happen after Liposuction?

One of the most frequent questions faced by surgeons when discussing Liposuction is whether or not this will be a permanent solution. 


A Liposuction procedure sucks out a pre-calculated amount of fat cells from a body part to get it back in shape. After the procedure, if you grow, or your calorie intake increases significantly, the part on which Liposuction was performed could grow with the rest of your body.


For example, if 50% of fat cells were to be removed from an area to bring that part into shape using Liposuction, the rest of the fat remains. This fat could grow if you start gaining again. But growth comes down significantly as only the fat cells left behind after the procedure would grow.


Maintaining the Change

After a month into a Liposuction procedure, a kind of garment called pressure garment is usually provided to you for wearing. It is a comfortable elastic wear that could be worn underneath your regular clothes. Using it would help bring the level of fat cells up correctly. 


It also allows the retraction of excess skin from your fatter phase back into the body, making the surface of the area on which the procedure was done crevice-free.


Cosmetic treatments such as these need an understanding between you and your doctor. 50% of the responsibility of maintaining the results of the procedure falls on you. The doctor meanwhile has the responsibility of conducting the procedure properly. He/ she also must provide you with the correct instruction for maintaining it. 


If these obligations are met, another surgery could be avoided entirely and you could be that confident person you have always wanted to be.


However, It is worth remembering that you do not have anything to be anxious or ashamed about being fat or having to go through a process such as Liposuction. If required, you must not shy away from getting the help of a mental health professional to help you through your journey. Be healthy in body and mind and tackle your future with confidence and self-love! 


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