Categorized | Diet

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Liposuction and Gastric Bypass Surgery – What’s the Difference?

While on the surface, both liposuction and gastric bypass surgery seem to be comparable ways to lose weight; however, the two procedures are very different and suitable for completely different candidates. To understand how the procedures differ in their results, it’s important to first understand the nature of liposuction and gastric bypass surgery, including why people turn to them in the first place.

Starting with gastric bypass surgery, it’s important to realize this procedure is only for people that are 100 pounds overweight and have been that way for a number of years. If a person meets this initial requirement, the stomach is then surgically cut or tied with a band to shrink it and reduce the amount of food necessary for that person to feel full.

Again, gastric bypass is strictly for weight loss in those people that were once morbidly obese or suffering from weight related health problems. Following the procedure, a person must always adhere to strict dieting and implement regular exercise to shape and tone the areas that have undergone dramatic weight loss. However, additional surgery (such as a tummy tuck) may also be required to remove the excess skin hanging loose from the body.

On the other end of the weight management spectrum is liposuction. Liposuction is best suited for those that seek to remove a small to medium amount of fat, while shaping and toning these same troubled areas for a svelter look. Liposuction is performed by placing a small tube under the skin of the thighs, abs, buttocks, arms, chin or jaw, and the majority of fat cells that exist in that area are then sucked out by a vacuum like instrument.

The removal of these fat cells is initially good for weight loss, as a person will never obtain fat cells again in the area they were removed; however, without proper diet and exercise, the fat will redistribute to other parts of the body.

Unlike gastric bypass surgery, there is no weight restriction to undergo the procedure, nor is strict dieting required to maintain optimal health. The procedure is best suited for those that have tried diet and exercise but can’t seem to lose those few stubborn pounds or lumps no matter how hard they try or for those looking to sculpt and shape the waistline or abs.

However, what both gastric bypass and liposuction have in common is that they are invasive medical procedures with very permanent results. It’s important for a patient to understand what they will and will not achieve by undergoing either of these procedures to avoid disappointment or wasted medical expenses when the weight issue is not properly addressed.

That’s why it’s best for those trying to decide between liposuction and gastric bypass to speak to a licensed physician or plastic surgeon to determine which procedure is appropriate for their particular situation. Factors to be considered by the doctor would include a person’s current weight, medical history, current medications, lifestyle issues and the desired expectations of a successful liposuction or gastric bypass procedure.

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