Seattle Plastic surgeon teaches patients to visualize liposuction volumes and weights using butter.
One of the most frequently asked questions in my office is “how much fat will you remove?” The answer usually ranges somewhere between 1 – 10 pounds.
So how much is 1 – 10 pounds? This can be hard to visualize. I recommend thinking of excess fat as sticks of butter. One stick of butter is 1/4 of a pound. A box of butter – 4 sticks- is 1 pound. Ten boxes of butter – 40 sticks – is 10 pounds. That’s a lot of butter and a lot of fat!
Liposuction results in targeted weight loss which is why liposuction is so useful in patients with uneven fat distribution – think of the lady with a narrow waist but heavy thighs. She would have to starve herself to see much slimming of her thighs. Liposuction could remove several pounds – think several boxes of butter – of fat from each thigh.
Liposuction is not so useful in patients who are significantly overweight all over. It is not possible to safely remove an extra thirty pounds with liposuction. That weight needs to be lost through lifestyle changes. Once a healthier weight is reached and if there are still areas of recalcitrant fat, then liposuction will likely be indicated.
Thanks for reading! Dr. Lisa Lynn Sowder