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Do Sculpting Procedures Help You Lose Weight?

Cosmetic surgeon marks a patient for a body sculpting procedure which removes fat cells but won't result in much weight loss

The number of sculpting procedures available today has increased dramatically over the years past. So too have the number of patients employing these procedures for fat elimination. However, there can be some confusion about how effective these procedures are in the weight loss process. And the bottom line is that these procedures are not effective at helping patients lose a significant amount of weight. Instead, they are geared toward removing small amounts of fat to improve the contour and shape of particular body parts, especially the abdomen, thighs and arms, and buttocks. Ultimately, a good old diet and exercise and, for those to qualify, bariatric surgery are the best way to lose a significant amount of weight.

Are These Fat Reduction Techniques Useful for Bariatric Patients?

The short answer is that they can be. However, they may be somewhat less helpful for patients who have lost significant weight with bariatric surgery. After losing dozens if not hundreds of pounds, the most significant impediment to body shape is usually the excess, hanging skin caused by years of stretching due to the excess weight. Unfortunately, fat elimination devices are ineffective in this sense. Most patients will require surgery in the form of an arm or body lift, tummy tuck, or panniculectomy to address this excess skin.

That said, patients may wish to explore the possibility of using new combined muscle building and fat destroying technology such as Emsculpt. This procedure uses magnetic technology to stimulate the muscles, strengthen muscle fibers, and eliminate fat tissue. Muscle waste is something that postop bariatric patients have to be aware of, mainly because of significantly reduced caloric intake. Further, maintaining good muscle mass is essential to the patient’s stability, healthy joints, and long-term calorie burn at rest. These technologies can stimulate muscles that standard exercises in the gym would not ordinarily stimulate.

The Bottom Line

Unfortunately, there is no easy answer to fat reduction, just as there is no simple way to lose weight. Patients should prioritize their health by improving their diet and exercise or consider bariatric surgery if they are a good candidate. Once about 18 months post-op, patients can begin considering ancillary procedures to sculpt their body and improve the cosmetic results of massive weight loss. In the meantime, we encourage you to contact us to learn more about bariatric surgery and ways to maximize post-operative cosmetic results.

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