Liposuction vs gastric bypass: which is safest? A helpful article for you

Medical content writer - Medical student
02 May. 2021
Liposuction vs gastric bypass
4.8/5 - (5 votes)

Most of us today, whether we want it or not, are at risk for becoming obese, and with the new restrictions and Covid-19 conditions, exercising becomes very difficult or even impossible. Therefore, we are looking for a quick and convenient way as a detour to lose weight. Among these methods, the two most popular procedures recommended by many friends are Liposuction and gastric bypass surgery. But have you ever given much thought to what is the difference is between Liposuction vs gastric bypass? Here, we have made an attempt to review Liposuction vs Gastric Bypass for you and explain to you the main differences between the two, so stay tuned.

What is Liposuction and how is it performed?

There is a lot of speculation about Liposuction surgery today, and many people have some misinformation about it. But generally speaking, Liposuction Surgery is a prevalent procedure that uses suction to remove fat from certain areas of the body. In other words, it is a surgery that entails sucking fat out from specific areas such as the abdomen, hips, thighs, buttocks, arms, or neck. Body sculpting and Lipoplasty are two other names for liposuction.

Liposuction surgery may be recommended for those who are unable to exercise for a variety of reasons or who wish to burn fat from certain spots on their bodies, for example, their neck or arms, that cannot be done through the workout. Liposuction is usually not considered as an alternative weight-loss method. The weight loss through diet, exercise, or gastric bypass is likely to be greater than with liposuction if you're overweight. People with excess body fat in specific spots, but otherwise healthy body weight may be candidates for liposuction. Additionally, Liposuction can sometimes be used to reduce breast size or gynecomastia treatment.

The size and volume of fat cells will increase when you gain weight. Liposuction is also useful in reducing the number of fat cells in a specific area. As long as your weight remains stable, you should see a contour change as long as the area looks nice and the amount of fat is removed.

It should be noted that after liposuction surgery, due to the removal of a significant portion of adipose tissue in the areas where the fat is sucked, many changes may occur on the skin. If your skin looks good or resilient, the changes on your skin after liposuction may not be as noticeable. But if your skin is very dry and inelastic, your skin may look loose after the surgery. It is also necessary to be in perfect health before having liposuction surgery so as not to be at risk of life-threatening diseases with it. To put in another way, It is very important that patients who undergo liposuction are in excellent health, as they must be in good enough health to avoid conditions such as diabetes, coronary artery disease, or restricted blood flow.

What parts of the body can be treated with liposuction?

As we mentioned previously, liposuction is a procedure that can be used anywhere on some parts of the body. But if you are one of the candidates for liposuction surgery and you want to know exactly which parts of your body you can perform this operation on, we will mention here the list of all the parts of the body that liposuction can be effective for you. Using the list below, you can use liposuction surgery for these body parts where you have too much fat and it is not possible for you to lose weight by exercising in those areas. These parts of the body are as follows:

  • Chin and neck
  • Calves and ankles
  • Abdomen
  • Buttocks
  • Chest and back
  • Upper arms
  • Hips and thighs

What are the risks of liposuction surgery?

There are obviously risks involved with any surgery, and liposuction surgery is no different. Before undergoing this operation, you need to become aware of all the risks. Consult your doctor before liposuction to make sure you are not putting your health at risk. Because your doctor will see the results of your tests and based on those he will prepare you for the risks following your liposuction surgery. We would like to make you aware of some of the risks you might face after surgery, so you may be aware of them. These risks include the following.

  • Lidocaine toxicity: Liposuction is often accompanied by an anesthetic called lidocaine which is given with fluids to help manage pain, but sometimes in rare cases, it can result in toxic effects which include problems with the heart and nervous system.
  • Numbness: It is possible to feel numbness or nerve irritation in the affected area for a short period of time after surgery.
  • Contour irregularities: damage beneath the skin caused by a thin tube in liposuction may produce a permanently spotted appearance. Poor skin elasticity and unusual healing may also cause the skin to look bumpy, wavy, or withered. Note that these changes may be permanent.
  • Infection: in this surgery risk of skin infections is low but keeps in mind severe infections can be life-threatening.
  • Fluid accumulation: under the skin, there can be temporary pockets of fluid, which can be drained with a needle after surgery.
  • Internal puncture: occasionally, the puncture of an internal organ has been caused by too deep a cannula, requiring emergency surgery. This risk is so rare between patients.
  • Kidney and heart problems: fluctuations in infusion, suction, and pulmonary fluid levels can pose life-threatening problems for kidneys, hearts, and lungs.
  • Fat embolism: a fat embolism is a medical emergency in which a piece of loose fat gets trapped in a blood vessel and is retrieved from the lungs or brain.

Everything you should know about gastric bypass?

Gastric bypass surgery is also known as Roux-en-Y which involves removing a portion of the stomach and connecting it to the small intestine. To be more precise, in this method, a part of the stomach is cut and attached directly to the small intestine. In such circumstances, the stomach space becomes much smaller and the person gets full quickly by eating a small amount of food. Weight loss surgery in general is commonly known as gastric bypass. This procedure is usually done when dieting and exercise fail to reduce weight or when you have serious health issues related to it.

Gastric bypass procedure

The surgical method of gastric bypass is as follows. Divide the stomach into two sections by dividing its top from the rest of the stomach to make a small stomach pouch about the size of an egg. This is followed by the division of the small intestine, with its bottom end brought up and connected to the newly formed small stomach pouch. In the end, the top portion of the divided small intestine will connect to the smaller intestines further below that the stomach acids and digestive enzymes will eventually mix with the food from the bypassed stomach and first portion of your small intestine.

Which is better, Liposuction vs gastric bypass?

Before we get into this question it is important to first know for whom each surgical procedure is suitable? However, gastric bypass may not be right for everyone suffering from severe obesity. It may be necessary to meet certain medical guidelines in order to qualify for weight-loss surgery. You will probably go through an extensive screening process to determine if you qualify. Keep in mind, you must be committed to a healthier lifestyle to be eligible.

You may be recommended to participate in long-term follow-up plans that include monitoring your nutritional intake, lifestyle, behavior, and medical conditions. Although there are many debates on Liposuction vs gastric bypass, it can be concluded based on what we discussed above that not every surgical procedure will be the same for everyone. There are so many debates on Liposuction vs gastric bypass and which one of them is better but based on what we discussed above, it can be concluded that not every surgical procedure may not be the same for everyone. Liposuction, for example, will be the first and the foremost option if you are not overweight or obese and simply want to lose some of your body fat. But if your MBI is 40 or higher than that and your doctor recommends bypass surgery, the second option, bypass surgery, will undoubtedly be better for you.

What percentages of gastric bypass patients regain weight?

Before discussing this, we may point out a very important point. Despite gastric bypass surgery being beneficial and effective for many, and many losing upwards to 72% of their body weight, it is a path that should either be avoided or, if you choose to start, changes in lifestyle should take place as soon as possible. It basically means that if you get back to your old lifestyle and eat fast food and unhealthy foods, you can not expect much from gastric bypass surgery. It is also important to follow a healthy diet after weight loss surgery, such as light exercise and adding aerobic exercises to your new lifestyle. Otherwise, studies show that more than 50% of people who don't follow the above-mentioned procedures after gastric bypass return to their previous state, and their surgery fails.

What is the safest form of weight loss surgery?

According to what we mentioned above, liposuction does not work for weight loss and is suited for those who only want to lose fat on certain parts of their body like their neck, their hands, or their sides. As we discussed, those who have a body mass index of 40 or higher are not candidates for liposuction surgery. Instead, they can undergo gastric bypass surgery under the supervision of their physician. Therefore, if you wish to lose weight and you are obese, gastric bypass surgery might be right for you, but if you only want to lose fat in specific parts of your body, liposuction may be a better and safer option.

Risks of Liposuction vs gastric bypass

We have discussed in detail in this article the risks of liposuction surgery and the same can be said for gastric bypass surgery. Each type of surgery can have its own risks and side effects, due to what we discussed above. Here is a few information about gastric bypass surgery risks that you should be aware of. These risks include:

  • Blood clots
  • Leaks in your gastrointestinal system
  • Infection
  • Lung or breathing problems
  • Excessive bleeding
  • Adverse reactions to anesthesia

Last word

Accordingly, the surgery procedure will differ, depending on what you expect or need from your body. For example, if you're not obese and your Body Mass Index (BMI) is under 40, you can use Liposuction surgery on only the parts of your body that need to be removed from fat! But if you weigh too much and you cannot control the condition you are in, then we recommend you opt for gastric bypass surgery. However, always consult your doctor before undergoing any type of procedure.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Despite gastric bypass surgery being beneficial and effective for many, and many losing upwards to 72% of their body weight, it is a path that should either be avoided or, if you choose to start, changes in lifestyle should take place as soon as possible.

  • Chin and neck

    Calves and ankles



    Chest and back

    Upper arms

    Hips and thighs


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