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Bariatric Surgery vs Liposuction: What You Need to Know

Bariatric Surgery vs Liposuction are two of the most prominent methods for achieving your desired results. In this article, we’ll delve into the key differences between these two approaches, providing you with valuable insights to help you make an informed decision about the best path for your weight management journey.

Bariatric Surgery: Transforming Your Digestive System for Weight Loss

Bariatric surgery encompasses a range of techniques designed to modify your body’s digestive processes, leading to substantial and sustainable weight loss goals. You should consider these procedures carefully in collaboration with a bariatric surgeon and healthcare provider. Let’s explore how bariatric surgery works and its potential benefits.

How Does It Work?

Bariatric surgeries are typically recommended for individuals with a body mass index BMI of 40 or higher, or a BMI of 35 or higher in combination with a related condition like type 2 diabetes or sleep apnea. In certain cases, a BMI of 30 or higher may be considered when other weight loss measures have proven ineffective. These surgeries bring about significant changes to your digestive system, leading to substantial weight loss within three to six months.

One year post-surgery, research has shown that individuals who opted for Gastric bypass lost 31.2% of their total weight, while gastric sleeve and Gastric band procedures resulted in 25.2% and 13.7% weight loss, respectively.

Main types of Bariatric surgery in the United States

In the United States, there are three primary bariatric procedures to choose from:

  • Gastric Bypass: This surgery consists of creating a smaller stomach pouch and bypassing part of the digestive tract, which effectively reduces food intake and the number of calories absorbed.
  • Gastric Sleeve: Also known as sleeve gastrectomy, this procedure removes approximately 80% of the stomach, leaving behind a smaller sleeve-like structure that promotes early satiety.
  • Gastric Band: This approach involves placing an adjustable band around the upper part of the stomach to restrict food intake gradually.

Side Effects

While bariatric surgery is generally safe, it’s important to be aware of potential side effects, which can include bleeding, infection, or complications such as strictures, hernias, vitamin and mineral deficiencies, and gallstones. Additionally, rapid weight loss can lead to temporary symptoms like body aches, mood swings, cold sensations, fatigue, and hair loss.

Bariatric surgery can also impact your mental health, potentially leading to depression and other mental health disorders. A psychological evaluation before and counseling after the surgery is often recommended.

The Safety of Bariatric Surgery

Bariatric surgery has become significantly safer with advancements in minimally invasive techniques, resulting in a mortality rate ranging from 0.03% to 0.4%. While complications can occur, they are rare, making the procedure as safe as a hip replacement.

Liposuction: Sculpting Your Body’s Contours

Liposuction is a cosmetic procedure performed by plastic surgeons to target and remove specific fat deposits from various parts of the body. Unlike bariatric surgery, liposuction is not intended for individuals struggling with obesity. Let’s take a closer look at how liposuction works and what you can expect.

How Does It Work?

Liposuction is a body contouring technique that selectively removes fat from areas such as the thighs, ankles, knees, upper arms, chin, breasts, abdomen, and buttocks. After the procedure, it typically takes four to six weeks for your body to fully adapt to its new shape.

Procedure of liposuction

The liposuction process involves several key steps, including preparation, incision and injection, suction, drainage, fluid replacement, and closing. Performed on an outpatient basis and is typically carried out under local anesthesia or sedation to ensure your comfort.

Side Effects

While liposuction is generally safe, there are potential side effects to be aware of, such as numbness, shock, swelling, infection, fat embolism, nerve or tissue damage, bleeding, irregular results, scarring, and more. Although complications are rare, it’s essential to understand the potential risks associated with the procedure.

Prices & Where to Get It

Liposuction is performed in cosmetic surgery clinics or hospitals, by plastic surgeons. A great option is at CER Hospital, a center specializing in plastic and bariatric surgery, with very economical prices and a high standard of quality, you can schedule your virtual appointment here.

Insurance typically doesn’t cover it, unlike bariatric surgery. Plastic surgeons perform liposuction in cosmetic surgery clinics or hospitals.

Choosing the Right Treatment for You

The decision between bariatric surgery and liposuction is a significant one, and several factors should guide your choice. To make an informed decision, consider the following:

  1. Purpose: Bariatric surgery primarily addresses obesity and related health conditions, while liposuction is a cosmetic procedure for body contouring.
  2. Obesity Level: Liposuction does not suit obese individuals or address obesity, whereas bariatric surgery caters to those with high BMI.
  3. Weight Loss: Bariatric surgery leads to more significant weight loss compared to liposuction, which primarily focuses on fat reduction.
  4. Underlying Causes: Bariatric surgery targets the root causes of obesity, whereas liposuction only addresses appearance.
  5. Recovery Time: Liposuction typically results in quicker recovery and does not require an overnight hospital stay.
  6. Risk Profile: Bariatric surgery carries a higher risk of severe side effects compared to liposuction.

Good Choices

In consultation with your healthcare provider, determine the best choice for your individual needs regarding weight loss. They will guide you toward the most effective treatment option for managing your weight and health conditions.

In considering the liposuction process, it’s crucial to note that having a Body Mass Index (BMI) exceeding 30 is a significant requirement.

Combining Bariatric Surgery and Liposuction

In some cases, liposuction can complement the results of bariatric surgery by addressing it doesn’t address loose skin or stubborn fat deposits that may persist after weight loss. This decision should be based on your unique medical circumstances and desired outcomes.

Coping with Recovery

Both bariatric surgery and liposuction require preparation and recovery. To ensure a smooth recovery process, follow your provider’s guidance regarding incision care, pain management, physical activity, dietary restrictions, and changes in eating habits.


Bariatric surgery and liposuction are distinct approaches to achieving your desired weight and body shape. Bariatric surgery treats obesity and related conditions, while liposuction contours specific body areas as a cosmetic procedure. Both treatments are generally safe and effective, but it’s crucial to consider your unique needs and consult with healthcare professionals to make the best choice for your health and well-being.


A virtual consultation is when you send us photos of the places of your body where you’d like to improve. Then our surgeon analyzes it to confirm that you are a candidate for that particular procedure. We later inform you about our doctor’s decision and give you a quote with all the information about your surgery. Please, do be at ease that everything is confidential between yourself, the doctor, and the doctor’s representative.