Can Men Get Six-Pack Abs with Lipo?
The ancient Greeks and Romans revered strength, health and vitality, as evidenced by their statues of gods like Zeus and Poseidon, complete with ripped abdominals. The fascination with a sculpted torso is nothing new, and today, our culture’s increasing focus on fitness has many men ditching the six-pack of their favorite brew and striving to achieve a six-pack of another kind.
It should come as no surprise, then, that a common question from men interested in body sculpting surgery is whether liposuction can give them a six-pack. Liposculpture has long been one of the most popular cosmetic surgery procedures for both men and women, and the best results are seen in people who practice a healthy lifestyle. Here’s a closer look at the connection between men, six-pack abs and liposuction.
Men and Cosmetic Surgery
Aesthetic surgery is rising in popularity, and men now account for more cosmetic surgery procedures than ever before. Cosmetic procedures for men have increased by more than 325 percent in the past two decades, and it’s not hard to understand why.
For one, unrealistic standards of beauty don’t only apply to women. Men face increasing pressures to stand out from their competition in nearly every area, including looks. The result is that men who feel self conscious about their bodies can struggle with low self-esteem or embarrassment.
Secondly, maintaining a youthful and healthy appearance can benefit men’s job prospects and careers. Some men feel that having the extra boost of confidence that comes from taking care of their looks affects their job performance, makes them more likely to get promotions and helps them maintain a positive reputation.
Finally, cosmetic surgeons today understand what men want when it comes to aesthetic procedures. While women tend to prefer soft curves and subtle contouring, sculpting the male body may use a slightly different approach to reveal natural, masculine definition.
As more men become interested in what cosmetic surgery can do for them, surgeons become better equipped and skilled to address their needs.
Liposuction and Fitness
The truth is, liposuction and fitness have always gone hand-in-hand. While lipo can produce impressive results, the procedure doesn’t prevent future weight gain, so anyone hoping for long-lasting results will need to commit to a healthy lifestyle from the get-go. Furthermore, people who are significantly overweight are usually not good candidates for liposuction since lipo can only remove fat cells from the subcutaneous layer, just beneath the skin. That’s why so many men and women alike use liposculpture to put the finishing touches on their fitness efforts, slimming down stubborn bulges to reveal the fitter body shape underneath.
The connection between liposuction and fitness doesn’t only apply to the pre-operation stage. Liposuction results are only permanent if you make them permanent, which means taking care of your health and keeping off extra pounds. Many men and women find that getting liposuction motivates them to stay trim and healthy. The good news is that it’s almost always easier to prevent weight gain than it is to lose weight, and your liposuction surgeon or general physician can advise you on some of the most important aspects of healthy living to maintain your body contouring results.
The Six-Pack Challenge
Many men would love to have washboard abs, but get discouraged when they don’t see the results they want after diligent exercise. What it takes to get a six-pack doesn’t just depend on your exercise routine, but also your diet, lifestyle and, unfortunately, your genetics. While some people seem to maintain sculpted abs effortlessly, others trade their sweat and gym time for minimal definition and are left disappointed with the results.
What Makes a Six-Pack
The internet is flooded with quick how-to articles on just about everything, and getting that perfect washboard stomach is no exception. Despite the abundance of sources that might try to sell you on a quick solution to your quest for six-pack abs, getting and maintaining a chiseled torso is a long-term project that takes serious commitment.
First of all, it’s difficult to get a noticeable six-pack if you stick to doing only sit-ups, the most well known abdominal exercise. This is because every section of your abdominals needs to be strengthened. A good personal trainer or some solo research can help you find an effective workout regimen that includes a variety of exercises that use the abdominals.
Secondly, if your goal is to achieve the perfect abs, you’ll need to strengthen muscles throughout your body as well. This seems counter-intuitive to many people who hope that focusing on their abdominals alone will be enough to make those muscles pop. Muscle is the primary fat-burner in your body, so training your upper and lower half can help your six-pack along by burning the fat that so many men carry around their stomachs. A cardio routine that includes running or cycling can be a great supplement to any ab workout.
Why Being in Shape Isn’t Always Enough
If you’ve done all the abdominal strengthening that should produce a six-pack but still can’t see much definition, there could be a number of factors getting in your way. Consuming too much gluten, dairy or sugar can prevent you from seeing your workout results by replacing the calories you burn too readily. Drinking alcohol is infamous for getting in the way of fitness goals, even if you stick to light beer or wine. Finally, whether you smoke, how much you hydrate and even the amount of sleep you get can all play a role in whether your six-pack sees the light of day.
The Modern Man’s Struggle
For some, attaining the definition they’d like for their midsection can take years, and while many men could lose more weight if they limited their caloric intake more, not everyone is interested in reshaping their entire lifestyle just to lose a few stubborn pounds. But the real struggle may simply be that men today are expected to do too much. Between work, family, social life and personal hobbies, fewer men have the free time to be as active as they would like. Food and drinks can also be an integral aspect of a professional or social life, making dieting hardly seem like an option.
How Liposuction Works
Liposuction is one of the oldest cosmetic surgery procedures and has been perfected over decades to create reliably safe and beautiful results. The procedure works by permanently removing a limited amount of fat cells from the target area. Your surgeon first makes small incisions on and around the target area. He or she then inserts a thin tube called a cannula through each incision one by one, manually breaking up fat cells and suctioning them out of the body.
For people who have expended their weight loss efforts, lipo can be wonderful way to reveal a slimmer, fitter body shape.
When it comes to achieving washboard abs, liposculpture can help. Before men schedule their liposuction consultation, however, it’s important to understand when lipo is right and what the procedure can accomplish.
Visceral Fat vs. Subcutaneous Fat
There are two types of fat in our bodies: visceral and subcutaneous.
- Visceral fat is stored deeper in the body and wraps around the internal organs. An abundance of visceral fat is what causes obesity and is associated with health risks such as diabetes. Liposuction cannot remove visceral fat, but diet and exercise can.
Visceral fat is the reason a healthy lifestyle is the most essential aspect of achieving any weight loss goal, not cosmetic surgery.
- Subcutaneous fat, on the other hand, lies directly under the skin. This type of fat is notoriously difficult to eliminate with exercise or diet, and largely depends on your genetic disposition. People with double chins, for instance, can often attest that the stubborn bulge of fat under the chin does not fluctuate with lifestyle efforts in the same way that the number you see on the scale should. The common layer of fat over the midsection or on the hips, such as in the case of love handles or a “spare tire,” is made up of subcutaneous fat, causing many men and women alike to despair that their fitness goals seem unattainable. That’s why you can be in great overall shape and still have a pudgy stomach, making it almost impossible to achieve a noticeable six-pack.
Tumescent Lipo vs. Laser Lipo
You might have the abdominal strength, but the fat overlying your muscles hides your progress from view. This is where liposuction can come in handy.
- While a few different liposuction techniques exist today, none are as tried and true as tumescent liposuction. Also referred to as traditional lipo, this procedure is considered the gold standard for ideal fat reducing results. Tumescent liposuction can be performed using either general or local anesthesia, depending on the individual, and uses tumescent fluid to gently break apart fat cells before removing them from the body.
- Smartlipo™, or laser liposuction, is a different fat-removing technique that uses laser energy to break apart fat cells before removing them. The heat generated by the laser helps fat cells essentially melt, making them easy to suction out of the target area. The benefit of Smartlipo™ is that the laser energy also has a subtle skin-tightening effect, stimulating collagen and elastin in the skin so that your final results appear natural and taut. This can be especially helpful for people getting liposuction in areas with very dense fat, such as the back or male breasts.
What Makes Lipo for Men Different
Liposculpture is one of the most popular elective procedures for both sexes, but male liposuction differs from liposuction for women in a few fundamental ways.
Quantity of Fat Removed
Men and women store fat differently, and one of the major differences is the amount of fat they store. Women generally store more fat than men do, so male liposuction is often concentrated on specific target areas rather than large portions of the body. Women also tend to pursue thinner body types than men do, and removing too much fat from the male body can create a scrawny appearance.
Men and women also tend to store fat in different areas of the body. While a little unwanted pudginess around the torso is common among both sexes, women tend to store more unwanted fat around their hips or flanks. Men, on the other hand, more commonly store fat directly in the abdomen, which is exactly where you don’t want fat if you’re striving for a six-pack.
Men and women also have different cosmetic goals. Most people, regardless of gender, generally desire a trim, fit body shape, but women often choose lipo for the waist, thighs or buttocks. Men rarely get liposuction of the thighs or buttocks, instead focusing on the abdomen, flanks, back, chest and neck.
Finally, one of the primary differences when it comes to performing liposuction for men versus women is the fat density. The general consensus among cosmetic surgeons is that liposuction is more difficult to perform for men because their fat tends to be more fibrous. This can make fat cells difficult to break up and remove, especially in the hands of an inexperienced surgeon. Smartlipo™, which uses laser energy to melt fat cells, is a popular choice for male liposuction patients for this reason.
Your Liposuction Options
If you’re considering body contouring with liposculpture to help you achieve a defined torso, you’ll have a few options to choose from. The right approach for your depends on your physique and your goals for cosmetic surgery.
Lipo for Love Handles
Men can struggle with love handles just as much as women do, and these stubborn pockets of fat settled around the hips can prevent clothes from fitting comfortably and lead to feelings of self-consciousness. Love handles won’t necessarily prevent you from getting a six-pack on their own, but they can make your lower abs less visible than your upper ones. Many men get some amount of fat removed from their love handles when striving for a beach body.
Abdominal etching is a method of performing liposculpture that’s grown in popularity in recent years. The procedure uses a small cannula to enhance the appearance of the abdominal muscles by sculpting away the fat between each muscle, leaving subtle fat pads over the abdominals to help make each muscle stand out. This technique can also be referred to as liposculpting and is commonly performed using either tumescent liposuction or Smartlipo™.
Men with more extensive needs may be interested in getting 360-degree liposuction. Also called circumferential liposuction, this comprehensive approach to liposculpting includes contouring the back, flanks and abdomen. The goal of 360-degree lipo is to sculpt the entire torso and bring out a fitter figure that simply has too much overlying subcutaneous fat.
The Limitations of Liposculpting
While any approach to body contouring, including liposculpture, is intended to enhance body definition, the lipo isn’t suitable for anyone who isn’t already in good overall shape. Removing a large amount of fat with liposuction isn’t only unhealthy, but it can also produce results that appear unnatural. If you’re interested in attaining a six-pack with the help of liposuction, make sure you reach your goal weight first and adopt a healthy lifestyle that includes some form of abdominal exercise so your muscle definition will appear natural.
Preparing for Your Procedure
If you’ve decided to start planning for liposculpture, you can make the most out of your procedure by preparing well ahead of time. Here are a few steps you can take to ensure the best lipo results:
1. Ask Your Surgeon the Right Questions
It’s always a good idea to prepare for your consultation before meeting with your cosmetic surgeon. Explain what your goals are for body contouring and ask about his or her experience helping other men achieve similar goals. Be honest about your lifestyle, including any medications you take, and ask to see before-and-after photos of real patients. You may wish to consult with several surgeons before settling on the best liposuction surgeon for you.
2. Achieve Your Weight Loss Goals
Since body contouring is no substitution for weight loss, be sure that you are within your target weight bracket at least 6 months before scheduling surgery. Your weight should be stable and your lifestyle should be able to support your weight without tacking on extra pounds.
3. Stock Up on Healthy Foods
To ensure you have the smoothest recovery, stock up on healthy foods before getting cosmetic surgery. Not only does this prevent you from needing to leave the house during the first few days of your recovery, but lots of nutritious foods will give your body the support it needs to heal quickly and safely so you can get back on your feet in no time.
A healthy diet during your liposuction recovery can keep your six-pack on track while you rest easy.
Liposuction may not be for everyone, but men struggling to achieve a ripped torso might be interested in how the procedure can help them achieve their goals. If you’ve reached the end of your rope and are ready to see some definitive progress, ask your cosmetic surgeon if you’re a good candidate for liposculpting.