American Society of Plastic Surgeons
For Medical Professionals
5 years ago


Is there a weight limit?

Procedure: Liposuction
Location: Farmington, AR

Replies 3

Steven Wallach
ASPS Surgeon
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There is no specific weight limit for Liposuction. However patients with a lower BMI usually have lower risk for complications. I have treated patients on the high side of BMI, but they understand that this is to deflate them a little bit. They know that weight loss by diet and exercise will also be beneficial and that other procedures like skin excision will likely be necessary down the road to provide optimal results.

Debra Johnson
ASPS Surgeon

Dr. Wallach is correct that heavier patients statistically run a higher risk of complications, so reducing weight prior to liposuction is a smart move. Liposuction is best for "spot reduction": getting rid of pockets of fat that diet and exercise don't budge. Liposuction is not a good way to lose weight, as we surgeons are limited in the amount of fat we can safely remove at any one time. Although the incisions for liposuction are small, the injury within the fat layer under the skin can be quite extensive, and your body will respond to that injury with swelling, pain, and inflammation. The more areas you treat, and the more fat you remove, the stronger your body's response. Some patients do undergo "high volume" liposuction but they may have to stay in the hospital (sometimes in Intensive Care!) as it is a much higher risk procedure. Consult a board-certified plastic surgeon to see what your options might be.

Jon Ver Halen

Dear NancyS,

Hello and thank you for your excellent question. As outlined above, it is not your absolute weight that is a limiting factor, but rather the ratio of your weight to height (i.e., Body Mass Index). It is best to answer your question during a face-to-face evaluation, when you can discuss your goals and expectations for the procedure, and you can have a physical examination to evaluate for that procedure. I recommend that you find a board-certified, or board-eligible plastic surgeon with whom you are comfortable. Be sure to have all of your questions answered during a face-to-face meeting with your surgeon, and review before and after pictures of similar patients whom have had this procedure. If you have any questions, call our office for assistance. Good luck!


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