One of the questions we are frequently asked is, “How much weight can liposuction remove?”
Unfortunately, this is a tough question to answer. The truth is, there’s no way of knowing exactly how much fat a person will be able to have removed during liposuction without actually doing the procedure. In other words, we know the amount only when we measure it as it is removed during surgery.
Furthermore, it’s important to note that Portland liposuction is not a weight loss solution. While it can get rid of unwanted fat in small to modest amounts, if you have considerable weight to lose, it’s best to go the route of a healthy and well-balanced diet program, combined with regular exercise.
With that said, below, we’ll attempt to answer the “how much weight can liposuction remove” question as best we can.
What Is the Maximum Amount of Fat That Can Be Removed With Liposuction?
Generally speaking, the maximum amount of fat that can be removed with liposuction is 5000 ml. That’s roughly 11 pounds on the scale. This amount is actually quite significant. 5000 ml is equal to five liters. So, imagine two and a half 2-liters of soda from the grocery store. You can technically do away with this much fat (in most cases).
On the other hand, not all patients should have this much removed. It truly depends on the contours of your body, your current and desired proportions, and what the condition of your skin is. Good liposuction surgeons will ensure that you have the necessary skin elasticity so that it “bounces back” or retracts after the fat is taken out. If this is not ensured, you may run the risk of having excess, sagging skin after liposuction.
What Is the Maximum Weight for Liposuction Patients?
There is not a set maximum weight for liposuction. In other words, liposuction can technically be performed safely on patients of any size or BMI.
Still, most plastic surgeons do have a cut off BMI of around 30 for their patients. Weight in pounds is not used because BMI is a more accurate representation of a patient’s fat distribution. BMI takes into consideration sex, height, age, and muscles mass.
Patients with a BMI of more than 30 may be disqualified from liposuction for two reasons.
First, someone who has a BMI of over 30 may be at higher risk for surgical complications. For these patients, blood flow is reduced in fatty tissue, which can slow healing and is more likely to lead to incision site infection. There is also a higher frequency of type II diabetes in overweight and obese individuals, and diabetes itself can lead to complications after invasive surgery.
Next, overweight and obese patients will likely not see major results from liposuction. The procedure is more for reducing small pockets of unwanted fat. Someone with a more considerable amount of fat on their body will have a harder time achieving the results they’re looking for.
What Makes the Best Candidates for Liposuction?
Generally speaking, anyone who has “stubborn fat” that they can’t get rid of by themselves (through diet and exercise) could be a good candidate for liposuction. The procedure itself is not a weight loss method, but it can manually remove fat cells.
Here are several factors that make a good candidate for liposuction:
Good Physical Health
Patients should not have any active infections or serious medical conditions. Patients with diabetes, autoimmune diseases, cancer, and other illnesses will likely be disqualified from surgery.
Normal Weight Range
As stated above, it’s good for patients to be within a normal weight range for their body type, sex, age, and height.
It’s important that the patient’s skin be elastic and relatively firm. To test your own skin’s elasticity, pinch the skin (and some of the underlying fat) gently.
Choose skin on your stomach, cheek, or upper arm. If the skin you pinched bounces back quickly, it has a good amount of elasticity.
Minor imperfections can often drive us crazy, and although it’s good to seek improvement for ourselves, it’s also important to be level-headed and realistic. Liposuction can certainly increase your self-esteem and boost your confidence. But it can’t solve all your problems, nor should it.
Can the Fat Removed Through Liposuction Come Back Later?
In addition to receiving an estimation on the weight of fat that can be removed in a given liposuction session, many of our patients also want to know how much weight can be removed permanently.
In other words, will any of the fat come back after the procedure, and if so, how much?
The answer is yes and no.
While liposuction does permanently remove a set number of fat cells (cells that will never come back), you can certainly still gain weight after liposuction. So yes, technically, the fat can come back.
At the same time, because we permanently removed those fat cells from your treatment areas, if you gain weight after liposuction, chances are you’ll still keep your post-lipo proportions. That is, the fat that comes back will form more readily on other parts of your body.
Here’s an example:
Let’s say you got liposuction on your abdomen, then went on a long vacation, enjoying margaritas and ice cream sundaes daily. Perhaps you gained five pounds. In this case, all of the fat cells on your body would get a little bigger. The five pounds would be spread out over your whole body. Because you’d had liposuction on your abdomen, however, you’d now have fewer fat cells there. Therefore, you wouldn’t gain as much weight in your abdomen as you might have pre-liposuction.
But then, let’s say you continued gaining weight and ultimately gained 20 pounds. In this case, it would be possible for new fat cells to develop in the abdomen (and elsewhere). And this may ultimately sabotage your initial liposuction results.
Have More Questions About Liposuction
Whether you’re simply looking for more information about liposuction or you’re sure you’d like to move forward with this procedure, Dr. Aric Aghayan can help.
Dr. Aghayan is a board-certified plastic surgery specializing in liposuction in the Portland, OR area. He would be happy to discuss your candidacy, options, and goals with you at an upcoming consultation appointment. Call Après Plastic Surgery today to schedule yours!