Do I have to lose weight before getting Liposuction?

Do I have to lose weight before getting Liposuction, submitted image.

Is there a certain BMI that I must be in order to get liposuction? I'm a 45 woman, 5 ft 4 inch tall, and I weight 207 pounds. Am I a good candidate? I'm an active person but I don't feel like I'm getting any fitter. Actually quite the opposite. Really need advice. Kind regards!


F, 47, Connecticut

Most practices don’t implement BMI restrictions, but many surgeons will advise you to be reasonably close to your ideal weight before getting liposuction surgery. This is because liposuction is not technically considered a weight loss procedure. Rather, it is used to help patients target problem areas and remove stubborn body fat deposits that they struggle to lose with conventional weight loss methods.

I also want to highlight that you must be able to maintain your weight after the procedure, as significant weight gain and weight loss can have a negative effect on results. Do not attempt a crash course diet prior to surgery if it is not sustainable in the long run.

Without seeing you in person, it is difficult to say whether or not you will be a good candidate for liposuction surgery. Many cosmetic surgeons like their patients to be within at least 30% of their ideal weight before getting liposuction. In your case, this works out to be about 145 pounds. If that sounds like a good, sustainable weight, it’s possible that liposuction could be the right option for you. For best results, you should aim to be as close as possible to your ideal weight and try to lose excess fat through conventional means such as exercise and sticking to a healthy diet.

If you’re finding it difficult to shed the excess weight on your own, I do recommend seeing a nutritionist, who may be able to help you lose some weight naturally before you receive any cosmetic surgery. In addition to delivering better results, reducing your BMI to about 30 (or below) reduces some of the complications associated with the liposuction procedure, including blood clots and anesthesia-related risks, and can help your body recover more quickly from the surgery. If you’re currently in the process of losing weight, wait until your weight plateaus before seeking liposuction. Please see a board-certified plastic surgeon for more insight into whether liposuction surgery is suitable for your specific needs.

Dr. Kimberly Henry has 1 Liposuction before & after:

Liposuction before image performed by Dr. Kimberly HenryLiposuction after image performed by Dr. Kimberly Henry

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Liposuction alone for body sculpting is recommended for patients close to their ideal body weight with pockets of fat that have not responded to diet and exercise. you would need good skin quality and not significant excess skin

there may be other surgical options available to you that include a liposuction as part of an additional procedure- for example  tummy tuck with liposuction. I do like to surgical patients be at or below a BMI of 30 due to wound healing concerns and cosmetic outcome


jack peterson md

Dr. Jack Peterson has 2 Liposuction, Tummytuck, Liposuction before & afters:

Liposuction, Tummytuck, Liposuction before image performed by Dr. Jack PetersonLiposuction, Tummytuck, Liposuction after image performed by Dr. Jack PetersonLiposuction, Tummytuck, Liposuction before image performed by Dr. Jack PetersonLiposuction, Tummytuck, Liposuction after image performed by Dr. Jack Peterson

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Although there is no set BMI, liposuction should not be considered a surgery to help "weight loss."  The best results are obtained when it is done after weight loss on areas that are resistant to going away.  You might consider consulting with a dietician and a trainer to get a proper diet and exercise regimen in place.  Then you might be better able to lose weight first.  Best of luck!

Dr. Jonathan Heistein has 2 Liposuction before & afters:

Liposuction before image performed by Dr. Jonathan HeisteinLiposuction after image performed by Dr. Jonathan HeisteinLiposuction before image performed by Dr. Jonathan HeisteinLiposuction after image performed by Dr. Jonathan Heistein

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In my practice we have no BMI restrictions for liposuction patients.   My criteria involves age and overall health of patient, if you are a healthy, active person there would be no restrictions.    However, skin elasticity plays a roll in your outcome, if your skin has lost elasticity then your outcome may not be ideal.  An in person consult with a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon, is a must. 

Dr. Arthur Shektman has 1 Liposuction before & after:

Liposuction before image performed by Dr. Arthur ShektmanLiposuction after image performed by Dr. Arthur Shektman

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If your health is good you would not need to loose weight to have liposuction. A very high BMI does increase your anesthesia risk. Be aware, also, that there are limits to the amount of fatty tissue that can be removed at one time. All of this needs to be discussed with your board certified plastic surgeon.

Dr. Donald Kress has 1 Liposuction, Tummytuck before & after:

Liposuction, Tummytuck before image performed by Dr. Donald KressLiposuction, Tummytuck after image performed by Dr. Donald Kress

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Thank you for your question. Being at a certain BMI is more important when it comes to excisional body contouring procedures such as tummy tuck or lower body lifts. Studies have shown that risks of complication increase in this subset of patients with a BMI over 30. Risks primarily of wound healing issues, infection, wound dehiscience ( separation of the wound ) and blood clots or DVT (Deep vein thrombosis). Liposuction, on the other hand, has been shown to be helpful and in fact, beneficial inpatients with a BMI over 30 who have type 2 diabetes. Liposuction has been shown to help improveh insulin sensitivity in these patients and often decreases the the amount of medication required to keep blood sugar in the normal range. Now, keep in mind, this should be all done in combination with a concerted effort to improve diet, increase exercise and adopt a healthier life style for overall good health. It is not a shortcut. Keep in mind, with liposuction, the fat that is removed is gone for good. Continued intake of excess calories will lead to fat cells swelling in other parts of the body, which can look quite unsettling.

A coordinated effort between you, your primary care physician, a nutritionist, and your plastic surgeon can help get you feeling and looking better.

Best wishes,
Dr. Morrissey