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Maximum Fat Volume That Can Be Removed by Laser Liposuction?

How many cc's or Liters of fat have to be taken out for a laser liposuction procedure to be considered a large volume? Is it more than ten pounds worth of fat?

Doctor Answers 15

Limits to liposuction

Dear Flawed,

Laser liposuction is generally reserved for smaller volume contouring of the body. The recommended maximum volume of fat to be removed with standard liposuction is 5 liters. Since fat is lighter than water, 5 liters of fat would not weigh 11 pounds. At any rate, you should not rely on any form of liposuction for weight loss. Liposuction is a contouring procedure, not a weight loss plan. Good luck!

Maximum amount of fat removal by laser liposuction

ALL liposuction, regardless of the actual technique, must conform to several safety guidelines.

Experience has shown that as long as NO MORE than 5 liters (=5,000 cc = 5,000 ml = 11 pounds = 176 ounces = 0.79 stones (for our UK readers)of fat can be removed safely as an out patient procedure.

If large volumes of fat are removed, you would require an IV line, a Foley (urinary) catheter and a close follow up overnight or even for a few days to make sure your circulating blood volume is adequate.

In my opinion, taking a safe procedure and turning it into such a potentially dangerous procedure for the sake of a few pounds is foolish.

Good Luck.

Peter A. Aldea, MD
Memphis Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 82 reviews

Maximum fat volume that can be removed by laser liposuction?

The question shows the confusion concerning Laser Liposuction vs Traditional, Ultrasonic, Vaser, Power-Assisted, and Body Jet Liposuctions. In Laser Liposuctions, ie Smart Lipo, the concept is a sculpting more than a fat removal in terms of pounds of fat or cc's of fat. Therefore, Smart Lipo is NOT for fat removal of, let's say, 2 pounds or 3 liters of fat. Versus the other lipos, especially Body Jet Lipo (Water-assisted Liposuction -- WAL) that can do 'large volume liposuction', up to 10 to 12 liters. But bear in mind, large volume liposuctions are an in hospital overnight stay to 2 night stay operation. And a very extended recovery of up to 1 month. If the lipo is in an outpatient setting than by Florida medical rules ONLY 4 liters of fat can be removed .

Just remember, get a good informed consent and fully understand what you are getting.

Smart Lipo not good for big volumes

5 liters is generally the most that can be removed at one time wth liposuction.  In general, even smart lipo advocates do not recommend it for larger volumes.

The bottom line, as i said in your last question, is to not dwell on any procedure, particularly one that is of unproved and dubious benefit.

Steven Teitelbaum, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 37 reviews

Maximum fat removed with laser liposuction

general speaking some plastic surgeons believe that Laser Liposuction is not as safe as Tumescent liposuction. Laser liposuction can creat much heat and tissue inflammation which limits the amount of liposuction significantly.

S. Sean Younai, MD, FACS
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 35 reviews

Maximum Laser Liposuction same as Traditional

Outpatient Liposuction - No more than 5 liters = guidelines for most states regardless of whether it is laser lipo, ultrasonic lipo or standard liposuction

Liposuction Limits - depends on State and Safety

5000 cc's (5 liters) is the guideline limit for outpatient liposuction for many states including California. For smaller patients with more areas for liposuction removing less fat may be safer.

Larry S. Nichter, MD, MS, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 76 reviews

Current volume limits of liposuction is 5000cc or five liters

Liposuction can be performed by many different techniques, traditional, ultrasound, laser assisted, and there have been no clear advantages of one over another. Some surgeons simply prefer one 'system' over another. Typically though many apply laser liposuction only to smaller areas. As a whole studies have confirmed a safe limit of 5000cc or five liters for a given liposuction procedure on an outpatient basis. Higher volume liposuction is possible for special circumstances, however the risks increase disproportionally to the rewards of the procedure. Remember liposuction is a contouring procedure, the weight of fat removed should not be the issue.

Best of luck,


Peter E. Johnson, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 36 reviews

Liposuction and and how much fat to be removed safely

Whether it's laser liposuction, ultrasound liposuction, or regular liposuction, make sure you're in a hospital or fully accredited surgicenter where you can be observed if more than 2 liters of fat is removed. The way your body reacts after large volume liposuction may require your urine output to be monitored and extra fluid given intravenously. Also, make sure you're comfortable with your plastic surgeon and his/her post-operative care before proceeding with surgery. Good luck!

Maximum fat volume that can be removed by laser liposuction


The maximum safe volume of fluid including fat that should be removed as an outpatient using traditional liposuction with the superwet or tumescent technique is 5000cc( or five liters).

My experience with Slim Lipo laser assisted liposuction is that the volume of fat and liquid removed is much less. This is due to the vaporization of fat by the 924 wavelength laser. Using Slim Lipo the total volume removed is usually 1/3 of the volume removed by traditional means.

The most important aspect of liposuction is not the amount of fat removed but the improvement in body contour that the procedure achieves.It is not a procedure for weight loss. My experience with Slim Lipo laser assisted liposuction has convinced me that this new technique results in improved body contours with less bruising, and post operative pain than the traditional method. The vertical contraction of the subcutaneous tissue that occurs after three months is quite impressive.

Laser Liposuction

First of all 10lbs of liposuction would be a HUGE amount of liposuction. Even at five liters of aspirate the amount of fat is only a pound or two. But regardless I'm not a fan of this laser lipo stuff because it goes against everything inherent to traditional Liposuction. Laser liposuction's intent is to cause a wound to the under side of the skin leading to "skin contracture." It's this specific reason that we stay away from the skin during traditional liposuction-damage to the skin can result in horrible contour deformities. Therefore, get traditional liposuction to get the best result.

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.