Ask a doctor

Can I Lose Around 5 Inches on my Waist Through Liposuction?

I have a 42 waist and I need to be around 37 inches to get into the militay. Most of my fat is on my love handles. Can liposuction shrink my waist to that diameter?

Doctor Answers (7)

Liposuction alone will not remove 5 inches from waist

+3

Surfhmr24,

You look very fit in your photo and I doubt if you have 5 inches of fat beneath your skin in the love handles.

Liposuction only removes the deep fat that is beneath your skin. At least an inch of fat has to be left behind after liposuction so that the skin looks smooth. Therefore you would have to have 3-4 inches of extra fat beneath the skin on each love handle to reduce the waist by 5 inches.

Many people do not understand that your waist measurement is caused primarily by the bone structure of your chest and hips, to which the muscles of your waist are attached.

If you have a broad chest and wide hips, you will have a larger waist measurement.

Also, your intestines and the mesentery (the mesentery is a fatty membrane that holds your intestines in place) also press against your waist and can make the waist larger.

Most large waist measurements in men reflect increased intestinal mesenteric fat on the inside and cannot be changed with liposuction.

Dieting can reduce mesenteric and subcutaneous fat and will reduce your waist measurement. Abdominal strengthening exercises will also help.

I honestly think diet and exercise is the best bet to reduce your waist measurement. After you have lost weight and firmed your tummy, if you have 3-4 inches of fat beneath your skin in the love handle area, then liposuction may reduce the waist by an inch or two.

See before and after pictures of tummy laser liposuction.


Boston Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 34 reviews

It depends on where the fat is exactly

+2

Many men have a lot of fat INSIDE their abdomen (around the intestines). This fat of course cannot be removed with liposuction.

I have seen dramatic reduction in waist size with liposuction (like 5 inches) but only when the fat is UNDER THE SKIN (subcutaneous). So you need to be examined by an experienced plastic surgeon before you can tell if liposuction would help you.

George J. Beraka, MD (retired)
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

It depends on what kind of fat is responsible.

+1
The body has two types of fat: subcutaneous and visceral. Visceral fat grows around the organs, and subcutaneous fat is located closer to the skin. Lipo gets rid of isolated pockets of subcutaneous fat but if your waist measurement is due to visceral fat, then only diet and exercise will really be able to help you lose those five inches. Most often, love handles are subcutaneous fat deposits, but there may be limits to how much liposuction can accomplish. Definitely consult with a surgeon for a physical assessment and learn more about your options.

Joseph J. Castellano, MD
Tampa General Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

You might also like...

Liposuction for men

+1

Liposuction is a procedure that can help remove adipose tissue in isolated problem areas that can not be lost through diet and exercise alone. Results are seen dramatically right after surgery. However, you will have swelling and bruising for the first couple weeks and may last up to a couple months. A compression garment is worn for atleast 1 month to help minimize swelling. I recommend consulting with a board certified plastic surgeon to discuss the best and safest posible options for you. Definitely, consider diet and exercise prior to proceeding with elective surgery. Since you are joining the military, you may want to be in top shape to prepare for physical training which will cause you to lose a significant amount of weight regardless. Whether you are a good candidate for the procedure will depend on the quality of the skin in the problem area and whether you are in good health to proceed with surgery. Make sure to emphasize your goals to the surgeon you choose to have a full understanding of whether you can achieve that goal through surgery as well. Good luck to you!

Tom J. Pousti, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 759 reviews

Possibly can lose 5 inches

+1

This depends on how much volume of fat is contained in the area to be liposuctioned. You might be able to get an idea by using a tape measure, and pulling it in to the point that you suspect that muscle begins, and fat ends. Liposuction is not a diet/exercise substitute however. After liposuction, you will have swelling, so it may be months before the final measurement is known.

In the mean time, diet and exercise is advised. Looks like you are going to eat chicken- that is a great start.

Scott E. Kasden, MD
Dallas Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 49 reviews

You will probably not lose 5 inches from Liposuction

+1

Liposuction can remove fat under the skin, not under the muscle inside the belly. The fat removal under the skin will make a difference but most of your fat may be inside the belly--only diet and exercise will change that.

Toby Mayer, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 15 reviews

Not possible to lose 5 inches from Liposuction

+1

Hello,

I find that men have more intra-abdominal fat than women. That is, we men have more fat around our internal organs and that fat cannot be removed by liposuction. Fat in the lovehandles are usually very amenable to removal by liposuction, and this is where men tend to get great benefit. However, 5 inches of waistline reduction is a lot to ask from liposuction of the abdomen and lovehandles. I think you would be improved but not enough to go down 5 inches.

Francisco Canales, MD
Santa Rosa Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 15 reviews

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.