Who is the Best Liposuction Candidate?

what can liposuction surgery do for a patient, and what cant it do?

Doctor Answers 20

Liposuction candidate

Having reasonably good skin tone (elasticity) is important to obtain best results with liposuction. As one ages, skin tone tends to decrease. This occurs after massive weight loss or pregnancy as well. A good indicator of reasonable skin tone is the lack of stretch marks or loose skin.


Liposuction changes shape. 

  • Best candidate: fit with unwanted bulges. Liposuction will remove fat in unwanted places, giving a better shape. It works alone or with surgery, e.g. tummy tucks, thigh lifts, breast reductions.
  • Worst candidate: obese, looking for instance weight loss. Liposuction is not a weight loss procedure. It redistributes fat. If you keep eating, fat returns.
  • BUT liposuction for someone overweight can motivate her/him to get fit. 

Ideal candidates for liposuction


The best candidate for liposuction is a patient who is close to their ideal body weight and has localized areas of fat that are diet and exercise resistant.  Liposuction is not a weight reduction procedure!  It is a procedure that helps reshape & improve body contour.


Who is a Good Liposuction Candidate?

A good candidate for liposuction is someone who is disproportionate, but not necessarily overweight. For example, a patient who is thin may be an excellent candidate if he/she is disproportionate. If an individual diets, exercises, and has stubborn areas like the love handles for example - it is more likely that they have excess fatty tissue in these areas that can only be removed with liposuction. Some of the best candidates for liposuction can be thin but disproportionate and many times this is due to genetics.

I feel it is inappropriate to perform surgery on a person who is simply overweight but has a proportionate body shape. This is a mistake made by many surgeons and does the patient a disservice because it can permanently throw them out of proportion and the fat can disproportionately store in other areas.

However, for many people seeking liposuction, it is because they have a combination of being a little overweight and disproportionate in certain areas. However, when I perform liposuction on this type of patient, it is imperative to critically determine where they are out of proportion. I then only targets those areas, so as to balance their proportion. It is then up to the patient to diet and exercise to lose the extra weight. Many times the rapid results from the liposuction of the stubborn disproportionate areas are the motivational factor for the patient to eliminate the rest of the weight.

I hope this helps answer your question about liposuction candidacy.

David Amron, MD
Beverly Hills Dermatologic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 53 reviews

Best Candidates for Liposuction / LipoSelection / Liposculpture / Diffferential Liposuction

Great cosmetic results start with choosing the best candidates for each operation. The BEST Candidates for Liposuction / LipoSelection / Liposculpture / Differential Liposuction have defined fat pockets without large areas of damaged and loose skin, are healthy, have realistic expectations and have a BMI under 27.

Although the procedure can be done on people who do not meet all these criteria, the results would not be as good.

Peter A. Aldea, MD
Memphis Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 78 reviews

Liposuction candidate

The best candidates for Liposuction are people with:

  • good skin tone
  • at or near their ideal body weight
  • localized areas of fat accumulation
  • realistic expectations

Samir Shureih, MD
Baltimore Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 4 reviews

Best candidate for Liposuction

A good candidate for liposuction is someone who is fairly close to their ideal body weight but has localized fatty deposits that are resistant to diet and exercise. Also, a person must have relatively good skin tone and elasticity in order to ensure a good result with minimal contour irregularities.

Liposuction is not a weight loss procedure and should not be performed in someone who is extremely overweight. Liposuction is intended to improve contour and shape, it is not intended to reduce a person's body weight.

Please consult with a board certified plastic surgeon to determine if you are a good candidate for liposuction.

Best wishes,

Dr. Bruno

William Bruno, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 206 reviews

Liposuction candidate

Patients who would benefit from liposuction procedures, are in a good healthy state and have overall maintained their weight. Liposuction in certain fatty isolated areas of the body can improve the body countours. It is not meant for weight loss, liposuction is only beneficial to certain patients. To determine if you are a good candidate for the procedure, consult with a board certified plastic surgeon. Depending on the elasticity of the tissue and the quality of the skin, liposuction could be an option for certain patients.

Good candidate for liposuction

The ideal candidate for liposuction is someone who is in good overall health and maintains a healthy lifestyle, but has one or more problem areas with unresponsive fat deposits. It is also important for patients to have realistic expectations, and remember that liposuction cannot be used as a means for major weight loss. It is instead used to remove localized areas of stubborn fat after patients have attempted other natural weight loss methods.

Hope this helps. Best of luck.

Liposuction: What's it good for?

Liposuction is optimally performed on individuals who have achieved a stable weight with desire for reduction in localized adipose (fatty) tissue deposits. It can be applied to nearly any anatomic location of the body. Strictly speaking liposuction is the application of a negative pressure (vacuum suction) to remove fat through small incisions in the skin using a small metal tube of various shapes (cannula). The cannula can be moved back and forth (like a jack-hammer) with the assistance of a oscillating machine (Power assisted liposuction) or through microscopic movements using ultrasound energy (Ultrasonic Assisted Lipoplasty). When the fat is destroyed using a small cannula and laser fiber, we call it laser assisted lipolysis.

It’s difficult to speak in generalities so let’s speak specifically about liposuction of the stomach area as an example.

An office visit/consultation is mandatory prior to scheduling the procedure. We have 300lb individuals and 120lb individuals who ask about liposuction. Even if it is the same location, this procedure would not be performed in the same fashion. What you may consider is one body part such as the STOMACH/ABDOMEN area may consist of upper and lower abdomen, hips, flanks, upper buttocks, back, etc. It would be two or more distinctly different operations despite being performed on one body part. During the consultation we may determine that other procedures are better suited for your optimal outcome such as a thigh lift or tummy tuck.

The amount of fat to be removed is a complex decision process determined based on your desires, anatomy, practicality, and wound healing.Ultimately, your body shape is determined by more than the fat layer and truly depends on a relationship of your skeleton, muscle mass, fat, and skin components. An important consideration is your skin tone which may vary according to genetics, tobacco use, sun exposure, pattern of weight gain/loss, age, etc. Furthermore, if you have been pregnant, your condition may require skin removal and muscle tightening (“tummy tuck” also known as abdominoplasty). Removal of too much fat with poor skin tone can produce loose, sagging, dimpled skin.

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 55 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.