Do I need a specific BMI or lose weight to qualify for liposuction on the arms and abdominal areas? (photos)

Doctor Answers 11

Getting Great Results with VASER HI DEF, Skin removal, ThermiRF, Ultrasound

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For best results, it's good to be at a stable, healthy weight. You don't appear to be a candidate for liposuction alone, because you may need skin removal also. VASER liposuction along with surgical skin removal and RF skin tightening like exilis, venus legacy, thermage or ultrasound like ultherapy would give you good results. I recommend getting a formal consultation with a body contouring expert to identify your best treatment options.  Best, Dr. Emer

Los Angeles Dermatologic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 203 reviews

Weight and liposuction

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Your BMI should be in a healthy range because higher BMI's are associated with increased risks of complications.

The closer you come to your target weight, the better your results will be.

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Liposuction truly isn’t meant to serve as a weight loss tool, so you are going to get better results by coming as close as possible to reaching your target weight before getting liposuction. It’s best if you have a BMI of 30 or lower for a body contouring procedure, so make diet and exercise your best friends. When you are good and ready for your procedure, combining liposuction and a tummy tuck might be the best option for you, because liposuction is likely going to leave you with unwanted excess skin in the abdominal region which a tummy tuck can address.

Alexander G. Nein, MD, MS, FACS
Nashville Plastic Surgeon

Liposuction/ Liposculpture/ Fat Transfer/ Vaser/ Hi Definition Procedures/Liposuction Revision/Tummy Tuck/Body Contouring

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I appreciate your question.

For health and safety reasons, best to be at a BMI less than 30 or within 10 pounds of your goal weight and stable at that weight for 6 months prior to surgery for optimal results.

The best way to assess and give true advice would be an in-person exam.

Please see a board-certified plastic surgeon that specializes in aesthetic and restorative plastic surgery.

Best of luck!

Dr. Schwartz

Board Certified Plastic Surgeon



Do I need a specific BMI or lose weight to qualify for liposuction on the arms and abdominal areas?

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Yes, best to be at your long-term stable weight part to proceeding with any procedure;  at that point, you may be good candidate for arm lifting and tummy tuck surgery, not liposuction surgery alone. Best wishes.

Being a candidate for arm and abdomen liposuction

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Thank you for asking about your arm and abdomen liposuction.

  • Good for your for planning ahead.
  • Yes, your BMI should at least be 35 and for a good result, it should be 30 or lower.
  • Your arm photo is helpful - you are not a candidate for liposuction because it will make the skin sag much much more -
  • You can either have extensive liposuction and an arm lift, or lose the weight and then have an arm lift.
  • After weight loss, an exam is needed to see if a tummy tuck is needed or just liposuction and panniculectomy (Removal of excess skin.)
  • If you are 100 pounds or more over your ideal weight, please ask your regular doctor to refer you to a bariatric surgeon for consideration for a gastric bypass.
  • Always see a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon. Best wishes  - Elizabeth Morgan MD PHD FACS


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Thank you for the question and photos and the ideal candidate for surgery is one who is at a stable ideal weight.  That said you would obtain your best results after weight loss with an abdominoplasty and brachioplasty associated with liposuction but not liposuction alone.

Dr. Corbin

Liposuction and BMI

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In both regions, you have significant hanging skin. Therefore, liposuction would not be appropriate. You would need panniculectomy, at minimum, and brachioplasty. That said, these are not substitutes for weight loss. You should reach and maintain a suitable weight prior to any such surgeries. Best wishes.

Liposuction does not tighten skin

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Liposuction is best for contouring localized areas of fat for people at or near their ideal body weight.  It does not tighten skin and may in fact cause skin to become more loose.  Based on the photographs, I would not recommend liposuction alone.

Do I need a specific BMI or lose weight to qualify for liposuction on the arms and abdominal areas?

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Not sure lipo is the right thing for you as it will leave you with loose skin. May want to consider a tummy tuck and arm lift. 

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.