Is large volume lipo really a thing? Would regular lipo make a noticeable difference on someone with a large amount of fat?

5'6,207 If I had to describe my body shape I'd say I'm somewhere between a side by side refrigerator and a large moving truck.lol.I had a Consultation with a Ca doctor about large volume liposuction (body shaping and fat transfer to the but) a friend recently had the same procedure with the same doctor and she has now warned me not to put my life in danger. At this point, I'm crushed:( I was really banking on this to change my life. So back to square 1 and at this point feel extremely helpless.

Doctor Answers 7

Don't look for a quick fix

Hi there-- as frustrating as it sounds, there is no quick fix to get to a healthy weight. Per your description, your BMI is over 33. The healthy range for body contouring surgery is a BMI of 30, which would require your losing around 20 pounds.  Ideally, you should be referred to a nutritionist and a health counselor to identify why it is you're taking in more calories than you need.  They may steer you to a maintainable lifestyle where you slowly achieve a stable healthy weight. No one is trying to deprive you of instant gratification: liposuction simply isn't the tool you need at this stage. A healthy body a worthwhile goal, so recruit a good support team then go for it. Once you're feeling good and have identified stubborn areas that aren't amenable to diet and exercise, then you may seek out a board certified plastic surgeon for your body contouring consultation. All the best to you!


Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 6 reviews

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

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

#RealSelf100Surgeon

#RealSelfCORESurgeon

Large volume liposuction - how much fat will it remove

Thank you for asking about your liposuction.

  • Liposuction is not, repeat not, a weight loss or permanent fat loss treatment.
  • If you have liposuction and do not lose weight, the fat comes back within months - because you are eating enough to get your old shape back.
  • Large volume liposuction is anything over 5 L of fat removal. 
  • 5 L is about 10 pounds of fat at most.
  • Over 5 L, you are more likely to have serious complications including major blood loss.
  • At your height and weight, the only way to lose weight is with more exercise and eating less.
  • Actually - this means you are totally in control and are not helpless. Count your calories, join a gym or take up a vigorous sport like swimming or biking - and if you are truly not losing weight on a 1600 calorie diet combined with an hour of vigorous exercise a day, be checked for low thyroid.
  • Always see a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon. Best wishes  - Elizabeth Morgan MD PHD FACS

Large volume lipo

Liposuction is a great way to add shape and sclupting the body. It is not a weight loss procedure. Their are several BMI calculators on line in which one simply inserts his/her height and weight. It will do the calculation for you. With the measurements submitted, the present BMI is 33+ which indicates that pre operative weight management is more likely to optimize the result. Large volume liposuction (greater than 500 cc's of fat removed) has a higher complication rate, a greater fluid replacement requirement (possibly blood transfusion), frequently has costs associated with an overnight stay, and has a higher rate of unsatisfactory patients. 

Large volume liposuction

Liposuction is a wonderful procedure... for the right patient.

It is possible to perform large volume liposuction, but several risks must be considered.

First, there is a risk of surgical complications that can be very serious.  For larger volume liposuctions, or for patients with medical issues, it is recommended patients be monitored overnight.

But perhaps the biggest underestimated risk of large volume liposuction is loose skin and unfixable lumpiness that results from using liposuction as a weight loss procedure rather than a contouring procedure.  Patients who really should lose weight but opt for liposuction instead can end up with a 'beer belly' due to fat accumulation inside the abdomen while the outside fat has been removed.

Brent Moelleken, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 136 reviews

Is large volume lipo really a thing? Would regular lipo make a noticeable difference on someone with a large amount of fat?

Thank you for posting your very important question.  Fundamentally someone who is overweight despite their best efforts is still not a good candidate for significant liposuction.  Large-volume liposuction is somewhat risky and has a difficult recovery for some patients and in the end if you are unable to keep the weight off your body will find new fat storage areas to retain the volume.  As a result you may discover that liposuction was not the answer to your problem but that a more successful diet and exercise regimen was not only the better choice but more effective.  I understand that achieving a maintainable and healthy weight goal may be extremely difficult but I would advise you that in my years of experience the patients most successful in losing large amounts of weight have done it through severe carbohydrate restriction combined with healthy eating and reasonable exercise.  Please do not make the mistake that others have made thinking that liposuction is the answer to weight loss.  Best regards and good wishes,

Jon A Perlman M.D., FACS
Diplomate, American Board of Plastic Surgery
Member, American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS)
ABC-TV Extreme Makeover Surgeon
Beverly Hills, California

Jon A. Perlman, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Long Term Plan with Weight Loss, VASER HI DEF, ThermiRF, Ultrasound

To have the best results with liposuction, it's best to be at or near your ideal weight, through either weight loss, gastric bypass or other surgical options. At this time, you wouldn't be a candidate for liposuction.  After weight loss, I recommend using VASER HI DEF with ThermiRF, ultrasound and fat grafting to get the most fat removal, skin tightening, and contouring. This may be combined with skin removal surgery at the same time, if needed. See an expert for a long term plan.  For safety reasons 5L is the max that should be removed at a single session. Best, Dr. Emer

Jason Emer, MD
Los Angeles Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 167 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.