I'm wondering if I got liposuction, how much body fat (in percentage) could be removed? (Photos)

I'm a 36 year old male. I'm 6'4" tall and I weigh 235 lbs. and have 18% body fat. I'm pretty well proportioned, but have a spare tire and excess breast fat. I would want to remove from the whole torso, chest and belly, and maybe my thighs. The heaviest I've ever been was 270 lbs and have lost 45 lbs since last year when I started to work out. Please give an average lbs. or %, or CC's with how much that means. Also, what are the differences in the different types of Lipo?

Doctor Answers 9

Percentage of body fat removal with liposuction

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Hi and thanks for your questions. Liposuction is about shaping and sculpting the body and not about weight loss or even percentages. Your photos seem to indicate that you are an excellent candidate for this procedure. I have been performing aesthetic plastic surgery for decades with experience in every type of liposuction technique. It's most important to see a board certified plastic surgeon who is experienced, and who can give you an honest and realistic appraisal of what can be reasonably achieved. Best of luck!

Richard Chaffoo,MD,FACS,FICS

Triple Board Certified Plastic Surgeon

Liposuction Is for Shape

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Liposuction is about shape, not weight loss or percentage body fat changes. Go visit a few ABPS certified/ASAPS member surgeons. Best of luck!

Gerald Minniti, MD, FACS
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 100 reviews

How Much Body Fat in % Can Be Removed.

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Dear Lu:

The percentage is difficult to calculate but if we were to remove most of the fat from the chest and abdomen you would likely be in the 2000 cc range for lipoaspirate using VASER. The amount of blood loss is least using this technique and skin retraction is an added benefit. The fact that you are starting a body fat percentage of 18% is beneficial as it indicates a small visceral fat component. That is the amount of which is inaccessible by liposuction is small. Weight reduction can't be determined either but most of my patients in your size category lose about 4% body fat provided that they continue proper eating and exercise habits.

Ken Dolynchuk, MD
Manitoba Plastic Surgeon

How much body fat (in percentage) could be removed?

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Thank you for your question and photographs.  You do appear to be a good candidate for selective liposuction to sculpt your body but do keep in mind that your body will find new fat storage areas if you do not keep the weight off after the procedure is accomplished.  It is difficult to estimate how many cc or grams of fat will be removed without seeing you in person, but do not expect a dramatic drop in body fat percentage as a result of this procedure.  The key to success is to achieve a healthy and maintainable weight and then use liposuction as a tool to sculpt your body in areas that resist fat loss.  Keep up the good work, good luck and best 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 33 reviews

For Best Results, Go With VASER HI DEF, ThermiRF, ultrasound

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Liposuction works best for people that are near their ideal or stable weight. That said, you look like a candidate for liposuction. I recommend a VASER HI DEF procedure for best results. I use VASER HI DEF with ThermiRF, ultrasound and fat grafting to get the most fat removal, skin tightening, and contouring. I suggest a consult with a hi-def physique liposuction expert. HD contouring is much more complex, defining and can give the best in skin tightening, cellulite reduction, body shaping, and fat reduction than traditional approaches. Best, Dr. Emer.

Jason Emer, MD
Los Angeles Dermatologic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 207 reviews


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Hi and thank you for your question.

It is very encouraging that you are working out if you are thinking seriously about liposuction. Our most successful patients are those that have a problem area such as the abdomen or waist but are not seriously over weight. They usually are inspired by their lipo results and keep on working out to keep their nice new shape. Without seeing you in person, I would tell you that I generally tell my abdomen/lovehandle liposuction patients that they will lose about 4-8 lbs on average from the procedure. It is up to them not to let the weight come back by maintaining their exercise and healthy lifestyle.

In our office we have had a variety of experience with various machines for fat removal. Our patients generally choose the Smartlipo or laser lipo because I can use it to sculpt and melt fat and smooth areas as well as tighten skin. We encourage patients to begin activity the next day. A support garment is worn for about one to two weeks following this depending on the area involved. The expected goal is that we will remove 75-90 percent of the fat from the involved area

We also perform traditional liposuction in which suction is used to remove fat from desired areas. Traditional lipo has no effect on the skin and does not allow for the finer sculpting that the laser does, so often patients do not opt for this in our office. We encourage immediate activity here too, and a support garment for 1-2 weeks

Modalities like Coolsculpt are nice because there is no down time, but only at most remove 25% of the fat from an area. We find in our practice that most people are willing to have a little down time in order to get a more complete removal of their fat.

I hope this helps! Best wishes 

Leilie Javan, MD
Thousand Oaks Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 17 reviews


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This is a very common misconception regarding liposuction. It is nothing more than a modest sculpting technique best used for patients at or near their ideal weight with specific bulges they want reduced. It has nothing to do with weight loss nor can it be used to alter body composition. But it sounds like you are doing a great job of that on your own. Keep up the healthy diet and exercise program. But if you like, after you have achieved your goal weight, you can get a consultation to see if lipo of the specific areas you mentioned may be of some further benefit for you. Forget about the type of the machine, it is the skill of the doctor that counts. 

Ronald V. DeMars, MD
Portland Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

Liposuction reduction of body fat

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Thank you for asking about your body fat percentage.

Liposuction will remove at most 10 pounds and will not change your body fat percentage because the fat returns to new areas, unless you lose ten pounds afterwards.Focus on finding the best surgeon - a good surgeon can get a good result with any of the available machines. It is the surgeon,not the machine, that determines your result.

Always see a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon. Best wishes  - Elizabeth Morgan MD PHD FACS

How much fat can liposuction remove?

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Because your goal is diminished body fat and a more lean, healthy physique, liposuction may be relatively contra-indicated.  Continued weight loss improves your performance and definition all over your body.  Liposuction is a body shaping procedure, locally applied for bulges and/or disproportions.  Liposuction is not a weight loss or fat loss procedure.  

Our ten to one program helps many burn their extra fat and keep it off, although it sounds like you're successfully burning it your way.

Steve Laverson, MD
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 50 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.