Can a general practice doctor perform liposuction?

Doctor Answers 21

Can a general practice doctor perform liposuction?

Legally a general practitioner can perform liposuction but does not have specific training in surgery or plastic surgery.  However liposuction should be performed by experienced board-certified plastic surgeons who have taken years to develop the skills necessary to provide you with a proper technique and good results.  I strongly urged her to seek liposuction with an experienced board-certified plastic surgeon.

General practice doctor doing liposuction

Yes, while it is legal for a general practice doctor to perform liposuction, it is not something that I would recommend. Performing liposuction correctly takes experience, skill and training. Just as I wouldn't recommend going to your internist to have a tooth pulled, I don't recommend seeing anyone other than a board certified plastic surgeon for liposuction. Hope this helps. 

Sean T. Doherty, MD, FACS
Boston Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 34 reviews

General practice doctor doing lipo

In the US, a license to practice medicine allows a doctor to LEGALLY perform any treatment they like (brain surgery, leg amputation, allergy shots, C-section, or manage blood pressure).  

The question you should be asking yourself is, would you ask your general doctor to perform a hip replacement for you, even though they are legally allowed?

Your health and safety matter.  Be sure to discuss your goals and concerns with your board certified plastic surgeon and consider the pros and the cons. Be certain your surgeon is properly certified.  I've attached a link where you can start your search. 

I hope the answer is obvious.  Just because it's cosmetic, it doesn't mean it's not real surgery.

If you can't afford a properly trained safe surgeon, save the money you have (and your health), and avoid surgery altogether.

Reza Momeni, MD FACS
Summit Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 44 reviews

Can a general practice doctor perform liposuction?

Hello dear!

Thanks for the question. Happy you ask before doing it with a general practice.

The only doctor that it's allow to performance a plastic surgery is a BOARD CERTIFIED PLASTIC SURGEON. Always check on the official page of the association of plastic surgeon of any country you choose to have the surgery. It can be very dangerous to have surgery with a non specialist in the area.

Hope this could help and good luck :)

Tania Medina de Garcia, MD
Dominican Republic Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 418 reviews

Board-certified is BEST

Liposuction remains the most popular plastic surgery procedure performed across the country.  It is extremely safe, relatively painless, and offers quick recovery.  However, disasters have been reported.  I urge you to seek a board-certified plastic surgeon by the American Board of Plastic Surgery, which is the only board recognized by the AMA for plastic surgery on the head, neck and breasts and the entire body.  Another credential worth investigating is if the surgeon is a member of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery.  This assures you that this surgeon is board-certified and has the expertise in aesthetic surgery.  Do your research.  I often find patients spend more time researching a pair of shoes than they do a surgeon for this type of procedure.  

Leo McCafferty, MD
Pittsburgh Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 12 reviews


I would recommend seeing a board certified plastic surgeon who performs this procedure all the time.  Best of luck.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 29 reviews


Not a good idea. Basically, if someone can't fix the problems they might cause, you should avoid them. Be sure to consult with a board certified plastic surgeon.

Stefan Rene Adair, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 5 reviews

Can a general practice doctor perform liposuction?

This is a very relevant question. Any licensed physician in the United States can perform liposuction. The major concerns as a patient would be to seek someone with thorough training and experience in the procedures. Plastic surgeons undergo 4 years of medical school followed by 6-7 years of surgical training with 2-3 of those specific to plastic surgery. During this time they undergo formal training and are observed and supervised by more experienced plastic surgeons as they learn established protocols of patient evaluation, the technical aspects and nuances of the procedure as well as the ability to manage any postoperative issues. 

Additionally, plastic surgeons then take rigorous written and oral examinations to become board certified, a designation that signifies a level of competency in the procedures performed by plastic surgeons.

As a patient, we would always recommend seeking an experienced board certified plastic surgeon with whom you feel comfortable, and who can provide examples of his/her work for your review.

Good Luck

David Dellinger, DO, FACOS
Austin Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 21 reviews

Liposuction Doctor-- VASER HI DEF 4D Liposculpture, ThermiRF, fat grafting for body shaping

Yes, it may be possible, but for best results I recommend seeing someone who specializes in high definition physique procedures. For best results, I recommend a hi definition procedure like VASER liposuction. I use VASER HI DEF with ThermRF and fat grafting to get the most fat removal, skin tightening, contour and definition. This combination will give you the most toned result. I recommend getting a formal evaluation with a hi definition physique expert. Best, Dr. Emer

Jason Emer, MD
Los Angeles Dermatologic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 196 reviews



Any licensed physician can legally perform liposuction. However, you want to see someone with the most experience and training to provide your care. I would suggest you see a board-certified plastic surgeon. Thanks for the important question.

Janet Turkle, MD
Indianapolis Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 61 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.