How large is too large of a waist to get Lipo? (photos)

My surgeon said that I need to lose weight first in order for my lipo to be successful... My waist is currently a size 35 mid waist and 38 at the bottom.. I wasn't going in for lipo for weight loss, I want lipo for a tighter flatter shapely waist and ab area... I'm already dieting and exercising and have lost some weight. I will continue to eat right and exercise even after my surgery..I don't understand..Has this ever happened to anyone else?

Doctor Answers 16

Great attitude and approach!

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You are going to be a great patient for someone. That is absolutely the right approach before considering liposuction or surgery. The healthier you are before surgery, the less chance for complications and the more likely you will have to get a great result. And the fact that you are set on continuing your exercise after your surgery will mean you have a better chance at great long term results.

As far as what would be best for you. That depends. Some patients just want to have a better contour in clothes and for that lipo may be adequate. You may have some excess skin which you will want to have removed later or much of that skin could contract. That depends on your skin quality.

Other patients stage the procedure. They have lipo first, see how much skin excess they have (if any) after 3-6 months and if it is a problem they have it removed.

It is best to see a board certified plastic surgeon to discuss all of this and get a complete exam.

Good luck to you and I wish you good health and happiness!

Westport Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 2 reviews

Tummy tuck more suitable most likely

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Your photo shows loose skin and excess fat that would be both addressed with a tummy tuck. Liposuction would leave loose skin behind, preventing you from having the the shapely waist and tighter abs that you want. It’s best to reach a stable weight first before you proceed with surgery.

Liposuction and Weight Loss

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Thank you for your question, and the photographs.

Based on what you show, you may be a better candidate for liposuction and an abdominoplasty to tighten your muscles and remove some of the excess skin.  That procedure will give you the tighter, flatter ab area and a more shapely waist.  Regarding you weight loss, I would continue to lose the weight you can to get down to a stable weight prior to surgery.  The more fat you can lose from "inside" your abdomen prior to surgery, the better, as this will allow your surgeon to tighten the muscles more.  Best of luck!

Liposuction for skin tightening

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Thank you for asking about your liposuction.

  • Since you are losing weight, it is wise to not have surgery until you reach your goal weight.
  • Surgery always disrupts weight loss.
  • Liposuction has a trade-off - looser skin for a better shape.
  • It can't tighten your skin and your skin may be noticeably looser.
  • Your surgeon may want you to postpone surgery until you lose weight - because s/he thinks you may need a skin tightening procedure as well as - or even instead of - liposuction once you get to your goal weight.
Always see a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon.
Hope you find this information helpful. Best wishes.


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Thank you for the photos and question and from them you appear to be a better candidate for an abdominoplasty with liposuction then liposuction alone.  Weight loss prior to surgery in either case would be recommended.  As weight loss after might adversely affect the result.

Dr Corbin

Frederic H. Corbin, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 65 reviews

How large is too large of a waist to get Lipo?

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Although achieving an idea weight is desirable I sometimes see patients who simply can't get to that point even with maximal effort.  If you feel that you have sincerely done your best and are in good general health then I would consider liposuction to reduce the padding beneath the skin of your trunk.  This will NOT tighten your skin significantly and will leave loose skin that would best be treated in the future with a tummy tuck.
Meet with an ABPS Bd Certified PS to discuss your options and to set realistic goals. 

You might also consider as a painless non-surgical alternative iLipoXcell to "melt" the fat away with 8-10 treatments.  Not as effective as surgery, but usually successful in removing inches from your waist.  Just a thought.

Jon A. Perlman, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 32 reviews

Lipo and tighter skin

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Lipo is used for thinning the subcutaneous fat layer. I have not found skin tightening to be significant with almost any technique or equipment. Best of luck.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

VASER Hi Definition Liposuction / Body Contouring with Fat Grafting and Tummy Tuck

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You are really not the best candidate for liposuction alone you have too much hanging skin.  I suggest weight loss and then a procedure that does both liposuction and skin removal the same time.  Best, Dr. Emer.

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

Too large for lipo?

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     You photographs show that your abdomen has not only fat excess but also skin laxity.  The laxity will not be improved by liposuction but will require a tummy tuck.  Often liposuction and a tummy tuck are combined for the best result and you may be a good candidate for this combination

John Zavell, MD, FACS
Toledo Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 40 reviews

How large is too large of a waist to get Lipo?

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Based on your photos, it appears you have enough excess skin for the abdominoplasty (tummy tuck) procedure. You would benefit as well with liposuction of the upper abdomen and flanks to help with contouring. I always advise my patients being at your ideal weight will give the best outcome. I recommend consulting with your board certified plastic surgeon for further individualized advice.

Alfred Sofer, MD, FACS
Fairfield Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 26 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.