Does Liposuction Make You Lose Weight?

I am thinking about having liposuction around my stomach, lovehandles and thighs. Will I lose weight or just get a bit smaller? Overall, I am happy with my figure, but I have always had an extra 20 pounds that I haven't been able to lose through diet or exercise. Will liposuction accomplish this?

Doctor Answers 32

Weight lost VS Contouring

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Funny thing about fat. It occupies a large volume in our skin but it doesn't weigh very much! The maximum amount of fat that can be removed legally at one surgery is 5 Liters! This represents buckets of fat yet it only weighs about 11 pounds, even though the patient may now look like they have lost 60 pounds or more!

Why? Because their contour is so effectively improved. Although liposuction is not a weight loss strategy, it can certainly result in patients attaining a sculpted shape they could never attain with weight loss alone.
It certainly works for conquering those stubborn fat areas that don't slim down with concentrated diet and exercise. 


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The best candidate for liposuction is a patient who is at or near their ideal body weight. Liposuction is used to contour and sculpt  rather than as a tool for weight loss. 

Francis X. Fleming, MD
Kennewick Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 18 reviews

Liposuction and weight loss

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Liposuction is designed for pockets of stubborn fat and is not a method of weight loss. For this reason, it won't "make you lose weight" but rather recontour your body for a leaner, smoother profile. You should approach the surgery as a way to eliminate unwanted fat pockets instead of just to lose weight.

Having said this however, many patients do lose weight after surgery not because of the surgery, but because they love their results and want to maintain them. As a result they typically follow a healthier lifestyle which is why they lose weight. 

Can you loose weight with liposuction?

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It is definitely possible and expected for a person to loose weight after liposuction, especially after large volume liposuction.

Sean Younai, MD, FACS
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.3 out of 5 stars 51 reviews

Think lipo'SCULPTURE', not liposuction

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Thanks for asking this very important question! As you mentioned, those lovehandles and very stubborn pockets of fat can be addressed with liposuction. But I do like to use the term lipo"sculpture" because the point of liposuction is to enhance a patient's contours with very selective fat removal. It's not meant to be a means of losing 20-30 pounds, even though a patient may look like they lost that much after the procedure. A great surgeon is one who can distinguish where best to remove fat, rather than aiming to remove fat from all over. Always make sure you speak with a board-certified plastic surgeon before you book your procedure. 

Liposuction is NOT a weight loss operation but WILL shrink you down by several inches and improve body contour

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Liposuction is a surgical procedure that is designed to target stubborn localized fat pockets that are resistant to even vigorous diet and exercise regimens.  Unfortunately and despite many patient's hopes, liposuction is not a method of weight loss and does not generally translate to much poundage loss when patients step on the scale after surgery.  Liposuction is most successful and has the highest patient satisfaction rates when it is approached as a method to eliminate unwanted fat pockets and for better body contour.  Patients should not expect to loose much weight from a liposuction procedure but can expect to see a nice reduction in inches, dress size and pant size. 

Does liposuction make you lose weight.

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The answer is you will unequivocally lose weight with liposuction. For every 450 grams of fat reduced you lose one pound. However some of the liposuction weight is blood that will be replaced and is fluid that has been instilled prior to liposuction to aid in fat removal. So for every 450 gms of suctionate removed you actually lose less than a pound since it is not all fat. 

That being said, liposuction is not designed as a weight loss tool. It is designed to improve contour and reduce clothes size or make clothes fit better. 

Weight loss is best accomplished by diet and exercise without question. If you need to lose 20 pounds, liposuction is not the answer in my opinion. 

Jay Burns, MD
Dallas Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 47 reviews

Liposuction is not for weight loss

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Liposuction is for targeted fat loss to improve contour. It is not designed for weight loss and can make your appearance worse if you are outside of your ideal bodyweight.

Liposuction will not change your weight significantly. Liposuction can also increase the amount of loose skin in patients that are above their ideal bodyweight.

I hope this helps.

Liposuction and weight loss

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Liposuction should be thought of as a body contouring procedure rather than a weight loss procedure. Problem areas are contoured as the fat is removed to improve the appearance of these areas. Depending on which areas are treated, I would not expect to lose more than a few pounds once the swelling has subsided. You should be pleased with the overall shape and appearance of the treated area though!

Tyler Angelos, MD
Columbus Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 45 reviews

Realistic Expectations from Liposuction

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See the thing is liposuction is not a weight loss procedure. Instead it is a fat removal technique where body contouring and shaping are the ultimate objectives. Although there will be some reduction in weight which is in direct proportion to the amount of fat removed but you will only lose that weight from the area that you had the procedure on. And the weight loss is never as dramatic as it is sometimes made out to be. 

What you can expect is a shapelier you. You can expect a flatter stomach if you are having your abdomen done, thinner more shapely thighs if that is what you are having done or more defined buttocks.

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.