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 31

Weight lost VS Contouring

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. 

Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 80 reviews


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 17 reviews

Liposuction and weight loss

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. 

Jerome Edelstein, MD
Toronto Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 176 reviews

Can you loose weight with liposuction?

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
4.4 out of 5 stars 49 reviews

Think lipo'SCULPTURE', not liposuction

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. 

Jose M. Soler-Baillo, MD
Miami Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 92 reviews

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

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. 

Stephen T. Greenberg, MD
Woodbury Plastic Surgeon
3.9 out of 5 stars 58 reviews

Liposuction is not for weight loss

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.

Steven H. Williams, MD
San Francisco Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 49 reviews

Realistic Expectations from Liposuction

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.

Jayanthy Ravindran, MS, DNB, MRCS
India Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 5 reviews

Liposuction is for sculpting, not weight loss

Thank you for your question.  Liposuction is a highly effective tool for targeted removal of fat from, waistline, tummy, back, thighs, and elsewhere.  It is not, however, a method of losing weight.  The maximum amount of fat that can be safely removed in a single session of liposuction is 5 liters - around 10 lbs.  It is important to remember, however, that this is from very specific areas, and very different from losing the same amount from the body as a whole, via diet and exercise.  While the number on the scale may not change so much, beautiful sculpting of the areas treated can be expected.

Joshua D. Zuckerman, MD, FACS
New York Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 22 reviews

Liposuction for appearance, not weight

Liposuction will not decrease your weight significantly, and you'll be sorely disappointed if that is your expectation of the surgery. Liposuction is more about how you look. It can give you a leaner stomach and thighs, which can improve your appearance.

Ronald Levine, MD
Toronto Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 24 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.