Can a Doctor Accidentally Lipo out Muscle Instead of Fat?

I was just wondering if it is possible for the muscle to be taken out during liposuction. I was just wondering if a doctor can go too deep and get muscle instead of fat. Should this be a concern?

Doctor Answers 10

Can a Doctor Accidentally Lipo out Muscle Instead of Fat?

It is certainly possible for a doctor to penetrate through the fat layer into a muscle and cause excessive bruising and discomfort, but not to take out the muscle. Even penetrating the muscle would be extremely unllikely if the surgeon is a board certified plastic surgeon who understands the anatomy involved. Most of the horrific complications you read about are doctors of other specialties who see the liposuction procedure as lucrative and as simple as vaccuuming the rug at home. Make sure you pick your doctor carefully.


Portland Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 24 reviews

Lipo and muscle

This has not been a problem.A doctor could go too deep and puncture the muscle which could lead to more bleeding and bruising but it would be hard to lipo out muscle.

Robert Brueck, MD
Fort Myers Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 56 reviews

Can A Surgeon "Accidently" Liposuction Muscle ?

  Dear Biggeeshorty,

   While it is possible to penetrate and damage muscle or other stuctures while performing liposuction, it is unlikely that any muscle is removed through the cannula. It is even less likely if your surgeon is properly trained and experienced. It is good to be aware of possible risks and complications with all surgical procedures, but I would not be worried if your surgeon is properly trained and experienced. Good Luck. Dr. Gervais.

Douglas L. Gervais, MD
Minneapolis Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 168 reviews

Lipo muscle instead of fat

A trained and skilled surgeon is unlikely to get into the muscle when performing liposuction. The muscle will not be easily removed with a liposuction cannula if it penetrates by accident.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 24 reviews

Liposuction of muscle and other complications.

Liposuction is safe when it is performed by trained physicians.   Reported complications include muscle damage, perforated abdominal organs, collapsed lungs, etc.  These complications generally do not occur when the physician is properly trained and experienced.  Be sure to see a doctor Certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgeons, and be sure to see a comprehensive portfolio of pre- and post-op pictures so you can see the type of results that are reasonable to expect.

Can a Doctor Accidentally Lipo out Muscle Instead of Fat?

Thank you for your question.  Fat is a very thick tissue compared to fat and would not be able to be suctioned out.  However, when working on the abodomen, you would be concerned more with penetrating the fascia or an unrecognized hernia.  Fortunately this are extremely rare events.

Rigo Mendoza, MD
Tampa Plastic Surgeon
4.3 out of 5 stars 34 reviews

Anything "could" happen

While anything "could" happen this would be exceedingly rare.  Surgeons have been known to get into areas that they do not intend to be in with liposuction however muscle is not typically suctioned "by accident."

Liposuction risk

Thank you for your question about the risk of liposuction removing muscle.

  • liposuction pressures remove loose tissue like fat and fluid,
  • during liposuction, the surgeon can see the fat coming out, 
  • if the cannula goes into muscle, pressure is too weak to remove dense muscle but there will be bleeding, which the surgeon will notice,
  • if the cannula passes through the muscle it can cause a hernia or damage deep organs - so good surgeons always make sure they can see and feel the liposuction cannula. Hope this helps. Best wishes.

Can a Doctor Accidentally Lipo out Muscle Instead of Fat?

     The muscle is invested in fascia, which is a tough tissue in most liposuction patients.  Liposuctioning muscle is not the issue as much as it would be penetrating loose fascia or an unrecognized hernia.  These things happen very infrequently according to the literature and reports.  Kenneth Hughes, MD Los Angeles, CA

Problems with Liposuction

Yes, it is very possible to injure the muscle under the fat during liposuction. This is the why you need to make sure that whomever you choose to do your liposuction is be a real surgeon and experienced in liposuction, not someone who has taken a weekend course in the procedure. The easiest way to assure this is to choose a plastic surgeon certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery.

Robert T. Buchanan, MD
Highlands Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 5 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.