What Will Happen if You Have Liposuction Done on Multiple Areas and Any Side Effects?

I want to get liposuction done on arms, hip, thighs &abdomen (including love handle + flank). I know that liposuction is not about weight loss but contouring. I read that when you gain weight, the fat tend to go different places. Will it still store at the same place? (I didn't want to look odd if I gain weight) Since I'm doing multiple areas, it is possible to take out more than 5000cc and any side effects on that? Or will it be better if I do it separately for better result? Thank you.

Doctor Answers 11

Large patients do best if the liposuctions are staged.

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Large patients can often do the abdomen in 1 procedure and the hips and mid back and arms in another and the thighs in another...etc... Typically a week apart is sufficient time and 5000 cc of fat is acceptable to expect.  You really cant do a great job on trying to do too many areas at once no matter how much you take out. Trust your doc and be sure to see a few for consultations. Sincerely,

David Hansen,MD

Beverly Hills Dermatologic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 46 reviews

Multiple Areas & High Volume Liposuction

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Liposuction to multiple areas is usually very reasonable. If you gain weight thereafter you will generally not look strange. Since the areas liposuctioned are the areas of primary fat deposition, the body will try to put fat there first. Because there are fewer cells there than there were, the fat is generally more evenly distributed and you will look better than you would have if you had gained weight before the liposuction. The ideal, however, is not to gain weight after the liposuction. The possibility of problems arise when the amount of fat removed adds up to over 3500 cc's and you must be repositioned on the operative table to get to the different areas. Both of these can be handled safely in a certified facility with good anesthesia and nursing support. With large volume fat removal, one of the risks is death. Over 3500 cc's of fat removal, therefore, generally requires hospitalization overnight with an IV in place in order to be totally safe. Anywhere around or over 5000 cc's absolutely does. With much more than 3500 cc's, even for the areas you wish liposuctioned, you are approaching liposuction for weight loss rather than contouring. You did not give your height and weight, but if you are much over a BMI of 25, I would highly recommend weight loss first and then do the liposuction to take care of what still needs to be contoured.


Robert T. Buchanan, MD
Highlands Plastic Surgeon


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I limit the volume of liposuction to the recommended vloume of 5000 cc. I do not advise having more than this done in the outpatient setting.

Norman Bakshandeh, MD, FACS
New York Plastic Surgeon

Liposuction in mulltiple areas

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As you noted liposuction is a contouring procedure so if you have multiple areas done you will change the contour of those areas. If you can weight after the procedure you should not develop a bulge in the same place but rather that whole area would get a little larger(maintain the same contour)  I think it is important to stay below 5 liters of liposuction for two reasons. The first is your health and the second is that if you need more than 5 liters of liposuction your money would be better spent at the gym.

Robert Kearney, MD, FACS
La Jolla Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 32 reviews

Liposuction of multiple areas

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Liposuction can be performed in multiple areas as long as at one surgical session one stays with in safe limit of 5 liters. If a thin layer of fat needs to be removed in an otherwise well maintained body and total amount to be removed is not more then 5 liters I remove all the areas in one go .However if some one is obese with no attention to body figure maintenance  then may be only one area can be treated at a time .I never perform Lipo on outpatient basis however there are many who does it as routine

Liposuction of multiple areas

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Performing liposuction on multiple areas can be done in the right patient under the right circumstances. It depends upon how  much is needed to be removed and the patients overall health and appearance.

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

Multiple Areas of Liposuction: More than 5000 ml at Once?

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      In the outpatient setting, no more than 5 liters can be suctioned out at one time.  More can be done in the hospital setting.  The fat does tend to go to other places if you gain weight.

High volume liposuction may be risky

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Removing more than 5000 cc's of fat is associated with increased risks, but importantly it also means that if there is that much to remove then it is for weight loss more than contouring. Here's the basic idea: depending on several things such as genetics, the body will have certain areas that store fat out of proportion to the rest of the body, and that fat will be the last to come off with diet and exercise. For example, the apple body has fat around the middle but skinny legs. So if you remove fat from all of the areas that are excesssive, it sort of forces the body to distribute fat evenly.

Richard Baxter, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 59 reviews

Liposuction on multiple body regions

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You have very good questions!

There is no specific study looking at fat redistribution after liposuction and weight gain. The thought is that liposuction reduces the number of fat cells and causes scarring that tightens tissues, so if there is subsequent weight gain, other areas without surgery will become the new "problem areas." I don't think you will "look odd." The best thing you can do is use this surgery as a jump start to a healthy lifestyle including diet and exercise to maintain the results.

If you are planning on greater than 5-6000 cc liposuction, it is safest to do in a hospital setting with overnight observation, to avoid problems related to significant fluid shifts, dehydration and DVT risk with larger volume liposuction. Safety is your number 1 concern.

Good luck!

Michele A. Shermak, MD
Baltimore Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 57 reviews

Fat distribution after liposuction

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You have made great points.  What I tell patients is that fat that is removed does not come back, and that if you gain weight in the future the fat will deposit at its next favorite location/locations.  Best advice is to NOT gain weight.  More than 5000 cc of liposuction at a time is "large volume" liposuction and the ASPS says we should do that in the hospital setting in the interest of patient safety.  Or done over several surgeries. Best of luck to you.

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.