Is Having the Ideal Weight Essential for Liposuction?

I'm not at my ideal weight. Does that mean my appearance cannot be improved at all? (I'd like to have abs Liposuction, but not a Tummy Tuck) Thanks.

Doctor Answers 18

Ideal Weight For Liposuction

Liposuction is geared for patients who have "troubled" areas of fat or pockets of fat that they would like to have removed. It is not a weight loss procedure and you should not really be looking for weight reduction afterwards. The procedure is meant to contour the areas.

Having said that, the best results are obtained on patients that are close to or at the ideal weight.

Hope that helps.

Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 78 reviews

Liposuction best when you're at weight you can maintain over time


Liposuction is best when you are at a weight you can maintain over time. That does not need to be your "ideal" body weight, but weight fluctuations after liposuction can change the results. This is one of the reasons few liposuction surgeons "guarantee" their results.

Most patients see some improvement from liposuction.

John P. Di Saia, MD
Orange Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 27 reviews

Ideal Weight for Liposuction

for most people even if you are somewhat overweight, as long as your weight is stable you may be a good candidate even though you do not have an "ideal weight". You are a candidate for #liposuction if you have excessive subcutaneous fat, which is resistant to diet and exercise. If you wish to change the contours of your body. Commonly involved areas are the anterior part of the neck (under the chin), upper arms and armpits, male chest/breasts, trunk abdomen, waist, hips, thighs, inner knees, calves, and ankles.
Most patients are near normal weight and desire permanent contour changes. Patients with average weight, localized fat collections, and healthy elastic skin are the best candidates for liposuction. Obesity, cellulite, or loose, sagging, and inelastic skin are several conditions which may tend towards less desirable results. In fact, these problems may be worsened by liposuction. For the best results, I recommend that you get as close to your ideal weight as possible. Then, seek a consultation with a board certified plastic surgeon who can examine you and tell you the next step.

Larry S. Nichter, MD, MS, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 157 reviews

Liposuction Candidate?

Thank you for the question.

A good liposuction candidate is a patient who presents with diet and exercise resistant adipose tissue isolated to specific areas. These patients are not  looking for a weight loss solution. On the other hand " ideal weight” can be somewhat arbitrary and is not an  absolute criteria in determining candidates for the procedure.

Good skin elasticity is also an important  attribute  of the patient undergoing liposuction surgery. As we age or gain/lose weight we generally  lose some skin elasticity. After the liposuction procedure we are depending on the skin elasticity to allow the skin envelope to “shrink” to fit the reduced contour resulting from the liposuction procedure.

It may be in your best interests to seek in person consultation with a well experienced board-certified plastic surgeon.

Best wishes.

Tom J. Pousti, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1,499 reviews

Liposuction above ideal body weight

Dear Marta,

The ideal surgical result occurs when liposuction is used to address a localized fat deposit on a patient at their ideal body weight. The procedure can still give nice results on patients who are overweight, but I do not perform liposuction on patients who are obese. Patients who are obese (BMI > 30) are best suited by weight reduction, and can later consider appropriate body contouring once they reach a healthy weight. As others have mentioned, liposuction is not for weight loss, but rather for contouring.


Michael A. Bogdan, MD, FACS
Dallas Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 67 reviews

Ideal weight for liposuction

You would most definitely get a better result if you were at your ideal weight, but this is not the reality for many people undergoing liposuction. You certainly may not get a ripped abdomen after liposuction, but it may help reduce the girth around the belly. Intraabdominal fat may make the muscle extend forward and you will not get a great result if this is the only cause of the weight gain. An examination by the surgeon can determine if this is a procedure for you or if you need a tummy tuck.

Ronald Shelton, MD
Manhattan Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 38 reviews

Liposuction on overweight patients.


Here's what you need to know.  You can get a lot of improvement in a particular area with liposuction, even if you are overweight.  You will still be overweight afterwards (which you understand), but you will like your shape better.

George J. Beraka, MD (retired)
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

Weight and Liposuction

Liposuction obtains best results when your weight is ideal and the target is a defined fat pad. Liposuction is not a tool for weight loss. It does provide an adjunct for weight management as the improvements in circumference encourages better and healthy decisions. Recently, I have been very impressed with the potential of the new non-invasive low level laser treatments for bodyshaping as it plays an empowering role in personal shape transformation when combined with health coaching.

Randy Wong, MD
Honolulu Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 36 reviews

Liposuction but not a tummy tuck

Yes, you can have liposuction without the perfect end result. People do it every single day. In fact, most candidates that get liposuction aren't the ideal body weight. The farther off that you are though, probably the less content you'll be in the long term. At first you'll look great, the improvement could be excellent but if you don't change your habits (lifestyle, diet, exercise..) then you may feel that it all just "came back somewhere else". Remember that it's not a weight loss mechanism, it's a contouring tool. It works best when you're completely on board with a lifestyle change.

Ricardo A. Meade, MD
Dallas Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 120 reviews

Liposuction candidate

 Being close to your ideal body weight will make you a better candidate for liposuction than an overweight person.  Of course, liposuction is always best for patients with good skin tone.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 29 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.