How Many Inches Are Lost with Lipo?

In 5 weeks I schedualed beneilli breast lift, augmentation, and liposuction abs/flanks. I am 30 yr old, 5’6”, 135 lbs, 34B, 27.5, 36, small frame, athletic. lost approx 95lbs and kept off for 10 yrs no children yet. looking to achieve body sculpting of upper abs, above bellybutton, an area which won't go away with D&E. Flank area to make waist smaller goal 25inch. Am I unrealistic looking for 2.5inch drop after lipo?

Doctor Answers 15

Change in inches or clothing size after liposuction

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The difference before and after surgery is highly variable with liposuction.

There are patients whose dress size stays exactly the same, just clothes fit much better. Often underlying muscle structure or bone structure minimizes the change in clothing size (or inches).

Some patients drop 4 dress sizes, particularly patients who are shorter, heavier set and have tight skin enabling more aggressive procedures.

It is better not to be fixated on a dress size or inch measurement, or you might be disappointed, for the reasons above.

Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 188 reviews

Quantitating "lost inches" with Potential Effectiveness of Liposuction

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Liposuction does not directly correlate with an inherent ability to remove a X number of inches off your waist. Rather, it is a contouring tool that will plane the fat under the skin to allow the skin to drape closer to the underlying muscles.

To best get an idea of how much fat it can remove off your waist , pinch the skin (and fat there) and realize you are pinching a DOUBLE fold. So, liposuction will not be able to remove more than half the amount pinched.

Hope this helps.

Dr. P. Aldea

Peter A. Aldea, MD
Memphis Plastic Surgeon

Think in Terms of Contour Improvement Instead of Inches for Liposuction

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It’s not unusual for patients to think in terms of inches and dress size when they undergo liposuction. Unfortunately, it’s difficult to reliably predict postoperative measurements with these procedures. For this reason, it’s important to think in terms of contour improvement instead of inches. Surgeons can ultimately impact shape but not necessarily dimensions with liposuction.

In your case, it might be possible to accomplish your aesthetic goals. Unfortunately after a 95 pound weight loss, loose skin may represent a problem as well. Under these circumstances a skin resection may be necessary.

It’ important to discuss these issues with your plastic surgeon so you totally understand your options and what can be realistically be accomplished.  

Inches Lost with Liposuction

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It would be difficult to know exactly how many inches would be lost since every body type and every procedure are unique to each patient.  However, patients should expect a dramatic difference in the circumference of the areas being treated.  Remember, the thickness of the area is what is reduced.

Clothing size is hard to predict after liposuction

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Liposuction is a contouring tool to shape and sculpt difficult areas such as the side of the thigh, abdomen and hip. It can be difficult to correlate clothing size and waist size after liposuction. Shape and profiles can improve nicely, though you should not expect to have a certain waist or clothing size after. Those expectations are not realistic. Waist size is most often determined (after ideal weight and fitness has been reached) by overall structural body shape, the distance from the rib to the hip or pelvis, and the hip and chest size. Some simply have a shorter torso which liposuction cannot alter.

Best of luck.

What should a patient expect from liposuction?

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Thank you for your question.

What is frustrating for many patients to understand is that there is no exact measure for how many inches, pounds, or dress sizes a patient can expect to loose before a liposuction procedure.  The goal of liposuction is to afford patients better overall body contour by removing some of the excess fat between the skin and muscular layers of the body.  The reduction that patients can expect to achieve is highly dependent upon the amount of fat available for harvest, skin tone, and the bony underlying structures of the body.  

I caution patients from this idea that liposuction is, in any way, a weight loss procedure.  The only goal of liposuction is to target stubborn localized pockets of fat, provide patients with better overall body contour and to help patients look better and fit better in their clothing.  It is important that patients understand this and that they are not held up on an inches lost or weight loss goal.  

I hope you find this helpful and I wish you the best.

Weight and Liposuction

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Patients should attempt to be at their goal weight when undergoing liposuction to achieve the best results. After surgery, patients are encouraged to maintain or lose 5% of body weight with proper diet and exercise as liposuction is not a form of weight lose, but a surgical approach to remove fat cells.

Losing inches with liposuction

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It is important to convey the amount of desired fat reduction in the waistline area to your plastic surgeon. What I look to accomplish in this surgery is removing enough fat to achieve an acceptable improvement. The goal reshaping the area to produce a positive change and measurements or dress sizes are not the foremost consideration in and of themselves. Body dynamics and the shape of the torso play a major role in measurements.

Liposuction can change your shape, no guarantee of change in measurements

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Liposuction should be viewed as a contouring or sculpting procedure. Removing fat between the muscle and the skin can shape areas of fullness that persist in spite of diet and exercise. It is impossible to predict how many inches you can lose with this surgery.

Also, you are to be congratulated on your weight loss and on maintaining your healthy weight for 10 years! I want to make the point that often, massive weight loss leaves loose skin and that liposuction alone will not correct that. I am sure that a surgeon certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery will have addressed any excess skin during your consultation and that this was factored into your surgical plan, but I want to make sure that you are aware of the limitations of liposuction in handling stretched out skin.

Inches are lost with Liposuction

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No your goal is within reach but there are never guarantees in any surgery. I feel that you'll be able to obtain the size you wish. Regards.

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.