Can Intraobdominal Fat Be Liposuctioned?

I have had traditional abdominal liposuction. My stomach has bulged out, since. Apparently the fat in my stomach is..."in and around" my stomach...and other internal organs. Can this be lipo'd?

Doctor Answers 10

No and beware of physicians

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who claim that their lasers dissolve intraabdominal fat.  Any laser that would dissolve that fat would also dissolve your intestines and various other organs.  The best way to judge how much intraabdominal fat you have is to lie flat and see if your abdomen hollows out. If your abdomen is still protuberant while lying flat, this is intraabdominal fat, and should be lost through diet and walking briskly 30 minutes a day.  Your board certified plastic surgeon can also assess the integrity of your abdominal muscles, and see if part of your profile is from lax muscles, most frequently after child bearing.  Good luck and be careful.

Tampa Plastic Surgeon

Intraabdominal fat cannot be liposuctioned

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Intraabdominal fat cannot be treated safely with liposuction and would invariably result in a catastrophic outcome.  This fat can only be lost through diet and exercise.

Liposuction is used to contour and sculpt the shape of the body and is not a substitute for weight loss.

Richard H. Fryer, MD
Salt Lake City Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 298 reviews

Intraabdominal Fat and Liposuction

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Intraabdominal fat is not amenable to liposuction and is treated with weight loss alone. In fact this is the type of fat associated with cardiac disease and insulin resistance.  Diet and exercise can help reduce the bulging associated with this problem and lead to better overall health and wellness.

Pedy Ganchi, MD
Ridgewood Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 97 reviews

Liposuction treats extra-abdominal fat only

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In many people with abdominal fullness, particularly men, much of the abdominal fat is intra- and not extra-abdominal. Fat beneath the abdominal muscles can not be removed by liposuction and must be lost by dieting and weight loss.

Can fat inside abdomen be Rx'ed by liposuction?

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The short answer is NO.  But, provided it is fat and your hormone levels (cortisol, etc.) are normal, consider weight loss.  Reducing body fat is easier today than in the past.  Advances in food science (so many low calorie and fat free options), appetite suppressants, diet plans, exercise options, and even surgical techniques are available to help you achieve the body you want.  Consult a professional to help establish reasonable goals and a plan to get there.

Steve Laverson, MD
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 50 reviews

Abdomina bulge because of intra-abdominal fat cannot be liposuctioned

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Fat located just under the skin can be liposuctioned, but fat deep inside the body (abdominal cavity) and around organs cannot be liposuctioned.  It is a common misunderstanding that I see in my clinic.... patients with a large pot belly asking for liposuction.  The only way to loose a protuberant belly (one that is taut and not soft, one that feels overtly full) is to do it through weight loss.  Diet and exercise, and if those fail a medical intervention are the only way to remove fat from the abdominal cavity.

Once you have lost the fat, you will be left with loose skin and you may be a good candidate for a tummy tuck.

Martin Jugenburg, MD
Toronto Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 521 reviews

Intra-abdominal fat can not be treated with liposuction

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Intra-abdominal fat also known as visceral fat is not amenable to liposuction. Diet and exercise is the only solution for this. If you have excessive visceral fat then there is a good reason to make lifestyle changes as this fat is also associated with more health problems - particularly heart disease and diabetes.

If your abdomen remains full and convex (bulging outwards) when you lie down on your back then too much intra-abdominal fat could be contributing to this. If on the other hand your abdomen flattens or sinks in (concave) when you lie flat then your problem is likely more related to muscular tone or abdominal wall laxity that may be amenable to another approach.

Dr. Mosher

Mathew C. Mosher, MD
Vancouver Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 34 reviews

Liposuction is not for intra-abdominal fat

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Liposuction is inappropriate for the intra-abdominal cavity. The only way to lose weight there is weight loss. You haven't indicated whether you gained weight after your liposuction, had abdominal surgery, given birth,etc. All these things can contribute. If you were an abdominoplasty candidate and opted for liposuction instead, then the bulge would require formal repair and muscle tightening. Please post a photograph but I agree with the other posters that liposuction would be foolhardy in this area and that no well trained, board certified plastic surgeon would give it a moment's thought.

Intraabdomional fat requires weight loss

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As Dr. Aldea said, you cannot suck fat out of the abdominal cavity.  This requires exercise, diet and weight loss.

Can Intra-Abdominal Fat be Liposuctioned?

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 Yes, it could but it would be a horribly stupid and dangerous idea.

Liposuction is performed by blindly thrusting a sterile steel suction tube hundreds of times through fat and allowing the suction to forcefully rip fat along the way.  "Can Intra-Abdominal Fat be Liposuctioned?" You are asking if a licensed physician in full control of his faculties, would stab a person's abdominal cavity hundreds of times completely disregarding the certainty of perforating the intra-abdominal organs and blood vessels. We can all agree that would be a REALLY irresponsible thing to do.

Peter A. Aldea, MD
Memphis Plastic Surgeon

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.