Red Flags to Spot for Large Volume Liposuction?

I am 5'7", 29 years old, and 215 pounds. I have been struggling with my weight since my third C-section in 2003. I diet and excerise, but it only seems to help maintain my wieght between 215 and 240. I have tried gimmick exercise programs to break the plateau and nothing works. So I am considering surgery. I don't want to do anything gastric related. I know that I am nowhere near my ideal weight, nor do I want to slim down that far, so I came across Large Volume Lipo. It seems very promising, but what's the catch?

Doctor Answers 14

Large volume liposuction for plus size women

Large volume liposuction can make a dramtic difference for a plus size woman in helping to shape her body and to give her a curvey figure. I have performed most likely few hundred large volume liposuction procedures over the last 14 years with an excellent safety tract record. Like anything in life, you need to research your procedure well and go to a plastic surgeon who has had real and extensive experience in Large Volume Liposuction.

Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 49 reviews

Liposuction is NOT for weight loss.

Liposuction is NOT for weight loss.  It should be used only for shaping.

The best way to lose weight is lifestyle modification with diet and exercise which is sustainable as a permanent way of life.  NOT pills or HCG injections.  NOT fad diets for 2-3 months.

Richard H. Fryer, MD
Salt Lake City Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 277 reviews

Large Volume Liposuction and Obesity

Large volume liposuction is usually used in people in whom more than 5 liters (5 quarts ) of fat need to be removed. When more than 5 liters of fat are vacuumed, the body may undergo potentially dangerous fluid shifts with drops in blood pressure. For safety reasons, unlike most other liposuction cases, such cases are NOT outpatient same day surgery cases and they require intravenous fluids and hospital monitoring.

Large volume liposuction is usually done on massive weight loss patients to "finish the job" the lap band / gastric bypass did not finish and result in the maximal amount of loose skin which could later be removed with wither a tummy tuck, buttock lift, lower body lift, arm or thigh lift. It involves suctioning 5-10 quarts of fat.

In your case, a large volume liposuction would mean taking the higher risks but because of the amount of remaining fat, it will not render the same pleasing cosmetic results. To result in a change, you would require removal of much more than 10 quarts of fat. That would make the operation dangerous and I am afraid most Plastic surgeons would insist that you first lose a lot more weight before they would consider operating on you.

Peter A. Aldea, MD
Memphis Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 109 reviews

Large volume lipo

Large volume lipo usually refers to removal of fat in excess of 5 liters, and often many more than that.  It was found to have a higher incidence of complications due to fluid shifts which can lead to problems for some individuals. It is not an answer for weight loss.

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

Weighing in on liposuction

Your situation is a common one. Large volume liposuction is defined by removal of 5 liters or more of fat/fluid. With larger volumes of liposuction there are more risk of fluid problems after surgery which may lead to dehydration. The dehydration if not corrected or prevented can lead to low blood pressure which can affect the heart and/or kidney among other things. Therefore overnight monitoring is minimally required.

The other issue is weight. Stabilization of your weight to an acceptable level is paramount. Developing lifestyle changes to manage your weight. Liposuction is not a strategy for weight loss. Liposuction is a contouring procedure. You will have a better result and will be able to maintain the result if your lifestyle changes to promote a consistent healthy weight.

Good Luck.

Lipo not the answer - for now

I would recommend against this relatively dangerous procedure.  Even a successful large volume removal would have a very small effect on your overall frame.  It would be smarter and safer to lose additional weight first and then get a new consultation from an experienced board certified plastic sugeon.

David Shuter, MD
Jupiter Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 3 reviews

Liposuction is not appropriate for weight loss

I cannot emphasize this enough. Liposuction of any sort is not appropriate for weight loss. If you burn more calories than you consume, you will lose weight. Many of my patients have had success with programs such as the 6 Week Body Makeover, where you eat 6 small meals daily. This helps keep your metabolism up and, combined with exercise, can result in weight loss.

Other programs work as well. I suggest you consult with a nutritionist/weight loss specialist who can help you. Don't get discouraged - you can lose weight and I also applaud your decision not to pursue gastric surgery. Good Luck - you can do it and you will be healthier for it.

Tracy Pfeifer, MD
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

Large patients do well when liposuctions are done in stages

We try to limit the volume of fat removed during any one liposuction to 5 liters for safety reasons. This may be just the front tummy in a large patient or it may be just the hips or just the thighs. It is better to be safe and stage the procedures at least a week apart and do them under local anesthesia. Liposuction is a great motivator to encourage more dieting and exercising. Expect to pay roughly $6-7000 per surgery.

David Hansen, MD
Beverly Hills Dermatologic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 43 reviews

I think large volume liposuction is dangerous.


Losing weight is one of the hardest things to do. But I would advise you not to go this route. Liposuction is effective to remove bulges and improve contour.

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

Difficult situation but not insurmountable

First of all, you should consider surgery only as a last resort, unless there are anatomical impediments to your exercising such as disproportionate breasts or a heavy panniculus preventing you from doing cardio exercises. I would aim to be as fit as possible. That means getting into a routine exercise, not gimmicky or crash, program that you can maintain and enjoy. Next look carefully at your diet and try to improve it from a health, not necessarily weight loss, perspective.

Once you maximize your individual level of fitness, a plastic surgeon can assess your body contour. You weight and fat content will be pre-determined by your genetics. I doubt if large volume liposuction would be of much benefit. What might be an option is serial liposuction where a series of procedures are performed to gradually reduce the fat cell population and gradually allow the skin to re-contour. This has to be done carefully, judiciously, and appropriately.

But remember that plastic surgery does not always have a good solution to all problems.

Robin T.W. Yuan, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 11 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.