Liposuction Not for Minimal Fat Removal?

I have consulted with two plastic surgeons who have both advised me that with the minimal amount of fat that I would have removed from my body, I would not be a good candidate for the traditional liposuction and one even referred me to another doctor who uses laser lipo.

I am 5'7, 135, and would like the excess fat removed from my arms, inner and outer thighs, and possibly the hips area. My doctors were worried about rippling with the traditional lipo technique. Are they just being overly cautious or is this something that is a real concern? Thank you so much for your time in advance!

Doctor Answers 4

Continue getting additional opinions

It's important when consulting with a doctor regarding a surgical procedure to keep an open mind. Listen to what the doctor is saying but don't hesitate to give that information your own test for "Is this reasonable?” Getting two or more opinions and gathering information from reliable, trusted sources is one of any patient's best tools prior to selecting a surgeon and deciding on a procedure.

You're obviously doing the right things in that regard already, so keep on that track. Continue to ask questions and get answers until you're comfortable and confident that you've found the right doctor and are doing the right procedure.

It's impossible to give a definitive answer based on a picture, but it appears to me that you would be a good candidate for liposuction. Many patients come in to a consultation looking to liposuction as a weight loss tool. That's simply not a good reason to have liposuction. Removing too much fat can result in rippling. In my opinion, liposuction is best used to remove localized areas of fat that are resistant to diet and exercise.

Being within 10 - 15 pounds of your ideal weight is where you want to be prior to liposuction surgery, and I'm assuming you're well within that limit now. You should be able to achieve good results with controlled liposuction. Being too aggressive with the procedure can leave you with a very unattractive result.

Good luck! I hope you find the right medical team soon.

Dallas Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 23 reviews


Rippling can happen with any form of liposuction and traditional is probably safer than laser lipo in most cases.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

Liposuction results are best when there isn't too much.


I completely do not understand the opinions you have been getting. Getting a smooth result without rippling is all about good surgical technique and a surgeon with a good eye. It has nothing to do with how much fat is removed. Some of our happiest liposuction patients in New York City just need minimal correction.

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

I do feel that laser lipo might benefit you

In patients with smaller amounts of fat, I feel that the newer laser, like the Accusculpt from Lutronic which melt fat more specifically and still cause the heat generation whiuch encourages skin retraction have allowed us to use even smaller cannulas and achieve smoother results. 

W. Tracy Hankins, MD
Las Vegas Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 292 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.