Liposuction Procedure to Bring out Muscle Definition in Already Lean Patient?

My weight is stable around 150lb, and I'm 5'9" male. Even though I have some visible muscle tone, there is a final, probably 5 lbs of fat I need to remove to bring out clear muscle definition (i.e. "shredded"). The fat isn't really localized, but it's distributed in a thin layer that hides the muscle curvature in my abs and arms. Which liposuction procedure is best suited to my situation? I am located in VA. (Disclaimer: the picture is not me, but illustrates what I mean by "shredded")

Doctor Answers 9

I believe you are barking up the wrong tree.

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I can assure you that the fellow in this photograph did not get there by liposuction.  If you want to get "shredded" or what is generally referred to as ripped, the formula does not involve liposuction.  By the way, most so-called high definition liposuction before and after photos that I have seen appear to be maybe liposuction augmented by a couple of thousand hours of working out plus diet.  Your height and weight 5'9" and 150lb is abnormally light.  If you want to look like the fellow in the photo you need to be prepared to add weight in the form of muscle mass.  Here is how you do it:  Devote 3 or 4 hours per day 5 or 6 days a week to working out at a cross fit gym or if you live in Salt Lake CIty area go join Gym Jones.  Diet is simple: no carbohydrates.  Who needs liposuction. BTW this type of intense workout plus diet needs to be under the direct supervision of your personal physician.

Beverly Hills Oculoplastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

Hi Def or 3D Liposuction to unveil the underlying Muscles

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Hi Def or 3D Liposuction has been around for a few years and CAN be done successfully on individuals who ARE muscular but whose muscle details are covered by a thin layer of fat.

Although Sound Surgical which produces VASER and owns the term Liposelection heavily markets this procedure, you do not need this equipment to produce these results. (I am a VASER user in many of my cases). Nice results are being produced with manual or power-assisted liposuction.

The key is a careful examination of the patient and a good knowledge of anatomy coupled with a sense of artistry. Be aware than the fat acts as a mild blanket covering details of the underlying muscle good or bad. If you are muscular careful differential sculpting of the fat (taking more off in some areas and less in others) will result in a nice result. But if you are a couch potato, such liposuction will unveil the current status of those muscles as well.

Good Luck.

Dr. Aldea

Peter A. Aldea, MD
Memphis Plastic Surgeon

Liposuction to make the muscles look more visible

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It's not the equipment or even type of liposuction that makes much of a differenece, but the experience, knowledge and artistic sense of the surgeon that is utilized to produce the desired result. Superficial liposculpture/liposuction is controversial as the excessive removal of superficial fat will make the underlying muscle anatomy more visible, but there is a risk of permanent alteration of the skin's appearance and even scar tissue. Some fat needs to remain as a cushion and a protective layer to maintain the skin's normal defenses and healthy circulation.

Ronald Shelton, MD
Manhattan Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 39 reviews

Need more info

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Great question, but honestly we would need to see some photos to have a better idea of what we are dealing with.  Abdominal etching can be great in patients that are already lean and defined.  

"The above answer has been given without seeing this patient and cannot be substituted for actual in-person examination and medical advice; it is only opinion. Seek in-person treatment with a trained medical professional for appropriate care."

Vaser hi def lipo 4d

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I appreciate your question.

Vaser assisted liposuction utilizes ultrasound to emulsify or melt felt prior to removal. It is also used to etch or define the muscles and normal anatomy to enhance the results. I use a specialized technique to remove the deeper fat areas and sculpt the superficial fat, so that one can achieve the goal of having not only a flatter stomach but also a more defined and curvaceous body if wanted.

The best way to assess and give true advice would be an in-person exam.  Please see a board-certified plastic surgeon that specializes in aesthetic plastic surgery and high definition body contouring.


Best of luck!


Dr. Schwartz

Board Certified Plastic Surgeon



Ab-Etching can be a very poweful procedure.

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Hello onHRT,

Thank you for your question about the Ab-Etch procedure. This is a very effective procedure when performed with precision, and attention to detail both by the surgeon and patient.  It requires a patient that is committed to a healthy lifestyle, maintains his/her weight, and focused on the specifics to the healing period. Like any cosmetic procedure, patient selection, a motivation for a desired outcome with determination to maintain the result makes this a rewarding experience.

Best wishes,

Sergio Maggi, MD

Director- Austin Plastic Surgery Center

4D High-Definition Lipoplasty in Beverly Hills

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Hi and thanks for the question. From your description, you are an ideal candidate for 4D high-definition lipoplasty, a very distinct procedure from conventional liposuction. In this procedure, lipo contouring is performed based on your native anatomy, in doing so, augmenting your natural anatomic features ( six pack, latissimus dorsi, deltoids, calves ).  The procedure has a very artistic component to it. In the right individuals ( thinner patients, with good muscle tone, good skin tone, and thin layer or localized layer of fat), remarkable results can be achieved, in the right hands. 

Best wishes,

Dr. Vallecillos 

Glenn Vallecillos, MD, FACS
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Abdominal Etching May Be An Option

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Abdominal etching removes excess fat from between the abdominal muscles to give you better definition. You should have a total body fat percentage that's lower than 18% are usually not candidates for successful results.

Avoid liposuction if you already look very good.

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If you look remotely like the picture you posted, I think it is very unwise to have liposuction. You have no idea of the possible deformities that you can get after surgery.

George J. Beraka, MD (retired)
Manhattan 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.