How Long After Weightloss / Dieting Should You Wait to Have Liposuction? (photo)

I have met with several PS who all say I am a great candidate for liposuction. However, a doctor on realself has indicated that I should lose weight before having liposuction. Which brings me to my next question... How long should I wait after losing weight to have lipo? All I really want is a waistline. I am sick of my spongebob squarepants mid-section. About me: 5'7, 190lbs, 2 kids vaginally, no stretch marks, black, current size 10 or 12 and 34 years old.

Doctor Answers 10

Lipo When?

The answer to this question, is somewhere in between both answers. The ideal patient is one whose weight is stable and can maintain the current weight. Good result and not obtained if the patient gains weight after the liposuction. The other issue is your actual weight. While it appears that you'll never be a size 6, losing additional weight would be beneficial, if you can keep it off. If you are 5 foot seven, and 190 pounds, your BMI is 29.8.  Ideally, it could be lower. But nevertheless it is your weight liposuction can be done with the understanding that risks for the operation are slightly higher. You should consult your surgeon concerning these risks.

New York Plastic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 15 reviews


As long as you are not morbidly obese, have had a stable weight for 6 or more months and are medically clear for surgery you could benefit from liposuction depending on your current condition and what you want to achieve with the surgery. What if your weight is stable, you are healthy and not morbidly obese but cannot seem to lose the weight? You would be delaying surgery indefinitely? That does not make much sense to me. Liposuction will definitely remove fat in the waistline area but given your age and history I doubt any excess skin will shrink. If that will suffice for you go ahead and do the surgery with one of the plastic surgeons that you saw and liked.

I hope you realize that this format of posting questions and receiving answers lacks the face to face direct communication required for you to make an informed decision regarding your surgery.

My response to your question/post does not represent formal medical advice or constitute a doctor patient relationship. You need to consult with i.e. personally see a board certified plastic surgeon in order to receive a formal evaluation and develop a doctor patient relationship.

Aaron Stone, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 2 reviews

Weight Loss before Liposuction

At 5-7 and 190 lb., you should definitely lose weight before attempting Liposuction. The main reason for this is that Liposuction can do nothing for the fat around your internal abdominal organs, and, after Liposuction at your present weight, you will still have a prominent abdomen. Your abdomen and flanks will also not match the rest of you. After the weight loss, you only need to wait a couple of months to let your body adapt to your new weight and to make sure your nutrition is adequate to heal the liposuctioned areas.


Robert T. Buchanan, MD
Highlands Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 6 reviews

Weight loss and liposuction

Lose the weight first, get down to your goal weight, when weight is stable then get re-evaluated for whatever body contour procedure is indicated.. 

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

Liposuction and weight loss

The question is whether you are comfortable at your current weight. If so, and what you really want is a waistline, you can have liposuction now with the understanding that, if you were to lose weight afterwards, it could result in sagging of your abdomen. This is a personal decision that only you can make but it is important to have as much information as possible.

Robert L. Kraft, MD, FACS
New York Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 42 reviews

Liposuction is a great motivator and can be done now.

You would definitely benefit from liposuction now and see a dramatic difference which would motivate you to diet and exercise to lose more weight to look even better.  Everybody needs help now and then and liposuction is that special procedure which makes a big improvement and is easy to undergo.  Sincerely,

David Hansen,MD

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

Weight Loss Before Liposuction

If you are losing weight it will make the results of the liposuction much better. I advise my patients to wait until their weight has plateaued at remained stable for 2-3 months before doing surgery, so we know they are not going to put it right back on after the procedure and be disappointed, thinking the surgery did not work.  But, if you have the surgery and then continue to lose weight it's not bad either. Just do NOT expect the liposuction to create weight loss. That's not it's purpoose.

Ronald V. DeMars, MD
Portland Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 27 reviews

Appropriate weight for liposuction

Thank you for your question and photos.  This is a very common question and one that does not have a definitive answer.  You must remember that liposuction is not a weight reduction procedure but is designed to improve your shape in certain areas.  At your current weight your BMI is 29.8 which puts you in the overweight group.  While you would have some improvement if you were to do liposuction now the more weight you lose the better the final result.  I explain it to my patients this way.  If you lose weight there will certainly be an improvement; if we perform liposuction on you at this weight there will also be some improvement.  However, if you lose the weight and then we perform liposuction we will hit it out of the ball park. I would certainly start by having a very close look at your nutrition and exercise program.  Best of luck.

Donald M. Brown, MD (retired)
San Francisco Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 8 reviews

Weight loss and liposuction

Quite frankly, I agree with your surgeon.  Unfortunately, if you were to diet prior to surgery , statistics show patients often gain the weight back. If this happens you end up with more fat In the areas not treated with liposuction which can lead to an unusual and unattractive shape.  Alternatively, you may put the fat intra-abdominally which is then very unhealthy and not amenable to future liposuction. I much prefer patients with your BMI work to lose weight after the surgery, when you will preferentially lose fat from the untreated areas.   You will often be motivated to lose once you see your new shape. Above all, it is critical not to gain weight after the procedure.   I do not perform abdominplasty but I refer out for it all the time.  It is not possible to tell from your photos the status of your abdominal wall muscles, but make sure your surgeon has evaluated them. I believe your skin will retract without a problem but again, this is best evaluated by touching and looking at the skin. Best to you. 

Jacqueline Calkin, MD
Sacramento Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 4 reviews

Dieting and Liposuction

Although it always pays to maintain a good diet and exercise, there is no specific timeline or amount of weight loss which is required prior to liposuction.  Having had two pregnancies, you may be a better candidate for an abdominoplasty along with some liposuction.  The abdominoplasty can improve the stretched abdominal muscles and wall, as well as, loose skin, which can't be improved by liposuction alone.  Best wishes.

Vincent D. Lepore, MD
San Jose Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 56 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.