Liposuction to Help COPD?

Will my health insurance pay for Liposuction? I am a man with COPD. I am also fat, but only around my stomach, this is inherited, my father and brother have the same look. I look pregnant, with a big round stomach sticking out. I can not breath if I bend over or lay on my stomach. Will insurance pay for part of liposuction to reduce my huge stomach so I can breath better?

Doctor Answers 5

Liposuction is not designed to remove fat from behind the stomach's muscle wall

The type of build you are describing "the berr belly" is from visceral fat, that is, fat that is around the intestines, and situated behind the muscle wall. This is an area that the liposuction cannula does not penetrate.

Manhattan Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 37 reviews

Insurance companies do NOT pay for Cosmetic Surgery

COPD is a disease related to lung destruction and a critical decrease in the lung absorptive surfaces. It is managed medically except for a few cases in which patients are candidates to specific lung surgery procedures which remove large areas of damaged lung areas in an effort to stop blood from needlessly flowing there. The surgery then directs the flow through the less damaged areas for a better absorption of oxygen.  Liposuction does NOT figure anywhere in the surgical management of COPD.

Liposuction is a contouring operation - NOT a weight reduction surgery. At most, it could only remove about 10 pounds of fat off in an out patient setting. To remove the amount of fat that MAY be causing your ? apnea would be exceedingly dangerous.

If you are obese and are not a candidate for thoracic surgery, you may want to see a Bariatric surgeon for weight reduction surgery. The lose of weight MAY ease your work of breathing to say nothing about improving your health.


Peter A. Aldea, MD
Memphis Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 108 reviews

COPD and liposuction

WOw!  Wouldn't that be great if liposuction could cure COPD.  Unfortunately, COPD is a disease of the lungs and liposuction only removes subcutaneous body fat.  I highly doubt that it would have any affect on your lung capacity.

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

Liposuction to help COPD

As the previous expert posters have stated so "nicely" NO! I will be more direct, your medical issue is not the fat but the lung disease. Lose weight, liposuction is for contouring not weight loss!

From MIAMI Dr. B

Darryl J. Blinski, MD
Miami Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 173 reviews

Liposuction for COPD?

As Dr. Aldea has said, there is no role for liposuction in your care.  If you have a big belly that is hurting your breathing, it is from fat inside the belly around the intestines, and not from fat just under the skin.  

The fat inside the abdomen only responds to weight loss and if you can't do this the natural way with diet and exercise, perhaps a lap band might be possible.  You should visit surgeons who specialize in "bariatric" surgery for their evaluation, not a plastic surgeon.

Richard P. Rand, MD, FACS
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 67 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.