How much fat can be taken out by liposuction? Will the fat come back?

Are you only allowed to suck out a certain amount of fat in the states? Does this apply to Colombia and DR as well?? Because I want to be able to take out as much fat as I can.

Doctor Answers 5

There’s a limit to how much fat liposuction can safely remove.

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It’s important to understand that liposuction is not a weight loss procedure and is not intended to help you shed pounds. The best liposuction candidates are adults who are close to or at a healthy, stable weight but have diet and exercise resistant pockets of fat. The maximum amount of fat that can be removed during liposuction is 5 liters. Anything beyond that can risk your safety. Lipo can permanently remove fat cells, but it’s your job to keep yourself fit and healthy. Maintaining your weight through a healthy, active lifestyle is the best way to preserve your liposuction results. Traveling outside of the country for plastic surgery may put your health in jeopardy. Consult with a board-certified plastic surgeon for the best results.

Fat Removed During Liposuction -- How Much Is Safe?

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in the US guidelines are 5L in a single procedure, but also the number of areas and amount of fluid used during the surgery determines how much can be done.  Bigger people can have more removed.  Please see an expert in VASER 4D body contouring.  Best, Dr. Emer.

Jason Emer, MD
Los Angeles Dermatologic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 207 reviews

Liposuction - how much can be removed and will it return.

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Thank you for asking about your liposuction.
  • For your safety, no more than 4 - 5 l is usually removed at one time.
  • Larger volume liposuctions should be done in the hospital with an overnight stay.
  • You can probably find anywhere an unscrupulous surgeon willing to remove massive amounts of fat - with no safety precautions.
  • The question is - are you alive afterwards.
  • It is always safer to have surgery nearer your home and to be conservative.
  • Yes, fat returns to new areas after liposuction un less you lose 10 pounds (for a 4-5 L liter liposuction)
  • If you gain weight, fat returns to the areas of liposuction
  • If you are trying to lose weight, please don't use liposuction - it won't work -
  • See a bariatric surgeon for a gastric bypass if you are 100 pounds or so over your ideal weight.
Always see a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon. Best wishes  - Elizabeth Morgan MD PHD FACS


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The fat removed during a liposuction procedure is permanent. However, if you gain weight, the fat cells that remain may enlarge.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 30 reviews


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Hello and thank you for your question. The maximum amount of liposuction that should be safely removed is 5L.  This is a large volume of liposuction.  The most important factor when considering having surgery is safety.  For some patients, it may be tempting to try to remove more fat (even though 5L is a large amount), but the complication rates are extremely high above this level and there are very good reasons why we have set these guidelines for safety.  Make sure you specifically look at before and after pictures of real patients who have had this surgery performed by your surgeon and evaluate their results.  The most important aspect is to find a surgeon you are comfortable with. I recommend that you seek consultation with a qualified board-certified plastic surgeon who can evaluate you in person.

Best wishes and good luck.

Richard G. Reish, M.D.
Harvard-trained plastic surgeon

Richard G. Reish, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 172 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.