How Much Fat Can Be Removed During Laser Liposuction?

Hello. I'm interested in Cool Lipo but I want to know what's the most fat that can be removed at one time? Is there a standard limit, like 20 lbs. or less, or can I have as much fat removed as I want? I want to have my abdominals and back "done." Thanks for your expertise.

Doctor Answers 19

5 Liters is the limit

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There are different limits as to what is safe depending if this is to be done as an outpatient or inpatient setting.

5 liters or 5000 cc is the limit that should be done as an outpatient. If you were to stay in the hospital and be on a monitor then this doesnt apply. This is somewhat unrealistic as hospital stays increase the cost tremendously.

Therefore, 5 liters is the limit for outpatient liposuction, whether it is lase lipo or conventional.

Just as a side note, laser lipo is no different than traditional lipo as far as down time, incisions and so forth. In fact after the laser lipo is passed through, the regular lipo cannula is used to suck out the fat.

Hope that helps.

Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 88 reviews

Limit of laser liposuction fat removal - 5L of lipoaspirate

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Laser liposuction begins with the infiltration of fluid into the tissues.  This provides both a means for pain control as well as to decrease blood loss.  Then the laser device is used to apply energy directly to the fat and skin but done internally.  This allows the fat to melt prior to being aspirated out.  Once the laser energy is delivered, it is suctioned out.   The mixture of fat and infiltration fluid (tumescent solution) is called the lipoaspirate.  You can safely remove about 5L of this combination.   The most common laser devices are the SlimLipo and SmartLipo lasers that both melt fat and tighten the skin.

Laser liposuction removes fat pockets and promotes lipolysis

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Laser and ultrasound assisted liposuction is superior to regular liposuction, in that it not only removes excess body stores by aspiration, but it actually destroys fat cells so that they can be absorbed by the body. So, in reality, it is not the quantity of fat aspirated, but the extent of laser energy generated to destroy fat cells in the body. This will determine final body contour.

Raffy Karamanoukian, MD, FACS
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 95 reviews

Laser liposuction in the office

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most of my patients who are interested in laser liposuction are interested in the fact that this can be done without general anesthesia.  since a patient is not asleep, thorough local anesthetic needs to be given with the tumescent solution that is typically infiltrated prior to the procedure.  because there are safety limits to how much local anesthesia can be given at one time, this often limits the amount of liposuction that can be performed.  i think laser liposuction is more suited to focal areas of fat rather than general areas, especially if this is to be done in the office without general anesthesia.

Eric Chang, MD
Baltimore Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 11 reviews

Fat removal with Liposuction

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The maximum amount of fat that can be removed in a single surgery really varies on the patient.  Smaller patients will definitely have a smaller safe amount and larger patients will have more fat that can be removed in one surgery.  5L is a useful guideline, but this would definitely be unsafe in a smaller individual.

I believe an experienced surgeon can determine what is possible in your case.  Generally if you are just doing your abdomen and back, you should fall within the safe limits of what can be done.

Best wishes for your surgery!

Shim Ching, MD
Honolulu Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 51 reviews

Liposuction Limitations

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The goal of any form of liposuction is to aesthetically reshape areas of fullness on the body caused by excess fat deposition either by genetic factors or as acquired, in a safe way.

Irrespective of the technique used, with or without technology assistance, a maximum of 4 to 5 liters ( approximately 8 to 10 pounds) can be removed.  When performed using  the safest standards, the procedure should be performed by local anesthesia technique (Tumescent Liposuction) and the actual amounts of fat heated away by laser or other devices or suctioned alone will be determined by the patient's body features and weight.  A smaller framed patient will generally have some limitations on how much fat can be removed based on the safe dose of anesthetic that they can be exposed to.

Victor Michalak, MD
Issaquah Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 6 reviews

Laser Liposuction

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The limit is 5 liters. Depending on how much fat you wish to remove, you and your surgeon will decide how much will be suctioned out.

Maximum of fat removed with Lipo/Laser Lipo

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Laser Lipo by itself doesn't remove much fat, but if it is combined with traditional Lipo (What most plastic surgeons are offering) than the limit is the same as that with traditional Lipo alone.  In an office setting one should not have more than 5 liters removed in one session.  In a certified operating room, more can be taken off safely dependent on the size of the patient.  Twenty pounds translates to approximately 10 liters.  For the right patient, this is possible, but appropriate after care is a must and good judgment on the surgeons behalf is critical.

Leif Rogers, MD, FACS
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

Not more than 5 L per session is removed during Liposuction

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Laser lipolysis, ultrasound lipo, power-assisted lipo, and traditional lipo should probably not remove more than 5 Liters of fat in any one setting. Studies have shown that when you remove more than this amount, fluid dynamics in the body changes significantly and some individuals can't handle it.

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

Liposuction Limit

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Regardless of the type of Liposuction that is done, there is a legally-mandated limit of 5 liters that can be done in one session.  This was enacted for patient safety purposes.

Luckily, it is rare that an amount this high would ever be needed.  Most of the time, an amount like this meant that the physician would be doing lipo over multiple areas.  This is not always the safest approach.

If more than one area is needed, it is much safer and more comfortable for the patient to break up the procedure into two or more sessions.  We have found this to be much more comfortable for the patient and with much faster recovery.

Hope this helps.

Reza Tirgari, MD
San Diego Physician
5.0 out of 5 stars 4 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.