Am I a candidate for abdominal lipo? (photos)

I'm getting my boobs done, 7 months postpartum. The doctor I saw said he would not perform lipo on my waist. I want a smaller waist. Do you think aggressive lipo is possible? 5'8, 135 lbs, 26.5 inch waist 38 inch hips.

Doctor Answers 9

Candidate for Liposuction?

From your single photo you don't obviously appear to have a lot to gain from liposuction but it would be important to see your hip flank area from a posterior view. While your stomach looks relatively flat, there can be a noticeable amount of lipodystrophy (fat excess) in this area which can be treated with liposuction, and treating this area is really what gives you the appearance of a smaller waist. Ultimately an in person consultation would be necessary to determine if you would truly benefit. 

All of our finesse sculpting liposuction procedures are done with laser liposuction also known as SmartLipo. The laser probe is only 1mm in diameter which allows for very fine sculpting of the fat layer and has the additional benefit of some extra skin tightening that you do not get with other types of liposuction. It is not a miracle machine and will not shrink wrap you, so be careful about unqualified practitioners who aggressively market the procedure. 

You should at all costs be very wary of the liposuction chains like Sonobello. Their business model is to operate on every person that walks in the door regardless of whether the patient will benefit, and they have track record of poor outcomes including fatalities locally. I have seen the results firsthand, and will doing a major revision of one of their unfortunate clients in the very near future.

Kirkland Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 53 reviews

Am I a candidate for abdominal lipo?

From you photos it looks your surgeon is using good judgment.  You are very lean and reducing the fat layer just a bit will not make much of a difference in your waistline.  The waistline is often determined more by the distance between ribcage and pelvic girdle and the presence or absence of excess intra-abdominal fat than by the amount of fat under your skin.  I generally will avoid doing liposuction in areas where I cannot easily "pinch and inch."  Lipo on areas with a thin fat layer is likely to leave some rippling or contour defects. 

I am certain you would be able to find someone who would do "aggressive" lipo on your abdomen but I think they may lack experience and/or judgment.  Also, if anyone offers laser lipo, I would advise you run the other way.  I have seen patients like you who have ended up with some pretty significant scarring and contour defects who thought or were told that laser lipo would tighten things up. 

Lisa Lynn Sowder, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 73 reviews

VASER Hi Definition Liposuction / Body Contouring

You are a candidate for a hi definition liposuction procedure. This will give you a more contoured result with skin tightening. I suggest consulting with a VASER hi definition cosmetic dermatologist for optimal results. Best, Dr. Emer

Jason Emer, MD
Los Angeles Dermatologic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 196 reviews

Lipo for waist sculpting with a breast enlargement?

Enjoy the results of your breast enhancement procedure and save your money by avoiding any liposuction.  IMO you're not a candidate and would face the risk of complications rather than benefit.

Jon A Perlman MD FACS
Certified, American Board of Plastic Surgery
Extreme Makeover Surgeon ABC TV
Beverly Hills, Ca

Jon A. Perlman, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 31 reviews

Am I a candidate for abdominal lipo?

Thank you for your question and picture. I think that from your picture, you do not have much to donate in the way of lipo. Your surgeon probably said he would not perform lipo because he did not want to waste your money doing something that was not useful. Without a physical exam, it is hard to say, but I am under the impression that your waist is defined by your bone structure at this point and not adipose tissue, and lipo will not help you change this. You can't do "aggressive lipo" if there is not fat tissue there to lipo.

Hope this helps!

Dallas Buchanan, MD
Spokane Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Am I a candidate for abdominal lipo?

Thank you for your question and photo. There are two kinds of liposuction: 1. debulking and 2. revealing. As you can see, most surgeons do debulking liposuction, simply removing excess fat. You are an excellent candidate for a revealing liposuction or VASER Hi Def Lipo. This technique is more for people who really do not have a lot of fat, but want to look more athletic and have enhanced feminine curves. The best results are achieved with circumferential treatment of the torso and in your case the arms as well. See a board certified plastic surgeon experienced with this advanced technique for an in person consultation/evaluation.

George Marosan, MD
Bellevue Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 38 reviews

Am I a candidate for abdominal lipo?

I would not recommend having liposuction. You have a very small amount of fat under your skin. This puts you at great risk for contour irregularities and an uneven appearance. This is extremely challenging to fix.

Liposuction is an excellent procedure for patients who have excess subcutaneous fat that is out of proportion to the surrounding areas. There needs to be enough fat that is left under the skin to create a smooth contour. You simply don't have enough excess.

Austin Hayes, MD
Portland Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 36 reviews


Whether or not liposuction is a good idea can usually be determined only at exam, but your picture clearly shows a very minimal subcutaneous fat layer. I'm sure you can find someone willing to take your money and do liposuction but the risk is excessively high and probably could be guaranteed you would have significant damage with skin irregularities that cannot be corrected after liposuction. Any time a surgeon, whose income comes from doing surgery, advises you not to do surgery, you would be wise to pay attention. 

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


You are quite slender. From the photo it's difficult to determine how much fat there is. I suggest you go to Sono Bello for evaluation. They do everything under local anesthesia as outpatient and have done over 75000 of these surgeries. There's one in Bellevue and one in Tacoma. 

Edmond A. Zingaro, MD
San Francisco Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 8 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.