Weight Gain Before I Have Liposuction Done

I usually gain 5 lbs in the winter and naturally lose it in the spring. If I want to get Liposuction done on my thighs, belly, and hips, should I get it after I gain the winter weight so the doctor can take out what he can see? I'm worried that if I go through the procedure before I put on the winter weight, the doctor won't see much fat, and therefore he won't take out enough.

Doctor Answers 13

Do it Now and look great for the spring.

If you see that your belly, thighs and hips are bothering you then do the liposuction now. We take out as much as possible safely and contour the area. 5 lbs won't change the way we do the procedure or the final outcome. A good surgeon can tell the amount of fat that is there and what can and can't be removed. That is why we don't tell patients to lose the weight ahead of time anymore like we did 20-25 years ago. We are going to get what is needed to contour the area regardless of weight now days. It is a great procedure and you will be glad you did it now.

Sincerely, David Hansen,MD

Beverly Hills Dermatologic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 42 reviews

Liposuction contours your body, so I would proceed now.

Your best results are achieved when you are at your "fighting weight". However, 5 lbs either way will not change the contour that the doctor can achieve. If you have liposuction now, with exercise starting about 4 weeks after surgery, you should have the shape you wanted by spring. You will be able to shed those extra pounds and tighten the skin.

Don't use the liposuction as an excuse to eat more and gain extra weight. This would destroy your results and feel as if you wasted your money.

David A. Dreyfuss, MD
Orland Park Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 3 reviews

Stable weight and stable contour

Ideally you should have a stable lifestyle with relatively stable weight. If your area in question does not appreciably change with your five pound weight fluctuations, you shouldn't worry too much. But do not gain or lose the weight just for the surgery because if the area in question does change enough for you to notice, then when your weight changes, so will your result.

Robin T.W. Yuan, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 11 reviews

Liposuction is about contour improvement not a volume reduction

Liposuction is about changing contour. I like to describe it to my patients as beach ball removal.

Think of your fat as a bunch of small beach balls distributed throughout your body. With every pound of fat gained, every beach ball gets a little bigger. The areas on your body that show more of the weight gain are areas with more beach balls. The number of beach balls does not change during most of your life. The times when the number of fat cells increase is:

  1. 0-3 years old
  2. Puberty
  3. Pregnancy
  4. Morbid obesity

Liposuction removes beach balls so contour is changed, but does little to control weight gains or weight losses. The limiting step with regard to your weight and volume reduction, has to do with safety. Plastic surgeons will typically limit liposuction to 5 liters maximum removal. If your contour correction requires more than that amount then weight loss is advisable. In your case 5 pounds is very little and will not affect the outcome. Go for it!

Robert M. Freund, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 33 reviews

In most cases, 5 lbs does not make a big difference

Unless you are nautrally very thin, 5 lbs really won't make much of a difference in your final result, and you're probably ok to proceed with the procedure at your convenience.  Talk it over with your doc and see if he agrees, but it should not be a major issue.

Shahram Salemy, MD, FACS
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 149 reviews

If it is only 5 pounds, then go ahead with the liposuction


Before you have any surgery it is very important that the surgeon examines you. Most people have weight fluctuations, so do not worry about 5 pounds. When doing liposuction, I concentrate on how much (actually how little) I leave behind. How much I take off is just a product of what was necessary to achieve the desired results (shape, contour).

Enjoy your liposuction.

David Shafer, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 75 reviews

Weight fluctuations and liposuction

Thank you for your question. While there are definitely concerns with respect to weight and liposuction there are several considerations:
1) Are you goals for the surgery achievable with liposuction? E.g. Liposuction is not a weight loss procedure, even though you will lose a few pounds. It is more to contour areas of the body.
2) Is your weight stable? i.e. does it fluctuate upwards or downwards more than 10lbs? Weight gain after liposuction will diminish your body contouring results as the remaining fat cells enlarge to store more energy. In addition, you may that other parts of the body that were not liposuctioned may enlarge disproportionately compared to pre-liposuction weight gain. If your weight is stable, your results will also be stable.
3) There are increase risks with liposuction if your BMI is greater than 30.
I would recommend that you visit with a board certified plastic surgeon who can work with you to discuss your goals and discuss whether liposuction is the right procedure for you. In our practice, we offer a pre-surgical and post-surgical weight management program to balance our patient's weight and body contouring goals.
In your situation, your weight fluctuations are reasonable, and I do agree that doing surgery in the winter may make it easier for your surgeon to address your concerns.  

Young R. Cho, MD, PhD
Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 37 reviews

Weight gain before liposuction

5 lbs is a minimal weight gain for the average person. Therefore, I wouldn't worry too much about when to proceed with surgery.  However, you should talk to your surgeon about this just in case and see what they say.

Jerome Edelstein, MD
Toronto Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 176 reviews

Fluctuating Weight and Timing of Liposuction

Ideally, body contouring procedures, including Liposuction, should be done on people with stable weight. Five pounds is not a lot of weight and since the operation is intended to CONTOUR the figure NOT to reduce weight, it will not make a big difference either way in my opinion. It is a lot more important to communicate to your surgeon what areas you would like to contour.

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

5 pounds and liposuction

It is really your choice when to have the liposuction performed. Five pounds of body fat probably will not make much of a difference in the long run.

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