Who is the Best Liposuction Candidate?

what can liposuction surgery do for a patient, and what cant it do?

Doctor Answers 24

What is Liposuction?

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Liposuction is the process of removing fat cells in an area of the body that has Lipodystrophy, or areas/deposits of unwanted fat.  I like to use a very traditional approach using anywhere from a 3-5mm canula, one stitch incisions with absorbable sutures.  One must keep in mind that if you have skin laxity or an over hang then Liposuction may not be the best procedure for you.  It may need to be combined with skin excision or even a Tummy Tuck.  Liposuction is predictable in regards to recovery/downtime and end results. As a general rule, it takes about three to four months for an area to hit its 'final result'.

Jackson Plastic Surgeon

Liposuction Candidates

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Thank you for your question. Any one or combination of the following conditions may indicate that you are a good candidate for liposuction surgery:
-Areas of fat deposits that are out of proportion with the rest of your body and do not go away with diet and exercise – so called “diet resistant fat.’
-Areas with minimal amounts of excess skin (liposuction removes fat not skin) and good skin elasticity.
Best of luck!

Dhaval M. Patel 
Double board certified 
Plastic surgeon
Hoffman Estates

Dhaval M. Patel, MD
Hoffman Estates Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 100 reviews

Good candidate for liposuction

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A good candidate for liposuction will have realistic expectations regarding their results and someone that is likely to be happy with their body after the surgery.

Additionally, a candidate for liposuction needs to be healthy enough to undergo this type of surgery.

You will need the cosmetic surgeon to look into what your past medical history is.

For instance, patients that have a history of immunodeficiency disorders, blood clots, pulmonary embolisms and the likes will have increased risk of medical complications during the surgery.

Additionally, if a candidate consistently takes drugs like Aspirin, anticoagulants like Coumadin or non steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, then they are not permitted to have a surgery like liposuction.

The best way to determine if you are a good candidate is to consult a board certified cosmetic surgeon.

Best Candidate for Liposuction

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Best Candidate for Liposuction
Liposuction is a procedure which removes fat from the body. It is one of the most popular procedures in the field of plastic surgery because of its simplicity and effectiveness. There are many different techniques and methods for liposuction, which can be performed on many areas of the body.
You are a candidate if you have excessive subcutaneous fat, which is resistant to diet and exercise. If you wish to change the contours of your body. Commonly involved areas are the anterior part of the neck (under the chin), upper arms and armpits, male chest/breasts, trunk abdomen, waist, hips, thighs, inner knees, calves, and ankles.
Most patients are near normal weight and desire permanent contour changes. Patients with average weight, localized fat collections, and healthy elastic skin are the best candidates for liposuction. Obesity, cellulite, or loose, sagging, and inelastic skin are several conditions which may tend towards less desirable results. In fact, these problems may be worsened by liposuction.
Frequently, patients seek liposuction to reduce their weight and general obesity. Unfortunately, liposuction is not indicated to treat these problems. Standard methods of weight reduction are required for these patients. Liposuction is intended to re-sculpt isolated collections of body fat that would not generally respond to diet and exercise it is a method of body contouring to reduce inches, not pounds. The good news is that the suctioned fat cells are permanently removed. If the patient gains weight later on, the new fat will be distributed in a more proportional manner.

Liposuction candidate

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Having reasonably good skin tone (elasticity) is important to obtain best results with liposuction. As one ages, skin tone tends to decrease. This occurs after massive weight loss or pregnancy as well. A good indicator of reasonable skin tone is the lack of stretch marks or loose skin.


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Liposuction changes shape. 

  • Best candidate: fit with unwanted bulges. Liposuction will remove fat in unwanted places, giving a better shape. It works alone or with surgery, e.g. tummy tucks, thigh lifts, breast reductions.
  • Worst candidate: obese, looking for instance weight loss. Liposuction is not a weight loss procedure. It redistributes fat. If you keep eating, fat returns.
  • BUT liposuction for someone overweight can motivate her/him to get fit. 

Ideal candidates for liposuction

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The best candidate for liposuction is a patient who is close to their ideal body weight and has localized areas of fat that are diet and exercise resistant.  Liposuction is not a weight reduction procedure!  It is a procedure that helps reshape & improve body contour.


Who is a Good Liposuction Candidate?

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A good candidate for liposuction is someone who is disproportionate, but not necessarily overweight. For example, a patient who is thin may be an excellent candidate if he/she is disproportionate. If an individual diets, exercises, and has stubborn areas like the love handles for example - it is more likely that they have excess fatty tissue in these areas that can only be removed with liposuction. Some of the best candidates for liposuction can be thin but disproportionate and many times this is due to genetics.

I feel it is inappropriate to perform surgery on a person who is simply overweight but has a proportionate body shape. This is a mistake made by many surgeons and does the patient a disservice because it can permanently throw them out of proportion and the fat can disproportionately store in other areas.

However, for many people seeking liposuction, it is because they have a combination of being a little overweight and disproportionate in certain areas. However, when I perform liposuction on this type of patient, it is imperative to critically determine where they are out of proportion. I then only targets those areas, so as to balance their proportion. It is then up to the patient to diet and exercise to lose the extra weight. Many times the rapid results from the liposuction of the stubborn disproportionate areas are the motivational factor for the patient to eliminate the rest of the weight.

I hope this helps answer your question about liposuction candidacy.

David Amron, MD
Beverly Hills Dermatologic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 63 reviews

Best Candidates for Liposuction / LipoSelection / Liposculpture / Diffferential Liposuction

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Great cosmetic results start with choosing the best candidates for each operation. The BEST Candidates for Liposuction / LipoSelection / Liposculpture / Differential Liposuction have defined fat pockets without large areas of damaged and loose skin, are healthy, have realistic expectations and have a BMI under 27.

Although the procedure can be done on people who do not meet all these criteria, the results would not be as good.

Peter A. Aldea, MD
Memphis Plastic Surgeon

Liposuction candidate

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The best candidates for Liposuction are people with:

  • good skin tone
  • at or near their ideal body weight
  • localized areas of fat accumulation
  • realistic expectations

Samir Shureih, MD
Baltimore Plastic Surgeon

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.