Liposuction Surgeon Consultation

What should I ask my doctor during a liposuction consultation?

Doctor Answers 17

During lipo consultation, ask about training and see pictures of their own patients

This is a great question. Many doctors out there advertise liposuction. Additionally, many companies have come up with fancy names for different types of liposuction.

  • The first thing to ask your doctor is about his or her training. Plastic surgeons have specific core training in liposuction techniques. Additionally, some plastic surgeons go on for extra fellowship training specifically in aesthetic plastic surgery which includes liposuction. Many other doctors in different specialities take weekend courses in liposuction and then offer it in their practices. So, please ask your doctor specifically about their training.
  • The next thing to ask is about the type of liposuction they perform. Different types of liposuction are good for different types of people. For instance, if you have just minor areas that require small volumes of suction, then a procedure such as Smart Lipo may be best for you. However, if you are like most people and require a moderate to large volume of liposuction, then traditional tumescent liposuction is best. New advances in traditional liposuction such as power-assisted liposuction, make this procedure even more effective. If you have redundant skin and tissue, then you may need a combination procedure such as liposuction and mini-abdominoplasty or tummy tuck.
  • The next thing to ask your doctor is to see pictures of their actual patients or to talk to some of their previous patients. Many doctors have become very savvy at marketing or have great marketing companies working for them. If you look at their websites, they use stock photos which are not their real patients. Have them pull up their website during your consultation and ask them which patients are actually theirs.
  • Next, ask your doctor where the liposuction will be performed. Many doctors perform liposuction in their offices while the patient is awake and other doctors perform liposuction in an operating room while the patient is under anesthesia. If you are having minor liposuction, then the office based procedure may be appropriate. However, ask your doctor about the certifications for their office-based procedures and what contingency plans they have in case something goes wrong.
  • Also, ask them if they use an anesthesiologist or if they do the anesthesia themselves. Next, ask your doctor about follow-up care. Make sure that your surgeon will be the one seeing you in follow-up.
  • Inquire about post-operative garments, medications, exercises, and ability to return to work.

Liposuction is a great operation and, when performed properly, has great results. It can be intimidating trying to filter through all of the information out there about liposuction. In the end, make sure all of your questions are answered and that you feel comfortable with your surgeon before you have surgery. I hope this is helpful.

New York Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 77 reviews

Ask many questions during liposuction consultation.

You should seek a board-certified plastic surgeon to perform your liposuction procedure. A nice place to start is at, the website for The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery. During your consultation, ask your surgeon about their training, experience, experience with different modalities, type of anesthesia, operating room facility and staff, their safety record and precautions taken, etc.

Sanjay Grover, MD
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 224 reviews

Liposuction Consultation Ask about Training and Experience

Liposuction, as you may have heard in the popular media, is the most commonly performed surgical procedure each year in the United States. Here's a statistic that you may not have heard: the majority of physicians performing liposuction in the United States are not plastic surgeons; in fact, many do not have any formal surgical training whatsoever. It seems hard to believe, but many physicians performing liposuction have had no more training in liposuction than a 'weekend course'. One way to determine whether or not a physician has had appropriate training in a particular surgery is to confirm that they have hospital privileges for that procedure.

I fear that some practitioners view liposuction as a 'simple' surgery, since it does not involve making large incisions, and it requires little, if any, suturing. Nothing could be further from the truth. Liposuction, in my mind, is a very challenging operation that requires careful planning and preparation, and a great deal of care and finesse when it is actually performed. It requires a three-dimensional understanding of the layers of human anatomy, an understanding that is second nature to a surgeon alone. I think that it is often an inadequate understanding of anatomy (and, perhaps, of the body's response to surgery) which leads to the poor results in liposuction and body contouring that unfortunately are so often seen.

It is important that your physician has hospital priveleges for the procedure you are interested in having performed. A hospital has access to information and records that the general public does not. Hospitals also have tremendous exposure to liability for cosmetic surgery procedures performed within them. They therefore will only grant surgical privileges to physicians that can demonstrate appropriate training and experience.

Although many aesthetic cosmetic surgery procedures are not performed in hospital operating rooms, the fact that a hospital has granted a surgeon privileges for a given procedure ensures that the surgeon has met an accepted standard of competence. It also means that your surgeon will be able to take care of you at a hospital should any complications from cosmetic surgery arise.

During your consultation ask your surgeon the number of liposuction cases they perform each month, ask to see many many before and after photos and I always suggest speaking to previous patients. It is imperative to always check with the medical board in your state as part of your research.

If you are planning to have cosmetic surgery performed, you should do your due diligence to determine if your surgeon has the appropriate credentials. This issue can be settled by the following simple question: Does my surgeon have hospital privileges to perform my cosmetic surgery?

Michael Law MD

Plastic Surgeon

Raleigh, North Carolina

Michael Law, MD
Raleigh-Durham Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 120 reviews

BBL Consultation

Thats a great question. It is very important that you express all your concerns and questions to your plastic surgeon, so he/she can better understand what you want. The first question you want to ask is, am I a good candidate for liposuction? If so you can discuss what areas you want to target, how much fat you want taken out. It is also important to ask what recovery will be like so you can better prepare yourself. Just remember that no question is stupid. Ask your plastic surgeon what concerns you or what you want to know. Best of luck!Dhaval M. Patel Double board certified Plastic surgeonHoffman Estates BarringtonOakbrook Chicago

Dhaval M. Patel, MD
Hoffman Estates Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 93 reviews

Questions for Liposuction Consultation

If you are interested in liposuction, first be specific about the the areas that bother you and what you hope to achieve. Ask your doctor if your expectations are realistic and he/she can then discuss the best treatment options. The key to a good result from liposuction is the condition (elasticity) of the overlying skin in each area. Be prepared to discuss non-surgical techniques for minimal fat reduction, the various liposuction techniques such as ultrasound-assisted or laser-assisted, and the various anesthesia options. If your doctor feels your skin is too loose to drape smoothly over the reduced fat, some skin tailoring may be helpful for you to achieve your goals. You should leave the consultation feeling comfortable with your choice of doctor and the proposed treatment.

Richard G. Schwartz, MD
West Palm Beach Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Best Liposuction Questions

The BEST LIPOSUCTION QUESTIONS: Am I a good candidate for liposuction and what are my risks?, What kind of results can I expect?, Are you a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon?, Can I see your before and after photos?, How many of these liposuction procedures have you done this year?,  Which technique of liposuction will you use?, What type of anesthesia and is the anesthesiologist Board Certified?,  Where will you perform my liposuction procedure and which hospitals are you on staff? What will my recovery time and post operative experience be like? Make sure you write down your questions and bring them with you on your consultation. Above all, make sure that you are satisfied with the surgeon's answers before you proceed.

Richard Wellington Swift, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 23 reviews

Liposuction Consultation

First, I would make sure that my surgeon is a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon with the American Society of Plastic Surgerons. ( ASPS).  Second,  ask which hospitals that he has operating privileges.  This is very important.  Hospitals will not staff surgeons that are not board certified in their specialty. Liposuction is a surgical procedure, and should be treated as so. Third, do you feel comfortable with your surgeon and his staff?  This is important as you will have questions and follow-up visits.  Discuss your expectations and the surgeons.  Good communication is very important when embarking on surgery.  Good luck and stay informed.

Robert E. Zaworski, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 62 reviews

Question for liposuction consultation

Listen first. Question last. Good surgeons will answer your questions before you ask them.

My 5 steps to evaluate your surgeon:

  1. Ask  for the surgeon's CV (curriculum vitae). What is his/her training?
  2. Office should be clean, staff polite, examination thorough. Modesty respected. Photos should exclude face and private areas. 
  3. Does the surgeon give you a written plan and explain his/her recommendations.
  4. Does the surgeon review your medical history, ask your goals, explain complications?
  5. Then ask the difference between tumescent, suction assisted, ultrasonic, Microaire and laser liposuction, which applies to you and why.


Elizabeth Morgan, MD, PhD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 43 reviews

Liposuction Consultation

The basis of a liposuction consultation is the bond of mutual trust that develops between the surgeon and the patient.  The patient must ensure that the surgeon has the requisite training, experience, expertise, and understanding of your objectives. The surgeon must trust that the patient understands the procedure and will comply with the preoperative preparation and the postoperative care.  The patient should ask questions to clarify their role in the process. 

Kris M. Reddy, MD, FACS
West Palm Beach Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 42 reviews

5 questions to ask of the doctor to do liposuction

1. What is your training? By what board? Many people call themselves plastic surgeons and learn to do liposuction in a weekend course. Some of the laser liposuction companies are targeting non surgeons to buy their machines.

2. Do you do tummy tucks? This linked to question one, but if a doctor cannot do a tummy tuck (ie they aren't a real plastic surgeon) then they will recommend liposuction, even if it isn't the ideal surgery for you, because they CAN'T do any other kind of surgery to help you.

3. How many have you done? There are doctors who have done 5 cases, and some who have done hundreds. (And be wary- some doctors will count one surgery patient as many liposuction cases... There was lipo of the right leg, the left leg, the abdomen, the love handle- that should not be counted as 4 liposuction cases.)

4. What technique do you use? Everyone does tumnescent. That is not a new technique. Do they do UAL, vaser, laser liposuction, smart lipo, slim lipo? I do an analysis of my cases- how much tumnescent I put in to each area, how much I remove from each area, and I measure the fat. I am amazed at op reports I have seen where there is no record of the amount of tumnescent placed and how much fat was removed or even from where.

5. Safety. Where is it done? Is there anesthesia? Is it a nurse? A doctor? Is the facility accredited? Is it dedicated to plastic surgery? Liposuction is different than other surgeries. You need a team experienced in it to avoid complications. Safety is first. This is elective surgery.

Lauren Greenberg, MD
Palo Alto Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 17 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.