Dr. says law only allows to Lipo 4 litres; 4 litres of pure fat after the liquid is drained or 4 litres of fat including fluid?

When a Dr. Says the law only allows them to Lipo 4 liters, is that 4 liters of pure fat after the liquid is drained or 4 liters of fat including fluid?

Doctor Answers 5

Dr. says law only allows to Lipo 4 litres; 4 litres of pure fat after the liquid is drained or 4 litres of fat including fluid?

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Only a few states have a law on liposuction volume and Wisconsin is not one of them. There are professional guidelines which are 5 liters but these are not rules or laws, just guidelines. In a health patient, more than  5 liters can be removed (see the medical evidence for this in the link below), depending on an individual patient's height & weight. 

How much fat can be removed with lipo

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Hi MzGyPsyDoll

In Texas, where I practice, the guideline is 5 liters, and that includes the tumescent fluid.  Five liters of fat is around 10 or 11 lbs, which doesn't sound like much, but it is HUGE!  For an example, next time you are at the grocery store, go to the soft drink section and pick up 5X 1 liter bottles of soda.  

Anyway, if 5 or more liters are taken, the patient must be admitted for monitoring and fluid support.  The reason is that blood comes out with the fat and tumescent fluid, and it would be easy to put a patient into shock.

I don't like to suction this much.  When you think of the soda bottle example, it can be argued that a weight reduction protocol might be a better first step, but that depends on the clinical situation.

I wish you the best.


Liposuction Limits

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The limits on liposuction remain a point of contention. The generally accepted limit is 5 liters of lipoaspirate (combination of fat, blood, tumescent fluid). However, recent studies suggest the limit may be variable and seems to be associated with BMI.

Overall, it is important to remember that the goal of liposuction is an improved contour and not weight loss. Even at the 5 liter limit, a patient is losing less than 10 lbs. of fat within the lipoaspirate.

As always, discuss your concerns with a board certified plastic surgeon. 

It's not the Fat, it's the Procedure -- 5 L max is safe and guidelines

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It would depend on your State's regulations. Keep in mind that not all is equal. VASER HI DEF liposuction is the best procedure to sculpt and contour the body and results can be seen immediately. Please consult with an expert. Best, Dr. Emer

Jason Emer, MD
Los Angeles Dermatologic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 203 reviews

Liposuction Limits

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Thank you for your question.

Different states have different regulations regarding liposuction limits.  Some states don't have any laws for liposuction limits.  Different plastic surgery societies have different recommendations regarding what lipo limit is "safe".  The bottom line is that this really hasn't been studied, and most of the numbers are seemingly chosen at random.

I recommend you consult with a local/regional plastic surgeon who is experienced with liposuction to discuss your options, and what can be done safely.


Dr. Dan Krochmal

MAE Plastic Surgery

Northbrook, IL

Daniel Krochmal, MD
Chicago General 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.