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Does liposuction help with weight loss?


Board-Certified Plastic Surgeon, M.D.

Not really.  While a patient may lose a few pounds after the procedure, it really is not an effective weight reduction tool.  Frankly, there are a lot easier and cheaper ways to lose a few pounds!  While large volume liposuction has been done in which 10 or more pounds are removed, we don’t advocate this as a procedure to be used when weight loss is the primary goal.

Liposuction is really designed as a method to contour the body by removing excess fat from specific areas.  Used alone, it can be a great way to get rid of excess fat in the outer thighs (“saddlebags”), abdomen, flanks (“muffin top”), and other areas in a patient who is otherwise well proportioned.  We also find it a helpful technique when combined with other surgery, such as improving the contour of the trunk during an abdominoplasty.  We utilize the tumescent technique to perform liposuction, which allows us to use smaller diameter cannulas and causes less blood loss than traditional liposuction.  Although there are a number of newer technologies being marketed as significant improvements in liposuction which use ultrasound, laser, water jet, freezing, etc., we have not yet found that the overall results are really any better than those achieved with tumescent liposuction.  In any case, it’s the surgeon, not the machine, that determines your result.

The list of ways to lose weight is a long one.  Various diets, regular exercise, medications, supplements, medically supervised weight loss programs, gastric surgical procedures, and more.  We would recommend exploring these options if you really are trying to lose weight rather than trying to do it with liposuction.