Liposuction plastic surgery can effectively eliminate stubborn fatty deposits that are unresponsive to diet and exercise creating a more sculpted body shape.
Patients commonly ask surgeons how much fat they can expect to lose during a liposuction procedure. There are general guidelines on the upper limits of fat elimination. However, this decision is ultimately made on a case by case basis depending on the patient’s unique needs and goals.
Around six to eight pounds (three to four liters) of fat is probably the maximum amount that can be safely removed with liposuction. The risk of complications increases with an increase in the volume of fat removed.
If the patient needs fat removal in excess of six to eight pounds, it is safest to perform the liposuction in multiple stages which are spaced three to four weeks apart.
Modern Body Contouring & Laser Center, led by board certified plastic surgeons Dr. Burton M. Sundin and Dr. Reps B. Sundin, provides liposuction to patients in Northern Virginia, Washington DC, Vienna, McLean, Loudoun, Ashburn, Tysons Corner, Reston, Arlington, Chevy Chase, Richmond, Fredericksburg, and surrounding locations.
Removing Larger Amounts of Fat is not Always Appropriate
It is essential to understand that eliminating the maximum amount of fat will not always produce the best possible outcomes. Liposuction is a body contouring procedure, rather than a weight loss surgery. It is meant to create subtle improvements in the body shape by eliminating specific fatty deposits.
If the patient’s goal is to lose weight, then liposuction is likely not a suitable procedure for them. They will need to reach their ideal weight range before the surgeon can determine them to be an appropriate candidate for the cosmetic surgery.
In many cases, the removal of a smaller amount of fat will offer more natural looking outcomes and maintain optimal safety levels. If the patient’s desired outcomes can be attained by eliminating three to four pounds of fat/fluid, then there is no reason to remove 10 to 12 pounds.
Factors Impacting Fat Removal
- The area being treated
- The overall weight
- The body shape
- If the patient is undergoing any other procedures along with liposuction
It is important to remember that liposuction if not a weight loss procedure, and it is most suitable for people near their ideal weight to create body contouring outcomes that cannot be accomplished through diet and exercise. Most patients can achieve optimal results with the removal of a small amount of fat.
Risks Associated with Removing Excessive Amounts of Fat
There are various issues that may occur due to the excessive removal of fat during liposuction. It may lead to an increased risk of the development of unattractive results causing lumps or hollow dimpling of the skin. But the more important reason to avoid the removal of too much fat is that it increases the safety risks for the patient.
Liposuction is a very safe procedure. However, the risk of complications is much higher when a larger amount of fat is removed. Possible medical complications include:
- Seroma and hematoma formation
- A build-up of too much fluid that may affect breathing
- Fat embolism which occurs if a tiny amount of emulsified fat entering the bloodstream
- Poor response to anesthesia
- Dehydration-induced shock
- Blood clots
The removal of a larger amount of fat makes the procedure more extended and involved and increases the recovery time as well.
Cosmetic surgeons at Modern Body Contouring & Laser Center receive patients from Northern Virginia, Washington DC, Vienna, McLean, Loudoun, Ashburn, Tysons Corner, Reston, Arlington, Chevy Chase, Richmond, Fredericksburg, and nearby areas for liposuction. For more information on the surgical and non-surgical procedures and treatments by Board Certified Cosmetic Plastic Surgeons Dr. Reps Sundin and Dr. Burton Sundin please visit
Serving Northern Virginia, Washington DC, Vienna, McLean, Fairfax, Loudoun County, Ashburn, Tysons Corner, Reston, Arlington, Fredricksburg, Chevy Chase, Potomac, Maryland Richmond, VA and surrounding communities.