Can Obese People Get Liposuction? A Guide to Weightloss Surgery

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Liposuction is a popular cosmetic procedure that involves the removal of excess fat from the body. But can obese people get liposuction? In this article, we’ll explore the factors that determine if an obese person is a good candidate for liposuction as well as the risks and benefits of the procedure.

Factors that Determine if an Obese Person Is a Good Candidate for Liposuction

checking the bmi

Body Mass Index (BMI)

One of the first things a surgeon will consider when determining if a person is a good candidate for liposuction is their BMI. If a patient has a BMI of 30 or higher, it’s an indication of obesity. 

However, if their BMI is 35 or higher, the risk of complications from liposuction may increase. That’s why surgeons may recommend patients lose weight before the procedure to lower the risks.

Health Status

Obese patients with underlying health conditions like diabetes or heart disease may not be suitable candidates for liposuction. It’s vital to let your surgeon know your medical history and current medications so that they can determine if it’s safe for you to undergo the procedure.

Skin Elasticity

Obese patients may have less skin elasticity than non-obese patients, and that can affect the results of liposuction. In such cases, surgeons may suggest other procedures, like a tummy tuck, to remove excess skin and improve the appearance of the treated area.


It’s essential to have realistic expectations for the results of liposuction. It can remove excess fat, but it’s not a weight-loss procedure. Obese patients should be prepared to follow a healthy diet and exercise routine after the procedure to maintain their results.

Mental Health

Good mental health is necessary before undergoing liposuction. Patients with a history of body dysmorphia or other mental health conditions may not be suitable candidates for the procedure. That’s why patients should discuss their mental health with their surgeon before the procedure to ensure that they are in the right mindset.

Preparing for Liposuction as an Obese Patient

preparing for lipo suction

Pre-operative preparation is essential for obese patients undergoing liposuction. Patients should follow the surgeon’s instructions carefully to ensure a safe and successful procedure. Patients may be required to stop taking certain medications or supplements before the procedure, such as blood thinners or herbal supplements that can increase the risk of bleeding.

Patients may also be required to undergo specific medical tests, such as blood work or an electrocardiogram (ECG), to ensure they are healthy enough for the procedure.

Obese patients should also make lifestyle changes before the procedure to reduce the risk of complications. These changes may include quitting smoking, reducing alcohol intake, and adopting a healthy diet and exercise regimen. 

Obese patients should also arrange for transportation to and from the surgical facility, as they may not be able to drive themselves home after the procedure.

The Liposuction Procedure for Obese Patients

Liposuction is a cosmetic procedure designed to remove excess fat from specific areas of the body. It involves using a cannula or a thin tube to suction out fat cells. However, liposuction is not a weight-loss method and should not be considered a solution for obesity. 

Obese patients may have more complications during and after the procedure, which is why liposuction is generally not recommended for them.

However, in some cases, liposuction can be used as a tool to help obese patients kick-start their weight loss journey. It can be performed on specific areas of the body to improve mobility, reduce discomfort, and enhance the overall quality of life. This type of liposuction is known as “large-volume liposuction” or “mega liposuction.”

Large-volume liposuction can remove up to 10 liters of fat in a single session, making it a suitable option for obese patients. The procedure is typically performed under general anesthesia and can take several hours to complete. During the procedure, the surgeon will make small incisions in the targeted areas and insert the cannula to suction out the excess fat.

Recovery from large-volume liposuction can be more challenging than traditional liposuction. Patients may experience more swelling and discomfort and may need to wear compression garments for an extended period to reduce swelling and promote healing. 

Additionally, patients will need to follow a strict diet and exercise regimen to maintain their weight loss and prevent the fat from returning.

The Risks and Complications of Liposuction

Like any surgical procedure, liposuction carries risks and potential complications. Some of the most common risks associated with liposuction include:

  • Infection: Infection can occur after any surgery, and liposuction is no exception. Patients should watch for signs of infection, such as fever, chills, and redness or swelling at the incision sites.
  • Hematoma: A hematoma is a collection of blood that forms under the skin, causing swelling and pain. Hematomas can occur after liposuction and may require additional treatment to resolve.
  • Numbness: Numbness in the treated area is a common side effect of liposuction. In most cases, the numbness will subside within a few weeks or months, but it may be permanent in some cases.
  • Seroma: A seroma is a collection of fluid that forms under the skin after liposuction. Like hematomas, seromas can cause swelling and discomfort and may require additional treatment.
  • Skin Irregularities: Liposuction can cause uneven or bumpy skin in the treated area, especially if too much fat is removed. This can be corrected with additional surgery or other treatments.
  • Anesthesia Complications: As with any surgery, there is a risk of complications related to anesthesia, such as allergic reactions or breathing difficulties.

Can Obese People Get Liposuction? Wrapping Up

So, can obese people get liposuction? Liposuction can be a safe and effective way to remove excess fat from specific areas of the body. However, it’s important to remember that liposuction isn’t a weight-loss solution and shouldn’t be used as a substitute for a healthy diet and exercise.

Before undergoing liposuction, patients should have a consultation with their surgeon to discuss the potential risks and benefits of the procedure and to determine if they are a good candidate. With proper care and follow-up, liposuction can provide long-lasting results and improved quality of life.

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