How Much Weight Can You Lose With Liposuction? Your Lipo Questions, Answered

A group of women with different body types in bra (model)

When you are in the early stages of considering surgical fat reduction, it’s normal to have questions about how much weight you can lose with liposuction, what the recovery process is like, and more. To help you understand whether the procedure is right for you and what to expect during the experience, I’m answering a few questions I commonly hear from prospective liposuction patients.

Read on to learn more about timing your procedure, how long you’ll be away from work, the long-term results you can expect, and more.

Is Liposuction Good for Weight Loss?

Liposuction is not recommended as a weight loss procedure. Like other body contouring treatments, it works best as a complement to a healthy lifestyle and a way to reduce stubborn pockets of fat that won’t go away with diet and exercise. Before having liposuction, you should be at a stable weight at or near your goal.

How Much Weight Can Liposuction Remove?

Current guidelines from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons recommend removing less than 5,000 milliliters (about 11 pounds) of fat during a single liposuction surgery. However, these guidelines may evolve as there is some evidence that it may be safe to remove more fat from people with a higher BMI.

Is Liposuction Painful?

The liposuction procedure itself is not painful as you are under general anesthesia and unaware of anything happening. During initial recovery, it is normal to feel some soreness in your treated areas. Your surgeon will likely prescribe pain medication to manage this discomfort. Many people can comfortably switch to an over-the-counter painkiller within a few days.

How Soon Should I Get Liposuction Before My Wedding or Big Event?

It’s best to give yourself about 6 months to recover from liposuction before your big day. While most post-surgical swelling subsides in the first month or 2, you may have some residual swelling for a bit longer. By 6 months, most people are completely healed and ready to enjoy their results.

How Much Time Will I Need Off Work for Liposuction?

Most people need about a week away from work after liposuction. During the first few days of recovery, you’ll feel tired, groggy, sore, and not quite up to your usual activity levels. After a week or so, you’ll likely feel more like your normal self and ready to return to desk work. If your job is physically strenuous, however, you may need 2 to 3 weeks away.

Can Fat Come Back After Liposuction?

Once fat cells are removed via liposuction, they are gone for good. Unlike weight loss, which shrinks fat cells, liposuction removes these cells entirely. That means if you do gain weight in the future, it will be distributed more evenly across your body rather than collecting in the same trouble spots. Fat cells do not grow back, so as long as you maintain a stable weight and healthy lifestyle, your results will last indefinitely.

To see examples of the types of results you can expect from liposuction, please visit my before-and-after photo gallery.

If you would like to learn more about your body contouring options, please request a consultation online or call (718) 720-9400 to set up a private liposuction consultation at my Staten Island, NY, office.

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