Should you lose weight before getting liposuction?

A lot of people I see in consultation who are interested in getting liposuction are in the process of losing a few pounds and wonder if they should lose their weight prior to getting liposuction.

Usually, these people hover around a relatively steady weight, but, like many of us, fluctuate by a few pounds here or there.  They are often 5-10 pounds heavier than they want to be.

If this is the case, I recommend getting liposuction while you are slightly over your usual weight.  The main reason is that when you are heavier, your fat cells swell and are, theoretically, easier to target.  They are easier to remove.

Conversely, if you are below your usual weight, your fat cells are smaller than usual and harder to target.

This is not the advice I give people who have recently gained a lot of weight and are very much heavier than their usual weight.  For prospective liposuction candidates who have recently gained a lot of weight, I advise them to get closer to their usual weight before considering liposuction.

As a reminder, liposuction is not an effective method for weight loss.  It is a way to contour and shape your body.  You may benefit from liposuction of a targeted area, like the neck, if you are overweight to reshape an area, but it is not practical to rely on liposuction for weight loss.  If you are overweight, it is best to get to your ideal weight via other methods like diet and exercise, or weight loss procedures such as the Lap-Band.

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Meet the Doctor

Lawrence Osman, MD

Lawrence Osman, M.D. is a board-certified dermatologist and liposuction surgeon in Los Angeles specializing in minimally invasive techniques such as liposuction using local anesthesia. He has offices in the Los Angeles area in both Northridge and Calabasas. Visit to learn more.

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