Alongside other popular questions such as what makes someone an ideal candidate for liposuction, or how much the procedure costs, queries about how much fat liposuction can remove are also very common. The answers to most of these questions can never be universal since most of those parameters vary too much from patient to patient. However, there is a definite limit set on the maximum amount of fat which a surgeon can remove in one session of the procedure.
What is the Maximum Amount of Fat Which Can be Removed in One Session?
The maximum threshold for fat removal is 6 – 8 pounds, or 2.72 – 3.62 liters per session. Any more than that cannot be safely and/or legally removed from a patient’s body through liposuction in a single session. There are, however, a few additional factors which must be mentioned:
- These limits are applicable in the United States, but the thresholds can be slightly higher/lower in other nations
- Your exact limits for maximum fat removal will vary depending on your goals, and the discretion of your surgeon
- The surgeon’s discretion will depend on your body’s present condition, age, fat percentage, medical history, current weight, target region(s), and needs of the procedure itself, among other factors
- The amount will likely be adjusted and readjusted following one or more session(s)
The surgeon should ideally try to keep the procedure as safe as possible by staying well below the threshold.
How Noticeable are the Fat Loss Effects of Liposuction?
Although liposuction is by no means a weight loss procedure, it can and will reduce your weight after each successful session. However, the weight loss effects produced with liposuction are always more aesthetically appealing, as compared to losing an equal amount of bodyweight through exercise and diet control. This is due to three primary reasons, as explained next:
- Every pound you lose after a session is a pound of pure fat, drained from an area which will benefit the most by losing that pound of fat
- It is impossible to lose pure fat and nothing else through exercise and diet control
- No exercise regimen or diet control routine can induce targeted fat loss
Can Liposuction Replace the Need for Exercise and Lifestyle Control?
It should be duly noted that liposuction is not a procedure that can replace exercise and diet control in any capacity. On the contrary, it is necessary to maintain a healthy lifestyle and an adequate fitness routine if you wish to keep fat from coming back to those problem areas again. Liposuction should be considered as a supplemental procedure instead, which helps maximize your efforts towards sculpting/maintaining a healthier and more aesthetically appealing physique/figure.
For example, even someone who has a healthy lifestyle and a strong gym routine will often find it difficult to make their abdominal muscles properly visible, despite maintaining a low body fat percentage. Liposuction sessions can suck out the stubborn, hard, subcutaneous layers of fat from the problem areas. This would allow the individual’s developed rectus abdominis to show through their skin naturally, whereas it was hidden underneath the fat previously.
On the other hand, older women may find it difficult, if not completely impossible to lose fat from under and behind their arms. This is often the result of an unfortunate reality, which is the fact that as we get older, we continue to lose muscle mass and gain more weight back in fat. It is possible to remove the stubborn fat either completely or partially with liposuction.
Liposuction is Not a Form of Bariatric Surgery
There are multiple different variants of the three primary FDA-approved bariatric surgeries (gastric sleeve, gastric bypass and adjustable gastric band insertion), but liposuction is not one of them. As previously explained, it can aid in weight loss through fat removal, but losing weight should not be the main focus of any liposuction procedure. As it happens, liposuction is not generally recommended for someone whose weight is high enough to make them cross their ideal BMI range by 30% or more.
Therefore, if bariatric surgery has been recommended by a physician, the individual will, in most cases, not qualify for liposuction. There are also other factors which can eliminate the option of liposuction as well. A few examples would be having very loose skin (high chance of excessive cellulite formation), diabetes, heart disease, decreased/abnormal blood circulation, HIV, cancer or any other factor that has or can immunocompromise the individual.
Where Can Liposuction Remove the Maximum Amount of Fat From?
Liposuction can technically remove fat from most sections of the human body, but maximum fat can potentially be removed from the upper back region. After that, it is usually the lower back region (waist, flanks, posterior and frontal abdominals), the thighs and the buttocks. Keep in mind that depending on the individual’s requirements, more fat might be removed from one’s cheeks than their upper back or buttocks. Liposuction is conducted for achieving aesthetic results, so the quantity of fat removal is never the priority.
Many believe that the effects of liposuction are always instantaneous, and they are not entirely wrong in their assumption either. All removable fat (as much as possible) is sucked out from the target areas as soon as the procedure is over, but you will still need to wait for 1 – 3 months for the postoperative inflammation to disappear completely. How fast someone recovers from their postoperative swelling depends on the liposuction technique used, as well as their own age and physical condition.