Skip to main content
Douglas A. Taranow, DO, FACOS

New York, NY


Posted September 13, 2018 in Liposuction

Most people know that liposuction involves removing excess fat from the body. However, they may not truly understand what liposuction is and is not intended to do, or who it is intended for. Consequently, many people mistakenly come to think of liposuction as a miracle solution to obesity or an easy alternative to diet and exercise.                          img-blog-cosmetic liposuction surgery in actual operating room

In actuality, significant weight loss is not what liposuction is about, nor is it what it’s intended to be used for. Let’s take a closer look at the facts about liposuction to help determine if it is an ideal solution for your concerns and for helping you reach your cosmetic goals.

What Is Liposuction Meant to Do?

Liposuction is a reliable, relatively safe way to remove unwanted fat deposits from the body. However, it is best used for contouring purposes, not actual weight loss. For instance, liposuction is an excellent method for removing stubborn, localized fat deposits that will not disappear even after you have made an effort to change your lifestyle and lose weight. The reasons for the accumulation of such fat deposits are usually genetic in nature, as opposed to lifestyle-related.

Areas of the body commonly targeted with liposuction include the:

  • Arms
  • Sides of the breasts
  • Abdomen
  • Flanks
  • Back
  • Hips
  • Buttocks
  • Thighs
  • Calves
  • Ankles


Some people also choose to undergo this procedure as a means to contour their facial structure by removing fat from the cheeks, chin, or neck.

Quite a few people opt for liposuction as a standalone treatment, but it can also be performed in conjunction with tummy tuck surgery, breast reductions, or Ultherapy® to help fine-tune the results of these procedures.

Why Liposuction Will Not Help You Lose Weight

First of all, liposuction will not help you address the reasons you gained the weight in the first place. It is definitely not a magic solution for weight loss, and people who undergo liposuction for weight loss reasons often end up disappointed in their results. The vast majority of those patients also wind up gaining the weight back if they do not make the recommended changes to their diet and lifestyle. While liposuction can permanently remove fat cells, the body will start to store fat in other areas if a healthy lifestyle is not maintained. This is especially harmful when visceral fat deposits (around the organs) begin to accumulate. An excessive amount of visceral fat can lead to health concerns like heart disease and diabetes.

Diet and lifestyle overhauls are the only way to lose a significant amount of weight and keep it off. While the results will be more gradual, they are far more likely to last and produce the outcome you desire.

Liposuction for Weight Loss Is Not Just a Bad Idea; It Can Be Dangerous

Death or major complications from liposuction are very rare, but they do happen, and the likelihood of such complications increases with the amount of fat removed. The potential complications associated with liposuction include:

  • Excessive blood or fluid loss, which can lead to shock
  • Pulmonary edema (excess fluid in the lungs)
  • Fat or blood clots, which can travel to the lungs
  • Toxic reactions to the injected solution (lidocaine)

Obese patients and those who suffer from related issues (such as heart disease, diabetes, or hypertension) have an even higher risk of experiencing complications following surgery.

Liposuction is not recommended for individuals with a BMI (body mass index) of 39 or higher. It is also not recommended for anyone with heart issues or any other serious health problems. You should consult with an experienced plastic surgeon for an honest answer about whether liposuction is right for you.

To determine if you qualify for liposuction, call (212) 772-2100 to set up your one-on-one consultation with board-certified surgeon Dr. Douglas A. Taranow today.