Why is liposuction done?

The battle of the bulge. Sometimes, no matter how hard you fight, the bulge has a tougher army. The fact is that certain people have fat cells that will not shrink, despite diet and exercise. If you have a few extra pounds that simply won't come off, liposuction may be an option to remove small bulges that won't budge and to improve your body's shape. The areas most commonly treated include the hips, abdomen, thighs, and buttocks. Liposuction does not remove cellulite, only fat.

Who is a good candidate for liposuction?

A good candidate for liposuction should have realistic expectations about the results of this procedure, as well as these basic qualities:

  • Average or slightly above-average weight
  • Firm, elastic skin
  • Good overall health
  • Concentrated pockets of fat that do not respond well to diet and exercise

Patients with poor skin quality (cellulite) are not good candidates for liposuction, as they may develop skin irregularities from under- or overcorrection of localized fat deposits. Age is usually not a major consideration when discussing liposuction; however, older patients often have less elasticity in their skin and thus may not get the same benefits from liposuction that a younger patient with tighter skin might.

Who can perform liposuction?

If you're considering liposuction, look for a board-certified plastic surgeon with specialized training and a great deal of experience performing liposuction. Consider going to a plastic surgeon who is affiliated with a major medical center. Ask your plastic surgeon about credentials, training, and how many liposuction procedures he or she has performed.

Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 09/02/2016.


  • American Society of Plastic Surgeons. Liposuction. Accessed 9/6/2016.
  • American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery. Liposuction. Accessed 9/6/2016.
  • Vasconez HC, Habash A. Chapter 41. Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery. In: Doherty GM, ed. CURRENT Diagnosis & Treatment: Surgery. 13th ed. New York: McGraw-Hill; 2010. Accessed 9/6/2016.

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