Are You a Poor Candidate for Liposuction?


If you have diet- and exercise-resistant fat that just won’t go away, you may be considering liposuction. And why not? It’s a great solution.

Then again, it’s not ideal for everyone. (But what is?) There are a handful of reasons that a board-certified plastic surgeon might recommend avoiding this procedure.

If you’re now wondering whether YOU’RE a poor candidate for liposuction, we’ll look at four distinct reasons you may be steered in a different direction.

What Makes a Poor Candidate for Liposuction?

For a great many patients, liposuction is a godsend. And you may well be one of those people for whom this procedure would be seriously beneficial.

But you can expect any plastic surgeon worth his or her salt to address certain issues to first ensure that it’s a good option for you. If you have any of the following, liposuction may not be advised for you:

  1. Poor Skin Elasticity/History of Scarring

Let’s face it. The younger you are, the more elastic your skin is. Generally speaking. Since liposuction involves removing fat, the skin that was over that fat needs to spring back to deliver the contoured look. Otherwise, you’ll be left with loose skin that will make the area look deflated.

In addition, if you tend to develop raised scars (known as keloid scars) easily after an injury, you may be advised against liposuction. Especially if the incision site is in an obvious place. Patients who struggle with keloid scars are often genetically predisposed to them.

  1. Excess Fat

It might seem counterintuitive that you wouldn’t be able to get liposuction if you have a lot of excess fat. The reality is, there is such an increased risk of complications from high volume liposuctions, they’re not allowed in many states. This is based on studies of post-operative liposuction patients.

In fact, the American Society of Plastic Surgeons recommends the removal of no more than five liters of fat and fluid in a procedure. Thus, your plastic surgeon may ask you to get closer to your target weight before having liposuction.

  1. BMI That’s Too High or Low

There’s so much that your body mass index (BMI) doesn’t accurately tell a plastic surgeon. This is mostly because it doesn’t differentiate between muscle mass and body fat. Even so, it still does play a baseline diagnostic role in the surgeon’s decision to perform liposuction.

Similar to patients with excess fat, those with a high BMI are also likely to experience more complications. Because of this, the vast majority of surgeons won’t operate on patients with a BMI higher than 35, with some capping off at 30.

It’s not just those with a high BMI who are poor candidates for liposuction though. If you have an unusually low BMI, you may also be strongly discouraged from the procedure. This is because liposuction areas should have a pinch thickness of at least two centimeters to lessen the risk of leaving indentations or other regularities on the skin.

  1. Certain Underlying Conditions

If you’re considering liposuction but you have a medical condition such as diabetes, high blood pressure, asthma, etc., you may not qualify for the procedure. Many medical conditions (and the medications that go along with them) can compromise healing from surgery. The surgeon will require medical clearance from your other doctors in these cases.

In addition, although it’s not a medical condition, you’ll need to disclose whether you’re a smoker or you use tobacco or other nicotine products. This is REALLY important because if you do, you’ll have a greater risk of delayed healing, scarring, necrosis, and infection. Therefore, you’ll need to quit tobacco/nicotine use at least one month before your procedure.

There Are Always Options

If you’re a poor candidate for liposuction right now, don’t despair. In some cases, you may be a good candidate in the future.

Even if you’re not though, there are a myriad of different plastic surgery avenues you and your surgeon can explore.

So contact us today to set up your free consultation. And take heart in knowing you’ll be under the absolute best care available.