Can Liposuction Take Off 6 Inches From My Waistline?

Q: Dr. Eppley, I currently weigh 255. I would like to get down to 215.  I’ve improved my eating and exercise, but I’m not seeing results.  I would like 6 inches of fat removed from my waistline to help improve the fit of my clothes and my appearance.

A: I think it is important to put liposuction into proper perspective of what it can and cannot do. It is not a weight loss method nor can it remove a specific amount of fat in inches from anyone’s waistline. In some patients it may be possible to remove that much fat but in most cases that is not a realistic goal for what liposuction can do. While I have no idea as to what you look like, your height or your body frame, I do know you are a male who likely has a rounder more rotund belly. Much of men’s abdominal fat is not extraperitoneal (between the skin and the abdominal muscles) where it can be safely accessed and treated by liposuction. Most male abdominal fat is intraperitoneal, around the internal organs, behind the abdominal muscles and inaccessible to liposuction. There are two simple tests to tell where your abdominal fat is located. Is your belly hard or soft? (feel like a watermelon or like a firm pillow)  How much skin can you pinch between your fingers? (an inch or two or a whole handful) A soft belly in which one can grab a whole handful of tissue means that liposuction can make for a productive result.

The real question is whether liposuction can and should be done now or wait until you have lost more weight. (I know this is why you are asking for liposuction because the weight is not budging but there are other non-surgical means to pursue if needed) That is going to require an actual physical examination for me to see and discuss whether liposuction has a useful role in your abdominal contouring objectives.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana