How Do You Know How Much Fat To Remove By Liposuction?

Q: Dr. Eppley, How is fat accurately determined and measured before suctioning it out by liposuction. I haven’t read anything about how body fat is measured to accurately determine how much might be safely suctioned out from each target area. How do doctors concretely know how much of fat to remove so the patient gets the best result and is even on both sides?

A: The reason you can’t find anything on this aspect of liposuction is because it does not exist. There is no way to know beforehand  how much fat to remove from any area. That is and will likely always remain the ‘artistic’ side of liposuction. It is based on the surgeon’s experience and artistry to do the fat removal. The amount of liposuction aspirate is measured as it is removed and that does help in establishing some symmetry by taking equal amounts from any body area that is bilaterally treated…but this assumes that there is good symmetry beforehand which often is not the case. Thus liposuction remains an inexact surgical procedure and also explains the highly variable results seen in liposuction patients in general.

Dr. Barry Eppley