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What Is High-BMI Liposuction?


High-BMI liposuction (also known as high-volume lipo, hourglass lipo, or plus-size liposuction) is a plus-size plastic surgery procedure performed on patients who require a greater-than-average amount of fat removal in order to effectively contour their bodies. In this case, “plus-size” is defined by BMI, and references women and men who are in the “overweight” or “obese” BMI categories. “Large-volume” generally means 5L or more, but it varies based on an individual’s needs. It is sometimes referred to as “mega liposuction,” “extreme liposuction” or “aggressive liposuction”; however, our doctors do not use these terms as they do not perform surgeries that are risky or unsafe, as these terms imply.


How do I know if I qualify for High-BMI liposuction?

Dr. Abboushi and Dr. Singh founded Panacea based on their belief that “Every body deserves respect™;” this means they tailor every surgery to each patient’s individual needs. No two bodies are alike, and no two surgeries are alike. The most important qualification for high-BMI lipo is overall excellent health and medical clearance from your primary care physician to undergo surgery. When you schedule an initial consultation with our doctors, they will speak with you about any qualifications specific to you based on your health and surgical goals.



Is there a BMI limit for high-BMI liposuction?

There is no set BMI limit for large-volume lipo at our practice. When you schedule your initial consultation with our doctors, you will be assessed holistically as a unique individual. BMI is a part of the overall assessment, but there is no magic number that automatically disqualifies patients from undergoing plus-sized liposuction.  


Is High-BMI lipo safe?

High-BMI liposuction is safe for patients who qualify, as they have already received medical clearance from their primary care physician to undergo surgery prior to the procedure’s performance. 


What are the benefits of liposuction for plus-sized individuals?

Most of our patients come to us for large-volume lipo because they want to contour specific areas of their body, such as their stomach, flanks, back and thighs. However, plus-size liposuction can have other benefits that directly and positively affect patients’ overall health and wellness. In fact, studies have shown that plus-size liposuction can result in pulse rate reductions, decreases in systolic blood pressure, and improvements in blood glucose levels. For some, plus-size liposuction is an investment that can affect both their self-confidence and their health. 



Is High-BMI liposuction the same as Lipo360?

Lipo 360 is a type of circumferential liposuction that addresses the entire midsection — 360 degrees — in order to remove excess fat from the stomach, hips, flanks (waist) and back. While high-BMI liposuction can be a 360 degree procedure, not all Lipo 360 procedures are high-volume in nature. This is because anyone with any amount of excess fat they wish to remove — even if it’s as little as 1/2 a liter — and is healthy enough for surgery, may opt for Lipo 360. Large-volume liposuction, on the other hand, always means that the amount of fat removed is greater than 5L.


Can high-BMI lipo help me lose weight?

Plus-size lipo is not a substitute for weight loss; it is considered a “contouring” procedure to help smooth and shape the body. However, fat cells that are removed cannot regenerate and new fat cells cannot “grow” in their place, making it more difficult to gain weight in the future in areas where fat has been removed. It’s important to keep in mind, however, that the remaining fat cells can expand. So, while weight gain is less likely within areas where liposuction has been performed, gaining weight after liposuction, especially in surrounding areas, is still quite possible when a healthy lifestyle isn’t maintained.


How long does it take to recover from plus-size liposuction?

All high-BMI liposuction is performed at one of our partner hospitals under general anesthesia. Our doctors will discuss specifics with you prior to your surgical date, but most patients are able to go home the same day, and we generally recommend taking one to two weeks off of work post-surgery. The amount of time varies depending on the area or areas being treated, and the volume of fat removed. Most patients will need to refrain from strenuous activity and exercise for about four weeks. After six weeks, the majority of swelling and bruising will have generally subsided, at which point liposuction results then become more fully visible. 



Is large-volume lipo better than a plus-size tummy tuck?

High-volume lipo and plus-size tummy tucks are very different procedures. One is not better or worse than the other; instead, they are considered complementary procedures. Most patients — standard or plus-size — see the most dramatic results when they choose to undergo both. This is because liposuction can remove fat, but it will not tighten loose skin. Conversely, plus-size tummy tucks and extended abdominoplasties cannot remove fat, and only address excess skin while tightening abdominal muscles. At your consultation, Dr. Abboushi or Dr. Singh will speak with you about your goals and then work with you to find the best option for your needs.


How do I know if plus-size liposuction is right for me?

The only way to know if large-volume lipo is right for you is to schedule a consultation with our board-certified plastic surgeons. They have created a boutique, body-positive plastic surgery practice in Atlanta that empowers patients by giving them everything they need to make informed decisions about their health and wellness. Our goal is to ensure every patient is comfortable from their first visit to their final follow-up.

* All information subject to change. Images may contain models. Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary.