Medically reviewed by Dr. John Rosdeutscher – Written by Sine Thieme
Men and women have slight differences when it comes to fat. That is why liposuction for men vs women is not exactly the same. Whether you are a good candidate for liposuction for men depends on slightly different factors than it does for women.
Read on to learn more about how to find out if you’re a good male liposuction candidate.
Visceral vs Subcutaneous Fat
Visceral fat is located deep behind the abdominal wall, behind the muscles that we so admire in a six-pack. This fat is located too deep inside to respond to liposuction. Subcutaneous fat, on the other hand, is stored directly beneath the skin and responds well to liposuction. Unfortunately, men tend to have higher proportions of visceral fat than women. When we speak of a “beer belly,” what we describe is often an accumulation of visceral fat.
Whether you are a candidate for male liposuction will mostly depend on whether you have more visceral or subcutaneous fat. The best way to find out is to schedule a consultation with a plastic surgeon, so that he or she can determine whether most of your fat is visceral or subcutaneous.
To test this before you schedule a consultation, there are a few tricks. Visceral fat tends to be very firm to touch. A good way to find out if you have visceral fat is to stand up straight, then see if you can grab a hold of the “bulge.” If it is firm, it is impossible to grab. Some men will have deep abdominal fat in the upper abdomen, and subcutaneous fat in the lower part – in this case, liposuction can be performed on the lower part, which will make a difference in pant size even if it doesn’t address all areas.
Other Factors for Male Lipo Candidates
Besides checking for visceral fat, these additional factors will determine whether you are a good liposuction candidate:
Is Your BMI Under 30?
Contrary to common belief, liposuction is not a cure for weight loss. It is not the extra weight that should prompt you to seek out liposuction, but rather the extra inches around your waistline or chest, or perhaps a jowly neck.
However, most medical procedures do require the patient to be in decent shape. Otherwise, a plastic surgeon may not want to treat the patient for fear of higher risk during surgery. Therefore, starting with your Body Mass Index (BMI) can tell you whether you qualify for liposuction. Even though it’s not a perfect measurement, your BMI is a good starting point. It can easily be calculated (approximately) using your weight and height. The closer you are to your target weight, the better you will qualify for male liposuction.
Use our BMI calculator to calculate your BMI, then use the following chart to see your options:
|BMI < 30||BMI 30-40||BMI > 40|
|Good candidate for liposuction; add on skin tightening for improved results.||May qualify, but may see better results with a tummy tuck, or by first achieving target weight with the Orbera gastric balloon.||Not an ideal candidate; advised to reduce BMI by enrolling in a weight loss program. Call us for a pre-screening if you are borderline.|
Do You Have Realistic Expectations?
It sounds like a given, but having realistic expectations is one of the most important indicators whether you are a good candidate for any kind of plastic surgery.
For instance, removing an enormous amount of fat is not realistic. If you wish to remove more than 5,000 cc (5 liters) of fat, you are aiming too high and should consider other alternatives first to get to your target weight. The American Society of Plastic Surgeons recommends that liposuction does not exceed 5 liters, as the complication rates for such “high volume liposuctions” are too high.
These recommendations are based on in-depth studies of post-operative liposuction patients. Even if your particular state or cosmetic surgeon does not have a limit, you would be well advised to adhere by the ASPS recommendation.
There are other options that can help you get closer to your target weight, like the Orbera Gastric Balloon.
Are You Medically Cleared for Surgery?
Even if a patient passes all the above tests and considers themself otherwise healthy, they may still have an underlying condition that disqualifies them. This is a topic that will be addressed with your cosmetic surgeon during a consultation. He or she will go over your health history and current medications with you. If there are questions or concerns, they may recommend a physical examination from your primary physician before cosmetic surgery. Asthma, diabetes, and high blood pressure are some of the typical warning flags.
Other conditions you will be asked to disclose are smoking (past or present), other use of tobacco or nicotine products, and long-term use of any kind of heart medication – especially blood thinners. Smokers have a greater risk of infection and other surgical complications. In the case of a heart condition, you will typically need to supply a letter from your cardiologist to clear you for the cosmetic surgery, as well as instructions when to stop taking your blood thinners prior to surgery.
What Is Your Skin Elasticity?
Much like it is important to know if you have visceral or subcutaneous fat, how elastic your skin is will also determine how well your are suited for liposuction. Older patients – women or men – tend to have less skin elasticity, since the collagen in our skin is finite and won’t reproduce like it did in our youth. However, men tend to retain their skin elasticity longer, since they don’t have to deal with the effects of pregnancy and childbirth. Unless you have undergone extreme weight loss, you likely won’t have a large amount of excess skin.
If you do have excess skin with diminished elasticity, your skin won’t shrink back after the fat is gone. This means that your skin will have nowhere to go, leaving you with unsightly flabs. It doesn’t rule out liposuction, but you won’t be happy with the results.
The good news is that there are ways to shrink your skin that are easily combined with liposuction. Simply add non-surgical skin tightening to your liposuction for men procedure. It is also an excellent add-on used in male breast reductions. It is a great alternative to surgical procedures like tummy tucks, thigh lifts, and arm lifts, using radio frequency assisted lipolysis (RFAL) to apply controlled heat to underlying tissue and thereby tighten the skin.
Are You the Right Age for Liposuction?
The great thing about liposuction is that there is best liposuction age for patients who have a healthy lifestyle, are within a safe BMI range, and are medically cleared for surgery. Most surgeons will require that patients considering liposuction are at least 18 years old, but other than that, a man any age is eligible.
Again, if you are substantially above your target weight, you should consider other ways to bring it down first. If you undergo gastric balloon therapy, you are advised to weight a year from the placement of the balloon before considering another cosmetic procedure.
We hope that we’ve given you a better understanding about liposuction for men candidates. Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any other questions.