Can You Have Lipo After a Bariatric Procedure?

Post-bariatric Liposuction

Losing a massive amount of weight with the help of bariatric surgery can be life-changing. Many patients who eventually turn to procedures like the gastric sleeve, gastric bypass, and non-surgical gastric balloon have tried everything under the sun to lose weight, to no avail. Bariatric surgery helps obese patients defeat obesity to achieve their health goals.

85% of bariatric patients have goals beyond health, causing them to seek post-bariatric body contouring surgery.

Post-bariatric body contouring represents a range of procedures to improve your body image and shape goals. The most popular body contouring surgeries for post-bariatric patients include the waist/abdomen (abdominoplasty), upper arms (arm lift), chest (breast augmentation), and buttocks (butt lift), in that order.

Liposuction is a popular cosmetic surgery used for post-bariatric body contouring. Liposuction removes stubborn fat from strategic locations around the body. Lipo is used on the abdomen, arms, chest, thighs, and buttocks. It is also used on the chin, neck, and even the calves and ankles.

Despite its ability to target fat, liposuction is not considered a means for weight loss. Rather, the cosmetic procedure is used to reduce fat in targeted areas. You will lose some weight in the area where liposuction is performed, but not significantly. The goal of lipo after bariatric surgery is to slim the area down, improve muscle tone, and boost your self-esteem.

How is Liposuction Performed?

A woman in a bikini laying on the edge of a pool.
A woman in a bikini laying on the edge of a pool.

Liposuction uses a hollow suction tube to remove fatty tissue. The tube is narrow and is fitted into the targeted body part using small incisions that are not obvious. Even if the incisions heal as scars, those scars are typically hidden inside the natural folds of your body by the artistic hand of your cosmetic surgeon.

How Much is Post-Bariatric Liposuction?

According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, post-bariatric liposuction costs around $3,637 on average. However, keep in mind that’s just the basic fee for the lipo procedure. Other costs that can be added to your final bill include anesthesia fees, medical tests, surgeon’s fees, post-surgical garments, prescriptions, and the hospital or facility costs.

When Should You Schedule Post-Bariatric Liposuction?

Here’s the thing about liposuction after bariatric surgery: The cosmetic procedure is rarely used on its own after losing significant weight. That’s because the procedure does nothing to tighten the skin. Some bariatric patients can be left with a band of skin around the abdomen. Liposuction can remove the fat but does nothing about that flappy layer of skin. Many patients pair liposuction with other post-bariatric body contouring procedures like the tummy tuck, panniculectomy, and body lift.

Other Body Contouring Surgeries Popular with Bariatric Patients

A woman in a bikini standing on the beach.
A woman in a bikini standing on the beach.

The tummy tuck can be used with liposuction. These two cosmetic surgeries can remove excess fat and tighten your abdomen. This grouping of procedures is recommended for men and women who have lost weight through surgery and pregnant women after losing the pre-pregnancy weight.

A panniculectomy used with liposuction removes the band of fat that is sometimes left behind after substantial weight loss (referred to as a panniculus). The surgery leaves your abdomen flatter and more toned following massive weight loss.

Having a panniculus can cause rubbing, leading to rashes. There may be hygiene issues, as keeping the area underneath the hanging skin clean can be difficult. When the hanging band of skin is cumbersome, having a panniculus can negatively affect your quality of life. You won’t be able to exercise as easily. You may have to buy larger clothes to accommodate the added bulk. Undergoing a panniculectomy will alleviate this problem, giving you better mobility and a boost of confidence, not to mention a more attractive silhouette.

A body lift and liposuction can also be used together. These cosmetic surgeries contour your body, leading to sleeker curves.

Fees of Post-Bariatric Liposuction

You can find yourself paying a bit more when combining lipo with other cosmetic procedures. Here are the average basic fees for various post-bariatric procedures that act as terrific complements to cosmetic lipo. The cost of a tummy tuck is $6,200 on average. A panniculectomy can cost between $8,000 and $15,000, while a lower body lift costs $7,924.

While health insurance is unlikely to pay for an aesthetic procedure, medical financing is available. Companies like Prosper Healthcare Lending can help you pay for the cosmetic surgeries you want. You can then worry about how to pay for the procedures later with affordable and manageable payment terms.

What Qualifies You for Post-Bariatric Surgery?

A woman standing on a pink scale.
A woman standing on a pink scale.

Body contouring surgery after a bariatric procedure can improve your quality of life and, in some cases, your functional ability. To qualify for a body contouring surgery as a bariatric patient, you’ll need to be in good general health and have a good skin tone and a stabilized weight.

Regarding your health, bariatric surgery has not only been effective in the fight against obesity, but the various procedures can also treat comorbidities like type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and joint problems of the knees.

Losing a significant amount of weight with bariatric surgery can improve your health in more ways than one, in other words. This is good news, as sound health is important if you wish to qualify for a post-bariatric procedure.

Skin Tone after Weight Loss

With skin tone, gaining over a hundred pounds or more can cause your skin to expand to accommodate the extra bulk. When you subsequently lose that weight, your skin won’t always return to how it looked before. Your skin loses collagen and elasticity as you age and through certain events like extreme weight gain. Losing weight could leave you with saggy skin, particularly along your abdomen. To qualify for cosmetic surgery, your doctor wants to know that your skin still retains a certain level of elasticity, which makes for the most impressive cosmetic surgical results.

For stabilized weight, before you can be cleared for liposuction, your cosmetic surgeon will want to know that your weight loss has leveled off. Bariatric surgery can take one to two years before the bulk of your excess weight permanently falls off, reducing your BMI from 40 or higher to 30 or under, which is the ideal body mass index for post-bariatric body contouring.


Losing lots of weight can seem like the beginning of a brand-new life. However, when stubborn pockets of fat remain on your abdomen, legs, arms, back, or buttocks, your self-esteem can take a hit. You’ll want to request liposuction from your cosmetic surgeon to complete your weight loss journey and achieve your body shape goals.

Liposuction can give you a more even skin tone, improve your bodily curves, and cause your confidence to soar. When you feel better about your body, you’ll feel better about yourself and your position in life. You’ll be more likely to explore all that life has to offer. And life watches out when you combine other body contouring surgeries like breast augmentation, butt augmentation, or the tummy tuck with liposuction. You’re about to be a force to be reckoned with your new body and outlook on life.

Learn more about bariatric surgery and post-bariatric liposuction by contacting Healthy Life Bariatrics. Dr. Babak Moeinolmolki is the only Southern California surgeon dually trained in bariatric surgery and post-bariatric body contouring. You can achieve your health and body shape goals under one roof. Call today to schedule a consultation at (310)861-7844.

Dr. Babak Moeinolmolki
August 30, 2021
Dr. Babak Moeinolmolki
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