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How Can I Minimize Sagging Skin After Liposuction?

I had Liposuction done on the rolls of my upper back area 2 months ago. I already see sagging skin appearing on the area. I still wear my garments. Will massaging the area help, and if yes, when can I start? What else may be done at this point? Will the sagging skin disappear after 6 months or so? Thanks.

Doctor Answers 15

Back Sagging Skin Will Improve With Time- BE PATIENT

Sagging skin of the back 2 months after liposuction is not that unusual since the skin will start to tighten usually the 3rd-6th months. It may be too soon to see tightening yet but it will happen with time. Massaging is usually started after 1-2 weeks and continued for a couple of months so get started massaging the area and don't worry so much about the sagging at this time. Endermologie is a good procedure to start now to help the skin tighten since it gets rid of excess fluid that contributes to sagging.

David Hansen,MD

Beverly Hills Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 31 reviews

Improving sagging post liposuction surgery

Based on the information you provided, it is difficult to assess or diagnose your case. Depending on the quality of the skin, it may bounce back. However, at this point in time of your recovery, there should not be any sagging. You may want to consult with a board certified plastic surgeon to determine what the outcome may be after having the procedure done or what may be done to improve the sagginess. I recommend patients to wear a compression garment for 1 month to help minimize swelling and help in the healing process. Final results of liposuction may be seen 6-8 months after surgery. Make sure to maintain diet and exercise to preven any unwanted weight gain. Take care!

Be patient and compliant with your doctor.

Sagging of the back skin is not uncommon at 2 months. Hopefully your skin has enough elasticity to improve over the 4-6 months after surgery before your final result. I do not agree that massage or endodermologie does not help. We have found that local suction massage does help reduce the the swelling and improves results faster.
Continue your diet and exercise. Consider massage if your doctor has it available. If your doctor correctly evaluated your skin, your results should improve.

David A. Dreyfuss, MD
Orland Park Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 3 reviews

Skin after liposuction needs time to tighten, and Thermage may also help

Most people have to wait about 6 months after liposuction to adequately assess the degree of improvement in both contour and skin changes.  If you want more tightening after that time, you may want to consider Thermage, a non-surgical tissue tightening device. 

Lawrence A. Osman, MD
Los Angeles Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 4 reviews

It is essential to use a compression garment after liposuction

Liposuction is a safe, popular, and effective way to contour the body. To optimize the result that the patient will get, in our practice we provide every patient with a special compression garment that will tightly apply pressure to the areas that have been treated. This will allow the areas to heal and as smooth a fashion as possible. Without a garment designed for the area of treatment, you run the risk of healing improperly.

Pat Pazmino, MD
Miami Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 67 reviews

May not be possible

The back area (under the bra roll) is the one of the most troublesome areas for many patients - like some others have said, the skin here is very thick and there are other contributing factors to the sagging. Liposuction will help thin the area out, but it is probably unrealistic to expect that you will have no skin redundancy after surgery. Things will usually change for up to 4 months, but not much beyond this. Furthermore, massage may be beneficial for hard spots / lumps, but really won't help tighten the sagging skin.

Vishal Kapoor, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

Massage will not help.

You will not see the final result for another 2 or 3 months. But it may be that you have true sagging skin in your back rolls. The effective treatment for this is to cut the excess skin out, but the scars can be pretty bad.

George J. Beraka, MD (retired)
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

Too soon to tell

You won't really know what your final result is from liposuction until 4-6 months have passed. So continue with your present regimen, watch your diet and perform regular exercise. The best results from liposuction are in those people who take what the surgery has done for them and magnify the result with some further weight loss from diet and exercise now that their "problem areas" have been addresses.

Unfortunately, some surgeons are not as selective about patients for liposuction as they might be. If you had too much extra skin to ever shrink away after liposuction, you will still see rolls and folds after 6 months.

It is best to be realistic with patients about expectations BEFORE surgery but once in a while, you just can't tell until you do the procedure how they will shrink.

Upper back rolls not only due to fat

Upper back rolls are usual dynamic. That is, it can be a result of changes in position of the soft tissue and not so much purely excess fat. There are normal ligaments that cause creases when the arms are down. When the ares are up, the rolls may disappear. If you had liposuction for a situation that has to do with the dynamic movement of the soft tissues, you might have residual rolls especially if the ligaments were not released to obliterate the creasing effect.

Check with your surgeon if this is the case or if you have residual edema that will improve with time.

Robin T.W. Yuan, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 10 reviews

Swelling can persist for 4-6 months.

It’s not unusual for patients to see significant changes in their bodies for up to six months following liposuction.This occurs for a variety of reasons, including resolution of swelling, the wound-healing process and skin contraction.For this reason, it’s always difficult to make aesthetic judgments for at least four to six months following this type of procedure.

In patients who had relatively good skin tone prior to surgery, continued compression, massage, exercise and a healthy diet are helpful.When these approaches are utilized, the skin tends to snap back nicely.

Unfortunately, when loose skin was present pre-operatively, this may not always be helpful.Under these circumstances, secondary procedures that involve skin resections may be necessary.

It’s important that you maintain close communication with your plastic surgeon.Your surgeon should be able to formulate a treatment plan that addresses your concerns.

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.