I want to have Liposuction on my love handles, but I have been fat most of my life. I am scared to waste my money with little or no results from Lipo on my flanks. This will be in conjunction with a tummy tuck. What will happen if my skin doesn't tighten after the procedure?
What Will Happen if Skin Doesn't Tighten After Lipo on Flanks?
Doctor Answers (4)
The flank usually has a good ability to tighten. Of course, there are times in which the skin is so thin and stretched that it will be loose enough to bother a patient after flank liposuction ---though it is far less frequently a problem in the flank than in other areas.
But since you are doing a tummy tuck anyhow, you have an easy solution: just continue the tummy tuck incision as far laterally as necessary. Patients often pressure their surgeons to limit the width of the scar, but to do so substantially sacrifices the ultimate contour the surgeon may have been able to achieve. More specificallyf or you, going wider with the scar allows tightening of the flanks.
So, discuss with the surgeon how wide they are planning on going, and whether extending the scar a few inches wider on each side makes sense for you. Try sitting down in a chair naked in front of a mirror. How far does the laxity and overhanging skin wrap around you? You will only get improvement as wide as you let the scar go...
I agree with answer number one!
This is the way you should think of this problem. Discuss this with your surgeon and if it sounds to good to be true, then it is!
Lack of skin tightening after flank liposuction
Without looking at pictures, it's hard to know with certainty how much skin retraction you will experience after liposuction of the flanks. In some patients, the flank skin can experience a significant amount of retraction after liposuction alone. Depending on how overweight you are, and the quality and elasticity of your skin, you may not experience complete skin retraction and may be left with some redundant skin. Should that happen, you may require conversion of your abdominoplasty to a belt lipectomy, or circumferential abdominoplasty, in which an incision is made entirely around your trunk. This will allow removal of the redundant skin of your flanks, as well as provide a lift of the outer thighs and buttocks. Again, it's possible that you may need to start off with this procedure, but it's difficult to ascertain without seeing your photos.
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Skin Shrinking after Liposuction
Think of Liposuction as removing potatoes from a sack of potatoes. The "sack" of skin remains excessive and may sag or droop because of the lack of elasticity. Liposuction is actually only a volume reducing technique. Some of the adjuncts such as ultrasonic and laser energy can enhance the shrinkage of skin by stimulating collagen in the deep dermis. There is a new technique for reducing love handles non-invasively with a cold laser and I do have a few non invasive topical treatments for subtle enhancement of skin elasticity and snap back, however, if this is not sufficient, then you may have to consider a surgical resection of the loose skin as a last resort.
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.