4 Guidelines to Achieve Natural-Looking Results from Liposuction


Liposuction is a cosmetic procedure to remove superficial fat—or fat close to the skin—using suction.  During surgery, a blunt-tipped probe is inserted through small round incisions in the skin to suction out the excess fatty tissue responsible for the unsightly “bulges” and “rolls.”

But removing fat from the body is not the only objective of liposuction.  Perhaps a more important goal is to create natural results in which there is no skin asymmetry and gaunt appearance, which is often caused by “aggressive” surgical maneuvers.

The list below shows my four guidelines to achieve natural-looking results from liposuction.

1. Leave behind some fat in the surgical site.

Over-liposuction is one of the most common causes of botched results, leading to skin asymmetry and hollowed appearance.  While revisions are possible through fat transfer, also referred to as “reversed” liposuction, they are quite difficult and expensive to perform.

Aggressive liposuction is particularly detrimental on female arms and abdomen because it eliminates the feminine curves and often leads to a disproportionately muscular appearance.

Because over-liposuction is hard to correct, it is not uncommon for doctors to “undertreat” their patients and wait for a couple of months to determine if another session is warranted.

2. Asymmetric scars are “ideal” in liposuction.

For the vast majority of patients, the scars are very small (i.e., one must stretch the skin and look closely to see them) and are positioned in concealed areas.  But sometimes, the incisions cannot be hidden.

If there is a need to place the incisions in a not-so-discreet-area, a skilled plastic surgeon will always prefer to make scars asymmetric rather than perfectly balanced, which is a telltale sing of liposuction.

3. The ideal techniques could also depend on the patient’s gender.

Some liposuction areas are almost exclusive for female patients—e.g., upper arms, calves, and ankles.  To achieve natural-looking results, the main objective is to preserve the “smooth” and feminine curves of the body.

While over-liposuction has bad repercussions on both genders, women are particularly at risk because more often than not it leads to an excessive muscular appearance, which of course looks unnatural on them.

4. Good results are only achieved by “good” patients.

“Good” liposuction patients are of normal weight, which they are able to maintain through healthy lifestyle choices.  Yoyo dieters, meanwhile, are considered poor candidates because weight gain of more than 15 lbs. is enough to reverse the effects of surgery.

And while liposuction can be performed on the same area more than twice, more surgeries will result in more scarring and higher risk of skin asymmetry.

Article by
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon