What Fat Removal is Best for Me? (photo)

Hi! I am 18 (fully developed) looking to remove love handles. My tummy & thighs also, but mostly love handles b/c they are stubborn & won't go away. I was originally for SmartLipo but b/c it takes up to 6 months. to see results, I wanted something that could permanently kill fat cells in that area so it doesn't grow back (in case of pregnancy weight gain when older)& take up to 2-3 months. to see results & is also safe! Is there a fat removal surgery that does this? If not, what are my options?

Doctor Answers 8

Bet Way to permanently emove localized fat pockets

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Liposuction, done by an expert Plastic surgeon, is the best way to permanently get rid of localized fat pockets. As long as you watch your diet after the surgery you will maintain the surgically achieved shape. 

Memphis Plastic Surgeon

Liposuction Candidate?

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Thank you for the question and pictures.

I think you may be an excellent candidate for liposuction surgery. You seem to have isolated areas of adipose tissue with good skin tone/elasticity overlying the area.

“Ideal” liposuction patient candidates present with isolated diet and exercise resistant adipose tissue collection,  with overlying skin that demonstrates adequate elasticity ( to “bounce back” after the adipose tissue has been removed).

Furthermore, good skin elasticity is an important  attribute  of the patient undergoing liposuction surgery. As we age we generally  lose some skin elasticity. After the liposuction procedure we are depending on the skin elasticity to allow the skin envelope to “shrink” to fit the reduced contour resulting from the liposuction procedure. 

I would suggest in-person consultation with a well experienced board-certified plastic surgeon.

Best wishes.


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Liposuction is liposuction is liposuction. The key ingredient is removal of fat whether you add a laser on top of that (smartlipo) or ultrasound (vaser) is semi moot. As far as I know the recovery between them is not that different. They all permanently remove some fat cells which is the same as killing them pretty much. There is no quick fix alternative and nothing that guarantees that if you eat junk and do not exercise you will still look the same. You are asking for the impossible.

Your best option is diet and exercise either to fix the problem or maintain the result after surgery +/- liposuction in whatever form (regular, laser, ultrasound assisted, power etc.).

My response to your question/post does not represent formal medical advice or constitute a doctor patient relationship. You need to consult with i.e. personally see a board certified plastic surgeon in order to receive a formal evaluation and develop a doctor patient relationship.

Aaron Stone, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon


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Liposuction no matter which form you use will create swelling that will persist for several months.  Liposuction does not eliminate all the fat cells but does remove a large proportion to accomplish a better contour.,

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Fat removal

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There are 4 ways to remove fat, all have positives and negatives:

1. Diet and exercise, success is variable but still a good idea

2. Non-invasive-CoolSculpting and Zerona-results are subtle and may require multiple times but, they are non surgical-3 months to see final results

3. Liposuctioning-traditional, power assisted, ultrasonic, laser, water assisted-all require some type of anesthesia, all have some bruising and swelling, results start at 7-10 days and maximize at 6 months with the majority of improvement at 3 months. Laser assisted liposuction has been shown to help contract the skin

4. Surgical excision-tummy tuck, body lift etc-requires general anesthesia and has a recovery time up to 6 weeks. Takes care of both excess skin and fat. Large scars. Pain. Best contour results

You are a good candidate for liposuction and in my opinion the laser would be the best, ultrasound next best. You are also a candidate for a tummy tuck with liposuction of the hips at the same time.

John P. Stratis, MD
Harrisburg Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 37 reviews

Any liposuction technique works well for localized fat

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Judging from the pictures, it appears that you would be a good candidate for a liposuction procedure. All types of liposuction will permanently remove fat cells to reshape fat distribution more evenly. I personally see no benefit to you with one of the laser-assisted procedures such as Smart Lipo and the others. There is also the potential for skin burns with laser procedures which could result in hyperpigmentation. There is a nonsurgical option for permanent removal of fat cells called Liposonix, which was FDA approved in 2011.

Richard Baxter, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 59 reviews

Good candidate for liposuction

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you look like a very good candidate for liposuction. picking a well-qualified surgeon is most important, not the particular tools they use to do the procedure. i like ultrasound , but great results can be obtained with PAL, straight SAL, and UAL. there is no magic with lasers e.g smartlipo, but many of the folks using the lasers are not trained as surgeons so be careful.

    you should see a definite difference within a few weeks of surgery, but you won't be in a "final" state for a few months.

Bruce K. Barach, MD
Schenectady Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 13 reviews

Liposuction of the abdomen and hips should do great!

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Tumescent liposuction under local anesthesia of the abdomen and hips will make a big difference for you and you'll even see it at 1 month.  At 1 week you will see a little improvement but at 1 month you will see a big difference.  You are smart to avoid laser liposuctions since they are having a lot of problems and not so good results in many cases.  Fewer docs are doing laser lipos now because of that.  Expect to pay around $5-6000 for quality work.  Sincerely,

David Hansen,MD

David Hansen, MD
Beverly Hills Dermatologic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 46 reviews

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.