Other Skin Tightening Options?

I had Liposuction done twice on my back, and I still have some loose skin. I am not fat, I'm 5'4" and size 4. Which treatment would better firm my skin?

Doctor Answers 5

Liposuction may increase skin laxity

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Having too much liposuction may actually be increasing the laxity in your skin. Think of your skin as a balloon, and the fat and water under your skin as the air in that balloon. As the air is removed from the balloon, the balloon is going shrink and shrivel and the skin of the balloon is not going to be as firm or as tight as it had been. If you remove enough air, the balloon is going to become very flimsy and begin to dramatically sag. The same thing happens when you remove too much fat from under your skin. The more fat you remove, the looser your skin becomes, and the more it sags.

The skin does have great elasticity and that’s especially true the younger we are. As we age though, our skin loses some of that ability to “snap back” into shape. There is always a limit to how much our skin will return to its previous shape and size. You may have reached that limit.

I don’t know how much skin looseness you have now in your back, but it may be possible to improve the look of the skin by increasing the size of the muscle under the skin. You are very petite, so you may not be able to, nor want to develop too much muscle mass, but a good personal trainer would be able to give you exercises that would increase the strength and definition in your back muscles. Even if it didn’t address all the skin laxity, at least you would be doing something positive for your health by increasing your muscle to fat ratio and probably be gaining some good aerobic training as well.

Good luck!

Dallas Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 22 reviews

Skin tightening

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There are several skin tightening lasers on the market that may improve the skin quality by about 20%. If the skin is very loose, you may desire an excision of the bothersome area.

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

Loose skin after liposuction can be a problem.

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One option that may help is Smartlipo MPX in the skin-tightening mode (Blend 1). I am often pleasantly surprised about the degree of skin tightening that is achieved with this procedure.

Thermage of the skin of your back may help.

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Hi!  This is a tough problem, because removing skin can leave ugly scars.  Thermage, when it is well performed (ENOUGH ENERGY), will tighten skin somewhat.  But the results vary from subtle to dramatic.   So you have to have realistic expectations.

George J. Beraka, MD (retired)
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon

SlimLipo, Infrared or Radiofrequency skin tightening

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Loose skin after liposuction to remove fat is a common problem after traditional non-laser liposuction.

New laser liposuction using SlimLipo, a combined 924/975nm laser wavelenght tightens the skin during lasing with a small laser fiber placed beneath the skin. I have used this modality to tighten loose skin after traditional liposuction and have had very nice results.

I have also used this technique to correct not only loose skin but lumps and bumps or contour deformities of the skin caused by traditional non-laser liposuction. See before and after pictures of SlimLipo correction of loose skin and contour deformities (outlined in blue marker) left after a previous standard liposuction.

If you do not want further surgery, then non-surgical skin tightening can be done using Infrared or Radiofrequency treatments. I use the LuxIR Deep which I believe is the most effective and least painful. Other brands are Thermage, Titan and Refirme. You will need 4 treatments scheduled a month apart.

The SlimLipo treatment is the most efffective of these modalities. Skin tightening following SlimLipo treatments is remarkable, even in the 70 year old patient. See before and after photos here.

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.