Liposuction Difficulties for Fibrous People?

I have heard about difficulties with Liposuction for people who are very "fibrous," including more pain and the inability to get at enough fat to show a significant improvement. Are all athletic people (who work out a lot) fibrous? Is there a way to tell beforehand? Thank you.

Doctor Answers 3

Fibrous fat is harder to remove

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

It is not impossible to remove fibrous fat, just harder. This extra effort almost always leads to extra swelling and bruising which delays the time before you will see your changes. There might be a little increase in postoperative discomfort as a result of the extra effort.

I've never been able to reliably predict who will have more fibrous tissue. There's no definite relationship between active patients and more sedentary ones when it comes to the composition of the fatty layer.

There are anatomic areas, however, that are consistently more fibrous: the male breast, the upper back, and the fat around the belly button.

An experienced plastic surgeon will be able to use the tools necessary to achieve a good result. You have many excellent ones to chose from in your area.

Good Luck!

Liposuction works if you have localized fat deposits.

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}


"Fibrous" is not a true medical concept. In some people and in some areas, the fat is a little less soft but, with good technique, this does not affect the result.

The fat deposits of athletic people are not more fibrous.

In people that have had previous liposuction, the procedure is more difficult, but that is because of internal scarring.

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

Liposuction for fibrous areas

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

I agree that it is difficult to predict who is "fibrous." I find the upper back and breasts (especially in men) generally fibrous. Also, people that have had prior liposuction tend to be more fibrous. The are many advances in liposuction that will help in treating fibrous area; these include power-assisted liposuction, ultrasonic liposuction, and laser-assisted liposuction. An experience surgeon should be able to examine you and be able to tell ahead of time if you are fibrous. He or she can then chose the most appropriate method of liposuction.

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.