Skin Not Suitable for Liposuction?

I just got back from seeing my cosmetic surgeon. I live in the UK, I am 27, 5ft 7, weigh 12 st 4 pounds. I cycle 14 miles a day and eat healthily. I am on HRT for removed ovaries in 2004. My thighs have always been big and bothered me. I paid £100 to see a surgeon today. He looked at my legs for 5 seconds and said no, I am not suitable for Liposuction because my skin is not elastic enough and wil result in baggy skin post op and looking worse. He said my big legs are hereditary and would not agree to perform Lipo on me. Does this sound reasonable?

Doctor Answers 3

He may be right, but we can't know without photos

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Your surgeon may be right on the money with his assessment, but that doesn't mean that you have no options. Just like all cosmetic procedures, there is a question of weighing the advantages and disadvantages of the procedure. Liposuction may indeed thin your legs, so that in clothing you look more in balance. However, if your skin cannot contract down, then withot clothing on you will notice loose, hanging skin, or severe waviness of the skin, that simply cannot be corrected without excision of the skin. Alternatively, you may be a better candidate for a thigh lift, a procedure which will give us more control over the skin. The disadvantage here is a longer scar, potential for poor or delayed healing, and a longer recovery. So you have to weigh the pluses and minuses and decide what works best for you: no surgery (no difference in appearance, but no risk or downtime), liposuction only (likely look better in clothing, possibly look worse out of clothing) or a lift (better contour and shape of legs, but a long scar, more downtime, etc). Think it over, seek multiple opinions, and then decide what works best for you, but be as honest as you can with yourself about your goals and what you're willing to give up to achieve those goals.

Good luck,

Dr. S

Your surgeon may be very honest

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It is a confident, honest surgeon who declines a patient because he anticipates a patient will have a poor result. It is of course never a bad idea to consult several surgeons and view before-after pictures of patients with similar features as yourself before "throwing in the towel".

In patients with loose skin or extensive sun damage, the results of aggressive liposuction can be disastrous.

Often there is a compromise; if conservative liposuction can be performed, or liposuction combined with clever lifts, the patient can achieve very nice results.

Your level of physical fitness seems excellent; congratulations on that.

Brent Moelleken, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 188 reviews

Maybe--but you can get another opinion.

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 Liposuction will leave sagging skin if there is poor elasticity and too much fat is removed. Having said that, be very careful as some surgeons operate on anyone!

Toby Mayer, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 36 reviews

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