Liposuction: How Far Does the Skin Contract?

There is a limit how far the skin can contract or shrink to its new shape, dependent of the elasticity and the dermal collagen of the skin. How do you call this process - the contraction - scientifically? And is there a way, preoperatively, apart from how thick the skin is and any irradiation damage, to measure the potential ability of the contraction of the skin?

Doctor Answers 5

Skin tightness after liposuction

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The way to determine how much capacity your skin has to contract back after liposuction is by the examination of a an experienced and skilled board-certified plastic surgeon. The surgeon can give you a good idea of how much to expect.

Nashville Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 221 reviews

Skin contraction after liposuction

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It is difficult to determine the precise abiloity of the skin to contract. Some signs include age, weight fluctuations, and stretch marks to name a few.

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

If your skin has good elasticity, few stretch marks and good thickness, it will usually contract significantly after liposuction

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If you skin is thin, loose, you have lost a lot of weight (50 to 100 lbs) or it sags and hangs, you probably will not get good skin retraction after liposuction.  If your skin is in good shape and you are going to do some minimal to moderate body contouring with liposuction, the skin will probably retract well. 

Mark Taylor, MD
Salt Lake City Dermatologic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 18 reviews

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Liposuction and Skin Contraction?

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Thank you for the question.

Good skin elasticity is  an important  attribute  of the patient undergoing liposuction surgery. As we age or gain/lose weight 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.

Unfortunately,  there is no way to “measure the potential ability of the contraction of the skin” prior to liposuction surgery. The skin elasticity is best evaluated by consulting with a well experienced board-certified plastic surgeon.

I hope this helps.

Liposuction: How Far Does the Skin Contract?

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You are correct, it is called skin contraction. There is no way to predict its ability to do so though.

Julio Garcia, MD
Las Vegas Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 27 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.