Will my Skin Retract After I Recover from my Liposculture?

Hi, I am 19 years old at 155 lb before lipo with a height of 5'7 & was removed 3.5 liters of fat. Post-19 days of my procedure.i had lost 70 lb before my lipo that left me a few stretch marks and a bit of lose skin.As of today, I see my skin really loose & I'm worried I will be left with saggy skin.ive wore my compression garment as instructed till today and plan on wearing it for a total of 3 months like my PS recommended. What can I do to make sure it retracts?Or will it retract? Please help!

Doctor Answers 8

Will My Skin Retract After Liposculpture?

First of all, I would like to congratulate you on losing 70 pounds at age 19.  You are obviously highly dedicated and motivated.  No one but your personal plastic surgeon (who had the benefit of a physical exam and actually look at and touching your skin) can determine if liposculpture or skin resection or both would be the correct procedure for you.  At 19 and as tall as you are, you should get a reasonable amount of skin retraction.  You didn't mention whether you had been pregnant or not.  If you had been, this would have, of course, decreased the amount of retraction on your abdomen. 


I agree with all previous responders that waiting 3 to 6 months will give you the final answer as to the amount of retraction you would receive.  But I would be optimistic if I were you.  Continue to work out since I am sure you did to lose all those pounds.  Wearing a compression garment for 3 months is a bit much.  I think 1 month is more than enough.  The good news is you haven't burnt any bridges.  If there are some areas, your inner thighs, your abdomen, or even your upper arms, that show skin sagging after the 6 months, these will be easily treated with skin resection, and by having done the liposculpture first, less skin will have to be resected.  Don't forget, you didn't get all that loose skin in 19 days, give time, time.  I am sure you will be pleasantly surprised.

Skin retraction after liposculpture/liposuction

Skin is remarkably elastic and will often retract more than we expect after a liposculpting procedure.  The compression garment is helpful in this process, but you do not necessarily need to wear it beyond 3 months.  Your best results will most likely be apparent around 6 months.  Patients who have stretch marks in the treated area and/or have lost a significant amount of weight usually do not have as impressive skin retraction so it may not retract as much as you would like.  You may get some additional benefit from laser treatments or ultrasound therapy, but the tightening can be very subtle. 

Nancy Samolitis, MD
Beverly Hills Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 2 reviews

Liposculpture and skin tightening in Los Angeles

Skin resiliency and the presence of stretch marks will determine the extent of skin retraction after liposuction. We recommend laser skin tightening to further tighten and retract skin after liposculpture. 

Raffy Karamanoukian MD FACS
Los Angeles

Raffy Karamanoukian, MD, FACS
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 85 reviews

19 Days after Liposculpture and Loose Skin

   With any large amount of weight loss, the skin may indeed be loose.  You should wait for at least 6 months to assess skin quality.  Kenneth Hughes, MD liposculpture Los Angeles, CA

Skin Retraction

Skin is remarkably elastic, much more so than we give it credit for. I suspect that even though you've lost a significant amount of weight, you'll be surprised at how much your skin retracts. However, if you find that even with the compression garment and time it doesn't fully tighten, you could try a procedure like Thermage, which tightens the skin even more. best of luck and congratulations on the new healthy weight! 

Cameron Rokhsar, MD, FAAD
New York Dermatologic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 34 reviews

Skin Retraction Post Liposculpture

Yes, your skin will retract. Because the Vaser liposculpture machine leaves elastic skin tissues intact, the skin retracts like shrink wrap over the top of the new muscle contours. This gives superior definition to the contours the surgeon has just created, for tighter, more attractive results.

Daniel Shapiro, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 93 reviews

Time will tell if your skin will retract.

At this stage, you must be patient and allow the healing process to mature.  In approximately 6 months, you will know if your skin will retract as much as you would like.  You have youth on your side.  Young skin is more elastic and even with some stretch marks, can improve in the months to come.  The fact that you lost 70lbs and had some loose skin before the procedure does raise some concerns about the elasticity left in your skin.  Being patient, eating right and having a good exercise regiment is the best option now.

Will my skin shrink after liposculpture?

Will my skin shrink after liposculpture?  This depends on:

  1. health of the skin -- presence of stretch marks
  2. was there excess skin present before
  3.  the technique of liposuction

From your description of 70 lb weight loss before liposuction and the presence of stretch marks I am not sure that I would have performed liposuction on you without letting you know that there could be significant loose skin.  Even after 3 months of wearing compression garments you may not be completely satisfied

Some liposuction techniques like SmartLipo can improve the reduction of skin surface area compared to others, but they are still not able to "shrink wrap" your skin.

Richard H. Fryer, MD
Salt Lake City Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 218 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.