Is Needing Touch-up of Liposuction a Likely Thing?

I am scheduled for flank & thigh lipo in a few weeks. I was reading another Q&A on here and an answer from a doctor read, "it's not very often a patient needs a touch-up surgery for lipo unless under gen. anesthesia, then they usually need at least 1 or more touch-ups". I was never informed of this. I know there is always a chance for problems etc, but the use of the word "usually" sounds like I should fully expect another surgery and will spend more money... thoughts??

Doctor Answers 11

Lipo Touch Up

When liposuction first entered the cosmetic surgery scene the touch up rate was about 25%. As the years have passed and we have better equipment and better techniques, in my practice, and I suspect most other well trained surgeons, the rate is definitely less than 5%. The type of anesthesia has nothing to do with that rate. We do almost all major liposuction under general anesthesia and the touch ups are usually easy to do under local at no additional charge.

Portland Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 27 reviews

How often are touch-ups needed after liposuction?

I think most surgeons strive to remove just the right amount of fat during liposuction and to do so as smoothly and evenly as possible, but it's not alway possible to hit the mark exactly each time for a variety of reasons. Each surgeon knows how often a touch-up is done for his/her patients. It's important to ask before you commit to surgery just how often that surgeon finds it necessary to do a touch-up. An experienced surgeon may have a touch-up rate of 1% to 3%, while a novice surgeon may have a rate of 10%. Don't be shy to ask and discuss this ahead of time.

Although the ideal is to get it exactly right the first time, it's better to under- suction than over-suction. Under-suctioning can be improved by doing a small touch-up, but over-suctioning is very hard to deal with. Have more than one consultation, and remember that experience with liposuction, or any procedure, does make a difference.


Kimberly Finder, MD
San Antonio Dermatologic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 62 reviews

Touch up after liposuction

It sounds like the place you read the answer has a doctor that does not do general anesthesia as there is no reason why general anesthesia performed liposuction would yield any different risk of touch up versus under other types of anesthesia. I would say that the national average of the need for a small touch up is about 2-5 % and the larger the amount removed, it tends to the higher number.

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

There's no doubt that you usually get better liposuction results when you can stand the patient up and see what you are doing!

When you lie down on a flat table your abdomen goes flatter and shifts to the sides some.  Your thighs get compressed and distorted as well.  This is what happens with general anesthesia since you can't stand the patient up or sit them up to see if you got the areas smooth, even or even close to what it should be. There is a big advantage to being able to see what you are doing.  Being awake is not only safer but you can understand the importance of seeing what is smooth and even and what needs more fine tuning to make it look good. It is common sense and easy to understand.  That is why docs who specialize in liposuction only do lipos under local and not general anymore like we all did 25 yrs ago when it was in its basic state. Don't be fooled by some doc's need to do it in half the time so he/she can do more cases that day or for just complacency with old, out-dated methods. To be fair to all docs, you still can get a decent result with being put under general anesthesia.  We all get lucky.  But then why take the risk? Get it done right the 1st time!  Sincerely,

David Hansen,MD

David Hansen, MD
Beverly Hills Dermatologic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 42 reviews

Touch ups after liposuction may be needed

Although it is possible that touchups after liposuction may be desired, it is not influenced by whether the liposuction was done originally under general anesthesia or some other type of anesthesia.  

James Tang, MD
Houston Plastic Surgeon
3.4 out of 5 stars 18 reviews


I beleive that comment is erroneous. Why would general anesthesia lead to more revisions?  In general, there is a small revision rate for dissatisfaction., but that is with any operation. I prefer general or deep sedation, because if the patient is comfortable, I can focus exclusively ont he surgery and not worry about trying under local to keep my patient from not having any discomfort.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

Is Needing Touch-up of Liposuction a Likely Thing?

I think Liposuction is the most imprecise thing we do in Cosmetic Surgery...I tell my patients it's like vacuuming under the couch. You can't really see in there but you can tell what comes up the hose!!!! So revision are a distinct possibility but I would not say "usually"...I would guess no more than 10% of that time but that is a guess...and it depends on age and areas...Age >40, inner thighs and abdomen tend to give more unevenness after surgery, it seems...

John J. Corey, MD
Phoenix Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 44 reviews

Anesthesia for cosmetic surgery

I do not know if that is a misquote or a misrepresentation but liposuction under general anesthesia in and of itself does not predispose the patient to 1 or more touch up surgeries. It is much more likely that overly aggressive liposuction or liposuction performed under inadequate anesthesia predisposes the patient to touch up procedures. The adequacy of a given anesthesia is dependent on the specifics of the procedure, the surgeon performing it and the patient undergoing the procedure.

I hope you realize that this format of posting questions and receiving answers lacks the face to face direct communication required for you to make an informed decision regarding your surgery.

My response to your question/post does not represent formal medical advice or constitute a doctor patient relationship. You need to consult with i.e. personally see a board certified plastic surgeon in order to receive a formal evaluation and develop a doctor patient relationship.

Aaron Stone, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1 review

Liposuction touch up

While anything is possible, I don't necessarily think that touch ups are "likely".  The type of anesthesia should not make any difference in whether or not a touch up is more likely.  You should discuss this with the surgeon who will be performing your liposuction to see what they think.

Sanjiv Kayastha, MD
Albany Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 68 reviews

After liposuction, touch ups are needed less than 5% of the time.


It is not true that if liposuction is done under general anesthesia, there is an increased need for touch ups.  That makes no sense.  I also don't agree that liposuction is "imprecise".  It  is rather precise sculpturing, and the surgeon can see the new improved contour as the procedure goes on.

George J. Beraka, MD (retired)
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 9 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.