Rippling and loose skin after Laser Lipo

Good Morning =) I had laser lipo about 5 years ago and I have some rippling and loose skin from it. I also have a fat pocket that runs in a line under my breasts. You cannot see the fat pocket when I am stading up straight, but if I am sitting and bent over at all you can and it gets worse if I gain an ounce it seems like the weight loves to go there.   I am 33 years old now. Is there anything I can do for this?  Is there a procudure for this without going under the knife?   I really want to wear a bikini without feeling like my stomach looks weird.  I heard about a procedure that freezes fat and another that does a suction...would you recommend either of these.  I am looking to have this done soon.   I want to feel like I look good in a bikini without people staring at my stomach noticing it looks strange. 

Doctor Answers 8

Laser liposuction does very little to tighten the skin

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The delivery of laser energy to the skin was thought to be able to tighten the skin. Unfortunately it does very little to tighten the skin. Redundant skin will require surgical excision.

Correcting Rippling after Liposuction

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              The upper fat roll you mention can be easily contoured with repeat liposuction as this a frequent area that goes unsuctioned or undersuctioned. Waviness or rippling is an extremely frustrating result for surgeon and patient alike.  It is an inevitable consequence for some patients, unfortunately.  As far as correction, tummy tuck improves this in some patients but not in a patient like you with taut skin.  The area can be reelevated with another liposuction type procedure to allow the flap to stick back down again, hopefully better.  If there are distinct areas that are full, these can be liposuctioned at this time.  Areas that may be a little thin can be fat grafted

Options for loose skin after laser lipo

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Unfortunately the problem you have can be difficult to treat, because the laser that was supposed to help the skin shrink can also cause scarring under the skin. I doubt that the cold therapy (Coolscul[pting, Zeltiq) would be helpful there but no one can give specific advice without seeing you. Revision lipo could be an option in some cases, but for the upper abdomen where there is scarring and skin laxity then a reverse tummy tuck is another useful option.

Richard Baxter, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 59 reviews

Rippling and loose skin after Laser Lipo

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Thank you for the question.  How much skin will "tighten" will depend on the quality of skin elasticity of the overlying skin.  Generally, younger patients and patients whose skin does not demonstrate loss of elasticity (physical findings of stretch marks, irregularities etc.), tend to do better with liposuction surgery.  Many patients who present for liposuction surgery are not good candidates for the procedure.  Ultimately, it is better not to undergo the liposuction procedure if the outcome leaves the patient with skin contour irregularities or other aesthetic problems that he/she is displeased with (and are very difficult to correct). This is one of the many reasons patients are better off seeking consultation with board-certified plastic surgeons who have the full "armamentarium" of procedures at their disposal.

Generally speaking, good candidates for liposuction surgery are patients who present with localized areas of diet and exercise resistant adipose tissue and an overlying skin “envelope” that demonstrates good skin elasticity. 

My best suggestion again: make sure that your selected surgeon is a board-certified plastic surgeon giving you good/ethical advice. Best wishes.

Loose skin after laser lipo

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Thanks for your questions and photo, Laura.  The laser lipo machines that came out several years ago were not very impressive, and they were offered to too many non-plastic surgeons who were not trained in classical liposuction techniques.  This caused an opinion that laser liposuction and skin tightening does not work.  Currently, with the Smart Lipo Triplex system, the laser wavelengths used have shown to tighten the skin moreso than seen with traditional liposuction.  I would recommend seeking a consultation with a board-certified plastic surgeon that has experience with the Smart Lipo Triplex system.  My patients that have undergone the procedure have been very happy with the results.


Good luck in your endeavors.


Robrt Kratschmer, MD

Laser Lipo Roll

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Thank you for your question.  With a small roll of residual fat left after laser lipo, the options include revisionary lipo with or without laser, Zeltiq is a fat freezing treatment that is effective. Ultrashape uses ultrasound to melt fat. In terms of the skin looseness, there are radiofrequency devices such as Titan, light based devices such as SkinTyte.  While these are not surgical proecdures there is cost associated with the treatments. In most cases there is significant but modest improvement.  Best wishes!

Loose skin after lipo

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There is very little to do for some loose skin after lip unless you have severe loose skin and require a tummy tuck.  Sometimes fat injection can be used to  improve contour irregularities.

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

Post-liposuction defects

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rippling and uneveness is very common after iposuction. sometimes it gets better on its own and other times it has to be corrected. as u had stated its been 5 yrs now, its unlikely to get better on its own. I  would not recommend fat freezing. Micro-liposuction to correct these defects would be my approach to correct these. in my practice I do a lot of these procedures and I see patients from all over the country. its possile to make it better but with caution.

Misbah Khan MD, FAAD, FACMS
New York Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 32 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.