Liposuction: help assessing risk of unsatisfactory results? (Photo)

I am interested in liposuction to sculpt my waist, flanks and abdomen. I have browsed liposuction photos on Realself for some time. What accounts for the difference between great, natural results and results that are lumpy and uneven, or that result in dramatic scarring? What percentage of liposuction procedures end in needing revisions? What can I do to ensure smooth, natural results? Thanks for your time. I'm including photos of my midsection for personalized feedback. Please advise.

Doctor Answers 4

Liposuction: help assessing risk of unsatisfactory results?

Thank you for the excellent 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.

San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1,488 reviews

VASER Hi Definition Liposuction / Body Contouring with Fat Grafting -- TECHNIQUE, SKILL, FAT TRANSFER, HIDEF

There is a lot that determines a good result

1) amount of fat before procedure

2) amount of muscle and toneness before procedure

3) amount of cellulite and skin laxity/hanging skin before procedure

4) goals for the final results

5) expertise, skill and technique -- few doctors do a hi def approach and get just standard traditional outcomes. 

I suggest you see an expert in body shaping for an evaluation.  Best, Dr. Emer.

Jason Emer, MD
Los Angeles Dermatologic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 190 reviews

Liposuction - how to get that perfect result?

Thank you for asking about your liposuction.

  • A lot of different elements go into a great liposuction result.
  • E.g. - a person's natural ability to heal, the amount of fat being removed, the expertise of the surgeon, the type of machine, the size of the cannula and whether enough fat is left to conceal the tunnels made under with skin.
  • Judging from your photos, most important for you is likely to be an experienced surgeon using a 2 and 3 mm cannula, a machine that does not generate heat (vaser, laser) and leaving enough fat to conceal the surgery.
  • You are thin, you do not seem to have much fat to remove -
  • So small cannulas are needed.
  • And the heat of laser/vaser machines may burn the underside of your skin making for an irregular result.

Always see a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon. Best wishes  - Elizabeth Morgan MD PHD FACS

Elizabeth Morgan, MD, PhD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 43 reviews


Patients with good skin tone do well with liposuction, generally speaking. Wearing the compression garment post operatively will be the best thing you can do. Please follow all your surgeon's instructions. Just looking at your photos, you should get good results. I would suggest meeting with a board certified plastic surgeon and discussing all your concerns. Also, ask to see photos so you can see that surgeon's results.

Connie Hiers, MD
San Antonio Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 13 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.