Will Skin Be Loose After Liposuction?

what happens to the skin after lipo, cos i currently have extra skin from my pregnancies.

Doctor Answers 11

Loose skin will NOT be cured by any kind of liposuction

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Although there are major marketing efforts out there to try and convince you that loose skin can be cured by liposuction, especially using laser technology, there is absolutely no scientific proof of this.  As an example, a dermatologist in my area boldly states that 90% of post-pregnancy abdomens can be treated by laser liposuction (Smartlipo in his case).  Quite the opposite, in fact, and I would reverse the numbers and say that 90% would need a tummy tuck if they want the tightest flattest abdomen they could get, which is usually what they want.  There are literally thousands of real patients who have been majorly disappointed and wasted their money doing liposuction trying to treat loose skin with a little extra fat. Loose skin needs to be excised as in a tummy tuck otherwise it will be there forever.

Liposuction and skin

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Liposuction will reduce the fat volume and in most patients the skin will retract some. It is hard to tell without examining you.

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

Loose skin and liposuction

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It may not be the answer you or plastic surgeons in general would like but it's actually fairly straightforward and Dr. Aldea's answer has it correct. Liposuction, properly done, only removes excess fat cells without disturbing the skin or connective tissues between the skin and the muscle. It does not tighten the skin nor does it loosen it. You can do liposuction under loose, thin, or excess skin if there is excess fat cells but it will not improve or worsen the skin condition. Think of the skin as unrelated to normal liposuction as is the muscle and bone. 

Tucks of various types address the skin and even those can excise skin and make it look tighter but don't actually add to the thickness, elasticity, or tightness of the skin. The tradeoff is a scar where the skin was excised. In liposuction there should only be one or two insignificant scar marks per area but it doesn't help the skin.  

Efforts to truly tighten and restore or increase the elasticity of skin lost to pregnancy or aging are ongoing and modalities like Thermage offer some hope to be able to do this predictably and safely but I would not recommend it yet. Efforts to tighten the skin with modalities in liposuction such as ultrasound or lasers have not shown improved results over standard liposuction in my opinion. 

Scott L. Replogle, MD
Boulder Plastic Surgeon

Skin loose after liposuction

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YES!! Be careful that the lipo just empties the skin bag more. See 3 boarded surgeons in your area. Photos would have been very helpful to really give you an answer.


Loose skin better after liposuction?

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Loose skin on the abdomen after pregnancies is a difficult problem to treat. An abdominoplasty or tummy tuck will tighten the skin more effectively than liposuction. The loose skin is excised, the excess fat is removed and the stomach muscles are tightened with a tummy tuck. Liposuction simply removes excess fat and the skin is moderately tightened. Some patients can get up to 50% tightened skin with some of the newer technologies like VASER and Smartlipo. However, this may not be enough to get the abdominal skin completely tight.

Some doctors market liposuction on the abdomen for loose skin, but be careful because they are usually not plastic surgeons.  They don't do tummy tucks and therefore only offer liposuction on the abdomen with only so-so results.

Stanley Castor, MD
Tampa Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 128 reviews

Lipo and skin elasticity

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In order for lipo to be successful, you need fat to suck, and skin to shrink down.  The doctor must evaluate you to determine what you may expect.

If you have mildly lax skin, Lipotherme or smart lipo or some other lipo may be in order.  If too much laxity exists, you may need a tummy tuck.

The BEST Way to Tight Loose Skin after Pregnacy = Tummy Tuck NOT Lipo

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Liposuction removes fat under the skin. Lipo does NOT tighten skin. If you have loose skin removing the fat underneath it with liposuction will NOT materially tighten the skin but will increase the appearance of loose skin.

The BEST and ONLY effective way to tighten loose skin after pregnancy is to have a FULL / Standard Tummy Tuck. The procedure WILL remove all loose Tummy skin, Narrow the waist, lift a sagging Mons pubis and depending on how it is done even lift and smooth the anterior upper thighs improving the appearance of cellulite.

Peter A. Aldea, MD
Memphis Plastic Surgeon

Loose skin after pregnancy

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If the skin is very loose and inelastic, you can benefit by an abodominoplasty (tummy tuck) and depending on your anatomical and structural situation, the surgeon will determine if you need skin or skin and muscle tightening. If there is good elasticity, some patients get improvement with tumescent liposuction alone, or they seek treatment after liposuction with Thermage which can help. You may wish to see a plastic surgeon first to determine what is best if you have significant loose skin.

Ronald Shelton, MD
Manhattan Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 39 reviews

Liposuction versus tummy tuck for loose skin

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In most cases, women who have been pregnant and are left with extra loose skin really need a tummy tuck in order to get the best result.  Liposuction alone will only remove extra fat and will not improve the loose skin or even the loose muscles of the abdomen-- in order to get a flat contour and have the extra skin removed, the tummy tuck is usually the best option in this case.

Shahram Salemy, MD, FACS
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 155 reviews

Loose skin and liposuction

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Liposuction is merely a technique to remove fat. How and when it should be applied is the challenge. If your skin is already very loose, then liposuction may not be the appropriate procedure.

Robin T.W. Yuan, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon

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.