Where Are the Incisions for Removing Fat from the Hips and Back Through Liposuction?

Is most of the fat on the hips and back accessible through lipsuction, or is some of it too close to organs to safely remove?

Doctor Answers 8

Liposuction scars

The incisions are very small and the scars are usually of little concern.  That being said, I try to place the incisions either in a skin fold or wrinkle or through a mole or stretch mark.  Also, I try to make sure that the incisions are not perfectly symmetrical side to side.  A few "random" scars look like a person had some moles removed.  A perfectly matched set looks like the person had lipo.  The most important thing for incision placement is that the incisions allow the surgeon to get at the fat with the correct angle and with cross-tunneling for a smooth result.  Also, I think it is important to carefully close the little incisions.  They heal better that incisions left open to "drain". 

Seattle Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 73 reviews

Liposuction of Hips and Back

Liposuction of the hips (or flanks) and back can produce  very gratifying change.  The incisions needed are quite small and usually  a very hidden place is chosen.  It is important to have more that one or two sites for the liposuctioning so that the fat can be removed as evenly as possible. I find I can do a better contouring if a patient has not limited the exact location I select for the approach. I want the best result possible both in shape and in posssible incision placement just as my patient does so I show them examples of what is possible.  This procedure has a high degree of safety.  There is no entry into a place where vital structures could be affected by the process.

Mary Lee Peters, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 116 reviews

Incisions for Liposuction?

I ideally plan the incision lines to be used for liposuction procedures with the patient wearing undergarments or swimming suit. Otherwise we do our best to keep the incision “hidden” in a normal  skin fold, by a mole or even at the edge of a tattoo (if one is present). Incisions may also be placed a symmetrically so as to not look surgical in nature.

I hope this helps.

Tom J. Pousti, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1,499 reviews

Incisions for back and flank liposuction

If I can perform the surgery with the patient on their backs, then I try to place the incisions in the flanks. Otherwise, if the patient is prone on the table, the incisions can be placed laterally in the back. The incisions are small and heal well so the larger concern for the surgeon is which approach will produce the best result.

Robert L. Kraft, MD, FACS
New York Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 42 reviews

Liposuction of back and hips

Liposuction is perfromed through multiple small incisions that can almost be placed anywhere. Usually they are placed in the underwear and bra line in most patients.  Still, the incision is very small and usually heals very nicely over time.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

Incision for liposuction of the hips and back

Fat in these areas can be accessed through different incisions. My personal preference is to make a 2mm punch through the skin and not an incision. This heals almost without a trace. For the back I place a punch hole at the bra line in the midline, for the lower back  at the superior fat pad area in the midline and at the top of the buttock cleavage. I can access both sides from these 2mm openings. I do not suture my punch holes, allows for drainage afterwards with less bruising, faster recovery. Fat is removed from between the skin and the underlying muscle fascia or cover. It is more difficult to have a surgical misadventure and injury to internal organs from the back as opposed to abdominal liposuction. Although these severe and at times fatal complications are rare, they are not unheard of (recent articles in USA Today). That is why it is very important to do your homework and seek a consultation with a board certified plastic surgeon and discuss these issues. Unfortunately, in the US ther's no law which restricts physiciands and surgeons to practice within their scope of practice (the things they went to school for and were trained in).

George Marosan, MD
Bellevue Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 38 reviews

Hip and back fat removal

Most areas of subcutaneous fat - or the fat that lies just below the skin - is accessible through liposuction.  The real question is whether the skin elasticity is enough to bounce back and not result in loose skin after the fat has been removed.  Fat inside the abdomen (giving the appearance of a pot belly) is NOT treatable through liposuction, and can be reduced by weight loss only.   Liposuction should never be near any internal organ - it removes superficial fat only. 

Liposuction is really almost scarless surgery.


1)  Liposuction is done with tiny cannulas.  So you only need a couple of tiny stab wounds to insert the cannula.  These little incisions are usually along your sides, and when they fade in a few months are really hard to find.  So don't worry about the scars from liposuction.

2)  Fullness and bulges in the hips and back are caused by excess fat under the skin, and so can be treated safely with liposuction.  This fat is very far away from your organs.

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.