Will Tumescent Liposuction Improve Cellulite?

Hi! I'm scheduled to have Tumescent liposuction this Thursday. I'm 41, 5'4", 122 lbs and well proportioned. My thighs have always been my issue. While I like the shape, the cellulite and dents make me so self-conscious and horrified. I've felt this way for 20 yrs, and finally decided to do something about it. I chose a well-known and trusted dr. My concerns are more about not getting the results I want. I do NOT have unrealistic expectations about 'perfection', but for $7K I want to feel like it was money well spent. Will the Tumescent Lipo improve my cellulite?

Doctor Answers 23

Liposuction is not a treatment for cellulite

Liposuction regardless of technique (ultrasonic, laser, water jet, power assisted, etc) is not a treatment of cellulite. IF you are lucky, you may see an improvement if your cellulite is due to excess fat but this is not typcially the case. It is more likely that you will continue to see persistent dimpling and cutaneous irregularities post-op. Also consider the fact that your cellulite could become worse if associated with lax skin.

Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 82 reviews

Tumescent Liposuction will not improve cellulite

Dear Tracy,

Do NOT have liposuction to correct cellulite. It will not.

Cellulite is related much more to thigh descent than any inherent property of the fat itself. There are many studies anatomical and otherwise on why women get cellulite and many men do not as well as what cellulite is.

Liposuction will remove fat but may worsen the appearance of cellulite and depending on the skill of your surgeon, superficial liposuction in an attempt to improve cellulite may result in hard to fix depressions IN ADDITION to the cellulite.

Hope this was helpful.

Peter A. Aldea, MD
Memphis Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 109 reviews

Tumescent Liposuction with micro canulas usually does improve cellulite

I'm glad you have researched liposuction to know that tumescent liposuction is by far the safest way to do your procedure with you awake and not under general anesthesia, but the next most important thing to make sure is that your surgeon is using the microcanulas. Micro canulas are what helps remove the tiny fat bulging out under the skin and what frees up the tiny bands pulling in on the skin which all contributes to the dimpling of the cellulite effect. These microcanulas when used from several directions can give the smoothest results and that is why cellulite generally improves with this technique whereas most other techniques of liposuction don't improve cellulite. It is more expensive and time consuming for your surgeon but it is so well worth it for the results.

Good Luck!

David Hansen, MD
Beverly Hills Dermatologic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 43 reviews

Liposuction for the improvement of cellulite

No one can say that the cellulite will improve. It might, but some areas might look worse. Liposuction is not designed to improve cellulite. Some surgeons have cut the collagen bands holding the skin down and added fat underneath these dimples to smoothen the skin but it has not been universally successful. You can’t expect improvement for the cellulite, but you might be lucky.

Ronald Shelton, MD
Manhattan Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 38 reviews

Tumescent lipo and cellulite

Tumescent lipo may not have any effect on your cellulite. It can debulk the leg of fatty subcutaneous tissue.  The more superficial components( cellulite) will most likely not be affected.

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

Liposuction and cellulite

Generally speaking, liposuction has little effect on cellulite, either for the good or for the bad. Alternatives like endermology, ultrasound, and radiofrequency have yielded mixed results at best. Currently, there is no proven reliable/effective treatment for cellulite.

Marcel Daniels, MD
Long Beach Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 23 reviews

Liposuction Does Not Treat Cellulite

Unfortunately tumescent liposuction doesn’t improve cellulite and in some cases actually makes it worse.  A variety of treatments have been used for managing cellulite, but none of these have been uniformly successful.  At this time there’s no reliable treatment for cellulite.

Richard J. Bruneteau, MD
Omaha Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 194 reviews

Its not effective for cellullite and can actually make it look worse.

Liposuction isn’t an effective treatment for cellulite, because cellulite is more than just fat cells. Although fat stores do contribute to the appearance of cellulite, this has a lot more to do with the way the connective tissue is pressing down on the fat tissue, creating that dimpled pattern you see in cellulite. With the fibrous connective tissue in the way, liposuction really can’t reach the fat deposits in heavy cellulite areas to remove them. In fact, in some cases, lipo can even end up making your cellulite look more apparent. I would be very cautious about visiting any surgeon who tells you that they can remove your cellulite with lipo.

Frank Campanile, MD
Denver Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 55 reviews

Tumescent Liposuction Does Not Improve Cellulite


Obesity, cellulite, stretch marks, a history of constant weight change, or loose, sagging, inelastic skin are problems which would tend toward poor results during a liposuction. In fact, these problems may be worsened by this procedure and may be best addressed by other surgeries such as a leg or body lift (e.g. tummy tuck) to improve your appearance if appropriate (loose skin). Lymphatic massage may also benefit you within the first year following liposuction.

For treatments that help to treat your cellulite, there is a laser treatment called Cellulaze that was recently approved by the FDA last year. This procedure is proven to show better results even after only one session. The outcome lasts one year or longer, but you may need followup sessions depending on the results.


Larry S. Nichter, MD, MS, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 157 reviews

Tumescent Lipo

TL or any liposuction rarely makes cellulite better; usually the cellulite only gets worse.  Beware of those who say lipo will improve cellulite. Thank you for your question and good luck with everything.

Vivek Bansal, MD
Danville Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 26 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.