After Lipo of my Tummy, Dr Said It Was Tough to Do, Why?

My dr said my tissue was difficult to get through. This made me wonder if my recovery will be harder as well. I'm 5'5" 125 and had tummy and flanks done. I'm healthy and work out but these spots never get better after pregnancies. Why would it be harder than usual? What does this mean for my recovery? I'm worried I have made a mistake by getting this done now.

Doctor Answers 10

Tough liposuction

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As noted by others, some people have more fibrous or tightly compartmentalized fat which can be more difficult to remove with liposuction. In medicine today, if you have a question or concern you need to ask for an explanation you understand.

Tucson Plastic Surgeon

Tough liposuction

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Sometimes the tissue can be more fibrous than fatty and can be more difficult to suction. That is probably what he was referring to.

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

Tough to do lipo

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He probably was referring to the fibrous nature of your fat. Ultrasonic liposuction is good for these areas as it helps break it up. Vaser is one such brand of ultrasonic liposuction which I use often. It does take longer then regular liposuction but works well on fibrous fat or redo liposuction cases. Good luck.

Gregory T. Lynam, MD
Richmond Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 62 reviews

Everyone is different

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Your question is a good one and highlights your individuality.  Just like the way every patient looks different and has fat deposits that are in slightly different orientations, everyone's fat has different consistencies.  Some patients are very easy to get fat out of, and some patients have a significant fibrous component to their fat which makes things a bit more difficult.  Consistency of the fat can even vary from site to site on the same person.

None of this has anything to do with your expectations or results, and I don't anticipate you should have a more difficult recovery because of it.

Tougher Tissues for Liposuction

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   Sometimes the fat in a person can be more fibrous and can be more difficult to liposuction.  Previous surgery can produce scars in the area, which makes the liposuction more difficult as well.   Recovery after liposuction depends upon a number of factors.  Kenneth Hughes, MD Los Angeles, CA

After Lipo of my Tummy, Dr Said It Was Tough to Do

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Your surgeon can answer this question best. There are areas where there is more connective tissue scattered about the fat, and that is most likely what your surgeon referred to. That can lengthen the time that the swelling lasts, and may render you more uncomfortable for a day or two.


All the best. 

Jourdan Gottlieb, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon

Post-operative ultrasound can soften a firm result

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Sometimes Liposuction can be a little tougher to perform because of the

consistency of a person's fatty tissue. We usually call this "fibrous" tissue.

This is a normal type of tissue in some people and we see it more commonly

in people whom are thinner and more fit. Sometimes this can be swollen for

a little longer than average . We find a series of post-operative ultrasound

treatments help to soften the treated area and promote a smoother result.

If we suspect fibrous tissue before a liposuction procedure is performed it

is better to use a "smart" liposuction procedure such as Vaser which uses 

ultrasound energy to dissolve fatty tissue and ensure a smooth result

Algird R. Mameniskis, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 33 reviews


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Some parts of the body have more fibrous tissue surrounding the fat that may make liposuction more difficult.  More bruising sometimes occurs.  Good results are still possible and you should discuss the procedure and the outcome with your plastic surgeon.

Lawrence Enisman, MD, FACS
Albany Plastic Surgeon

Factors influencing lipo recovery

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Your own plastic surgeon is the one to ask, but there are variables that can affect recovery. If there has been significant weight loss, then the tissues often have more blood vessels and are more dense. The amount of fat removal in a given area is another factor. I don't think that timing is an issue.

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

Difficult liposuction, will this lead to longer recovery?

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Thank you for your question. What your surgeon refers to is the fibrous nature of your tissues which makes it more difficult to extract the fat. I personally use the VASER ultrasound technique on almost all my liposuction cases for the past 10 years. This helps with easier fat removal without too much trauma to the other tissues. If he used only regular, traditional liposuction, this means he had to work really hard to liposuction the fat. This causes limited results and excess trauma and swelling to the surrounding tissues with longer recovery and less than optimal result. If you are still early out from surgery, I suggest you get some lymphatic massage to mobilize and minimize tissue swelling. Good luck.

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.