What are some of the limitations associated with liposuction?

Written by
July 12, 2013

Liposuction is not a substitute for weight loss. As mentioned previously, the results of liposuction are less impressive in overweight patients. Losing weight after liposuction, on the other hand, will enhance the results of surgery.

Liposuction improves body contour but not surface texture. The term “cellulite” describes patchy skin dimpling and other surface irregularities frequently seen in the thighs and buttocks. It usually increases with age and its cause is poorly understood. Cellulite is not improved by liposuction and often becomes more evident by fat removal. There is no effective remedy for cellulite by any means presently.

Loose skin frequently develops with aging. It commonly occurs in the abdomen, inner thighs, and the front of the thighs, sometimes extending as far as the knees. Liposuction does not improve loose skin and may make it worse. The only effective remedy for loose skin is surgical excision, a process that creates long scars that are only partially concealed.

Results following liposuction are also influenced by body type and age. Tall, thin patients usually exhibit the best results. Younger patients do better than older ones. Results are often more subtle in those having a wide waist or pelvis, or having a large frame in general.

Liposuction is an inherently less precise technique compared to most other plastic surgery procedures. Minor imperfections can occur such as an area of residual fullness or the opposite: a small depression of irregularity. Fortunately, such problems can usually be improved by means of a short touch-up procedure. More extensive postsurgical defects, commonly the result of over aggressive treatment performed by less experienced physicians (many not plastic surgeons), may require fat grafting to restore normal contour.


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