Kennett Square, Pa
Liposuction or liposculpting can be done to almost any part of the body, but the location treated can have an effect on the results and satisfaction. Just like the realtor’s motto “Location, Location, Location,” the same can be said about the results of liposuction. Some areas or locations can typically have better results than others. This educational writing will review this topic and was written in response to a question from a person in Kennett Square, PA.
If a person has liposuction in multiple locations or places, they may find that the results vary from place to place. For example, if a person has liposuction of the stomach, love handles and inner thighs, they might find that the result and satisfaction varies for these areas. They might love the result for the stomach. They might find that the love handle result is excellent too. But they may feel the inner thigh was not quite “what they had hoped for.”
A satisfaction scale will help explain this another way. On a scale of 1 to 10, a 10 represents the result that the patient considers to be perfect. A result of a 2 represents improvement, but very little improvement. In the above example, the person might find a result of a 9 or 10 for the stomach. The love handles might be a 7 or 8. The thighs might be only a 5, leading to disappointment. I am going to explain why this can happen, but remember, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. One person’s 5 might be another person’s 10.
Liposuction results vary based on many factors including the surgeon’s skill and technique. But other factors play a big role also. These include, but are not limited to, the amount of fat present in the area, the thickness of the skin, the elasticity and quality of the skin, liposculpturing techniques, and the health and healing ability of the patient. These factors will be discussed in detail below.
The amount of fat:
If you have a lot of fat in a given area or location, this is usually a sign that better results can be achieved. For example, if a person has very large love handles, than liposuction tends to remove a noticeable amount of fat. The majority of people will see this difference and be happy. People with small amounts of fat in a given area have a greater chance of not noticing a big change. This can lead to disappointment. Liposuction before and after photos tend to often show the best results where “a lot” of fat was removed. Smaller amounts of fat removal can be more difficult to see in photographs. This doesn’t mean people won’t be happy with the removal of fat from areas with small amounts; it just might not be as noticeable.
Elasticity and quality of the skin:
Skin thickness, quality, and elasticity play a role in liposuction results as well. Thick skin with good elasticity will often give the best appearance or result after surgery. A risk of liposuction is some type of skin ripple or uneven appearance of the skin after the surgery. This problem is unlikely. However if a person gets this problem after the procedure, good skin quality and elasticity will often hide the unevenness. Poor skin qualities will make it easier to see any problem if it happens. The elasticity of the skin is a big factor in the best results. Good skin elasticity, like a rubber band, will tend to give skin shrinkage and better results. Stomach skin after having babies usually has poor elasticity. This can give a higher chance of ripples after liposuction. These patients need to consider a tummy tuck or abdominoplasty, as an option, instead of liposuction.
Advanced surgical techniques:
Liposculpturing is the process of advanced surgical techniques to give the best results. In my opinion, small canulas and tumescence give the smoothest and most even fat removal. This gives the best outcomes. Liposuction outcome will be improved with these advanced skills of the cosmetic surgeon.
The patients’ overall health:
Intrinsic qualities in the patient will also play a role in giving the best results. Healthy patients who don’t smoke and who exercise regularly will tend to get better outcomes. Following the post operative instructions can also play a role. The regular use and proper wearing of compression garments can play a role in the best outcomes after surgery.
Location, location, location:
Finally, results tend to be better in certain anatomical areas compared to others. The stomach and love handles tend to give very high satisfaction rates. The outer thigh area does as well. This is probably related to the convex surface, thick and good quality skin, and the nature of the fat in the area. I find patients often have very high satisfaction in these areas with many results in the 8’s, 9’s, and 10’s out of 10. Liposuction of the back rolls, inner thighs, and calves tend to give lower satisfaction rates compared with other areas. This might be related to less skin elasticity and other intrinsic differences. This does not mean an individual won’t be happy with treatment in these locations or areas. In contrast, the great majority of people “will” be happy with the outcomes. It just means the patient needs to have realistic expectations about the outcome and satisfaction. Remember, “Location, Location, Location.” Some areas of liposuction tend to give better results than others.
People interested in liposuction results or other liposuction topics such as cost, recovery, before and after photos, or technique should please call the office for an appointment.
I am a board certified plastic surgeon who practices exclusively cosmetic surgery. Please come in for a complimentary consultation to learn about your choices and options!