Why it's done

Liposuction is used to remove fat from areas of the body that haven't responded to diet and exercise, such as the:

  • Abdomen
  • Arms
  • Buttocks
  • Calves and ankles
  • Chest and back
  • Hips and thighs
  • Neck

In addition, liposuction is sometimes used for breast reduction.

When you gain weight, fat cells increase in size and volume. Liposuction reduces the number of fat cells in a specific area. The amount of fat removed depends on the appearance of the area and the volume of fat. The resulting contour changes are generally permanent — as long as your weight remains stable.

After liposuction, skin molds to the new contours of the treated areas. If you have good skin tone and elasticity, your skin is likely to appear smooth. If your skin is thin with poor elasticity, however, skin in treated areas might appear loose.

Liposuction doesn't improve cellulite dimpling or other skin surface irregularities. Likewise, liposuction doesn't remove stretch marks.

Liposuction isn't recommended for people who have conditions that could complicate surgery, including:

  • Restricted blood flow
  • Coronary artery disease
  • Diabetes
  • A weak immune system
Nov. 29, 2016
References
  1. Robinson JK, et al. Liposuction. In: Surgery of the Skin. 3rd ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Elsevier; 2015. http://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed Feb. 8, 2016.
  2. Liposuction. American Society of Plastic Surgeons. http://www.plasticsurgery.org/cosmetic-procedures/liposuction.html. Accessed Feb. 8, 2016.
  3. Neligan PC. Liposuction. In: Plastic Surgery. 3rd ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Elsevier; 2013. http://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed Feb. 8, 2016.
  4. Liposuction information. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. http://www.fda.gov/MedicalDevices/ProductsandMedicalProcedures/SurgeryandLifeSupport/ucm070170.htm. Accessed Feb. 8, 2016.
  5. Do's and don'ts for liposuction. American Society for Dermatologic Surgery. https://www.asds.net/_ConsumerPage.aspx?id=720. Accessed Feb. 8, 2016.
  6. Neligan PC. Patient safety in plastic surgery. In: Plastic Surgery. 3rd ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Elsevier; 2013. http://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed Feb. 8, 2016.
  7. What can I expect before, during, and after liposuction? U.S. Food and Drug Administration. http://www.fda.gov/MedicalDevices/ProductsandMedicalProcedures/SurgeryandLifeSupport/Liposuction/ucm256146.htm. Accessed Feb. 8, 2016.