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Liposuction: Nothing To Do With Fat, Everything to Do With Skin

In any plastic surgery procedure, setting realistic expectations for the patient is vital, even though we plastic surgeons genuinely hate to burst the bubble of people who come to us expecting quick fixes or miracles.

It is crucial to have a clear idea of what a procedure can or cannot do for you. And on this point, no other plastic surgery procedure has as many myths and misconceptions as liposuction does. 

Liposuction is a fat reduction surgery that removes excess fatty tissue from targeted areas, such as your abdomen, thighs, buttocks, and hips. It is not for weight loss, and it does not remove loose skin. If you suffer from obesity, meaning you have a Body Mass Index (BMI) of over 35, then liposuction might not even be a good option for you.

However, if you are only looking to eliminate unwanted fat deposits from your midsection or other specific areas, areas with good tight skin, then liposuction surgery can be helpful. This post will aim to address many of the misconceptions surrounding liposuction.

Does Liposuction Get Rid Of Loose Skin?

Liposuction does not get rid of loose skin. If you have loose skin before the procedure, it will not become tighter afterwards.

Conditions such as weight fluctuations, pregnancy, and even genetics can cause your skin to lose its elasticity. Liposuction is not the answer to that ailment. It only removes the extra fat, not the excess skin.

A tummy tuck or other skin-tightening surgery is a more suitable option for getting rid of sagging skin, making the body look more contoured and toned. Liposuction surgery is often combined with a tummy tuck for patients who wish to remove excess fat and tighten loose skin. If you would like liposuction but have poor skin laxity, you should consider this option.

Does Liposuction Remove Cellulite? 

Fat cells pushing against the skin and fibers pulling down on the skin causes cellulite. Cellulite lives in a very superficial layer of the skin, so liposuction at this level can lead to dimples and contour irregularities. Most liposuction is performed in the deeper layers of underlying fat where these risks are lower, meaning liposuction rarely removes cellulite.

Does Liposuction Get Rid Of Stretch Marks?

If you have stretch marks on your skin due to pregnancy or extensive weight loss, liposuction will not remove them. Despite the promises of lasers and lotions, the most effective way to eliminate stretch marks is removing the damaged skin entirely, as is commonly done in tummy tuck surgery. 

Does Liposuction Reduce Your Weight?

A liposuction procedure will not reduce your weight dramatically. While fat makes us “fat”, it is not dense or heavy tissue. While there will be some decrease in weight, it is not as much as one would think. 

It is the contour that changes most in the properly selected patient. If patients think of liposuction as a weight loss surgery, they run the risk of disappointment.

Moreover, there’s a safety concern as large-volume liposuction can be lethal. So, if you are obese and want to lose weight via surgery, you should consider a bariatric or significant weight loss surgery instead.

After bariatric surgery, most patients will undergo a skin tightening procedure, not further liposuction, as demonstrated in the post-massive weight loss section of my website.

liposuction procedure

Liposuction Does Not Replace Good Eating Habits

Patients who undergo liposuction must eat healthily to maintain their new shape. Yes, liposuction will reduce the number of fat cells in the targeted areas of your body, but it cannot stop your body from creating new ones or enlarging what is left behind.

If you indulge in unhealthy junk or fried foods regularly after your operation, you’ll regain the fat you lost. Therefore, I always advise my patients to be as healthy as they can be to maintain their results. 


For the patient with loose skin, liposuction will make them looser, not tighter. I sometimes have to help patients switch gears in their thinking. And this is best done during a consultation.

During a consultation, I will evaluate your skin tone and your goals. I try to sort out what is realistic and what is not, and what will be most gratifying.

The best candidates are those who are healthy and already doing what they can to stay in shape. The role of liposuction is to help with diet and exercise-resistant areas containing stubborn fat deposits.

If you want to find out if you are a good candidate, please get in touch to organise a consultation. Call our office at 301-656-6398 or 703-442-4919, or fill out a form on our contact page.

May 18, 2020 1:11 am
Categories: Blog

Written by Dr. Adam Tattelbaum

Dr. Adam Tattelbaum is a highly skilled and compassionate plastic surgeon with over two decades of experience.

Double-certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery and the American Board of Surgery, Dr. Tattelbaum believes in providing personalized patient care and customizes his treatment plans to suit the individual.

Dr. Tattelbaum's candid and realistic approach has earned him recognition, not only with his patients but in the Top Doctor lists of the Washingtonian and Bethesda magazines. He is also a member of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, a mark of distinction in the field of cosmetic surgery.

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