Will Skin Sag After A Liposuction?


Liposuction is a cosmetic surgery that removes small but stubborn pockets of fat. It's especially popular for the lower abdomen, flank area, upper arms, and thighs. The procedure is a great option for removing fat deposits that just won't go away with diet and exercise. However, one common concern with liposuction is loose or sagging skin.

Because the surgery only removes fat and not skin, it is possible that your skin will sag after liposuction. Loose skin is a common problem after the surgery, but it's temporary and fixable in many cases.


Why Skin Sags After Liposuction

Not everyone experiences sagging skin after liposuction. The surgery usually only removes a few pounds of fat, so some people see no difference in their skin tightness. Sometimes, though, even removal of a small amount of fat can cause some loose skin.

Loose skin after liposuction is similar to loose skin after weight loss. Typically, the faster you lose weight and the more weight you lose, the looser your skin will be. Liposuction removes fat all at once, so your skin doesn't have a chance to shrink over time. Immediately after your surgery, you may be unhappy with the sagging skin. However, loose skin almost always shrinks up at least a little bit in the months or years following the procedure.

The severity of the sagging skin and the time it will take to bounce back depends on a variety of factors. The younger you are, the less likely you are to have a permanent issue with loose skin. The amount of fat removed can make a difference, too. If you've already lost a significant amount of weight before liposuction, you may already have some loose skin that could become more noticeable after the surgery. Genetics play a big role in your skin's elasticity as well.

It's not always possible to predict exactly how well your skin will react to the liposuction procedure. Your doctor will probably evaluate your skin elasticity to get a general idea, though. If your doctor thinks your skin might sag after the procedure, he or she can give you recommendations for how to tighten your skin up.


How to Improve Skin Elasticity

Minor loose skin will probably shrink up on its own, but there are also lifestyle changes and treatments you can try to boost your skin's elasticity. Drinking water is one of the best things you can do to help your skin tighten up after liposuction. Water is great for skin elasticity and for the overall health and appearance of your skin.

Strength training exercises that target the area with loose skin can be very helpful, too. The muscle you build up in the area will "fill in" the loose skin while also making you look fit and toned.

Massages can improve your circulation, which will tighten up your skin over time. You should wait until your body has completely healed from the surgery to get a massage, though.

You can try skin tightening creams, which claim to boost skin elasticity. People report mixed results about how effective these products are, but you could combine them with other treatments. Many have natural ingredients that are good for your skin, including aloe vera, hyaluronic acid, and vitamins A, C, and E. Avoid extremely hot showers and prolonged sun exposure, both of which are bad for skin elasticity and could counteract your other efforts to tighten up your skin.


Professional Treatments for Loose Skin

If you're very unhappy with your loose skin after your surgery, you can undergo other cosmetic treatments to fix the problem. One popular treatment is Intense Pulse Light skin tightening, a noninvasive procedure that treats your skin with radio frequency rays. This constricts the collagen and blood vessels, which tightens up your skin.

There are several cosmetic surgeries that can treat loose skin, too. If you had liposuction on your abdomen, you could undergo a tummy tuck to remove excess skin and tone up the area. Tummy tucks do have a fairly long recovery period, though. Most doctors will only recommend the procedure if you have a lot of loose skin. For just a little bit of sagging skin, undergoing another surgery might not be worth it.

If you had liposuction on your butt or thighs, you could have a buttock lift or a thigh lift, which are both similar to a tummy tuck. For your upper arms, you could undergo a brachioplasty, or arm lift. Brachioplasty increases your risk of lymphedema or excessive swelling, though.

Don't panic if you notice some sagging skin right after your liposuction procedure. You'll probably notice it start to tighten up after a few months, and there are lots of strategies for improving skin elasticity. If you do have a big problem with loose skin that doesn't go away, you can discuss your options with your doctor.


Dr. Steinbrech is an experienced surgeon certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgeons and the American Board of Medical Specialties. He performs a wide variety of surgical and nonsurgical cosmetic procedures, including liposuction, in his New York Office. If you're interested in liposuction or another cosmetic procedure, you can call his office or visit his website at https://www.drsteinbrech.com.