Can Liposuction Make the Cellulite On My Thighs Look Worse?

Q: Dr. Eppley, I have some additional questions about thigh liposuction. I need a fair amount of fat removed frm my thighs and during our consult you estimated that it would be about 1.5 L per thigh.  I know you are the expert but I’m wondering if I should get more removed (have you seen these thighs lately? Ha!). I believe your concern was that I have somewhat of  “cellulitic” thighs – nothing too severe but my legs aren’t perfect either (I’m 5’5, 165 lbs). How big of a factor is this when taking the amount of lipo into consideration?  Would it be risky to remove a little more per thigh?  Part of me would like more removed.  However, the other part of me worries about skin elasticity and “lumpiness” or other skin irregularities produced from the procedure.

A: The key concept for your thigh reduction to consider is that the more aggressive you are with liposuction in someone who has pre-existing thigh cellulite, the more likely you are to worsen the appearance of the cellulite and create unevenness. Contrary to a common public misconception, liposuction is not a treat for thigh cellulite but a potential exacerbation of that problem. It is a delicate balance between improvement in thigh size and not worsening the overlying skin’s contour. The ‘price’ to be paid for aggressive liposuction (maximal fat removal) is increased skin irregularities. Removing anywhere near 1 liter of fat from the saddlebag area is a lot and is certainly aggressive. But almost assuredly, increased skin irregularities will be the trade-off.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana