Can Multiple Body Areas Be Done During Liposuction Surgery?

Q: Can liposuction of the ‘love handles’ be combined with the hip and inner thigh areas? I have lost several pounds through the years. I was told laser treatment to melt the bit of fat would be the way to go but not sure what would happen with the bit of excess skin?

A: It is extremely common for multiple body areas to be treated during any liposuction surgery procedure. As a general rule in my Indianapolis plastic surgery practice, I treat as many body areas that can be done in two hours or less of operative time…with no more than five or six liters of aspirate removed. This is known as ‘normovolemic’ liposuction. Studies have shown that the medical risks of liposuction increase significantly with high volume liposuction surgery. (greater than five liters) There was a time when I performed high volume liposuction but now feel that such volumes are best done in two separate procedures.

Loose or excess skin is always an issue when the underlying fat is removed by liposuction. While some minor amount of loose skin will shrink and tighten after surgical fat removal, significant amounts of excess skin will not go away and are at risk to hang more afterwards. This is of most significant concern in the abdominal area but is also an issue in the inner thighs.

Laser liposuction (aka Smartlipo) will cause more skin to tighten than traditional liposuction because of the heat it generates during the procedure. But it is not a miracle skin tightening device and one’s expectations should be tempered if more than a little loose skin exists.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana