How Effectively Can Liposuction Reduce My Thighs?

Q: Dr. Eppley, I am 32 years old, 5’ 4” and weigh 148 lbs. I have been struggling my entire life with a very disproportioned body. I have a pear-shaped body with saddle bags and thighs that don’t seem to match what I look like above my waistline. This gives  me a problem when it comes to finding clothes particularly pants. I want to get liposuction to improve this problem but I have two concerns. First, how effective will it really be? Can it really make a significant difference in the shape of my lower body? Second, I have cellulite and stretch marks and am afraid that it will make them look worse. Despite these fears, I am so frustrated with these bulges of flab that I can do nothing about, no amount of exercise does anything. Plus this flab irritates me when I walk as it jiggles.

A:  While your concerns about liposuction is understandable, they should not stop you from eventually getting a positive change from the procedure. This congenital distribution of fat will respond to no amount of diet and exercise as it is not due to a caloric excess. It is the natural proportion of your body. Thus to make a change in its shape, it must be surgically modified. While liposuction will not make your thighs petite or even come to match your upper body, it will make a visible improvement that is most evident in silhouette and in how your pants will fit. While liposuction will not improve the appearance of cellulite and stretch marks, and can even occasionally make cellulite look a little worse, the improvement in your thigh contours make that risk a good aesthetic trade-off in most cases.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana