Should I Have Liposuction Of My Inner Thighs If I Have Stretchmarks?

Q: Dr. Eppley, I am 29 years old and have always had heavy legs. For whatever reason, I got stretchmarks on my inner thighs during my teen years and they have never gone away. I want to get liposuction and was wondering if my stretchmarks would affect the result in any way. Will it not look as good afterwards if the skin is stretched out to begin with. If so, is there an alternative to liposuction that would be better? Thanks!

A: You have brought up a very good question, particularly when one is contemplating liposuction of the inner thighs. The inner thighs is a common area for patient dissatisfaction after liposuction. This is because the skin of the inner thighs does not have as much elasticity as other body areas so it is prone to not adapt well (shrink down) after fat reduction. This can lead to an inner thigh with irregularities and more loose skin after liposuction. This is why liposuction of the inner thighs must always be done more conservatively than in many other body areas and patient should expect modest improvements only. This would be particularly true when it it recognized before surgery that the skin is of questionable elasticity. Having stretch marks put you into the questionable skin quality category. One must think carefully about liposuction in this area under these circumstances and, without examining you, I can not tell you whether you would be wise to have liposuction or not. There are some emerging non-surgical technologies that are good alternative choices. Radiofrequency devices, like Exilis, can be very beneficial for skin tightening and some fat reduction. Whether you should have this alone or done after your liposuction surgery is a good question that can only be answered by an examination.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana