What Is The Difference Between Liposuction And Liposculpture?

Q: Dr. Eppley, What is the difference between liposculpture And liposuction? I am 55 years old and scared of the skin sagging or wrinkling At my age with liposuction, I would love my inner thighs, knees and saddlebags gone forever.

A: On the one hand, the difference between liposuction and liposculpture is largely one of marketing. The term liposculpture implies a greater degree of finesse and precision than the historic term of liposuction . As a result some doctors use this term for any form of liposuction because it simply sounds better. That does not necessarily mean, however, that it is or that the body is truly sculpted. Conversely, if applied to the right situation, the term liposculpture may have some real meaning. The right situation in my experience is when one is doing smaller areas of fat reduction using smaller cannulas where getting a more precise result and truly creating a visible contour change occurs. In short, liposuction implies large volume fat reductions where a simple size change occurs. (i.e., a full abdomen) Liposculpture implies smaller and more precise volumes of fat removed to create curved contour changes. (i.e., neck, knees)

Based on your age and areas of concern, however, these liposuction concepts are not what is important for you. You are appropriately concerned about what will happen to your skin at your age with any form of liposuction. The effects of liposuction on the overlying skin change based on the area being treated. I would not be concerned about the knees as skin never sags in this area no matter how much fat is removed at any age. Conversely, the inner thighs are a treacherous area for irregularities and skin sag at any age. I would approach the inner thighs with modest fat removal or none at all. If any significant skin sag exists now you would be better off with some form of an inner thigh lift if you want to go that far. As for the saddle bag area, this is a good area to treat but the key is to not remove too much fat as skin sag as some irregularities will occur with too much deflation. You may also have to accept some negative changes in the skin in the saddle bags no matter how much fat is removed.

Dr. Barry Eppley