Loose Skin after Liposuction a Myth or Reality?
Being a liposuction specialist for the past 9 years, has given Dr. Su more experience in developing advanced skills and techniques for handling loose skin in liposuction than any general plastic surgeon. In our office we see approximately 30 new patients a week in consultation for liposuction. Inevitably, Dr. Su is asked many times every week whether the skin in a patient will be loose. Most of these patients have read or heard that skin will be loose if there is a large amount of fat removed in liposuction. Often, they have been told by a plastic surgeon in another consult that they must have a “tuck” of their neck, arms, or tummy in order to avoid loose skin. A tuck means cutting away skin which is something that most patients want to avoid if possible, because there will be a scar along the line of the cut that can be visible.The answer to the question of whether liposuction can cause loose skin is complicated and may be best answered by asking more specific questions.
Will skin always get loose in liposuction? NO – the condition of the skin before liposuction will determine to a large extent what is possible after liposuction is done. In many cases where the skin is tight or only slightly loose, there will be no loose skin afterwards. The more thickness of fat that is removed will often create a need for more retraction, but often the skin will be able to retract fully. Even in some cases of large hangs which appear loose, there is still a possibility of it tightening.
Does a doctors skill determine how much looseness there will be? YES. For the vast majority of doctors doing liposuction, they will tell you that skin will often be “loose” afterwards and that they have to limit what they remove to avoid creating too much looseness and hang of the skin. These doctors are correct to a certain extent. For them and the way that they perform liposuction they will create some unwanted hang.
Can Liposuction be performed in a way that tightens the skin? YES! There is a way to tighten skin during liposuction. Very few doctors know about this and many do not believe it is even possible. Ask a plastic surgeon and they will likely tell you that there is no way. However, if you look at the examples in these photos you can easily see that there is an amazing amount of skin tightening. It is done using a new technique which Dr. Su calls Skin Tite Lipo.
Does Laser Liposuction or Smart Lipo work for Skin Tightening?
Many patients and surgeons believe that laser liposuction in the form of Smart Lipo, or one of the other laser brands will cause skin to tighten in liposuction patients. This belief is founded on advertising claims and company advertising that has permeated the cosmetic surgery scene now for almost 9 years. However, there may not be much truth to this. Although patients are at the mercy of the information they hear, doctors in the cosmetic surgery field have more insight. Many surgeons including Dr. Su who have used it do not believe that the laser adds any skin tightening that is noticeable.
Now more than 8 years since its introduction, there is still controversy among physicians whether there are true effects. To put this in perspective. The doctors who are still promoting laser liposuction at medical conferences are all part of the “research team” investigating the lasers for the companies and receive financial benefits from these companies. Other doctors who are promoting it are those who purchased these lasers for 60 to 100 thousand dollars and now have to try to capture some of that back in their promotions of the technology.
The doctors who have done research and present results on this all measure their results based on centimeter changes they can measure on tattoo marks or something similar. They do not show plain and simple before and after pictures that show dramatic easy to see skin tightening that is unmistakeable. If you are wondering how much skin tightening is available by lasers, look up the before and after results of doctors who are performing liposuction with devices such as the Smart Lipo machine and decide for yourself. Cosmetic surgery is about cosmetic improvements that are visible, not those that have to be measured to see. If the patient who is the consumer cannot see the difference, it is not worth talking about.
Dr. Su’s Skin Tightening Liposuction creates dramatic results that are unheard of with regular liposuction
Dr. Su has performed more liposuction surgery in a 9 year period than most surgeons will perform in a lifetime. However, what has made him different as far as liposuction advancements is that he is a perfectionist with a background in art, and a Fine Arts degree. He has taken awake liposuction and created techniques that no other surgeons are using to create overall, more complete and beautiful results. Just as sculpting on clay or marble takes skill and mastery, sculpting on fat is just as difficult and the results are vastly different from surgeon to surgeon.
Dr. Su has been a creating much more dramatic results in his sculpting than most doctors for most of his career. This is because he is much more aggressive in removing fat more completely. Dr. Su’s results come from removing approximately 80-90% of the fat layer on patients as opposed to the average 50% removal by most surgeons. Most surgeons are afraid to take much more than this because they are taught early on to leave a layer of fat behind just below the skin to cover up any sculpting irregularities. Dr. Su’s skills and methods allow him to remove the fat right up to the skin surface and to do it very smoothly. Only a very skilled surgeon can do this without a lumpy bumpy result.
Skin Tightening Lipo is a particular way of sculpting that Dr. Su created and perfected over the past 9 years that creates a dramatic amount of skin tightening. This is a revolutionary change in what is possible for skin tightening. All doctors will see some degree of skin tightening in some of their patients, but none produce the type of skin tightening that Dr. Su’s technique consistently produces in all his patients. The skin tightening depends to a large degree on the completeness of which the sculpting and fat removal is done, but also on the smoothness. Even if other doctors are removing fat very completely they may not be achieving the same type of results. Compared to theoretical skin tightening which is supposed to occur with lasers in the 3 to 6 months after the liposuction is performed, Dr. Su’s Skin Tite Lipo produces a skin retraction of 50% on average that is apparent right at the end of the surgery. There is an additional tightening of 20% that occurs in the next 24 hrs!
Surgery for Skin Removal
Face Lift, Tummy Tuck, Arm Lift, Thigh Lift
There are certainly some patients in which Skin Tite Lipo is not going to result in a tightening enough to create a cosmetic improvement. Skin Tite Lipo will often cause the skin to retract almost all the way but it can be bunched up and be wrinkled. In cases where this is not acceptable, patients are always urged to explore the option of traditional skin tightening through a tuck. This means cutting and removing some skin and pulling the edges close together. This is how the traditional face lift, tummy tuck, arm lift, and thigh lift are done. It is a method that is much more involved, requires general anesthesia , and significantly more down time. Dr. Su is very conservative and always discusses skin tucks as an alternative when there is even a small chance of loose skin.
Non Surgical Alternatives for skin tightening
There are many different devices and technologies that have been introduced in the past few years for skin tightening. Some of these, like fractional lasers on the face truly make a noticeable improvement. However, there are a number of others including devices such as Velashape and Velasmooth , and the current Ultherapy that are not as tried and true. Most of the non invasive lasers or ultrasounds, or radiofrequency machines promise to tighten the skin by inducing collagen production to create a delayed effect in skin tightening. If you read lots of reviews especially on sites such as RealSelf.com you will find a good mix of real and hyped reviews. Likely you will not see the type of skin tightening that you want from these devices.
Does diet, exercise, and weight loss make a difference in tightening skin?
Many patients also ask about diet and exercise to tighten skin. At Artistic Lipo we have seen a few patients that have had skin tightening and improvements after over a year that was not likely related to the liposuction but after patients got on a healthy diet and exercise program. It is not beyond the body to do some miraculous things like this. However, in general, when the skin is already wrinkled or wrinkles easily then diet and exercise will likely not make a difference. Another word of caution is in order here. For women who have only a small amount of fat or small bulges but are otherwise fairly thin, it is a mistake to try to get rid of these bulges completely through weight loss. For these women in their 40’s and older, the bulges often do not respond to weight loss, but the face can become more gaunt, and the breast and buttocks can get looser and flatter. Overall, the skin can get more looser also.
Where is Skin Tightening Lipo?
Face Lift Lipo
Tummy Tuck Lipo
Arm Lift Lipo
Butt Lift Lipo