Because liposuction is intended to treat unwanted body fat, many candidates are unaware that the quality and tone of their skin matters a great deal. The ideal candidate for liposuction has firm, plump and elastic skin; patients with loose or saggy skin usually do not see the same great results.
Below, Dr. Samuel Pearl and Dr. Alexander Ereso explain why skin elasticity is so important to achieving excellent outcomes.
Evaluating Skin Elasticity
Skin elasticity refers to the skin’s ability to contract after being stretched out. It is largely determined by the amount of two proteins, collagen and elastin, which exist in surplus during youth, but decline over time. Factors like smoking, significant weight fluctuation and overexposure to the sun’s harmful rays can also be detrimental to the skin’s elasticity.
Normally patients under the age of 40 that have not been pregnant or fluctuated dramatically in weight have a decent amount of skin elasticity. The chances that their skin will “snap back” over the treated area are very good. Firm, elastic skin normally maintains the same tone after liposuction, and is able to re-drape tightly over the contoured area.
On the other hand, skin elasticity may be a concern with patients over the age of 40 that have had multiple pregnancies and fluctuated in weight. If the skin in the treated area is loose before surgery, it usually does not contract well and can even look worse after surgery.
Options for Patients with Loose Skin
Patients with poor skin elasticity (and excess fat) may be better suited to skin excision or “lift” procedures. For example, patients that have loose folds of skin and unwanted fat pockets on the thighs may qualify for thigh lift surgery, which removes excess skin and fat in the same procedure. Similarly, patients with excess fat and skin on the upper arms may be good candidates for arm lift (a.k.a., brachioplasty). Patients with abdominal fat and loose, saggy skin on the lower abdomen should explore their tummy tuck options.
Meet with Our Plastic Surgeons
If you are interested in liposuction, our board-certified plastic surgeons can evaluate your skin tone and advise you as to whether you will be able to achieve the results you want. They can also help you “preview” your results of surgery using Crisalix digital imaging software.
To book a consultation at Pearl-Ereso Plastic Surgery Center, please call (650) 964-6600 or email us today.