Areas to Treat
Liposuction can remove a bulge of fat in nearly every area of the body. Here are the areas in which it is most commonly requested:
Neck/chin - Liposuction in this area is also known as “submental” liposuction, and it creates some of the most dramatic changes. Some people have a double-chin or a lack of definition of the jaw that suggests they weigh more than they do. It can look less youthful, sexy, healthy, and athletic. So long as the skin in the area is not loose, liposuction in the neck/chin area yields terrific results. This is one area of the body in which men seek treatment as often as women.
Male Chest - Excess fat in the male chest is very common and the condition isalso known as gynecomastia. Liposuction can be very effective at sculpting chests, though some men have significant glandular tissue that cannot be removed with suction alone and needs to be excised. Dr. Teitelbaum sees so many men with gynecomastia that he now has a website devoted to it, www.BeverlyHillsGynecomastia.com.
Women’s Breasts - Most breast reductions are done with fairly significant incisions. Since most large breasts are also droopy, a lift is usually an integral part of a breast reduction. However, for women whose breasts are already very high, who have good skin, who do not think they need a lift, and for those who want to avoid scars, breast reduction by liposuction, the so-called “no scar breast reduction,” is an answer to their problem.
Abdomen - The abdomen is the most frequently requested area for liposuction. When the fat layer is thick and the skin is tight and elastic, fabulous results are obtained. Unfortunately, abdominal skin frequently develops cellulite and small irregularities, even in women who have not had children. This problem can be even worse after children, and liposuction can sometimes deflate this area, worsening the appearance of cellulite. This is of course not always the case, but it is critical to assess for this problem. While an ideal male body is typically flat from chest to pubic area, an ideal female proportion has something of a convexity between the pubic area and the belly button. If this area is made too flat, there is a slight masculinization of that area which can be very unattractive and often somewhat odd seeming on a woman’s body. The abdomen, therefore, is an area in which the wise patient and careful surgeon choose to not be aggressive. There is nearly always far more of an improvement to gain from performing liposuction in the flanks/hips/love handle area.
Flanks/hips/love handle - There are two reasons that this part of the body is the very best for liposuction: First, nearly everyone holds more fat in this area than they realize. Pinch your stomach and squeeze your love handle area in your hand; almost everyone has more fat in the love handles. Second, the skin in this area is thick and nearly always contracts after fat is removed and therefore rarely develops any cellulite. Most people blame their tight pants on the fat in their stomachs, but there is usually much more fat around the back, and treating this area does more to help people tighten their belt than does treating the front. As jeans get tighter, even thinner men and women are getting “muffin tops,” and it is liposuction of the low back that most helps this area.
Back - The area over the shoulder blades is another region that can be made thinner with liposuction. Women will complain about how they feel fat bulging on either side of their bra strap. Liposuction in this area rarely removes a very large quantity of fat, but nevertheless helps to tighten the area up and can yield a very noticeable improvement for the patient.
Arms - The back of the arms is an area that is frequently requested for liposuction. Whether at an ideal weight or a bit overweight, many women disproportionately store fat in the back of their arms compared to the rest of their body. Other women have some excess fat out to the sides of their arms, which makes their torso appear wider than it should. As long as the patient’s skin has good elasticity, liposuction of the arms creates a tremendous improvement that patients really love.
Outer Thighs - Liposuction of the outer thighs, more than liposuction in any other area, narrows a woman’s physique and make her look more svelte. A good liposuction surgeon will always be sure to leave a slight curve in that area because it is easy to over-flatten the area, yielding a result that looks operated upon, boyish, or just simply unattractive. It is difficult to impossible to correct an outer thigh that has been over-treated with liposuction. It is also important to keep the outer thigh in proportion to the hip area. Oftentimes a patient wanting liposuction of her outer thigh should consider liposuction of her hips: if a patient with wide hips narrows her outer thighs, her buttocks can look square. By treating the hips in such patients, a greater amount can be removed from the outer thighs while maintaining an ideal physique.
Inner Thighs - Inner thighs are a very commonly requested area for liposuction and the results can be excellent. Other people will not always notice a difference after you have liposuction of the inner thigh, but it is something that you will see and, importantly, feel. Your pants won’t be as overly snug and your legs will rub less. Liposuction of the inner thighs will also make the outer thighs seem smaller because when the thigh circumference decreases, pants will drape better over the outer thigh. By avoiding lines of pull over the outer thigh, the outer thigh will look smaller.
Anterior (Front) Thighs - Some women are very lean over the front of their thighs, while others carry substantial excess anterior thigh fat. Liposuction of the front of the thighs is very effective for reducing fat along the front of the thighs, thereby thinning the entire thigh and making it appear longer. Many women who complain about their inner and outer thighs often have an excess fat in the front. If just the inner and outer thigh were to be done, then the thigh would be narrow but overly projecting and fat looking; treating the front of the thigh is critical to make the thigh look thin and ideal.
Buttocks - While many women ask for liposuction of their buttocks, it is only occasionally done because the skin of the buttocks does not tend to contract down nicely after liposuction. The result can be a buttock that looks deflated and even a bit saggy. Dr. Teitelbaum only does buttock liposuction when the skin is tight and the buttocks are clearly overfilled. However, the benefits in contouring the region by doing liposuction of the hips and outer thighs can make buttocks look smaller and better shaped.
Mons - Some women have excess fat in their mons pubis area, which creates an embarrassing bulge in their clothes. This is often seen in women who have lost weight, who have had tummy tucks, or who have had lots of liposuction elsewhere on their bodies. There are also thin women who have never had any surgery who suffer from this. A small amount of gentle liposuction can produce a very significant change to this area for which patients are extremely satisfied. Fat in this area is generally lost with age, and in fact sometimes fat is injected into this area if it thins out too much in order to restore a youthful appearance. It is therefore crucial to understand that this is an area that must never be over-treated.
Knees - Liposuction works well for the bulge in between the knees and the bulge that can occur just above it. Reshaping the bulge between the knees emphasizes the leg’s natural narrowing from the thigh towards the ankle, and makes the legs much longer and more attractive. Liposuction also works well for the bulge above the knee in the front, but only if the skin is of good quality. Some individuals feel their knees rub together, and liposuction of the knees can cure them of this problem. Some people have issues with loose or rippled skin above the knee, but liposuction does not address those complaints.
Calves and Ankles - Liposuction of the calves and ankles involves the longest period of swelling after liposuction, but the results can be dramatic. Women will talk about starting to wear skirts and dresses. They will be able to buy boots that they could not previously fit into. Calf and ankle liposuction is often a major change for the women who get it done, and they are typically among the most gratified patients in plastic surgery. It is not a procedure recommended to someone just trying to make her legs a little thinner. This is for someone who may be relatively straight between the ankle and the knee, or someone who does not have definition in the ankle area. For the individual with the patience to wear compression stockings for months after the surgery, liposuction of the calves and ankles is a phenomenal procedure.