When Is Liposuction Medically Necessary? Medical vs Cosmetic Reasons For Lipoplasty

Is Liposuction A Life And Death Decision?

The short answer is: sometimes. Liposuction is usually not medically necessary. The procedure is typically reserved for cosmetic purposes. People choose the treatment to reshape problem areas of the body, including thighs, hips, and stomach. Liposuction is a last-ditch effort when exercise and diet aren’t enough. For some people, however, liposuction is more than just a way to tone the body.

What is liposuction?

Liposuction is usually a cosmetic procedure to remove fat deposits. Fat can be removed from the hips, buttocks, arms, back, stomach, face, and under the chin. Ideally, liposuction patients must be in good health. Surgeons use a variety of techniques, including solutions, ultrasound, and laser technology to break down the fat.


On rare occasions, liposuction is used to treat certain medical conditions. Benign fatty tumors, also known as lipomas, can be removed through liposuction. Most doctors avoid using liposuction for lipomas because of the risk of leaving behind part of the benign tumor. Conventional excision is preferred to prevent a recurrence.


Enlarged breast tissue in men, also known as gynecomastia, can be distressing. Liposuction is one of the many ways to remove excess fat tissue. Surgeons make a small incision along the edge of the areola or within the armpit to sculpt the area. Liposuction can work in mild-to-moderate cases of gynecomastia.


Lipodystrophy is the abnormal distribution of fat in the body. Lipodystrophy can be hereditary or acquired through various diseases and illnesses. Exercise alone might not completely get rid of the extra fat deposits in problem areas. Liposuction can be a temporary solution, but fat can build up again.

Axillary hyperhidrosis

Excessive sweating can do more than just make a person feel embarrassed. Axillary hyperhidrosis can be treated with subcutaneous liposuction. During the procedure, the eccrine sweat glands are removed. Surgeons prefer liposuction over traditional excision due to the minimal damage to the overlying skin, smaller incisions, and less hair loss.

A cosmetic revival

While liposuction isn’t medically necessary most of the time, the procedure can still significantly improve a person’s quality of life. The method is more than just an effective way to remove fat. Liposuction and additional treatments can improve skin laxity. The entire body shaping process can help people regain confidence and peace of mind. For more information, speak with a plastic surgeon about liposuction options.


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