Ask An Expert: Can Liposuction Cause More Cellulite?

Ask An Expert: Can Liposuction Cause More Cellulite? featured image

It’s been about three years since reality star Heidi Montag made headlines about her total body plastic surgery transformation that made her nearly unrecognizable. While she has expressed regrets in the past about the 10 procedures she has done, there’s one procedure in particular that she wishes she could take back the most. Liposuction, she claims, gave her an embarrassing amount of cellulite to the point where she hardly ever wears shorts. Curious to find out whether there was a connection between the two, we went straight to the experts for answers.

Cellulite occurs when fibrous tissue beneath the skin is engorged with fat, causing small pockets of fat to push up on the tissue, thus creating that dimpled look on the surface. Newport Beach, CA, plastic surgeon Douglas L. Hendricks, MD, told us that liposuction doesn’t necessarily cause more cellulite. “Sometimes when people have aggressive liposuction, or if they get liposuction when they have minimal fat, the waviness and rippling that results can be confused with cellulite.” If anything, a liposuction procedure done by the right surgeon would reduce the appearance of cellulite by decompressing those fat compartments.

Kirkland, WA, plastic surgeon Sarah McMillan, MD, agreed with Dr. Hendricks, saying, “If liposuction is overdone and too much fat is taken out, the skin will wrinkle more and make the cellulite look worse with more dimpling.” What it really comes down to is that too much or too little fat can make cellulite more noticeable, but not cause more of it. Cellulite is, after all, something that people are genetically predisposed to.

“The take home message is that liposuction is not the cure to getting skinny,” says Dr. McMillan. “It is for targeted areas and you should maintain your diet and exercise after the surgery to get the best results.”

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