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Hip Liposuction

In hip liposuction, a couple of small incisions are made to insert a metal cannula while the patient is asleep. The fat is suctioned out of the hip region allowing the skin to contract back to a smooth, even contour. When considering hip liposuction, it is important to know what is defined as the area of the hips. It is essentially the little round collections of fat that both men and women get above the hips in the back that is above the hip bones. This is a common area for collecting fat when people gain weight. This area is sometimes called the flanks or the love handles as well.


This procedure offers skin tightening and butt lifting effects due to the nature of the treatment. There are certain parts of the body during liposuction where the skin does not tighten very well, but the skin in the hip region is thick and contracts better than other areas. Because of the natural contour of the lower back, when the surgeon evacuates a significant amount of fat from that lower back region, the skin will re-drape into that gentle curve. It can actually lift the buttocks slightly because the skin is now re-draping into that curve, similar to a Brazilian butt lift.


The ideal patient for a hip roll liposuction would already be at a stable weight and looking to enhance their body contours, particularly excess fat in the hips.


Having cellulite in the hips is actually pretty rare. If there is some cellulite, general liposuction does not make it go away. Liposuction is not a good treatment for cellulite because suctioning out the fat does not break up collagen fibers. A patient can have the fat suctioned out and still have cellulite.


To some degree, the amount of scarring from the procedure depends on the surgeon. Some surgeons use 2 or 3 or 4-mm long scars that are extremely tiny. Placing these tiny scars in a strategic location makes them well hidden.


The main limitation of hip liposuction is based on the anatomy of a person. The patient has to have a fullness of fat in that region. Some people just have prominent bones or prominent muscles in that region and liposuction is not going to help that at all.

Patients with excessive loose skin from weight loss need to have skin removed as well as liposuction and that comes with a longer scar. Once the skin is stretched to the point that it will not spring back, the surgeon has to remove the skin to get a nice, even look.


Any surgical procedure, including liposuction, typically involves putting the patient to sleep with general anesthesia. In terms of risks specific to hip liposuction, it is basically underdoing it or overdoing it. If the surgeon takes out too much, it can leave the person with an unnaturally sculpted appearance. If the lower back is completely flat and devoid of fat after liposuction, the transition to the buttock might be too sharp and have a surgical, shelf-like look. This aggressive-contoured look is actually the request of same patients, so it is a matter of personal aesthetic to a degree. If liposuction is overdone, the surgeon has to find fat somewhere else like the arms or legs or abdomen and take that fat out and re-graft it into the region.


There is not much pain following the procedure although patients often take pain medication for up to a week after liposuction. It is normal for patients to be up and walking about on their own the night after surgery.

If the hips are treated along with another area like the abdomen, the patient is required to wear some form of compression garment for six weeks after the surgery.

Some surgeons also use a drain in that region and the drain will typically stay in for a week or two. If it is an aggressive liposuction in the hip roll region, it is common to use drains. The more aggressive a surgeon is with the liposuction, the more potential there is for the body to make extra fluid.


In terms of when a patient will see the final results, that happens around the three month mark. There is a significant amount of swelling after liposuction. This is especially true in the hips so patients will not see the final curve until about three months. The majority of the swelling is gone by a month and the results will continue to change and evolve for the next couple of months after that.


The concept with any liposuction, including the hips, is that a person is born with a limited number of fat cells. Liposuction removes some of these fat cells but cells that are left behind still have the ability to get larger with weight gain or become smaller with weight loss. If the fat is removed thoroughly from the hip region and the patient gains weight afterwards, the odds are the weight gain will happen somewhere else.  If a patient fluctuates 5lbs or 10lbs, it is not usually as dramatic of a change, but if the patient gains 50lbs, it can ruin a surgical result.


Hip liposuction is a surgical option where fat is suctioned out of the hip region and the skin contracts back into place to even the contour of the area. While the procedure is best for patients who are currently at a stable weight, potential patients need to schedule a consultation with a plastic surgeon to determine if they are an ideal candidate for the procedure.

Written by Cosmetic Town Journal Editorial Team- MA

Based on an exclusive interview with Christopher Knotts, MD in Reston, VA


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