Liposuction Surgery Procedures For Different Body Types
We all have our own idea of what our bodies (and those of others around us) should look like. Some of us have frames that allow more "curves" (bigger hips, buttocks, stomachs, etc.), some of us are rail thin but have a little bit of stubborn fat in one or two places.
Gender is a factor in fat distribution. Men tend to have what is referred to as an android body type. They have thin legs and hips and carry their weight around their waists in an apple shape. Women generally have what are called gynoid body types. They tend to carry weight in the thighs and hips, and are pear-shaped. These are not hard and fast rules. There are men out there who are pear-shaped and women who are apples on sticks. There are also variations on these themes.
Many body types that can benefit from liposuction are called "deformities." That is such a harsh term. I don't care to use this terminology unless there is simply no way around it. I don't consider any of us to be deformed. The word deformity should be reserved for a condition that impairs function, not to describe a different silhouette. Everyone has a different body type and we all aren't Barbie or Ken and it would be boring if we were. We're just trying to balance our bodies a little and get a better silhouette.
Although the diagrams depicted in the following sections are just examples, individuals can have any combination of any of these problems and problems in additional areas. We are just covering the most common complaints in these sections.
Female Body Types and Complaints
Most women with excess body fat tend to carry their weight in areas in the thighs, hips, abdomen and general lower torso, buttocks and knees. There are several female body types that can benefit from liposuction. As I said, the medical community calls these deformities, but doesnt that sound harsh? Although the diagrams below are just examples, individuals can have any combination of these problems.
Saddlebags, Fatty Inner Thighs, and Knees
When I gained an extra 20 lb at one point, I had saddlebags, fatty thighs, and knees. I also had a small waist, which made the lower half of me look even larger. What joy. The clinical name for saddlebags is trochanteric excess. But who goes around saying that except doctors?? Say saddlebags and people know what you mean. Thigh liposuction takes care of this problem very well, if performed correctly. The body shape below can be sculpted to appear more balanced and shapely, as opposed to looking like a pear. Additionally, women often wonder how to get rid of love handles. Often, liposuction can take care of this problem area.
Excess Medial Thigh Deformity
This shape is not as common as saddlebags, but is common enough to be a regular reason for liposuction. Excess medial thigh deformity is when the middle points of the thighs are larger than the upper. The thighs appear to start lower than they should, but the hips, upper thigh and waist are usually normal size. No saddlebags are present, just exceptionally curvy medial thigh. This diagram also shows excess fat on inner thighs and knees.
Excess Flank, Waist, and Abdominal Fat
This diagram shows a figure with a thicker waist due to excess lateral abdominal fat and excess fat on the flanks. Even a small-framed person can have the appearance of having a larger waist or a wide body when the fat is distributed this way. Liposuction can improve this body type and create a thinner waist and remove the flank fat that hangs over the top of your jeans. This diagram also depicts excess inner thigh fat.
Violin Deformity and Fatty Calves
This is when you have a fuller, upper hip area and saddlebags, but a normal-sized or smaller mid-hip area. Your hips and thighs mimic the outline of a violin, with the indent at hip level. This diagram also shows some excess fat on the calves and inner thighs.
Upper Arm Fat
Liposuction to fat on the upper arms can be very beneficial, but it is also risky if not performed correctly. It can result in lymphedema, or temporary or chronic swelling of the arm and hand. Lymphedema can occur if the surgeon disrupts the ductwork and lymph nodes of the arm that drain fluids.
Submental (Under Chin) Fat
Having a deposit of fat under the chin is very common. Liposuction to remove this fat deposit is often done by itself or with additional facial cosmetic procedures such as a face lift or chin augmentation. Submental liposuction by itself can make a person look like she has lost a lot of weight. Neck and under chin liposuction may be performed in conjunction with a neck lift if the skin is too lax afterwards or with a platysmaplasty (a neck lift with muscle tightening) if the muscles of the throat and under the chin have also relaxed and separated.
Male Body Types and Complaints
Men tend to carry their extra body fat in the torso area, the flanks, abdomen and back. When the fat circles the torso, it is often called a spare tire or love handles. The pubic mound may have fatty deposits. Men can have fatty deposits on the upper chest, which can look like breasts, or they can develop actual breast tissue, which is a condition called gynecomastia, or they can have both. Of course men can have leg and arm fat as well, but the common liposuction areas for men tend to be on the torso.
Abdomen and Flanks
Many men have their flanks and lower abdomen slimmed down with liposuction. These areas may be the most common complaint in male patients.
Gynecomastia and Spare Tire
Gynecomastia is excess tissue in the male breast. I have heard gynecomastia rudely referred to as "bitch tits." It can be a side effect of steroid use or can be due to hormonal imbalances. In many men who are carrying extra pounds, these pseudobreasts are just fat. However, it can be actually breast tissue in some men. Liposuction can remove the fat deposits. If breast tissue is present, it can be removed surgically.
The spare tire is a common and much loathed male fat deposit. Fat deposits in the waist area tend to spread to the back as well. When excess fat collects along this area many men think about getting liposuction. For men, liposuction here is a very routine procedure.
Abdominal and Pubic Mound Protuberances
There are two areas of fat that can expand considerably to extend the abdomen, subcutaneous fat, which is routinely removed, and visceral (intra-abdominal) fat, which is rarely removed with liposuction. The fat that you can pinch that sits above your abdominal muscles is what can be safely removed by liposuction. However, the fat that is underneath your abdominal muscles and that surrounds your organs is dangerous to remove. Please see our Anatomy Section for more information on visceral fat.
Usually, as the fat around the front of a mans abdomen expands, so do the fat deposits on the flanks and back. Liposuction can really make a difference for those men who have a spare tire and love handles.
On a man, the pubic mound also collects fat and expands with weight gain. A mans body may put down a pad of fat right over the pubic bone, just above the genitals. This can cause the pubic mound to protrude. The fat can even surround the base of the penis. Liposuction can help this problem.
Submental (Under Chin) Fat
Many men develop a double chin. Liposuction can remove the fat that collects under the chin and expands the neck and this is done commonly. Liposuction under the chin is also often combined with facial cosmetic procedures. Often, taking out a few ounces of fat under the chin can make a man look like he has lost many pounds. Neck and under chin liposuction may be performed in conjunction with a neck lift if the skin is too loose afterwards or with a platysmaplasty (which is a neck lift with muscle tightening) if the muscles of the throat area have also relaxed and separated.