Body Parts That Can Be Treated With Liposuction

Liposuction isn't a way to lose weight, but it is a way to slim and sculpt various areas of the body. The procedure is best for those who are at their ideal weight, and who eat a reasonable diet and exercise regularly, but who can't seem to rid themselves of localized pockets of fat. What are these localized pockets of fat and where are they?

Let’s focus on the areas above the waist, starting at the head and working our way down.


Double Chin

Double Chin
Millicent Odunze, M.D., M.P.H.

A "double chin" refers to excess fat in the chin and neck area that causes a fold, making it look like a person has two chins. Usually, this is a consequence of being overweight; though it can occur in people of normal weight. This can be improved with liposuction.

This person is an ideal candidate for submental liposuction because the neck appears to start at the chin and look slanted. Liposuction can improve the angle of definition between the chin and neck, but it will not tighten loose skin in this area.


Buffalo Hump

Buffalo Hump Before and After Liposuction
Millicent Odunze, M.D., M.P.H.

The term, buffalo hump, comes from the unique characteristic of a buffalo's neck. In people, it refers to an abnormal deposit of fat located at the upper back and neck. A buffalo hump is usually a consequence of steroid treatment, the body's overproduction of certain steroids, and/or obesity. Liposuction can be used to remove this fat deposit in some instances.


Bat Wings

Arm Liposuction Before and After
Millicent Odunze, M.D., M.P.H.

Flabby arms due to fat can be helped by liposuction. Flabby arms due to loose skin—not so much. Loose skin requires a more involved procedure known as an arm lift or Brachioplasty.


Female Breasts

Breast Liposuction
Millicent Odunze, M.D., M.P.H.

Liposuction of the breast is appropriate for a limited population –women with fatty, yet perky breasts. Here's why: To get a good result, there cannot be ptosis (sagging or droopiness) of the breasts. Liposuction will just make ptosis worse. 

Additionally, the breast must be more fatty than dense. A dense breast is not ideal for liposuction. Younger breasts are denser while older breasts tend to be fattier. However, breasts also become more ptotic with age, especially if they’re on the larger side. A breast lift or a breast reduction is the answer for ptotic breasts.


Male Breasts

Gynecomastia Before and After Liposuction
Millicent Odunze, M.D., M.P.H.

Gynecomastia is the enlargement of the male chest, causing it to look like a breast. Male breasts, also known as "moobs" or "man boobs," occur when there is excessive fat in the chest area of a male. Liposuction can reduce the appearance of this condition that can be the result of obesity, steroid use, hormone imbalances, or using certain drugs, like marijuana. However, the male breast can be quite dense. Removal of the tissue with methods other than liposuction may be necessary, or in addition to liposuction.


Bra Fat

Before and After Back Liposuction
Millicent Odunze, M.D., M.P.H.

Bra fat refers to excess fat in the back area and, and extreme cases, a fat roll or rolls are present. Sometimes, the fat may only be more pronounced when a bra is worn and can be solved simply by wearing a properly fitted bra.

Liposuction can be a fantastic tool for removing this excess fat. If the skin has not been too stretched out, the results after liposuction can be quite remarkable. If the back skin has been stretched, a bra line back lift may be necessary.



Before and After Liposuction of Abdomen
Millicent Odunze, M.D., M.P.H.

The abdomen can have an excess layer of fat resistant to diet and exercise. If the abdomen is rounded like a globe and is hard, known as an “apple” shape in women and a “beer belly” in men, the fat is on the inside of the abdomen. This fat is known as intra-abdominal fat. It cannot be removed by liposuction.


Belly Pooch

Before and After Liposuction Belly Pooch
Millicent Odunze, M.D., M.P.H.

Sometimes excess fat does not involve the entire abdomen. A “belly pooch” is a pocket of fat usually localized to the lower belly. This is different from a potbelly caused by carrying excess weight. The belly pouch occurs in people of normal weight who just happen to accumulate fat in this area. This person is an ideal candidate for liposuction.


Love Handles

Before and After Liposuction of Love Handles
Millicent Odunze, M.D., M.P.H.

“Love handles” or flank refers to fat located on the sides of the abdomen that partially extends onto the back. It is quite difficult to get rid of fat in this area—even the slimmest of people struggle with this stubborn fat deposit. Both men and women can have love handles.


Muffin Top

Before and After Photo of Muffin Top Lipousuction
Millicent Odunze, M.D., M.P.H.

“Muffin top” was coined because when the fat on the sides of the abdomen spills over the waistband of pants or shorts, it looks similar to the edges of the top of a muffin. Women usually use this term to describe the excess fat in this area whereas men usually refer to the fat in this area as love handles.

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