Cosmetic Surgery Tips

Is Liposuction Safe For Seniors

Are you a senior considering liposuction? If so, you might be wondering if the procedure is safe for older people. After-all, as we age our bodies are more susceptible to change and injury.

First and foremost, you should know that liposuction is a safe cosmetic surgery for any adult of any age. However, it’s important that seniors follow the correct procedure to ensure that they have the safest and most enjoyable experience possible.

You may find it hard to access the right information on the internet, so we are here to help you in the following article, providing the best and updated information on liposuction side effects, can morbidly obese get liposuction, and liposuction cost.

Is Liposuction Safe For Seniors

While many liposuction patients tend to be younger and fitter than the majority of the population, the number of obese and elderly liposuction patients is on the rise. As a matter of fact, the American Society of Plastic Surgeons’ 2018 Statistical Report shows that “liposuction in patients who are age 55 and over increased by 4% between 2017 to 2018.”

Not only has liposuction become safer for patients who were previously thought to be high-risk, but it is also being used to treat medical conditions that cause subcutaneous fat to collect in certain parts of the body or to help men and women lose weight quickly.

In this article, we discuss the reasons why elderly and obese patients are able to receive liposuction; how the safety risks have been reduced in recent years; and the aesthetic outcomes that can be expected for these patients.

Why Liposuction on Obese and Elderly Patients is Increasing

There are several reasons why the number of obese and elderly patients receiving liposuction is on the rise. For one, more advanced liposuction devices paired with safer anesthesia have reduced the risks of liposuction in these patients.

Additionally, obesity is becoming more prevalent across the developed world, leading more people to seek liposuction as a temporary weight reduction technique. Moreover, an increase in life expectancy has influenced many older people to want to look slimmer and more fit. In addition to these factors, there are many single individuals, especially older people, who want a more aesthetically pleasing body to attract potential partners.

The Risks of Liposuction in Obese and Elderly Clients

In the past, liposuction was reserved for patients who were relatively young, healthy, and had small areas of concern that diet and exercise would not address. The main reason liposuction was limited to healthy patients was because health risks would increase with older or obese patients, as well as anyone with medical conditions.

However, new liposuction devices make surgery less invasive while minimizing bleeding and swelling, as well as reducing many of the other risks previously associated with liposuction. This, combined with the fact that, nowadays, patients rarely need to be put under complete general anesthesia to undergo the procedure. These factors have made liposuction safer for many patients, including and especially for those who are overweight or older.

One study featured in the Aesthetic Surgery Journal found that “large-volume liposuction on moderately obese patients is safe and effective in appropriately selected patients as a weight reduction technique, at least on a short-term basis.”

Furthermore, the American Society of Plastic Surgeons states, “one myth about liposuction for ‘older’ people is that it’s not safe, but any patient who is in good health and has had a positive medical examination may safely receive liposuction.”

The Aesthetic Outcomes on Elderly and Obese Patients

Although liposuction has become safer for the elderly and obese, achieving gold-standard aesthetic outcomes is more complex. Both types of patients will likely need multiple treatments to achieve the cosmetic results that the surgeon and their patients desire.

For obese patients who have lost a significant amount of weight – liposuction in conjunction with skin reduction surgery is ideal, since fat removal will likely increase the amount of loose skin on their bodies.

Similar procedures would be best for elderly patients, too, but for different reasons. Liposuction might also increase the appearance of sagging and loose skin in elderly patients because at their age, their skin has lost a lot of its elasticity and will not retract the way youthful skin does. As a result, liposuction paired with skin reduction surgery is an excellent treatment path that many plastic surgeons have used on their older patients.

It’s important to note, both types of patients may need multiple procedures to gain the full benefits of liposuction.

Liposuction Before & After Photo Gallery | Gilbert, AZ | Dr. Josh Olson:  Advanced Plastic Surgery Institute

Liposuction Side Effects

Liposuction is a plastic surgery procedure that removes extra fat from the body. It’s also called lipo, lipoplasty, or body contouring. It’s considered a popular cosmetic surgery option.

People get liposuction to improve the shape or contours of their body. They want to remove excess fat from areas such as the thighs, hips, buttocks, abdomen, arms, neck, or back. Usually, they’ve tried diet and exercise and can’t get rid of these fat deposits.

Liposuction isn’t a weight loss treatment. It has serious risks and possible complications, so it’s important to talk to your doctor before considering it.

What to expect with liposuction

Liposuction requires going under anesthesia for the procedure. This means you won’t feel any pain during the liposuction surgery. However, you’ll feel pain after the procedure. Recovery can also be painful.

Depending on what parts of the body require liposuction, you may have a shorter or longer hospital stay. Some procedures can be done in an outpatient center. It’s common to have pain, swelling, bruising, soreness, and numbness after liposuction.

To minimize pain before the procedure, you can:

  • talk to your doctor about pain concerns
  • discuss the type of anesthesia that will be used
  • ask about any medications you can take before the procedure

To minimize pain after the procedure:

  • take all prescribed medications, including pain pills
  • wear the recommended compression garments
  • keep the drains after surgery in place based on your doctor’s recommendations
  • rest and try to relax
  • drink fluids
  • avoid salt, which can increase swelling (edema)

Deciding if liposuction is right for you

Some people are good candidates for liposuction, and others should avoid it. Talk to your doctor to determine if liposuction is the right option for you. Discuss your concerns with them.

Good candidates for liposuction include people who:

  • don’t have a lot of excess skin
  • have good skin elasticity
  • have good muscle tone
  • have fat deposits that won’t go away with diet or exercise
  • are in good physical shape and overall health
  • aren’t overweight or obese
  • don’t smoke

You should avoid liposuction if you:

What are the risks of liposuction?

Liposuction is a serious surgery with multiple risks. It’s important to discuss all the risks of liposuction with your doctor before having the procedure.

Risks during surgery

The risks during surgery include:

  • puncture wounds or injuries to other organs
  • anesthesia complications
  • burns from equipment, such as ultrasound probes
  • nerve damage
  • shock
  • death

Risks immediately after the procedure

The risks after the procedure include:

  • blood clot in the lungs
  • too much fluid in the lungs
  • fat clots
  • infections
  • hematoma (bleeding under the skin)
  • seroma (fluid leaking under the skin)
  • edema (swelling)
  • skin necrosis (the death of skin cells)
  • reactions to anesthesia and other medications
  • heart and kidney problems
  • death

Risks during recovery

The risks during recovery include:

  • problems with the shape or contours of the body
  • wavy, dimpled, or bumpy skin
  • numbness, bruising, pain, swelling, and soreness
  • infections
  • fluid imbalances
  • scars
  • changes in skin sensation and feeling
  • skin color changes
  • problems with healing

What are the long-term side effects of liposuction?

The long-term side effects of liposuction can vary. Liposuction permanently removes fat cells from the targeted areas of the body. So, if you gain weight, the fat will still be stored in different parts of the body. The new fat can appear deeper under the skin, and it can be dangerous if it grows around the liver or heart.

Some people experience permanent nerve damage and changes to skin sensation. Others may develop depressions or indentations in the areas that were suctioned, or may have bumpy or wavy skin that doesn’t go away.


Liposuction is an elective cosmetic procedure that has major risks. It’s not a substitute for weight loss, and not everyone is a good candidate for it. Make sure you meet with a board-certified plastic surgeon and discuss the potential complications and risks before the surgery.

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