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I am going to have liposuction on my legs. Is there such a thing as a person with...

Q:

I am going to have liposuction on my legs. Is there such a thing as a person with fibrous fat? If so, what are the complications and how would one know they have this type of problem?

A:

This is a very good question and important in the context of leg lipoplasty (liposuction). Many people believe that fat is largely the same throughout the subcutaneous tissue space of our body. There are, however, fibrous bands that criss-cross the fat compartments. These may be denser in one area or another or in certain anatomic situations, such as after infection or after a previous lipoplasty procedure. What it sounds like you are concerned with is the suggestion of "fibrous" fat in the legs. It is generally agreed that the fat in the legs is held more firmly in place and likely has more associated fibrous bands than fat in other parts of the body. You can tell because there is less mobility or "wiggle" to the fat in the legs than in the abdomen, for instance. However you have arrived at this understanding, the real issue here is that lipoplasty of the legs for this reason is very “unforgiving”. I tell my patients that it is the one area of the body that has the highest likelihood of contour irregularities (bumps or dents) after lipoplasty. The thinner and the firmer your legs, the more likely are postsurgical irregularities. Technique and operative planning are extremely important in lipoplasty of the legs. Make sure you discuss the risks thoroughly with your plastic surgeon before proceeding.

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