Before addressing whether liposuction can improve back pain, let’s start by explaining what liposuction is and why people turn to it. Liposuction is a cosmetic surgery designed to help patients remove excess fat and contour their bodies in specific manners. A tool called a cannula is used to break up the fat in targeted areas, then a tiny vacuum attached to the cannula removes the excess from your body.
Common areas people target with liposuction are the abdomen, butt, thighs, arms, back, and neck. The procedure is one of the most common cosmetic procedures in the United States, with upwards of 200,000 surgeries completed yearly.
Liposuction should not be viewed as a weight-loss procedure, meaning those that are overweight or obese should not choose lipo as a quick-fix solution. People considering liposuction should have a stable body weight and a steady BMI without significant preoperative fluctuations. Liposuction is best suited for people who want to add or fix specific bodily details by increasing their contours.
Many people mistakenly believe liposuction can create large, empty areas prime for fat to regrow into, but in reality, liposuction permanently removes fat cells from these body parts. Although the removal of fat cells is indeed permanent, in the case of significant weight gain after the operation, new fat can appear in previously slim areas where active fat cells remain in copious quantities.
Liposuction and Back Pain
It is highly unlikely that the procedure will eliminate or reduce back pain. Liposuction is an aesthetic body contouring procedure, not a weight-loss operation. Weight loss can help improve back pain, but liposculpture alone won’t do too much. New mothers specifically looking to reduce back pain may want to consider a tummy tuck. This treatment can re-tighten abdominal wall muscles that support the back, eliminate excess skin, and give you a tighter frame, which could help with the pain.
Lumbosacral Liposuction: An Alternative Solution to Back Pain?
A study published by French researchers posits that a new liposuction technique targeting the fat surrounding atrophied lower back muscle can help reduce pain. The researchers propose that this method can encourage the expansion of paraspinal lumbar muscles, which thereby limits the severity of back pain.
While results are not yet definitive, this study marks the first instance of liposuction being used to encourage muscular expansion. In fact, an overwhelming majority of the patients examined during this study reported “good” to “very good” improvement in pain following lumbosacral liposuction.
Liposuction or Other Methods?
Liposuction is not meant to address directly, and should not be relied upon to help relieve back pain. Your best bet would be to look into the tummy tuck procedure, which, in addition to fat, also removes excess skin.
The alternative solution explored above is showing a lot of progress, but as of right now, it remains in the experimental process.