Liposuction Breast Reduction: Does the “SCARLESS” method really work?


Scarless Breast Reduction using Liposuction – what patients need to know.

You may have heard of “Liposuction Breast Reduction” or seen this advertised using words like “scarless breast reduction.”  Advertisers often describe this breast reduction method as a quicker, lower downtime procedure than typical breast reduction surgery options. So does the LIPO ONLY method of breast reduction actually work? Can you adequately REDUCE your breast size using liposuction or liposculpting, alone?

The truth is, liposuction breast liposuction ONLY suits a small percentage of breast reduction candidates.

Plus, liposuction IS an invasive surgery AND it still leaves scars.

So the NO SCAR breast reduction method isn’t accurate?

  • No, because all invasive surgery leaves a scar.
  • The scar is simply less visible BECAUSE it’s smaller, and tends to fade over time.
  • But every patient is different and all patients scar differently.

Plus, Liposuction IS a serious and invasive surgical procedure, and hence, involves RISKS.

  • Surgery RISKS from LIPO are often higher if you choose an inexperienced, less-qualified Surgeon or a Doctor who’s not allowed to operate in Hospitals.
  • If your Surgeon ONLY operates in a clinic back room or private facility, they are unlikely ALLOWED to admit patients to a hospital – should something not go to plan.
  • That means your Surgeon wouldn’t be able to manage any post-operative HOSPITAL admissions NOR to use general anaesthetic (do you really want to risk  ‘awake surgery’ where you might feel or sense the pain?)
  • If you’re comparing Surgeons or looking for cheap liposuction prices, be sure you watch the FOUR CORNERS VIDEO investigation into the Australian cosmetic surgery industry and LEARN the differences between different types of doctors who operate vs elitely trained FRACS Plastic Surgeons – cheap surgery by a non-Specialist is never worth the risk.

liposuction only breast reduction vs surgery


Why is LIPO Breast Reduction said to be less invasive if it’s a surgical procedure?

The reason LIPOSUCTION methods for Breast Reduction are called ‘less invasive‘ is that:

  • LIPO doesn’t involve extended incisions
  • unlike a tummy tuck, for example, there are NOT long incisions needing stitches/ surgical sutures.
  • Instead, small circular-style scars where the cannula is inserted

However, the amount of TISSUES impacted by LIPOSUCTION under your skin can range from a SMALL area of your breasts or body to a much LARGER area (but there are limitations).

Does LIPO Breast Reduction COST less than surgery?

It depends. Surgery costs vary depending on numerous factors, but the more complex the surgery and the more time in theatre, the higher the cost.

  • Costs of ALL surgery vary according to what the patient needs and where they have their surgery.
  • Other factors impact the COST or PRICE of a LIPOSUCTION Breast Procedure (visit our costs page).
  • If a one-price-fits all cookie-cutter offer is advertised, that may indicate that doctor offers one style only procedures which may not suit each patient –
  • E.g. they may NOT fully customise the procedure and a lack of customisation is a recognised deterrent to a good result from breast reduction.

Anchor, Le Jour or LIPO Breast Reduction – which METHOD is best?

There’s never ONE solution that FITS all patients.

  • The more customisation of your procedure, the better.
  • The best of the BEST Breast Reduction Surgeons in Melbourne tend to use BOTH, not one or the other – but this varies from patient to patient.
  • Both procedures have PROS and CONS and BOTH procedures have risks.
  • Like most cosmetic or reconstructive surgery, GOOD RESULTS rely on careful patient-procedure-surgeon matching.
  • Review the TOP 5 FACTORS that influence your surgery results – good or bad!

Often, surgical excisions can get a far BETTER result than liposuction alone, particularly for procedures like BREAST REDUCTION, where the SIZE of the breast AS WELL AS the position or PTOSIS are often part of the patient’s complaints.

Example: Breast Reduction performed surgically where LIPOSUCTION alone would fail to address the nipple ptosis and sagging of the skin; and where liposuction breast reduction alone would likely worsen the degree of ptosis or ’empty upper pole’ cleavage area or ‘drooping’ breast shape.


Does LIPO hurt less than other surgical procedures?

  • Not necessarily.
  • Firstly, LIPO is often combined with a more extensive shaping procedure that uses excisions to reduce or remove tissues.
    • This equals two major procedures and potentially extended recovery times.
    • Most liposuction patients have a great deal of swelling, bruising and discomfort or pain – although this DOES vary and your Surgeon MAY  have methods to help reduce your discomfort as you heal.
  • Examples: Tummy Tuck, arm reduction/arm lift or full breast reduction – done properly – often involves SHAPING with liposuction or fat redistribution as WELL AS removal of redundant skin folds (skin reduction).

If LIPO alone is used, you’ll still need recovery and down time but your wound care is often easier to manage than a longer incision line.

  • Because the work is done more internally (beneath the skin), your skin has LESS healing to do after LIPO, plus WOUND care is potentially easier to manage
    • however, the INTERNAL area of your BODY may have a LOT of healing to do after liposuction
    • It can take weeks to months to recover, and like other procedures, recovery downtimes are variable from patient to patient
  • Cannula shaping and fat reduction is ALSO not non-INVASIVE
    • It may be LESS invasive but not NON invasive, because it’s less invasive only to the skin/dermal structures
    • Yet LIPOSUCTION is invasive in terms of fat cells and underlying tissues being removed or reduced

Why do they advertise breast reduction as being SCARLESS?

  • Scars for LIPO breast reduction SIMPLY tend to be less conspicuous OR smaller in size than Anchor methods or Le J1our incision breast reduction scars.
  • That’s because liposuction cannula SCARS are smaller – and that’s due to the incisions (cuts in the skin to remove tissues) being smaller for a cannula than when the SKIN is also excised or reduced to give a firmer ‘tighter’ skin appearance.

But unless documentation readily reveals that LIPO BREAST REDUCTION is NOT really scarless, then their materials or advertising can be deceptive. So be wary of what you’re being told.

While LIPO Breast Reduction may SOUND appealing, the experience and long-term success of a liposuction breast reduction procedure is actually quite variable, and liposuction is still invasive and requires downtime.

If you have skin laxity of any type, or heavy breast tissues, lipo breast reduction may NOT get you a pleasing, nor long-lasting, result.

Often the best approach for Breast Reduction is a combined SURGICAL EXCISION method with LIPOSUCTION for sculpting and shaping cleavage or reducing some fat around the bra strap or back area of the body.

Note that a FULL Breast Reduction with custom shaping is best performed by an experienced Plastic Surgeon who focuses on this complex reconstructive breast surgery procedure.

We have several expert Breast Reduction Surgeons at our Melbourne, Berwick and Sydney locations.

Download Our Breast Reduction Guide

Breast Reduction Guide Download

Pros and Cons of Liposuction Breast Reduction

Scar-less Breast Reduction using Liposuction: Is it truly scarless? The answer is NO.

  • Incisions for liposuction are definitely smaller than surgical breast reduction, such as a Le Jour procedure or an Anchor Technique.
  • There STILL needs to be entry-point incision to insert the cannula (hollow metal tube).
  • You will typically have several small entry point scars if you have a liposuction breast reduction procedure.

Can you get a good result with liposuction only breast reduction?

  • Some patients MAY be suitable for this procedure.
  • But most will want the results more akin to what a surgical PLUS lipo breast reduction can provide, rather than Liposuction only breast reduction.
  • To find out more, download our GUIDE and book a consultation.

Liposuction Breast Reduction:  May work OKAY for minor breast reductions, but typically not the best solution for treating sagging, very heavy breast tissues with lax skin or ptotic nipples.

  • One of the common complaints made by women with heavy breasts is PAIN and DISCOMFORT caused by the breast weight, breast position and bra strap dig-ins.
  • Liposuction breast reduction, as a sole procedure, typically may NOT accomplish ENOUGH tissue reduction to help relieve back pain, neck pain or shoulder pain.

Plus, your skin might sag further if your skin’s collagen levels and elasticity has been compromised by ageing OR from carrying heavy breast weight for a long period of time.

  • Where your nipples are situated on the overall breast mound is also involved in how aesthetically pleasing you assess your breast appearance.
  • The downward pointing nipple may be a concern for you, and this cannot be treated or adjusted with LIPOSUCTION alone.

Is Liposuction less risky or less downtime than other types of cosmetic surgery?

  • Not necessarily. It’s less invasive to your skin due to smaller incisions, meaning less scar formation and smaller wounds to manage
  • BUT there are still incisions and tissue manipulation and fat reduction, which carries risks and requires adequate recovery time
  • It has similar risks to other surgeries PLUS some unique risks your Surgeon will discuss with you during a consultation
  • Some patients may also have higher surgery risks or require more recovery downtime than other patients (all surgery has variable results).

Photographic example of SURGICAL Breast Reduction WITH LIPO (vs LIPO only)

Notice the location of the ptotic nipples in the BEFORE image on the left (see illustration below).

Reduction Mammoplasty Surgery can REPOSITION (MOVE) your nipples and breast mound to a more central area on the chest to:

  • reduces problematic breast weight
  • give you a more aesthetically pleasing shape
  • makes it easier to find properly fitting bras
  • For more on BREAST REDUCTION, visit this page.


Most women with large, heavy breasts simply have more breast tissues to remove than may be effective with liposuction alone.

  • In summary, the condition of your SKIN is likely to contribute to whether or not a liposuction only breast reduction option is going to be effective.
  • If you have enough breast weight to want a surgical reduction, you’re best off having a consultation with a bonafide FRACS (Plastic) Surgeon who can help you achieve the balance and shape you desire, using advanced full breast reduction approaches WITH liposuction rather than LIPO on its own.
  • Remember, a cosmetic surgeon is NOT FRACS qualified and is unlikely to have hospital operating rights.
  • Read 7 Timely Tips to AVOID BOTCHED SURGERY .
  • Phone us today on (03) 8849 1444 to ask for a consult with a Specialist Plastic Surgeon who can help you assess your best options in view of your skin condition, surgery goals and health.

For many women, “Scarless Breast Reduction” using Liposuction alone is NOT going to be their best option for a good Breast Reduction result.

Recommended reading:


Will Medicare cover my Breast Reduction?

Visit our Downloadable Guides pages

For more information about Cosmetic and Plastic Surgery options and research in Australia.

cosmetic surgery for women and men Downloadable guides Female Plastic Surgeon Melbourne

Download our free guides or phone (03) 8849 1444 today – and ask for a no-obligation consultation.


Australian Society of Plastic Surgeons (Find specialist plastic surgeons), Australian Society of Plastic Surgeons (Patient Safety Regulated by Plastic Surgery Regulation Laws), Australian Society of Plastic Surgeons (Information for patients), Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency AHPRA (Register of practitioners), Health Victoria (The Department of Health and Human Services)

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Visit our FAQ pages, learn more about your procedure and also have a look at our BEFORE & AFTER PHOTOS.

Our team of Specialist Plastic Surgeons’ affiliations include:


Scientific Articles on Breast Reduction: Plastic Surgery Journals (Peer-reviewed)

 2007 Oct;120(5):1095-104; discussion 1105-7.
 2004 Mar-Apr;28(2):59-69. Epub 2004 May 28.

Vertical reduction mammaplasty

Accessed December 12 2018
Last updated: 19/12/2018
Author profile image
Dr Geoff Barnett
Dr Geoffrey Barnett, FRACS (Plas) is a Melbourne based Specialist Plastic Surgeon who has over 35 years of expertise in Plastic & Reconstructive Surgeon for Cosmetic Surgery, Plastic Surgery and Body Contouring Surgery after Bariatric Surgery.Qualifications and Memberships: Specialist Plastic Surgeon (FRACS) Member - Fellowship of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery [FRACS (Plast).The Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (RACS) is the only professional body recognised by the Australian Medical Council (AMC) and the Medical Council of New Zealand (MCNZ) to train Surgeons in Australia and New Zealand.Author BIO page: