Are you looking for ways to get rid of annoying fat pockets on your body? Liposuction procedures are the most popular body contouring treatments to remove fat deposits from the body. Nearly 250,000 liposuction procedures take place each year in the US alone.
While there are various types of liposuction, every method requires making small incisions in the treatment area to remove excess fat using a suction-enabled device called a cannula. If you’re considering liposuction, you’re probably wondering if liposuction leaves scarring, what’s the recovery like, and if there’s anything you can do to speed up the healing process.
Learn more about the side effects of lipo and how you can reduce liposuction scars.
Does Liposuction Leave Scars?
Tumescent liposuction is a minimally invasive surgical procedure. You will notice marks on different parts of the body where the cannula was inserted, but lipo shouldn’t leave visible or large scars.
The doctor begins by numbing the treatment area before making several tiny holes in discrete locations. These tiny cuts are only about 0.5 to 1cm long. Our cosmetic surgeons at Phoenix Liposuction Center™ will create the incisions on the least visible parts of the body. Next, your doctor will suction out unwanted fat with the cannula contour and re-shape your body. Once the fat is removed, there will be a red mark at the incision site. Most patients don’t require sutures, and the tiny incisions will heal on their own within a few days like any other cut on your body. Over time, these red marks will become undetectable.
Naturally, the more fat that is removed and the more treatment areas you have, you will have more markings that could potentially lead to scarring. However, you can start treatments and methods right after your procedure to help prevent scarring.
Liposuction Scars Immediately Following Surgery
Your incisions will be visible following your liposuction surgery. Swelling, bleeding, and bruising is normal after liposuction, but wearing your compression garments as directed will help ease the side effects and speed up the healing process. You may also notice some fluid around the incisions sites. Fluid isn’t a cause for concern, and it’s just your body’s natural way of healing. Recovery time is usually around one to two weeks. Your incision sites may itch and scab over, creating small scars in the target area. However, these scars will fade over time.
During your recovery time, the incisions will begin to heal, and any resulting scars that form after the healing process will be slight and not very prominent.
What Can Affect Scarring?
Not every liposuction patient will develop visible scars, but some do. Scarring after lipo largely depends on your skin. Some people are more prone to scarring than others, and things like age and genetics can also make a difference. Also, some patients may have a genetic predisposition to developing keloid scars, a thick raised scar. The good news is that if you do have scarring from liposuction, it will most probably appear as a tiny dot around the same size as a freckle.
Some patients may experience hyperpigmentation at the incision site. Hyperpigmentation is when the skin becomes darker in specific areas due to excess melanin. All patients can get hyperpigmentation, but it is more common with darker-skinned patients. Lighter-skinned patients will often notice less obvious scarring after liposuction. You can check out some liposuction before and after scars to better understand what yours may look like.
Liposuction Scars Compared to Other Surgical Treatments
Liposuction incisions are much less invasive compared to other popular plastic surgery procedures like silicone breast augmentation or a tummy tuck. There is very minimal cutting involved, and liposuction is done using local anesthesia, making it safer and easier on the body.
Some patients may opt to have another cosmetic surgery like a natural breast augmentation or BBL at the same time. If you’re planning to have a fat transfer, which recycles your own fat and reinjects it into other parts of your body, you may experience slightly more scarring. You can use the same treatment to help reduce the look of any type of surgical scarring.
The Most Common Types of Lipo Scars
Like any other surgery, there’s a risk for scarring. The most common type of scarring from liposuction is called dyschromia (discoloration). These types of scars can take two forms: hyperpigmentation (darkened scars) and hypopigmentation (lighter, bleached-out scars).
In more rare cases, patients may develop the following types of scars.
Atrophic Scars – These scars appear sunken below the skin’s surface. Atrophic scars are caused by lost fat or muscle around the incision site.
Hypertrophic Scars – Although hypertrophic scarring usually decreases over time, they appear slightly raised above the surface, similar to a mole on the skin.
Keloid Scar – Keloid scars are often hard, raised irregular-shaped spots. They also usually have a smooth top and a pink or purple color.
It’s important to have realistic expectations when going in for any elective cosmetic procedure. Understand that while the incisions are tiny, you may notice slight scarring even after the healing process.
We also suggest speaking with your doctor about the risks of scarring and what you can expect after your procedure. We’re always here to answer any questions you may have.
Scar Removal Treatments
In most cases, tiny liposuction scars will fade slowly as time passes. However, if you’re concerned about liposuction scars, there are some alternative treatments to reduce the appearance of significant scarring.
Here are some scar revision treatments to consider if you still have significant scar tissue following your fat removal procedure.
Silicone Gel Sheets
Silicone gel sheets are a popular over-the-counter treatment to minimize the appearance of scars. The gel helps hydrate the skin to aid in the healing process. Be sure to follow the instructions and use them regularly for the best results. It’s also a good idea to first use this type of non-invasive scar revision before moving on to other methods.
Chemical Peels & Microdermabrasion
Chemical peels or microdermabrasion remove layers of scar tissue from your skin. Most patients receive these types of treatments at a dermatologist’s office or a medical spa. However, you may need multiple treatments depending on how much scarring you have.
Laser treatments can speed up the process. Laser therapy works well to break apart hypertrophic and keloid scars after liposuction. A laser heats scar tissue and stimulates new healthy cell growth around the target area. Laser therapy is a relatively simple cosmetic procedure, but you may need several treatments to fade scarring.
Scar Removal Surgery
Scar removal surgery is a last-resort option for severe, highly visible scarring. In most cases, liposuction will not leave scars so extreme they need surgery, but if you have another procedure like an abdominoplasty (tummy tuck) along with liposuction, you may have more noticeable scarring. This treatment is quite invasive, and you do have the risk of creating more scars.
Liposuction With Phoenix Liposuction Center™
Our cosmetic surgeons go the extra mile to ensure you’re happy with your results. For example, our doctors strategically place the incisions on areas of the body that are the most unnoticeable. We also use leading liposuction techniques to help minimize the risks of adverse side effects, including scarring, uneven results, and other complications.
Following the procedure, you’ll receive a personalized aftercare scar management program, depending on how many areas of your body were treated. This treatment plan helps prevent keloids, manage liposuction scars and improve your overall results.
What’s a Common Aftercare Regime?
A lot of our patients ask us how to get rid of scar tissues after liposuction. Depending on the type of liposuction treatment you received, your wound care will likely include using compression garments to help speed up the healing process and reduce swelling and bruising. Scar treatments may consist of laser treatments, Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy, or Dermal Fillers.
How to Maintain Your Liposuction Results
Liposuction is permanent. However, fat cells can grow back if you experience weight gain. Sometimes, weight loss isn’t enough to achieve your former body shape, and you may need another lipo procedure. You can help maintain your new shape by eating a healthy diet and exercising regularly.
We want you to love your results for as long as possible. Book a consultation today to learn more about liposuction and how you can achieve your body goals.