August 3, 2022
Last Updated on September 16, 2022 by Dr. Darren Smith
There’s a lot to consider if you’re thinking about undergoing a cosmetic procedure like Liposuction to help achieve your ideal body. Lipo can be an excellent way to eliminate pesky fat cells in certain body areas like the midsection, thighs, back, legs, or even the face.
Most liposuction techniques involve making small incisions in the target area. Naturally, one of our patients’ most common concerns about liposuction is the possibility of scarring. Here’s everything you need to know about scars after liposuction surgery.
Please remember that any time you puncture the skin, it will result in a scar of some kind. We do need to make small (the size of a pen cap) entry ports for our liposuction instruments. Dr. Smith uses modern liposuction techniques to ensure excellent results while minimizing visible scars from his liposuction procedures. Liposuction scars are very small and tend to heal in a way that is quite hard to see. He also places the incisions in strategic locations like under the skin folds or in a more hidden area of the body to keep potential scarring from liposuction extremely well hidden.
So while there is no such thing as scar-free liposuction surgery, most patients don’t notice significant scarring after the incisions are fully healed. In most cases, lipo scars are only noticeable if you are really looking for them. Scars are unlikely to be noticeable to the casual observer and often look like a small mole removal or bug bite if they are seen. However, it’s critical to have realistic expectations when undergoing cosmetic surgery and be aware that more visible scarring is a possibility in rare cases. Dr. Smith will take a thorough history during your consultation to look for any risk factors indicating an elevated chance of prominent scarring.
Liposuction can be performed in multiple trouble spots on the body, and every case is unique. There’s not a specific incision point for all kinds of liposuction. Instead, the doctor will make incisions in the best locations to achieve optimal results. For example, chin liposuction patients may have an incision stealthily concealed behind the ear.
|LIPOSUCTION AREA||SCAR LOCATION|
|Chin||Crease under chin and behind earlobes|
|Male Chest||Crease under breasts|
|Abdomen||Bellybutton and Below Waistline|
|Inner Thighs||Groin Crease|
|Outer Thighs||Below Waistline|
|Front of Thighs||Inside of Knee|
|Back of Thighs||Crease Under Buttock|
Whenever possible, incisions are made in discrete areas, and the number of access sites is kept at a minimum. The smaller the incision is, the smaller your scar will be.
Every liposuction procedure is individual, and every patient is unique. Some patients may have more noticeable scars than others, and Dr. Smith will give you an idea of what you can expect in your individual case during your consultation. Your skin, medical history, and genetic makeup can affect how your body scars. In addition, some people scar more easily than others.
Hyperpigmentation can also happen at the incision site. Hyperpigmentation occurs when the skin becomes darker but should fade over time or with treatments like lasers or medicated creams. Keep the area out of the sun to help heal hyperpigmentation spots quicker.
Please let us know during your initial consultation if you have a history of developing keloid scars, which look like raised scars that grow beyond the borders of the initial wound.
Liposuction scars are generally minimal, making them less noticeable. Some patients more prone to scarring may notice more visible scarring even after the body is fully healed. In most cases, scars naturally fade over time. By the time you’re 6 to 12 months post-op, scarring should drastically decrease. After several years, liposuction scars are usually extremely difficult to find at all.
There is nothing you can do to completely void liposuction scars. You can, however, take steps to minimize their formation in the first place. Here’s what you need to know to get the most out of your liposuction surgery and streamline your healing process.
Dr. Smith will generally place one tiny suture in each liposuction access site. You’ll have bandages covering the incision sites. It’s essential to keep the area clean and potentially change out the coverings.
You’ll receive specific wound care instructions before you leave our office.
After liposuction, you will most likely wear a compression garment over the treatment area. Always wear your garments correctly according to your specific aftercare instructions. These garments help control swelling and guide the skin to heal smoothly. When you are not wearing your garment and are exposing the scars to the sun, we recommend strict sun protection with high-SPF products.
Although liposuction is a relatively easy cosmetic surgery, it’s still important to allow your body ample time to rest to ensure proper healing. Most patients are instructed to take it easy for 24 – 48 hours after the procedure.
You won’t be able to resume extensive exercise until you get permission from Dr. Smith. We generally allow return to work in 48 hours, light exercise in 4-5 days, and full exercise in 2 weeks. Engaging in physical activity too soon after surgery can risk opening your incision sites and making them wider.
One of the best ways to minimize scarring after liposuction is to have your procedure performed by an experienced surgeon. Work with a doctor who not only cares about limiting the potential for scarring post-operation but has a proven track record of doing so.
Please call our NYC office if you’d like to book an initial consultation with Dr. Smith to determine if liposuction is a good option for you.
If you have prominent scarring after liposuction surgery, some common, non-invasive treatments may help reduce the appearance of your scars. Things like over-the-counter creams can help reduce the appearance of scarring, and at-home treatments like silicone gel and gel sheets have become popular scar treatments. Always apply the topical products according to package instructions.
Some more aggressive scar revision techniques include chemical peels or laser therapy, which remove layers of scar tissue and enhance collagen and elastin formation to reveal smoother-looking skin. These treatments can be done in our office and don’t require extra recovery time.