Liposuction Scars: Why It Happens & How To Get Rid Of Them
Liposuction is one of the most popular forms of cosmetic surgery to address excess fat deposits and lead to a more desirable body contour. And the best part is that this can be done with incisions that are smaller than 5mm in diameter.
With that said, scarring is entirely possible after the liposuction procedure, which can affect the end result of your procedure as a whole. However, they might be small enough that you can do something about them.
If you’re thinking of getting a liposuction procedure but the thought of scarring is scaring you, hear us out. Here’s why scarring happens and how you can try to reduce their appearance.
What Causes Liposuction Scars?
To answer this question, it’s important to first understand exactly how the liposuction procedure works. Essentially, a plastic surgeon will make small incisions in areas where excess fat is to be removed. Then, the fat will be dislodged with a small tool called a cannula, allowing the surgeon to use a vacuum or syringe to remove it.
Significant scarring is uncommon, as the incisions are extremely miniscule. With that said, cutting into your skin in any capacity has the potential to leave some scars. Getting the procedure done by an experienced plastic surgeon can help to reduce the chances of developing a liposuction scar.
If scarring does occur, it is a natural, if frustrating, part of your body’s healing process. When skin is wounded, tissues break. This causes a release of a protein called collagen, which is responsible for maintaining your skin’s elasticity. Collagen builds up at the site of damage to help heal and strengthen the wound. This results in a patch of thickened, discolored skin known as a scar.
Liposuction may also cause hyperpigmentation, which is a harmless condition where patches of skin become darker than the surrounding area. Sometimes due to irritations, your skin cells will react adversely, causing discoloration. This isn’t something to worry about, and you can use over the counter creams to help bleach the area.
How to Reduce Liposuction Scars
There are a few ways you can reduce the appearance of liposuction scars from appearing in the first place. This is the best course of action, as it can be tricky to eliminate scars once they’ve formed.
Maintain Your Wounds Properly
Your plastic surgeon will give you a number of instructions after the liposuction procedure to ensure proper healing. It’s imperative that you follow their instructions closely to decrease the risk of scarring.
You’ll likely be instructed to wear compression garments to help your body adjust to its new contour while also healing more quickly. You want to make sure you’re wearing these correctly and changing them out often to allow your wounds to close properly.
Additionally, you won’t be able to engage in normal activities for some time after the surgery takes place. Take it easy to make sure you don’t open your wounds and make the incisions wider. This may cause more excessive scarring.
Seek an Experienced Plastic Surgeon
Making sure your plastic surgeon is currently an accredited member of a plastic surgery board, such as the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, is important. This means that your surgeon knows what they’re doing and may be able to limit the potential for scarring post-operation.
Try a Non-Surgical Alternative
Liposuction isn’t the only method for removing stubborn fat deposits under your skin. Thermi, for example, uses radiofrequency waves to heat subdermal fat and remove small, stubborn fat build up without ever needing to break the skin.
Additionally, leading an active and nutritious lifestyle can help you shed some excess fat. Working hard with exercise and a proper diet might be enough to help you shed enough fat to a point where you don’t even need a plastic surgery procedure.
While non-surgical alternatives are not as effective as traditional liposuction, they’re great for minor cases where only slight fat removal is necessary. And without needing to cut the skin, the risk of scarring is nearly non-existent.
How to Get Rid of Liposuction Scars
There are some methods for removing, or at least reducing the appearance of, scars after a liposuction procedure.
Creams and Ointments
There are some over the counter options that might be able to remove minor scars. Since most liposuction scars are small, these might be all you need. Check your local drugstore for scar creams that can work to dissolve scar tissue on the surface of the skin.
Dermatologists may be able to prescribe a stronger topical that might be more suited to your specific situation.
Silicone Gel Treatments
These are soft wound covers that are placed over old and new scars. They are thought to hydrate your skin and prevent your body from producing extra collagen during the healing process. Recall that scars form due to excess collagen, so this can be an effective way to reduce or prevent them.
While wearing clothes won’t eliminate the scar itself, it will be able to cover them from sight. An experienced plastic surgeon will be able to make incisions in areas of your body that can easily be covered with swimsuits, bras, bottoms, or other types of clothing to keep your scars hidden from view.
Keloid scars are usually the result of injury and are a common form of scarring following the liposuction procedure. These are often raised above the top layer of skin. In the process of dermabrasion, a doctor will use a tool that essentially smooths this outer layer of skin. It’s great for reducing the appearance of a raised scar.
This is another form of scar removal that is effective for raised scars specifically. A chemical solution is placed over the affected area and removed by a dermatologist. This can remove the top layer of skin. Chemical peels often require multiple treatments.
Using high intensity light to pinpoint scarring, a dermatologist may be able to reduce the size, color, and shape of a scar significantly with a laser treatment.
Doctors can treat visible scars by using extremely cold nitrogen gas to freeze the scar from inside out. This is a relatively simple and quick technology that may work to “freeze off” existing scars due to liposuction.
While this is the most invasive type of Treatment, you may choose to go this route if your liposuction scars are causing you to feel insecure or aggravated. There are many ways that scars can be surgically removed, including removing skin from one area of the body and placing it over top of your scar.
Risks of Scar Removal
If using over the counter creams or silicone gel treatments, side effects are unlikely. However, surgical procedures including dermabrasion, cryotherapy, or laser removal come with a set of risks that you may want to be aware of.
Surgical scar removal may cause:
Scarring that worsens over time
Remember that scarring is a natural part of the healing process, and you can usually cover them up in most circumstances. However, if you are emotionally devastated due to the appearance of your liposuction scars, you may want to try one of the remedies above to feel some relief.
Liposuction is a common procedure for removing or reducing excess fat deposits. While the incisions that are made are miniscule, scarring is possible. Though natural, there are some ways you can remove scars if they bother you.
For one, try to prevent them from occurring in the first place. Managing your wounds properly or looking for non-surgical alternatives are all ways that you might be able to prevent scars from ever gracing your skin.
If a scar does form, there are some things you can try right from home, like creams and silicone gel treatments. Additionally, you might be able to cover the scars with clothing.
Doctors can remove the scars too through procedures like dermabrasion, laser therapy, chemical peels, or cryotherapy. Just keep in mind that these may worsen the appearance of your scar or come with unwanted side effects.
Another way to prevent liposuction scars is by getting the procedure done by a surgeon you can trust like Dr. Zachary Okhah at PH-1 Miami. Not only does he know what he’s doing, but he loves doing it!
Ready to look like your best self? Fill out our inquiry form to get started right away.