Liposuction is one of the most popular surgical procedures in the United States and around the world. Though major side effects and death from liposuction are very rare, it is important to remember that the cosmetic procedure is still a surgery. Because the procedure involves making incisions into the skin, scarring is a normal event that may occur. Liposuction scars can be caused by the actual incision that is made into the skin. Scars also occur from the use of a suctioning device or tube. This tube known as a cannula performs a back and forth motion as it sucks out the excess fatty deposits. As the tube pushes and pulls against the skin layers, tunnel scars can occur. The visibility of tunnel scars will be more severe when a larger tube is used or when removing excessive amounts of fat in a single procedure.
The risk of Liposuction scars is mainly dependent on the elasticity of the skin. Older adults and those who already have stretch marks covering their body, have less skin elasticity and are therefore, more likely to develop visible scars. Individuals who have previously been obese and lost a great deal of weight will also have reduced skin elasticity. Some people are also more scar-prone due to genetics. For example, darker skinned individuals tend to have more trouble with scarring. For darker skinned individuals a build up of raised collagen scars keloid scars may be more likely to occur around the incision area; as can discoloration of the surrounding skin, caused by changes in the production of melanin.
When preparing for the plastic surgery, the physician should discuss the risk of scarring. For those with poor skin elasticity, the incision may take longer to heal. Skin wrinkles in the area of liposuction may also occur since skin with poor elasticity is not as adapt at shrinking. Even with poor skin elasticity however; the appearance of the area being treated and the skin will look better due to the removal of excess heavy fat and sagging skin. Individuals who want to reduce the likelihood of scarring should be sure to choose a highly skilled surgeon. A cheaper surgeon may not have the same caliber of skill, education or technique. Modern liposuction techniques use small incisions, leaving behind very small scars usually around 4 mm in length. The surgeon’s skill comes into play here. An experienced surgeon will have the foresight to strategically make the incision in an area on the body not likely to be seen such as the belly button or below the bikini line.
After the surgery, the incision area will be somewhat inflamed. Some surgeons will leave the area un-sutured to allow the incision to drain and reduce the bruising and swelling as the incision heals. However, some surgeons believe that suturing the area will allow the tissue to seal together more seamlessly and leave the patient with smoother, less visible post operative liposuction scars. Surgeons who don’t suture the area, are likely to recommend patients use surgical paper tape or silicone sheeting on the incision area. Either product will help to flatten and fade the scar since it applies direct pressure. A major part of reducing Liposuction Scars is patient aftercare. To reduce liposuction scars follow all of the doctor’s instructions. To keep the scar from darkening patients are likely to be advised to stay out of the sun. The body will need plenty of rest in the first week or two after surgery to prompt natural recovery and stimulate tissue healing.