Liposuction involves several tiny holes in discreet locations that do leave tiny scars. These scars tend to fade quickly and are not usually visible to the naked eye, as your surgeon will strategically place these incisions.
Immediately after liposuction surgery, the holes will be visible as they heal. There may be fluid leaking out for a few days, after which the holes will start to heal up like any other cut. Normal healing includes scabbing over and leaving a small white scar.
The scab may become a little itchy but sheds eventually. The healing process usually takes about a week, but can take up to two. Over time, the scars fade.
This great outcome is the best-case scenario with a highly-experienced practitioner in a state-of-the-art clinic.
Why your practitioner matters when it comes to scarring
At ENRICH Clinic, Dr Michael Rich, a liposuction expert with 35 years of experience, performs all of our liposuction procedures. When you’re in such experienced hands, the risks of scarring beyond normal expectations are very low.
‘Low risk’ doesn’t mean scarring can’t happen – unexpected problems crop up from time to time – but we do not anticipate any scarring issues in our liposuction patients.
Part of managing this risk includes talking with you about your scarring history, and if you have scarred poorly in the past (for example keloid scarring), we’ll know about that before we start.
Dr Rich will examine your skin and take a full history from you to determine your risk of problem scarring.
How big are liposuction incisions?
Liposuction incisions are small, a 1.5 -2 millimetres long. You’ll have several, depending on the area treated. Usually, there are at least two incisions
to allow entry of the very tiny tube used to suction out the fat, the microcannula. Larger treatment areas may require more incisions.
The microcannulas are very thin and don’t need much room to operate, which is one of the benefits of modern liposuction tools: they’re very small. The microcannula size means much less damage to tissue during liposuction procedures. Less damage means reduced swelling, bleeding, bruising and therefore faster recovery times.
Other scarring risks with some types of liposuction
There are several different types of liposuction, but we only use the tumescent technique here at ENRICH Clinic.
Types of liposuction include:
- Tumescent liposuction
- Ultrasound-assisted tumescent liposuction
- Laser-assisted tumescent liposuction
All types of liposuction use tumescent liposuction as their base, but the ultrasound-assisted and laser-assisted liposuction both use energy-based devices to help remove the fat.
There are various benefits to each type of liposuction, but with these benefits may come extra risks. These risks include scarring and larger holes are required with these two techniques.
Scarring can be caused by the ultrasound- or laser-assisted liposuction when the heat from the devices causes a burn. This burn and subsequent scarring underneath the skin can result in the outer skin looking baggy or pinched on the surface, ruining the possibility of smooth results.
This scarring is difficult to correct, and the pinched or baggy skin may be long-lasting.
Other scarring issues rarely encountered after liposuction
Research demonstrates that scarring after liposuction is not common, even with ultrasound- and laser-assisted liposuction techniques (though risks are much higher with those techniques). There are some instances where unpredictable problems arise that may result in more significant scarring.
Inexperienced practitioners may choose to place incisions in a more obvious place, increasing the visibility of the small scars later on. If liposuction is performed underneath an incision, the incision scar may be depressed.
Keloidal or hypertrophic scarring remains an unexpected risk in some people, which we can’t predict unless someone has a history of keloid scars.
Keloid scars look like raised red or purplish lumps that don’t fade well. These scars can be unsightly and unwelcome, and in some people will occur every time any skin is broken or damaged – nicks, cuts or even pierced ears may trigger these scars. If keloid scarring starts to develop in incisions after liposuction, it can be treated.
Some scars may become hyperpigmented (dark) if the practitioner uses a large cannula and makes multiple passes of an area, causing bruising. Hyperpigmented scars can be corrected, but prevention is better than the cure here.
What to do if you are concerned about scarring
Overall, we do not anticipate any problem scarring in our liposuction patients. If you are concerned about scarring, please make sure you raise the issue with Dr Rich or your very experienced nurse practitioner so we can make sure to address your concerns.
The tumescent liposuction technique is the gold standard in liposuction techniques. It is a very safe procedure that, when performed by a highly experienced cosmetic doctor like Dr Rich, comes with a very low risk profile. Every precaution is taken to ensure the best outcomes.
We want you to love your liposuction results, so you will walk out of the clinic equipped for your at-home care, prepped with everything you’ll need to reduce the appearance of your tiny scars from the outset and enjoy your recovery.
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