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Does Liposuction Leave Scars?

Any form of damage to the skin can produce scars, inflammation, and pigmentation changes, and liposuction is no exception. After an injury—including incisions made during surgery—a natural, biological process kicks off to repair the wounds in the skin by filling them with collagen and fibrous tissue. Resulting scars are inevitable with most types of plastic surgery, but the way these wound closures will ultimately appear is impossible to predict.

The West County Plastic Surgeons of Washington University team understands that surgical fat reduction in St. Louis is a popular treatment, but many people have questions about how obvious signs of the surgery will be. One of the advantages of liposuction is that the scars it leaves behind can be very minor and hardly noticeable, especially when compared to scars left behind from some other types of plastic surgery.

While liposuction is an involved surgical procedure, it focuses on fat in localized areas, which makes it less invasive than other, more dramatic forms of plastic surgery. The procedure is used to suction away unwanted body fat as a way of sculpting more idealized contours. During the process, fat cells below the skin are loosed and suctioned out by ultra-fine, hollow instruments called microcannulas, creating tunnels through incisions in easily concealed areas that are typically only a few millimeters in length.

The type of scars caused by liposuction vary depending on the technique used by the surgeon and the genetic background of the patient. Age, state of health, and skin type also influence the appearance of scars, which typically fade over time.

Scars that don’t heal properly tend to look particularly prominent, sometimes sitting raised above the surface of the skin. Although such scars can’t be removed completely, there are options available to make them appear less conspicuous. Patients are encouraged to wear a compression garment to help the skin heal properly, watch out for signs of infection, and follow their surgeon’s instructions for wound care.

Direct sun exposure in the months after an operation can make hyperpigmentation worse, causing scars to be more pronounced and visible. Patients should keep areas where incisions were made out of the sun, and use sunscreen whenever going outdoors.

Learn more about the liposuction procedure, including scars, with the West County Plastic Surgeons of Washington University team in St. Louis. Call 314.996.8800 or send a message to schedule an appointment.