Liposuction is a procedure that involves the breaking up and suctioning of excess fat from the body. This treatment achieves dramatic results using a hollow tool called a cannula, which gets inserted under the skin and extracts fat via a high-pressure vacuum. As the most common cosmetic operation in the United States, it is often used on the abdomen, thighs, neck, and chin.
Also known as lipoplasty or liposculpture, this process can produce dramatic, life-altering changes for patients. Note that, although this is a standard procedure, many confuse it as an overall weight-loss method. Liposuction is performed on areas where large fat deposits have formed to improve one’s appearance; physical health benefits may be experienced, but are not an explicit goal. Know that diet and exercise can provide the same if not more dramatic results.
Scars Left Behind By Different Liposuction Procedures
Several variations of liposuction can be performed. Depending on your doctor, the procedure may follow one of the following methods:
Dry lipo, which has no fluid injected before the fat is removed. This rarely used method leaves scarring akin to other types of treatments, but can also lead to a higher chance of bruising and bleeding. Hence, it’s pretty clear why newer alternatives have gained traction.
Tumescent lipo is the most common form of liposuction. This process involves a solution containing saline, a local anesthetic, and a vessel-constrictor solution that is injected below the skin. This solution is then suctioned via tubes inserted through a small incision that leave a slight scar.
Power-assisted lipo uses a specialized cannula that automatically moves back and forth rapidly. This detail makes fat removal a bit easier for the surgeon and leaves a similar scar to tumescent liposuction.
Laser-assisted lipo uses a unique fiber that emits a laser to liquefy fat before its extraction. These types of procedures leave behind a small scar compared with traditional liposuction.
Scars to Expect Following Surgery
Thanks to modern technology, only small incisions are needed to remove your excess fat. Other than bruising, mild discomfort, and swelling, typical liposuction side effects you should expect also include scarring. The incisions are made during surgery are typically small enough that the subsequent scars disappear on their own with time. This rate of disappearance, however, is affected by genetics, and the patient’s skin pigmentation (fair skin means the scar will be less visible).
Scars after surgery are typically unavoidable, but at least know that it is usually located on a discreet body part that can be concealed. By following your doctor’s explicit directions, you can ensure your wound marks heal to the fullest extent. In rare cases, Keloid scarring could become a concern. These form after an injury, and are often raised and have a darker appearance than the surrounding skin.
Liposuction should not mean you should have to deal with lengthy recovery and abrasive injury markings. To avoid scarring, you can choose a form of laser liposuction, which stimulates collagen production that tightens the skin and helps scar recovery.
There are also some relatively easy alternative methods to treat scars. Simple nutrients that help the body treat these blemishes include protein, vitamin C, vitamin B, vitamin A, zinc, essential fatty acids, and water. All of these items can be found in a balanced diet, and you can determine whatever is missing from your system with a simple blood test. Need quicker results? You can use silicone sheets to begin to treat scars within 10-14 days of recovery. This treatment is usually prescribed by your surgeon, so ask about silicone sheets if they do not mention them on their own.
No More Scars: Steps to Follow After Liposuction
Talk to your surgeon before the procedure to discuss scar placement and surgery type before receiving lipo. Expressing your concerns beforehand will help in minimizing any visible marks. That being said, the actual scar should be tiny. Most modern liposuction instruments used measure 5 to 6 millimeters across, so the most extensive incision necessary should be at most 10 millimeters across. Technological innovation has clearly helped in bringing the scar visibility factor even lower.