Does Liposuction leave Scars and How To Minimize Liposuction Scars?

Can I have surgery without liposuction scars? Most people find that the benefits of liposuction outweigh concerns about scarring, it’s important to discuss the issue with your surgeon before the procedure since the scars will be permanent.

Recently, an increasing number of people are opting for scar revision surgery to improve the appearance of their scars. So is it possible to avoid or minimize the scars? Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about liposuction scars.

What is Liposuction? – Understanding Liposuction in Korea

Liposuction is a type of cosmetic surgery that involves removing unwanted fat from specific areas of the body through the use of a cannula, a long, thin tube connected to a suction device. This procedure is often referred to as ‘lipo’ and is one of the most popular cosmetic procedures in the world. In Korea, liposuction is particularly popular due to the cultural emphasis on physical appearance and the availability of skilled and experienced surgeons.

Liposuction can be performed on a wide range of body parts, including the abdomen, thighs, arms, back, and face. It can also be performed across multiple areas of the body during the same procedure. This versatility allows patients to achieve their desired body shape and contour by removing excess fat from targeted areas. 

The procedure involves making small incisions in the skin and inserting a cannula to suction out the fat. The amount of fat that can be removed during the procedure varies depending on the individual case and the surgeon’s assessment of how much can be safely removed. Liposuction is typically performed under general anesthesia or local anesthesia with sedation, and patients can usually return to work and normal activities within a few days to a week.

lipo scars

Liposuction Scars – What You Need to Know

It’s inevitable for any type of surgery to leave behind scars as incisions are made. However, minimizing the visibility of these scars is crucial. The following are factors that can impact the visibility of scars resulting from liposuction.

1. Skin Type

Different ethnic groups may have varying degrees of scarring following an invasive surgical procedure or wound. For instance, western people, particularly Germanic people like northern Europeans or Russians, tend to have less visible scars compared to Asians like Koreans or Chinese. The reason behind this is that these ethnic groups have lower levels of melanin pigment, which makes scars less noticeable. On the other hand, people of African descent tend to have darker and more noticeable scars due to their higher levels of melanin.

It is important to note that scars undergo various changes as they heal. The first phase of scar formation is called the inflammatory phase, during which the scar appears red and swollen. This phase typically lasts for around one year, but may last up to two years in some cases. The next phase is the proliferative phase, during which the scar may appear dark or black in color. Finally, the maturation phase sets in, during which the scar gradually turns white or lighter in color. This entire process of scar formation and maturation can take up to two years or longer.

Even though scars may eventually turn white, they do not completely disappear. In fact, they may always be visible to some extent. However, there are various treatments available that can help minimize the appearance of scars, such as laser therapy, topical creams, and silicone gel sheets. It is important to consult a healthcare professional to determine the best treatment options for each individual case.

2. Liposuction Incisions

Depending on the area of liposuction, different incisions are required for optimal results. These incisions need to be carefully placed to minimize scarring and maximize the cosmetic outcome.

  • Arm Liposuction
    • Typically involves 2-6 discreet incisions.
    • Incisions are usually made in the inside of the armpits, elbow or front armpits.
    • The placement of these incisions is critical to minimize the appearance of scars.
  • Back Liposuction
    • Requires 2 incisions in the armpits and 1-2 piercings in the middle of the back.
    • Some surgeons may opt to perform the surgery through the upper buttocks and flank area, which requires seven incisions for full back liposuction.
    • Many surgeons will also perform the lower back liposuction by doing the suction through upper buttocks and flank area. 7 incisions commonly happen for full back liposuction.
  • Abdomen Liposuction
    • Typically involves 1 incision at the belly button and 2 incisions in the groin.
    • Additional 2 incisions may be made under breasts for upper abdomen liposuction or in the pelvis area for love handle liposuction.
  • Depending on the surgeon’s preference, incisions under breast for the upper abdomen liposuction, and in the pelvis area for love handle liposuction are also commonly seen, about 9 incisions in total for full front upper body.
  • Thigh Liposuction
    • Requires different incision placements depending on the area being treated.
    • For the front side, 1-2 incisions are made in the groin and another below the knee
    • For the back of the thigh, incisions are made under the flanks and another at the panty line.
    • Incisions are made to ensure optimal fat removal and minimal scarring.
  • Calf Liposuction
    • Typically involves 2-4 incisions in the back of the knee and ankle area.

Factors Affecting Liposuction Scars in Korea

There are several factors that can affect the scarring after liposuction in Korea:

  1. Surgeon’s skill and technique: The surgeon’s skill and technique play a significant role in the outcome of the liposuction procedure. A highly skilled and experienced surgeon can minimize scarring by making smaller, precise incisions and using proper wound closure techniques.
  2. Type of liposuction: The type of liposuction procedure used can also affect scarring. For example, laser-assisted liposuction or ultrasound-assisted liposuction can result in smaller incisions and less visible scars compared to traditional liposuction. Lydian uses several forms of equipment including ultrasound and laser, and regular liposuction and 5D liposculpture will both use a combination of a range of such equipment.
  3. Patient’s skin type: The patient’s skin type can also affect scarring. People with darker skin tones are more prone to keloid scarring, which is raised and thickened scar tissue that can be difficult to treat. In contrast, people with lighter skin tones may develop more visible scars that are pink or red in color.
  4. Proper aftercare: Proper aftercare is crucial in minimizing scarring after liposuction. This includes keeping the incision sites clean and dry, avoiding exposure to sunlight or tanning beds, and following any instructions provided by the surgeon regarding wound care and aftercare.
  5. Pre-existing medical conditions: Pre-existing medical conditions, such as diabetes or immune disorders, can affect the body’s natural healing process and increase the risk of scarring.
  6. Smoking: Smoking can also negatively affect the body’s natural healing process and increase the risk of scarring.

Invisible Liposuction Scars – Techniques to Minimize Scarring

At Lydian Plastic Surgery Clinic, we pride ourselves for our invisible scarring methods. If you have already had liposuction at another clinic or done your internet research, you know that many liposuction clinics leave behind scars on the patients. Dr.An at Lydian Plastic Surgery Clinic understands that patients wish for as little scarring as possible. Because of this, we make our surgical incisions in less visible locations so it’s more difficult for anyone, including the patient, to notice the scars.

1. Liposuction Cannula

One of the key factors that determine the visibility of liposuction scars is the number of incisions made during the procedure. Dr. An has invented a unique cannula set that allows for one-hole suction, which significantly reduces the number of incisions required. Because of this invention, we were able to reduce the amount of liposuction surgical incisions from 10 to only one or two. This technique can be used on various areas of the body, including the abdomen, back, thigh, and knee, resulting in less visible scarring.

2. Skin Protector

Another factor that can contribute to visible scars is skin damage or peeling caused by the friction between the cannula tube and the skin. To prevent this from happening, many reputable clinics, including Lydian Plastic Surgery Clinic, use skin protectors during the procedure. Skin protectors are a simple yet effective tool that can help minimize the visibility of scars.

3. Wound Sealing

The technique used to seal the wound after liposuction can also impact the visibility of scars. Suturing from both inside and outside is considered the best approach since it leads to a more natural-looking scar. However, some surgeons only suture the wound from the outside, especially for smaller incisions. It is crucial to ensure that the wound is sutured as well as possible to minimize scarring.

Liposuction Before and After: Managing Liposuction Scars in Korea

Below are some before and after pictures of liposuction scars on stomach, arm and chin liposuction scars.

Liposuction Scar Aftercare – Tips for Optimal Healing

After your liposuction surgery, it is essential to take proper care of your scars to ensure optimal healing. Here are some aftercare tips to help you:

  • Keep the wounds moisturized: One of the most important aftercare tips is to keep the wounds moisturized. Using a specialized ointment for the wound can prevent the scars from becoming dark and difficult to heal naturally. By moisturizing the scars, you can also prevent them from protruding and becoming red.
  • Inform your surgeon if you notice protruding scars: If you notice that your scars are starting to protrude, it is crucial to inform your surgeon and visit the clinic as soon as possible. Early treatment can prevent the scars from getting worse and may require fewer sessions to correct the issue. Your surgeon may offer injection treatments to reduce the appearance of the scars.
  • Protect the scars from sunlight: Another important aspect of liposuction scar aftercare is to avoid exposing the scars to sunlight or tanning beds. Sun exposure can cause the scars to become darker and more noticeable. It’s important to wear sunscreen or protective clothing to cover the scars when going out in the sun.
  • Quit smoking: Smoking can impede the body’s natural healing process and cause the scars to heal more slowly and potentially lead to complications. It’s best to quit smoking before undergoing liposuction and to avoid smoking during the recovery period.
  • Follow specific instructions provided by the surgeon: It’s also important to follow any exact instructions provided by the surgeon regarding wound care and aftercare. This may include avoiding certain activities or wearing compression garments to help with healing and reduce swelling.

Be patient: Lastly, it’s important to be patient and allow time for the scars to heal. It can take several months to a year for scars to fully mature and for the final results of the liposuction procedure to be visible. Rushing the healing process or not following proper aftercare can potentially lead to complications and negatively impact the final outcome.

Please feel free to make an inquiry to us regarding liposuction scars or scar revision treatment.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does liposuction leave scars?

Yes, liposuction does leave scars on the skin, but the size and appearance of the scars can vary depending on the technique used by the surgeon.

Will my liposuction scars be noticeable?

The visibility of your liposuction scars will depend on various factors, such as the extent of the surgery, the surgical technique used, and your skin type. Traditional liposuction techniques require incisions that may leave small scars that fade over time. However, at Lydian, Dr. An uses a specialized technique that involves making incisions in discreet areas such as under the armpit, inside the belly button, groin, and tail bone area. This approach minimizes scarring on the skin’s surface, making it a more attractive option for patients who are concerned about scarring.

Can I prevent liposuction scars from forming?

Liposuction scars vary depending on multiple factors, such as skin type, the location of the incisions, the size of the cannula used, and the surgeon’s technique. However, most liposuction scars are small and can be easily hidden by clothing. To minimize the appearance of scars, patients should follow the aftercare instructions provided by their surgeon and avoid exposing the incision areas to sunlight or extreme temperatures for at least a year after the procedure.

How long does it take for liposuction scars to heal?

During the initial healing process, which lasts for several weeks to a few months, the liposuction scars will be red or pink and may be slightly raised. As the scar matures, the color will gradually fade to match the surrounding skin tone, and the scar will flatten and become less noticeable. However, the length of time it takes for the scars to fully heal can vary depending on the individual’s healing process, the size and location of the scars, and the type of liposuction procedure performed. Your surgeon may also recommend the use of scar-reducing products or treatments to help minimize the appearance of the scars.

How do I know if my liposuction scars are healing properly?

It is normal for liposuction scars to be red, raised, or bumpy in the first few weeks after the procedure. However, if you notice that your scars are raised, becoming bumpy, please contact your clinic immediately. If your scars are not improving over time or are becoming more red, swollen, or painful, it may indicate an infection or other complications. At any point, if you have questions or concerns about scars, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us for professional advice and support.