Liposuction is a cosmetic procedure that involves removing fat from specific body parts through a long, narrow tube. Doctors perform liposuction with local anesthesia, so the patient remains awake but feels no pain. A surgeon can use a tiny incision to insert an endoscope – a tool with a camera and small tools for cutting and suctioning fat – into any area that needs treatment. But does liposuction leave scars for real?

Liposuction usually takes 1-2 hours, depending on how many areas of your body you’re having treated. Recovery from liposuction depends on which areas are being treated and what kind of anesthesia is used. Your doctor will give you postoperative instructions when you leave the hospital or surgical center.

Although liposuction is not intended to treat obesity, it is sometimes performed on people who are overweight or obese. Doctors usually perform liposuction when patients have resistant pockets of fat that don’t respond to diet and exercise.

Some statistics about liposuction

In the United States, about 300,000 people have liposuction done each year to reduce the appearance of fatty areas in problem areas such as the abdomen, thighs, hips, buttocks, arms, neck, and face.

The procedure costs an average of $3396 per hour for more than 50 percent of men and women who had liposuction last year were between 30-54 years old.

During the past 20 years, numerous studies have been published on the short-term and long-term effects of local anesthesia use during cosmetic procedures. However, only a few limited studies assessed the safety of local anesthetic agents for use during liposuction.

One study showed that people who had liposuction and received local anesthesia experienced more short-term swallowing problems after surgery than those who did not receive any anesthesia.

Does Liposuction Leave Scars
Does Liposuction Leave Scars

Who Are The Ideal Candidates For Liposuction: Does Liposuction Leave Scars For Real?

The ideal candidate for liposuction is anyone who wants to have a slimmer waistline, smoother thighs or buttocks, and a tighter abdomen. The ideal candidate for liposuction does not include people with severe medical problems, such as heart disease. People with serious medical conditions should not have liposuction to reduce weight.

What Are The Potential Problems And Risks Associated With Liposuction?

The most serious risk associated with liposuction is infection. All surgeries carry some risks, including the potential for problems related to anesthesia, bleeding, blood clots, and reactions to medications. Although rare, there are other possible complications after surgery, such as :

Blood clots in the legs or lungs

Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) – A condition that can occur when a blood clot forms in one of the deep veins in your body. When this happens, it may move through your veins and lodge into another part of your body. This type of problem is more common after surgery, especially if you’re bedridden or sitting for long periods.

– Lung problems –

Sometimes the air sacs in your lungs can collapse because they are displaced during surgery. This is called pneumothorax.

It is usually treated with a tube placed in your chest to allow air to escape and prevent the lung from re-inflating improperly. Your doctor may also give you medications immediately after liposuction to help keep you relaxed and pain-free.

A blood clot in the fluid surrounding your lungs (pulmonary embolism) can cause shortness of breath, chest pain, sweating, anxiety, and even death. Never ignore shortness of breath; it may be a sign that there is a problem.

Does Liposuction Leave Scars
Close-up Of A Surgeon Drawing Correction Lines On Woman’s Stomach

Does Liposuction Leave Scars: Postoperative complications

Swelling and bruising :

These are normal after surgery but can last up to two weeks. You may be advised to wear an elastic compression garment around the treated area for several weeks, which will reduce swelling.

Using a cane or crutches during this period can prevent blood clots from forming in your legs. A fever that occurs three days or more following surgery may indicate an infection, so contact your doctor if you have a temperature of 100 degrees Fahrenheit (37.8 degrees Celsius) or higher.

Temporary numbness or tingling:

This usually passes within a few days, but it might affect your lip area for as long as six months after surgery. In some cases, it has permanent. Talk with your doctor about your symptoms.

Blood clots:

Oral blood thinners are usually prescribed to prevent blood clots following surgery. You can also wear compression stockings after surgery to reduce the risk of developing a clot in the legs.

If you ride in airplanes for long periods, you may be asked if you have had this surgery before because changes in air pressure may cause some swelling and discomfort. Let your doctor know if you plan to travel by plane within 30 days after surgery.

Fluid accumulation:

Some people experience fluid accumulation in their treated areas at various times following surgery. It is generally safe to drain the fluid yourself with a needle and syringe when it reaches over half an inch (1 cm) deep into surrounding tissue or becomes painful.

Does Liposuction Leave Scars
Young Man’s Fit Torso With Surgical Lines On His Body Before Beauty Operation.

What Are The 6 Different Types Of Liposuction?

There are 6 different types of liposuction. They are:

1. Superwet –

This procedure uses a saline solution injected into the subcutaneous layer of fat, which causes it to break up.

2. Ultrasound Assisted Lipoplasty (UAL)

The sound waves are used to liquefy the tissues before removing them by suctioned tubes or liposuction cannulas.

3. Vaser

This type uses ultrasound waves to help liquefy and remove tissue along with a specially designed cannula.

4. Suction assisted lipectomy (SAL)

During this procedure, surgeons use an instrument called a tumescent, which contains both suction and saline that serves as an injection fluid. It provides ultrasonic energy through special applicators placed on the skin during surgery.

5. Ultrasonic Assisted Lipoplasty (UAL):

During this procedure, ultrasound energy is used to liquefy fat before suctioning. It can be combined with Vaser liposuction.

6. Laser Assisted Lipoplasty :

Lasers are used to heat fat cells and cause them to release their contents into the body’s lymphatic system. This helps the fat cells shrink and makes them easier to remove.

The laser cannula resembles a microcannula and has openings on its side; these small openings allow the laser light, but not the saline solution or oil surrounding and protecting the fatty tissue.

Does Liposuction Leave Scars
Close up of a plastic surgeon marking the human skin for surgery.

What To Do Before A Liposuction?

Some people are reluctant to go through with the surgery after reading some of the potential side effects. If you’re considering liposuction, here are a few things to do before making a final decision about whether or not to proceed:

  1. – Find out what type of anesthesia will be used. Some may have more severe complications than others. You would especially want to avoid general anesthesia if possible.
  2. – Discuss the procedure’s risks with your doctor, including any incidents where complications were worse than expected.
  3. – Get references for their past patient’s experiences.
  4. – Watch videos of the procedure being performed before your surgery so that you know what to expect on the day of your procedure.
Does Liposuction Leave Scars
Liposuction, fat and cellulite removal

Does Liposuction Leave Scars: What Is The Post-operative Care For Liposuction?

Once you go through with liposuction, it is important to follow the post-operative care instructions given by your doctor. These instructions vary depending on what type of anesthesia was used during the procedure. The most common instructions are:

  1. Take painkillers like ibuprofen or acetaminophen for any discomfort you may be experiencing, but only as directed by your doctor .
  2. Stay away from hot water and extreme temperatures until all your wounds have completely healed.
  3. Keep the treated area clean and dry – this includes dressing changes at least twice each day, until lesions or wound edges are covered with new skin. If wounds weep, drain them carefully with a sterile needle and syringe (syringes are available at pharmacies), and cover them with a dry dressing.
  4. Keep your sutures or staples clean and intact, even if they fall out on their own . It is important to keep them in so that the scar forms properly.

What To Do If You Are Unable To Control Your Coughing Following Liposuction?

If you cannot control your coughing following liposuction, you should consult your doctor immediately.

If the problem continues after making an appointment with your doctor, then some treatments can be used to help suppress coughing spells. These include powerful antihistamines or corticosteroid inhalers prescribed by your doctor.

Does Liposuction Leave Scars For Real?

Even though only a few limited studies assessed the safety of local anesthetic agents for use during liposuction, one study found that liposuction patients who had anesthesia experienced more short-term problems with swallowing after surgery than those who did not receive any anesthesia.

How long do the scars last after liposuction?

The results of this study did not provide clear evidence for any change in rates of serious events or mortality associated with local anesthesia. The evidence suggested that small but significant increases in adverse events can be detected after administration of local anesthesia during cosmetic procedures.

Does Liposuction Leave Scars
The woman before and after her abdominoplasty and liposuction

The report expresses concern about the lack of safety data on these drugs and the possibility that rare but serious adverse events might occur when administered to patients undergoing liposuction.

Although liposuction is not intended to treat obesity, it is sometimes performed on people who are overweight or obese. Doctors usually perform liposuction when patients have resistant pockets of fat that don’t respond to diet and exercise.

Although only a few limited studies assessed the safety of local anesthetic agents for use during liposuction, one study found that people who had liposuction and received local anesthesia experienced more short-term problems with swallowing after surgery than those who did not receive any anesthesia.

Since a large amount of fat is removed from one area, patients need several days or weeks between procedures. The results of this small study suggest that local anesthetics may increase the risk of adverse events in some people undergoing cosmetic procedures. Still, larger studies are needed to confirm these findings.

Does Liposuction Leave Scars
Female belly with stretch marks

5 Scar removal treatments: Does Liposuction Leave Scars?

One main concern for those who have undergone liposuction is the appearance of scarring. Scarring can be a major problem because it can harm your appearance and cause problems with daily life, such as the constriction of clothing or pain when wearing a backpack. Many treatments can help reduce the appearance of scars. Some involve surgery, while others use topical creams.

Topical creams:

Some people rely on topical creams to minimize the appearance of their scarred areas. One such cream is Mederma (active ingredient: alpha-hydroxy acid). Its active ingredients support natural healing and reduce inflammation and redness associated with post-surgery scars and burns.

There is some evidence that Mederma can decrease the appearance of scars, but only if used regularly and over a long time.

Shave removal:

Another option is to have raised skin shaved down so that it appears smooth. There are two types of shave removal: punch grafting and dermabrasion.

The main advantage of punch grafting is that it does not require an open wound to heal.

Punch grafts work by making tiny holes in the area where scar tissue has formed and inserting surgical staples under the skin’s surface. The scar tissue naturally falls off within three months. If necessary, doctors might repeat this treatment up to five times over a six-month interval before considering other options such as surgery.


More invasive treatment for scar removal is dermabrasion. Dermabrasion requires cracking or sanding away the top layers of skin with a wire brush, diamond wheel, or other devices to smooth out scars and stimulate the growth of new skin tissue.

This procedure can be painful, but it does not require stitches because small wounds are left open to heal on their own.


For some people, surgery to remove raised scars or stretch marks may also help diminish their appearance. While many plastic surgeons suggest waiting at least three months after liposuction before considering tummy tuck surgery, others recommend that patients wait six months to give them time to recover from their liposuction procedures, particularly if more than one area was treated. Scarring is relatively common after tummy tuck surgery.

Does Liposuction Leave Scars

Silicone gel sheets and silicone gel for treating liposuction scars.

Silicone gel sheets are another option for getting rid of the appearance of your liposuction scars. Your doctor may advise that you use them in conjunction with Mederma or other topical creams.

These devices are made out of a softer material than silicone, which gives them a better feel on your skin. Their shape also conforms to the body’s shape better when worn.

A few studies have shown that these sheets can work well for post-liposuction scar care and reconstruction. Other studies suggest that this type of device might not be as helpful for reducing the appearance of scars after tummy tuck surgery, however.

Cryotherapy for treating liposuction scars.

Cryotherapy is a procedure that freezes the top layers of skin to stop healing. This process burns away old scars and removes dead skin cells to prevent the scar from becoming more visible. The iced water freezes the area and then cools it down for fifteen seconds.

Some patients have had success with this treatment after receiving liposuction surgery, but this treatment has some drawbacks. It can be expensive and time-consuming, so it may not be worth it if you have a few small scars from liposuction.

In addition, many people have reported pain from the treatment and several weeks of redness following their procedure.

Does Liposuction Leave Scars: Factors that Affect Scarring in liposuction.

To start, the final appearance of a scar depends on several variables. The location and size of the scar have an impact. Some people have been able to use laser treatment for their liposuction scars. Laser treatments have been used to minimize the appearance of raised scars. In some cases, people have been able to use lasers to remove minor scarring from liposuction surgeries.

Other factors contribute to the healing process after liposuction surgery, such as:

1. Location of the scar. A scar closer to the skin’s surface is less noticeable than one located deep in tissue or near a joint.

2. Patient’s age and general health. Older people tend to have more problems with healing after surgery, resulting in wider scars.

3. Genetic factors also can contribute to how your body reacts to certain procedures or how your skin heals.

4. Sun exposure during the healing process makes scars more likely to become red, lumpy, cracked, scaly, or itchy while new skin cells grow over them.

5. Smoking impairs blood flow and slows down wound healing, making scars thicker and more visible. Smoking may even cause scabs on your scars to appear darker.

6. Other drugs or supplements that you may be taking can interfere with the healing process, particularly painkillers.

Liposuction procedure. Before and after. fat modeling and surgery

Short-term effects of liposuction.

Liposuction can have some short-term effects on the body. The most common side effect is bruising. Bruising usually subsides within a few months, but some people may notice some irregularity in their skin due to the damage sustained while healing.

Some people will also experience fluid retention. This occurs when the body holds onto an excess fluid that was not removed during surgery. It can result in swelling or puffiness for weeks or months after the procedure.

Long-Term Effects of Liposuction

Liposuction can have long-term effects on your body, although they are less common than short-term ones. Some people experience chronic pain in the areas of their body where they’ve had liposuction. This pain usually results from scar tissue, which is a normal part of the healing process.

Liposuction Incisions and Scarring.

The largest concern for many people who have undergone liposuction surgery is the appearance of a scar. A new scar looks different from a normal part of the skin, which is often permanent. Scars can be red or white, depending on how they are healing. In some cases, scars from liposuction may not heal properly and continue to look red or lumpy. The two leading methods for minimizing the appearance of a scar from liposuction are lasers and cryotherapy.

Does Liposuction Leave Scars: Laser treatment for post-liposuction scars.

A laser can be used in combination with other treatments, such as silicones to reduce the appearance of scars after liposuction. Laser treatment can also be used for enlarged scars that develop after an injury. Silicone treatment and laser therapy may be combined, but silicone treatments alone will not give you the same results as a combination of laser and silicone therapies.

The use of lasers for fat removal is generally pain-free with minimal to little downtime depending on the type of procedure performed.

The cost depends on many factors such as size/area treated, depth of penetration, coagulation zone created, number of passes required, etc. Liposonix®, one example of laser lipolysis technology, has been approved by the FDA to perform adipose tissue ablation in the abdomen and flanks (peripheral) and areas around the bra area (chest).

Does Liposuction Leave Scars
Beautiful woman having cavitation.

Silicone treatment for post-liposuction scars.

The silicone sheeting method and marketed to plastic surgeons and patients as Scarfade®. This product, however, has replaced the original with a new version called Mederma® Scar Care. It is patented does not mean that Mederma® is the only scar therapy cream available on the market. Many other stretch mark creams are claiming to be effective in fading scars, but no studies have proven these claims.

So does liposuction leave scars? Well, you bet it does!