After liposuction, some men and women experience irregularities in the skin, especially if liposuction is performed on older patients with poor skin elasticity. These irregularities usually come in the form of dimples or pockets in the skin where the fat removal was performed. The skin may look lumpy or pocketed, similar to the appearance of extreme cellulite. This can be extremely frustrating for patients who expected a smooth, taut appearance after liposuction. The stomach area, especially, is prone to this, as is very common that fat will be removed and the skin will not lay flat over the body any longer.

Causes

When fat is removed from under the skin, some patients believe that their skin will shrink to fit their smoother, more toned body. However, this is not always the case, especially in the areas where the skin is significantly damaged. This is most common in the stomach and gluteal area, though it can occur all over the body. If skin has been stretched over fat deposits for a long period of time, it will may not tighten or shrink back when the fat deposits are no longer there. Any area that has stretch marks, for example, is unlikely to quickly tighten after liposuction. Excess and sagging skin is the most common cause for dimpling after liposuction.

However, skin dimpling may also occur when an inexperienced or unskilled surgeon performs the procedure. An uneven liposuction procedure can result in fat deposits that are left behind, which can cause dimpling and folding on the surface of the skin. Dimpling is also more likely when significant amounts of fat are removed.

How Common?

When performed by a skilled plastic surgeon on patients with good skin elasticity, skin dimpling and irregularities after liposuction are rare. Your surgeon should be able to tell you if you are at risk of skin dimpling after liposuction. If so, liposuction can be paired with a tuck or lift procedure.

Skin dimpling after liosuction is most common in large areas of skin, especially in liposuction of the abdominal region, as well as in the bottom region, the thighs, and calves. The smaller the liposuction area, the less likelihood there is of dimpling in the skin.

Treatment

If skin dimpling occurs after liposuction, some plastic surgeons will ask their patients to wear a compression garment for several weeks after surgery and to wait and monitor the situation. After a few months, the skin may begin to shrink to the new, thinning body. The compression garment will encourage the skin to conform to its new contours.

However, it is possible that the skin will never shrink. In this instance, it will be necessary, if the patient wants the dimples and lumps removed, to undergo a skin tightening procedure. Tummy tucks are the most common, tightening the skin over the new smooth area, in order to eliminate rolls or any other skin irregularity caused by liposuction. Doctors can perform skin tightening procedures, such as arm lift or thigh lift, on almost any area of the body.

To schedule a liposuction consultation, contact Dr. Deuber.