After liposuction, certain patients may be at risk of developing skin irregularities. These conditions include extremely loose skin or skin dimpling, or a skin texture similar to orange peels.
It is important to note that not every patient who has liposuction performed will develop these. Many patients are happy with their bodies after the procedure is finished and long after they are healed. This is simply a guide to advise liposuction patients on what to do to prevent and treat loose skin or skin dimpling.
What Causes Dimpling after Liposuction?
Liposuction is a procedure that removes fat from one or more specific areas of the body. To do this, a tube, called a cannula, passes through the targeted areas, suctioning fat out of the body. Unfortunately, the vigorous motion of the cannula can damage the connective tissues. This is more likely to happen when large amounts of fat are removed.
If the connective tissues heal unevenly in three to six months after surgery, or additional weight is lost or gained after liposuction, dimples may form. Dimples or unevenness may also form if too much fat is removed, or the skin has poor skin elasticity.
Who Is at Risk of Developing These Irregularities?
Patients whose weight is unstable are at a heightened risk of developing dimples after liposuction. Women who plan on becoming pregnant in the near future are at risk of weight fluctuations; as such, women who plan on becoming pregnant in the future may want to hold off on having liposuction until they are finished having children.
Older patients with poor skin elasticity are more likely to experience skin irregularities after liposuction. In these cases, a skin tightening treatment such as tummy tuck, thigh lift, or arm lift may be combined with liposuction.
Here are some tips to reduce the risk of developing loose or uneven skin after liposuction:
Keep Your Weight Stable
If you have weight to lose, do it before liposuction (or any other cosmetic procedure).
- Exercise: Once you have liposuction performed, maintain your weight. Exercise five or six days a week for at least 30 minutes. You can supplement cardiovascular activity with strength training to tighten your muscles, allowing it to hold your skin in place of fat.
- Eat reasonably: Avoid sugar, trans-fats, and too much salt. Most people need about 2,000 calories daily to maintain weight.
- Drink plenty of water: Water is necessary for the body to keep functioning. Make sure to drink at least 8 glasses of water daily.
- Stress: Keep stress levels in check. Stress raises cortisol levels and can cause weight gain.
- Medications: Be wary of any new prescriptions or supplements you are recommended, those can also cause weight gain. These include oral contraceptives and antidepressants.
Wear compression garments for the first few months after surgery. This will tighten the skin and prevent irregularities. It will also reduce swelling and help to prevent clotting and fat necrosis, particularly if garments are worn on the legs.
Do not expect to lose a huge amount of weight through liposuction. The goal of this procedure is to sculpt the area; diet and exercise are still the keys to losing most of your weight. Taking out too much fat is more likely to result in dimpling, unevenness or loss of skin elasticity.
Treatment: Skin Tightening After Liposuction
Some spas offer massage specifically for plastic surgery patients, which can be effective for some people. You can also do it yourself in the shower or after bathing.
There are also laser treatments available, notably Thermage, which generates heat and can smooth out lumps or uneven skin.
Liposuction may be made more effective if combined with a tummy tuck, thigh lift, or other surgical skin tightening procedures that remove excess skin.
For the best results, always consult a board-certified plastic surgeon. They will help create a personalized treatment plan and ensure that you get the body that you have always desired.
*The content in this blog is developed to spread the awareness towards plastic surgery. Our blog is not intended to serve as a replacement for an actual in-office consultation with Dr. Marin. As such, the information within this blog reflects the unique cases of our individual patients.