Liposuction scars may refer to two separate concerns that include external skin and deeper soft tissue scarring. The external skin related liposuction scars are due to traditional scars that may develop in the areas of skin incisions. The skin incisions, are called port sites, and describe the entry points for the liposuction cannulas. The second liposuction scars of the deeper soft tissues related to irritation and hyperinflammatory reaction that occurs beneath the skin due to undesirable soft tissue collagen deposition.
External port site liposuction scars
External skin port site liposuction scars develop because of the abrasion injury that occurs following irritation from the liposuction cannula. You have to imagine that the liposuction cannula removes fat by traversing across the soft tissues. Traversing of the tissues requires the back and forth motion of the cannula against the skin edge where the port site lies. This results in direct damage to the skin and soft tissues that then results in poor scarring. Traditional liposuction does not provide for precautions to avoid this abrasion injury. However, high definition liposuction with ultrasound assisted liposuction takes precautions to avoid injury to these areas. When performing ultrasound assisted liposuction, we utilize port protectors which are solid barrier pieces that we fit into your port sites. This apparatus literally protects your skin from all shear forces. This precaution literally eliminates all potential for external skin liposuction scars.
Internal soft tissue liposuction scars
Internal soft tissue liposuction scars are created by irritation of soft tissue cells by virtue of the liposuction cannula traversing through the tissues. The physical shear force felt by the rigid cannula results in torn micro-vessels and irritation of nerves. As a result, proinflammatory cells migrate to the area as a defense line. Unfortunately, these cells then trigger a hyperinflammatory cascade that culminates in the arrival of fibroblasts that lay down scar tissue, i.e collagen material as a means of putting up protective barriers. Although the fibroblasts mean well, these barricading collagenous structures result in tissue firmness that patients can feel like soft tissue scars. Several measures are taken to minimize the formation of these liposuction scars. First, we use ultrasound-assisted liposuction which allows for gentle removal of fat cells as it requires less mechanical shearing of the tissues. In addition, we add steroids to our tumescent solution and place our patients on a steroid regimen by mouth, both intended to reduce the activation of a hyperinflammatory reaction. For those who due develop soft tissue liposuction scarring, we employ aggressive topical radiofrequency treatments at 2 weeks following surgery to counter the above scar tissues.