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The Risk of Skin Dimpling after Liposuction

By Brian Kobienia, MD, FACS on April 06, 2016


A slim, contoured back and thighs Even with a healthy diet and regular exercise, some fatty trouble spots just won't go away. Many turn to liposuction for its ability to sculpt and contour the body through the removal of fat from such stubborn areas as the upper arms, stomach, and thighs. Although liposuction has many benefits, in rare cases, patients may experience skin dimpling after treatment. Dr. Brian Kobienia educates patients on steps they can take to reduce the risk of skin dimpling after liposuction. Schedule a consultation at Dr. Kobienia's Edina, MN practice for your personalized consultation.

What Is Skin Dimpling?

Skin dimpling is an aesthetic issue that can occur after liposuction. Skin dimpling is characterized by bumps or dimples within the skin, similar to the appearance of cellulite. Although skin dimpling poses no risk to health, many who experience skin dimpling will seek treatment to minimize the appearance of bumps and dimples in an effort to improve the skin's appearance and texture.

What Causes Skin Dimpling after Liposuction?

Skin dimpling is essentially caused by an uneven distribution of fat cells leftover in areas treated with liposuction. After liposuction, the skin compresses where fat cells were removed, resulting in a bumpy texture wherever fat cells remain. Skin dimpling is more likely to occur when the following issues are present:

  • Too much fat has been removed: The removal of too much fat increases the risk of uneven fat distribution, which can lead to dimpling.
  • Gaining or losing weight after liposuction: Following liposuction, it's important for patients to maintain a stable weight because weight fluctuations can leave treated areas looking dimpled or uneven.
  • Poor skin elasticity: Patients with loose skin and poor elasticity are more likely to experience dimpling after liposuction.
  • Pre-existing cellulite: When cellulite is present in areas treated with liposuction, the risk of dimpling is increased.
  • Uneven fat removal: Liposuction that is performed by less experienced surgeons can result in uneven fat removal, leading to the appearance of dimpled skin. Choosing a skilled surgeon, like Dr. Kobienia, is one of the best ways ensure beautiful, smooth results.

Reduce the Risk of Skin Dimpling after Liposuction

As previously stated, choosing a highly skilled and experienced surgeon is one of the best ways to reduce the risk of dimpling after liposuction. Patients can also help reduce the risk of dimpling after liposuction by following these tips:

  • Massage the skin: Patients are encouraged to gently massage the skin to increase blood circulation and improve healing.
  • Stay hydrated: Dehydration can cause the skin to look uneven and dimpled as a result of water retention. Staying hydrated, especially during the healing process, helps keep the skin supple and smooth.
  • Maintain a stable weight: Maintaining a healthy, stable weight after liposuction can reduce the risk of dimpling and allow patients to enjoy a more contoured appearance for years to come.

Treating Skin Dimpling after Liposuction

If skin dimpling occurs after liposuction, there are treatments available to help smooth the skin and diminish the appearances of bumps and dimples. Some treatments to consider include:

  • Ultrasound treatments
  • Radiofrequency treatments
  • Laser skin tightening
  • Fat transfer injections

Receive a Personalized Consultation

If you are interested in body contouring treatments, or have questions about available treatments, we invite you to schedule a consultation with Dr. Kobienia.

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