How Many Sets of Liposuction Incisions Do You Usually Make?

Please note that I am not asking about volume, that is another question. I understand there are variables, but what range of incisions with a cannula do you consider common, safe, and reasonable (i.e. 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, 14, 16, 18, 20.... 2 dozen, 3 dozen). Does the number decrease, increase, or remain the same when combined with other surgery?

Doctor Answers (10)

Incisions required for liposuction

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I make only a few incisions. They are cuts in the skin, but just small skin punctures. Since the punctures are tiny they heal better without stitches. They are hidden and are placed within skin that is planned for excision whenever possible. Typically I will use 3 punctures for the abdomen and just 2 punctures for most other areas.


Stockton Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 11 reviews

Liposuction Scars - number and location

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Over the years the number of  incision sites have decreased  without compromise of results. There is no absolute number of incisions that need to be made - just enough to give the best result which will vary from plastic surgeon to plastic surgeon. Incisions sites for liposuction are typically very small and made in stealth areas - that is hidden as much as possible. For example inside the belly button, umbilicus, to approach the upper and lower abdomen, just at the pubic hair line for the lower tummy and pubis area, in the groin crease for the inside of the thighs (medial thighs), at the gluteal, buttock, crease for the lower back, in the breast crease for the fat beneath your arm (lateral chest wall), in the crease below your chin for liposuction of the neck. I also like to place them at the edge of a tattoo or in an existing scar (for example C-Section or appendectomy, or mole removal scar) so that they are hidden, or use the open area from an additional surgery I may be doing. For example, during a tummy tuck incisions are made to do liposuction in the area of redundant skin to be removed so that there are no extra scars.

Larry S. Nichter, MD, MS, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 38 reviews

Lipo suction portals

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Liposuction experts have gradually abandoned the use of many lipo suction incisions in favor of a limited few incisions placed at strategically located points (unsually inside creases that hide them best). Dr. Teimourian was the US surgeon who pioneered lipo suction, as far back as the seventies, and he too has gone from multiple incisions to a limited few. He and others are able to fan (what he called cross hatch) the ares by using thin long metal cannulas and bending them to acheive contour. See a board certified plastic surgeon who has done a ton of lipo suction and ask about the potrals she or he uses. Your question is valid and I for one must say that the whole body can be contoured with a surprisngly few tiny puncture holes placed almost exclusively in body creases. If a surgeon has priviliges to preform liposuction at a local hospital they have proved to the hospital that she or he are legitimate providers of this service. Let the hospital credential your surgeon then let the surgeon do your liposuction in his facility or at the hospital. Do your homework and don't settle for multiple stab wounds. They are a dead give away.

Ayman Hakki, MD
Washington DC Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

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The size, number and location of incisions in liposuction tells a lot about the quality of the procedure.

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The smaller the canula, the smoother the results in liposuction. Small canulas have tiny incisions which are easily hidden and don't leave big scars. Docs who do lipo under local tumescent rather than the old method of traditional lipo under general anesthesia, tend to use the smaller canulas and have many tiny incisions so they can criss-cross the areas from 2-3 directions and really sculpt the areas since the patients are awake, comfortable and can stand up and turn in all positions to fine-tune the great results. We use only a needle to make the tiny holes through which the tiny canulas work. It is very difficult to find the little holes after a month or two. Sincerely,

David Hansen,MD

David Hansen, MD
Beverly Hills Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 24 reviews

Liposuction incisions

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the number of incisions depends on the area that is being treated and the amount of fat that is being suctioned. it also depends on the surgical techniques of the surgeon

Misbah Khan, MD
New York Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

Number of liposuction incisions

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There is no simple answer to this question.  It really depends on the area being treated, and the size of that area.  Generally, for the best contouring, surgeons like to approach the area with a "fanning" technique from different angles.  So typically each site needs two or three small incisions.  Sometimes these same incisions can be used for multiple areas, if strategically placed.

David A. Lickstein, MD
Miami Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 3 reviews

Liposuction incisions

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The number is variable, I generally try to use as few incisions as necessary to do a good job, but I don't compromise my results by limiting the number of incisions. Additionally I will try to place incisions in areas where they will be removed if combined with a tummy tuck. 

John Paletta, MD
Savannah Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

Number of incision for liposuction

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This depends entirely on the number of areas that will be liposuctioned.  As an example, if I am going to perform liposuction on someone's abdomen and flanks, I will use three to five incisions. If they also have the inner thighs liposuctions, you can add two more. 

Laurence Weider, MD
Dallas Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 62 reviews

Incisions for liposuction

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The amount of incisions really depens upon the number of areas being treated.  There is not specific number but they are very small probably  no more than 1 cm each in length.

Steven Wallach, MD
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 15 reviews

How Many Sets of Liposuction Incisions Do You Usually Make?

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     As an example, I typically use three port sites to liposuction the pubic area, the upper and lower abdomen, the flanks, and the upper and lower back.  If you do other excisional procedures, the number of port sites may be decreased.  Find a plastic surgeon with ELITE credentials who performs hundreds of liposuction procedures each year.  Then look at the plastic surgeon's website before and after photo galleries to get a sense of who can deliver the results.  Kenneth Hughes, MD Los Angeles, CA

Kenneth B. Hughes, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 180 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.