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Hi, I'm Dr. Adam Oppenheimer, and I'm a plastic surgeon in Melbourne, Florida. This is a question about deformities related to liposuction. Liposuction, at the outside, seems very, very easy and straightforward. You simply put in a tube and suction away fat, but there are several critical things about liposuction that can make it difficult and create post-liposuction deformities that are difficult to treat.

There's really two layers of fat in the body. There's the superficial layer and there's the deeper layer. The deeper layer is the only layer that you're allowed to remove in liposuction. The superficial layer is necessary to have normal texture and normal appearance of the skin. So, whenever I perform liposuction, I only perform liposuction in the deep layer. In the abdomen, especially in thin people, those layers can be really close together, and if you get into the superficial layer, especially if you're using aggressive forms of liposuction like laser or ultrasound liposuction, you can really disrupt the superficial layers of skin and create a situation where you essentially have skin directly on to the muscle fascia. This can be very difficult to treat.

There are really three techniques that I use to treat post-liposuction deformities. One of these techniques involves removing fat from other areas of the body and putting it back into the area that was over-treated. This is called fat grafting. Another one of the techniques that can be used is actually to remove skin and to pull the skin tighter. This can mean a tummy tuck if it's in the abdomen. It can mean a thigh lift or an arm lift if the liposuction deformities are in the thigh or the arm respectively. The last thing that I use in certain cases of post-liposuction deformities is actually using the Cellulaze laser to break up the fibers that have formed, to break up the scarring and to melt some of the fat irregularities to try to smooth out certain areas. I've used this with success. I think that it requires a bit of experience with the laser to get it right, but I think if you have no skin to resect or to remove to create a tummy tuck or to perform a tummy tuck to try to fix the problem, I think that the Cellulaze laser may be your best option in order to try to smooth out some of that scarring, to remove fat that is in excess and actually to break up some of the scar bands. I wouldn't perform additional liposuction in this procedure, but by simply using the laser to both tighten the skin and break up the scar bands, I think you could have some success.

Hopefully this helps. Best of luck.

Deformities Following Liposuction? Here Are Your Options

Dr. Adam Oppenheimer discusses the ways in which to correct liposuction deformities, including over-treated areas with indentations and under treated areas with residual fat.

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