What is this discoloration after lipo? (Photo)

I had liposuction of thighs 6-7 weeks back i noticed there is brownish discloration(not bruses)as a line shape as its look like the canula ,and also diffrent shapes . is it going to be perminent?can u give a percentage what can i do ? Im so depressed Thank you

Doctor Answers 5

What is this discoloration after lipo

Thank you for your question and photo.  Bruising normally resolves over several weeks.  A small percentage of patients (5-8%) may have delayed bruising.  Hemosiderin is the breakdown product of blood, which causes a brown discoloration that can take 1-2 years to improve, but it may never completely dissipate.

What is this discoloration after lipo?

This hyperpigmentation following liposuction occurs with some frequency and usually fades with time.  It may take several months for it to disappear.

Thomas Guillot, MD
Baton Rouge Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

Skin discoloration after liposuction

Thank you for asking about your liposuction.

  • This discoloration is common and not talked about much.
  • It is called post-traumatic hyperpigmentation
  • It is cause by irritation of the skin by the cannula.
  • It can happen in any skin but tends to be worse in people of color.
  • It will usually fade over 6 months.
  • 100% cocoa butter will lighten these according to many of my patient
  • And I have seen it work for them when they use it.
  • It can be hard to fine. Go on-line to search for it.
Always see a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon
Hope you found this answer helpful. Best wishes.

Discoloration after liposuction

Unfortunately this is a complication from overly aggressive liposuction superficially and/or energy based liposuciton devices such as smartlipo/laser and vaser/ultrasound.  there is no treatment or cure. I have tried external devices such as venus legacy and velashape with some improvement as it improves the vascularity of tissue and this is due to damage to the underlying small vessels in the upper levels of the skin.  Seek the advice of a body contouring specialist.  It is unlikely this is a result of bruising or hemosiderin, but if it was, this would resolve in 3-6 months.  Best, Dr. Emer.

Jason Emer, MD
Los Angeles Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 158 reviews

Discoloration after liposuction

I think there are two issues going on.

One is the discoloration.

This is most likely from one of two causes.

While initial bruising typically fades away in 10 to 15 days, there can be a remaining pigmentation that takes much longer to resolve.

The physical manifestation of bruising is caused by blood in tissues.

Hemoglobin in red blood cells breaks down and is eventually formed into bile.

That transformation process goes through many different steps with the hemoglobin molecule changing in each step.

The various forms of the molecule have different colors.

Bilirubin is perceived as yellow, and biliverdin is seen as green.

This is the reason bruising shows so many different colors. These pigments are typically always absorbed with time, and the color of the bruising will disappear.

There is a pigment called hemosiderin as well.

This forms from the iron atom that is part of hemoglobin in the red blood cells.

Hemosiderin deposits appear as darker areas of discoloration and can last for many months and sometimes appear to be permanent.

Most of the time hemosiderin deposits after surgery or trauma will go away with time.

The uneven outcome is a direct result of the liposuction.

Patients who have cellulite, loose skin or areas of unevenness are at substantially higher risk for developing uneven contours after liposuction.

Liposuction that is done aggressively or unevenly will leave an uneven contour. 

Uneven results from liposuction are very difficult to treat, and sometimes it's not possible.

At one month, it is much too early to make final assessments of your outcome.

My best guess is the discoloration will improve with time.

Hopefully the contour will improve as well.

Follow up with your surgeon to see what he or she has to say.

Best of luck,

Mats Hagstrom, M.D. 

Mats Hagstrom, MD
San Francisco Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 17 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.