Hyperpigmentation Resulting from Smartlipo, How Long Until this Should go Away? (photo)

My plastic surgeon has told me that the skin discoloration I have experienced from smartlipo is post inflammatory hyperpigmentation. He gave me hydroquinone 4% to use twice daily to help clear it up, which I haven't started using. Is it normal for this to occure? Does it usually go away? How long? Below are photos of 10 days post op (looks kind of like a dark red birth mark) and 7 weeks post op...I am 8 weeks out and it still looks like it did at 3 weeks.

Doctor Answers 3

Hyperpigmentation from Smart lipo

I have never seen this with standard tumescent liposuction. It may be from the smartlipo heating mechanism getting too close to the skin. Hard to say what  the final outcome will be.  IPL may help but I would wait a few months to seek a consultation.

New York Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

Skin Hyperpigmentation After Abdominal Smartlipo

All of the hyperpigmentation that I have seen with Smartlipo, or any form of liposuction, is at the entrance sites for the probe and cannulas used to treat and extract the fat. This is a reaction of the skin edges to the frictional irritation from the in and out of probe and cannulas. What you are showing, however, is hyperpigmentation of the skin over the areas treated by the Smartlipo probe. I can only assume this is a reaction to the heat used to treat the undersurface of the skin or the heat generated from the probe treatment of the fat prior to extraction. Time and topical bleaching creams, as you are doing, are reasonable treatments for this hyperpigmentation reaction. You may also consider getting some pulsed light therapy (e.g. BBL) which can also be effective for suppressing hyperpigmentation. Whether you will get full resolution is not known, but it is still early and there is plenty of time for more improvement to occur.

Barry L. Eppley, MD, DMD
Indianapolis Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 72 reviews

Hyperpigmentation Resulting from Smartlipo, How Long Until this Should go Away? (photo)

This can occur from any type of liposuction. The healing time and bleaching creams can help. Did you have much bruising or bleeding? This can be a cause over the heating of the tissues. 

Darryl J. Blinski, MD
Miami Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 173 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.