Skin Darkening &Swelling Post Liposuction? (photo)

After having surgery, the doctor removed stitches 2 weeks post op from the point of liposuction above the stomach. After removing the stitches, doctor asked to apply dry antibiotics powder. It started itching very badly and by mistake removed a little dry skin from the drying skin on liposuction spot. Now it has darkened and is red post 5 weeks surgery. What should I do?

Doctor Answers 4

Liposuction incisions may take months to completely heal.

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I don't see anything particularly wrong with the incision. The scar is biologically active which is a normal part of the healing process.

Skin Darkening &Swelling Post Liposuction?

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On average 6 weeks is the maximum inflammatory phase of wound healing, so chances are this will improve without intervention. Once there is not drainage at all, any of the scar creams can be applied, though I would run this by your surgeon. 

All the best. 

Jourdan Gottlieb, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon

Discoloration and scar after liposuction

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Thank you for asking about your healing after liposuction.

  1. The liposuction incision looks dry. Moisten with Aquaphor at night and cover with a silicone patch in the day time - both sold in pharmacies.
  2. Very low dose steroid injection from your surgeon will also flatten in.
  3. The discoloration is called 'post inflammatory hyperpigmentation" or PIH. 
  4. It will fade over 6 months. Tretinoin (Retin A) and hydroquinone 4% may speed up the fading. Don't tan this area or it will darken more. Best wishes.

Pigment and scaring after liposuction

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Any surgical site has melanocytic stimulation that can lead to hyperpigmentation and to hypertrophic scaring.    Your problem seems well contained.  I recommend a Retin A - Hydroquinone preparation for the pigment and silicone paste such as Kelocote for the  red scaring.  You will need to use this as your surgeon directs for at least 6 months.  The problem should subside and have minimal long term issues.  My Best,  Dr C

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.