What causes Lipo burns? Physician or technique?

Doctor Answers 7

What causes Lipo burns? Physician or technique?

Another GREAT question. So let me classify lipo burns based upon potential causes: 1. MINOR, less than 10 sq cm,  2nd degree to 3rd degree burns are most likely garment issues from the friction of the surgical binder (faja). Local care with Silvadene cream usually corrects.  2. MODERATE to SEVERE BURNS, greater than 10 sq cm are multi factorial. A combination of the surgeon with the type of liposuction technique used. In that if the surgeon is either inexperienced, in a hurry, not even in the operating room (which you see in these clinic cases) than this could lead to burn effects. Also the most common lipo techniques causing burns are VASER as the leading technique, followed by PAL, than Smart  Lipo a distance third. Plus it is the fast aggressive recognition of the burn and treatment that might heal minimize the potential sequelae. The worse response by the surgeon is denial. In my over 38 years of ding all types of liposuction I have started only using my layered liposuction with small cannula techniques or SmartLipo on low watts as the best goto lips. Thanks for this GREAT question.... 

Miami Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 174 reviews


this can be either a technique problem or a device problem. Can be mild to severe. Using energy for liposuction is a serious matter and should not be taken lightly as it can cause devastating complications if improperly used. 

Liposuction related burns

Burns following liposuction can only come from an energy-based liposuction device, like a laser-liposuction device, ultrasonic-liposuction or VASER.  These ones generate heat.  They should be rare in the hands of an experienced surgeon.

They don't happen with standard lipo, power-assisted liposuction or water-jet assisted liposuction, as these machines don't generate heat at the cannula entrance site.

Thomas Fiala, MD
Orlando Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 80 reviews

Liposuction burns

Thank you for asking about your liposuction burns.

  • Burns from liposuction are from laser and vaser machines that generate heat.
  • These should not burn your skin if your surgeon is experienced with the machines and is cautious.
  • If you are a smoker or have another major risk factor, you are more likely to heal poorly if a burn is incurred.

Always see a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon. Best wishes  - Elizabeth Morgan MD PHD FACS

Elizabeth Morgan, MD, PhD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 43 reviews

Lipo burns

lipo with ultrasound can cause burns which should be treated with bacitracin or silvadene by prescription. I don't believe blame should be placed as doctors often try to get as much fat as they can without harm, but everyone has different tolerance. Best to have a discussion with your doctor.

Robert V. Mandraccia, MD
Fort Myers Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

What causes Lipo burns? Physician or technique?

Burns to the skin are more common with certain liposuction technology than others.  Regardless, with careful attention to detail, this occurrence should be very unusual.  Best wishes.

Tom J. Pousti, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1,502 reviews

Liposuction Burns -- Technique or Physician?

Burns should not occur from liposuction regardless of the device used or technique.  This is a risk with laser or ultrasound (energy based device) devices but should not occur with proper technique/skill.  Best, Dr. Emer.

Jason Emer, MD
Los Angeles Dermatologic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 196 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.