I am wondering how does a patient get Lipo burn from a BBL and does the doctor know when one is about to occur?

Doctor Answers 8

Lipo burn

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Your question is quite vague or nonspecific.

Lipo means fat and fat is generally not burnt to the point of being an issue for many former liposuction.

I'm guessing what you're referring to our skin injuries.

Sometimes fat is purposely heated up or mechanically damaged on purpose using techniques such as lasers or ultrasound Devices such as VASER.

This generally when used correctly do not cause any burns or complications.

Skin injuries are rare after liposuction of any form.

The most common reason in my opinion someone would have a skin Andrea after liposuction is that the treatment or after care of the treatment causes a loss of blood supply to the skin causing skin process.

This can possibly happen from excessively aggressive liposuction especially in someone who has underlying medical conditions or is a heavy cigarette smoker.

It can also happen during fat transfer procedures if too much fat is grafted in a single area causing so much pressure that the skin does not receive its blood supply.

Perhaps the most common reason is large areas being bandaged with tape after these procedures.

The area treated will swell but it taped does not expand causing tension on the skin which will cause the skin to lose its blood supply.

This usually causes blisters to form.

Excessively tight dressings such as stacked up layers of gauze under an excessively tight compression garment could potentially also cause problems with blood supply to the skin.

Most laser assisted liposuction devices do not generate enough heat or power to have even significant changes in the liposuction outcome let alone skin burns.

I suppose it's possible to have the energy settings on the highest level and passing the laser directly on the skin causing skin burns.

My best guess is the most common reason patients have skin injuries after liposuction is the inappropriate and excessive use of tape covering the incisions not allowing the skin to stretch after the procedure.

My practice is devoted exclusively to liposuction and fat transfer.

I have had one significant skin injury from arm liposuction.

Having done close to 3000 liposuction procedures the chance of having a skin injury is exceedingly low when the procedure is done correctly.

In this case the problem was due to using tape after the procedure.

Since then we do not use tape but allow the pressure garments to hold absorbent gauze in place over the incisions.


Mats Hagstrom M.D.

San Francisco Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 21 reviews

Lipo Burns

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Tissue injury can occur if your surgeon is too aggressive with their technique or if the lipo cannula is too close to the skin during surgery. Friction heat from the cannula can irritate or damage tissue. 

Lipo "burns" from a procedure may not be immediately apparent to your doctor. Having an experienced and attentive surgeon dramatically minimizes the risk of this happening. 

Usha Rajagopal, MD
San Francisco Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 44 reviews

I am wondering how does a patient get Lipo burn from a BBL and does the doctor know when one is about to occur?

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Hello dear, thanks for your question and provided information as well... I think that you're talking about liposuction skin necrosis or burns? I will recommend you to discuss liposuction and lipoinjjection risks.. From a bbl procedure the most common complication to appear is a fat rejection or necrosis. 

Tania Medina de Garcia, MD
Dominican Republic Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 442 reviews

I am wondering how does a patient get Lipo burn from a BBL and does the doctor know when one is about to occur?

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Hello msbrazil05 - Thanks for your question. When burns occur from liposuction, they typically occur with laser lipo or VASER lipo. These two technologies create extra heat that may injure skin if not carefully applied. Regular liposuction can create burns but typically only in the area of the skin incision by friction heat that occurs when the lipo cannula moves back and forth to remove fat. It is often difficult to know when it will happen. Surgeons just need to be careful and have lots of experience to avoid burns. 

Good luck, 

Dr. Shah

Manish H. Shah, MD, FACS
Denver Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 69 reviews

How does a patient get a lipo burn from a BBL and does the doctor know when one is about to occur?

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Thank you for your question. A skin burn during liposuction is a poor technique or inattentive surgery by the surgeon. It can happen even with plain tumescent liposuction as well, if the surgeon causes a lot of friction of the cannula at the skin entrance point. I personally use protective hard plastic skin entrance ports to avoid skin irritation or burns. I almost always use the VASER and did not see a burn over 15 years of almost daily use. It is operator error, not the machine. 

Skin issue

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A lipo burn may occur with the device used.  Best to be seen in person to determine what is going on.  Best to review with your surgeon.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

LIpo Burn

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Most lipoburns are not actual burns.  There is little thermal injury except with laser liposuction which is not used in BBL because it permanently destroys the fat cells that are being transferred. Lipoburns are more a result of tissue injury if the cannula is too close to the skin or from devascularization (no blood flow) due to aggressive liposuction.  Most doctors do not know when a lipoburn has occurred because there are no immediate signs. The tissue dies over the course of a couple days which then manifests are black or dusky looking tissues. 

I am wondering how does a patient get Lipo burn from a BBL and does the doctor know when one is about to occur?

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Any thermal energy can cause a burn.  Tumescent liposuction alone can help minimize risks.

Kenneth Hughes, MD

Los Angeles, CA

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.