Lipo Incisions Look Inflamed - What Can I Do?

4 weeks ago I had SmartLipo on abdomen & back with a total of 15 small incisions. Most healed nicely except for the 2 largest ones on each hipbone. They are red and inflamed although stopped oozing about a week ago. Initially, any type of ointment and bandaids were making them worse until I discovered on my own that I should use gauze pads and plain cloth tape (apparent allergic/sensitive to most adhesives!) What should I be doing to help with the "angry" redness & swolleness of the incisions?

Doctor Answers 14

Inflamed Liposuction Incisions?

It sounds like the incisions are still healing. You should continue keeping the area clean and covered. Try to avoid touching the area with any type of adhesive since it sounds as if you may have an allergic reaction to it. Once the skin has settled down and the inflammation has gone down (in about 3-4 weeks), you can start applying scar cream such as MEDERMA or KELOCOTE to help fade the appearance of the scars.

San Francisco Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

Red and swollen liposuction insertion site

If there is redness and swelling an infection needs to be ruled out by your sureon. Infected skin usually hurts but not always. If the scars are trying to become hypertrophic, or angry scars, and there is no infection, then the drug-store purchased scar dressings of silastic gel, may help suppress ths reaction. For you, you should see your liposuction doctor.

Ronald Shelton, MD
Manhattan Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 38 reviews

Liposuction scars

Most liposuction incisions will heal with minimal scarring within 1-2 weeks. I hope your surgeon was a Plastic surgeon. The number of your incisions (15) seems much for abdomen and back. Anyway, laser assisted liposuction such as Smart lipo can cause burns at the incision sites. Most of these burns will heal well with local wound care such as gauze and antibiotic ointment. If the incisions are not healing well or becomes inflamed, you need to see your surgeon as soon as possible. Occasionally, there may be an infection requiring antibiotic treatment.

Good Luck.

Dr Okoro

Stanley Okoro, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 132 reviews

Non healing SmartLipo incisions may be burns

We see patients treated at the local 'liposuction center' here in town with this same issue- the skin over the 'hipbone' area can be quite thin, and can be burned by laser liposuction cannula. Burns are one of the distinct disadvantages that laser liposuction has, as compared to safer forms of liposuction that don't use heat. These wounds will heal with time (moist dressing and frequent band-aid changes) but you may have an unsightly scar in this region. It pays to do your 'homework' when it comes to choosing a surgeon for your liposuction procedure - most of the board certified plastic surgeons I know don't use SmartLipo because of the problems with skin burns. 

Liposuction incisions

Discuss with your surgeon concerns of redness or inflamed incision sites after surgery.
Best of luck.


Following surgery, your surgical incision sites will go through a maturation process. For the first few months they will be red and possibly raised and/or firm. Some of this may be due to the multiple passes of the liposuction wand (cannula). Uncommonly it can indicate an infection so see your plastic surgeon if concerned .
As the scar matures, after 6-12 months, it becomes soft, pale, flat, and much less noticeable. You may experience numbness, tingling, burning, “crawling”, or other peculiar sensations around the surgical area. This is a result of the healing of tiny fibers which are trapped in the incision site. These symptoms will disappear. Some people are prone to keloids, which is an abnormal scar that becomes prominent. If you or a blood relative has a tendency to keloid formation, please inform the doctor.
#liposuction #healing

Larry S. Nichter, MD, MS, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 104 reviews

Possible infection

Red and swollen scars can indicate an infection, so you should see your surgeon to have your scars checked out.

Inflammed scars after laser liposuctio

May be best to discuss with your surgeon to make sure you are healing properly. If so, this may just be normal healing. Consider using silicone gel sheets made for scar improvement.

Karol A. Gutowski, MD, FACS
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 42 reviews

Red, oozing wounds after laser liposuction

Hi.  This problem needs to be checked by your surgeon.  It's hard to tell from your description whether you have some component of wound infection or incisional friction/ laser burns, or whether it's just normal postoperative redness of an incision.

Better to have someone experienced look at it than to seek help online...


Take care,

Prolonged red swollen inflamed incision sites for laser lipolysis (SmartLipo)

As stated repeated passing of the laser fiber through the skin can cause thermal type injuries to the skin. However, I have occasionally observed this even without lasers and it may be due to the exposed nature of these incisions over the hip which are subject to repeated trauma by your clothing. I believe the padding function of the gauze may be another reason why you saw an improvement with its use.  

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 69 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.