3 weeks post-op, why do my Lipo and BBL incisions look like bruises?Are they friction burns?Can I use anything on them?(photos)

I had all incisions closed with stitches. The procedure was 2-3 wks ago. My PS said my fat was extremely dense and fibrous, even for a man, so the procedure was 5 hours and labor intensive. He said my incisions are "normal" like everything else, but they don't look right to me. My facial PS saw photos and said they look like friction burns that may be permanent, which really scared me. I am using Celacyn on them, but I can use vaseline or dermend if that might help. Thanks.

Doctor Answers 4

What do the scars after liposuction and BBL look like?

Hi Rs101,

Thanks for your questions and photos. Your scars look well within the normal limits however they are still very red as 2 to 3 weeks after surgery they're still healing. I would recommend applying silicone strips or gel and scar massage as often as you can is this can substantially increase the time it takes for the redness to go away. If they were true burns the skin around the incision would still be irritated and rough, which it does not appear.  Be patient and discuss her concerns with your plastic surgeon.

All the best,

Carlos Mata MD, MBA, FACS

Board-certified plastic surgeon

#scars #BBL #liposuction

Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

3 weeks post-op, why do my Lipo and BBL incisions look like bruises?Are they friction burns?Can I use anything on them?

Scars will be pigmented for months but should improve over the course of a year.  I would try to email or call the surgeon.  Surgeons want to know about potential problems.

Kenneth Hughes, MD

Los Angeles, CA

Kenneth B. Hughes, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 496 reviews

Appearance of incisions after liposuction

Your doctor while not a board-certified plastic surgeon is partially correct and partially incorrect.

The scars have the appearance because of friction from the cannula.

Liposuction incisions are made transversely to the skin while the cannula passes through these openings close to parallel to the skin.

In a long liposuction case the canula may be passed back-and-forth several thousand times.

My cadence or rate of movement during liposuction is around 60 strokes per minute.

With continuous liposuction at that rate the cannula is passed back-and-forth 3600 times per hour.

This often causes chafing of the skin.

The injury is similar to a superficial burn or scrape.

These dermal injuries are superficial and generally heal completely without any long-term scarring .

The areas outside of the actual small incision made be discolored for 3 to 9 months or even longer depending on someone skin complexion.

At first they will look pink or light purple and with time eventually fade out to your normal skin complexion.

This is especially true for people with fair skin.

You will always have small scars from the actual incisions but the areas surrounding the incision will most likely do very well with time.

Almost everyone gets some of these skin chafing injuries from extensive liposuction.

Once the areas are primarily healed or have a dry surface I recommend using silicone sheeting. One brand I like is called safetac. It's available on Amazon and not particularly expensive.

Be patient and your results should follow if the procedure was done well.


Mats Hagstrom M.D.

Mats Hagstrom, MD
San Francisco Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 19 reviews

3 weeks post-op, why do my Lipo and BBL incisions look like bruises?Are they friction burns?Can I use anything on them?

Hello rs101 - Thanks for your question. Incisions will stay red for several weeks after surgery. If your surgeon used port protectors, the risk of friction burns in minimal. Incisions are typically red or pink because of an enhanced blood supply while healed. Use of sunblock, massage, silicone onlays, etc. can help the scars fade with time. If you still have questions, please see your surgeon. 

Good luck, 

Dr. Shah

Manish H. Shah, MD, FACS
Denver Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 56 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.