How to Remove Hardened Scar Tissue 3 Years After Power-Assisted Liposuction?

I had liposuction 3 years ago. The doc used PAL, results were pretty poor. Overuse of garment caused scar tissue and underlying fat caused more uneveness. I followed this up with slimlipo,unevenes has reduced but scar tissue is still there. Can this scar tissue be decimated using PAL? broken up and removed. Some of it seems like fat got hardened, around existing tissue. The tissue is numb and feels like leg gone to sleep. How can this scar tissue be removed?

Doctor Answers 14

Scar tissue 3 years post op

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This is tough no pun intended.I would try non surgical method because anytime you cut or do surgery you are creating more scar tissue so I would try heat,massage and ultrasound to see if this tissue can be softened.

Fort Myers Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 69 reviews

Scarring after liposuction

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The single greatest cause for severe scarring after liposuction is aggressive liposuction.  This causes a skin-on-muscle deformity and prevents mobility of the tissues.  This can definitely to be avoided by not performing the procedure too aggressively.  It is sometimes possible to release scar tissue but this of course does not correct the underlying irregularities in fat thickness.

Excessively superficial liposuction, or burns with the laser technique also cause irregularities.  In both cases, these irregularities are very difficult to treat.

In such cases, revisional microliposuction can help, but lifts are often necessary, with direct removal of scar tissue.  However, further removal of fat often just compounds the problem.

Experience is a must in revisional cases.

Brent Moelleken, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 194 reviews

How to improve hard firm areas of fat after liposuction.

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Firm areas of fat from scarring or fat necrosis can be treated in a number of ways.  My preferred method is to use ultrasound-assisted liposuction for its ability to break up fibrous areas.  I then use fat graft harvested from another areas to inject into these firm areas.

Hardened scar tissue 3 years after PAL

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I'm sorry to hear that you still have hardened areas after your power assist liposuction. I do not believe it is the garment's fault. As I often say, it is not the tool but the person using the tool that makes the difference! It sounds that your surgeon oversuctioned the area and devascularized or injured the vessels under your skin. You do not state what body part is injured. I personally see this on the abdomen, when patients come in for a second opinion, and often the only correction is to surgically remove this tissue like an abdominoplasty. This scarred tissue is inelastic, feels like leather and it is a poor recipient site for fat grafting. Some of the fat that survives, will give you some improvement, but it is almost impossible to fully correct the lumpiness.

How do you remove scar tissue following liposuction?

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it sounds like your situation of scar tissue 3 years after liposuction is an unusual one. It may be scar or possibly even fat necrosis that has become hard. I would try to address this nonsurgically if at all possible. Beginning with ultrasound treatments and aggressive massage. More surgery could give you even more irregularities.

Jeffrey Kenkel, MD
Dallas Plastic Surgeon

Fibrosis after liposuction is difficult to treat.

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Fibrosis after liposuction is difficult to treat.  Fibrosis is usually hardened areas of tissue which can be caused by fat necrosis, over-resection of tissue, excess tissue trauma, or unrecognized seromas (fluid collections).

The best methods for treating the fibrosis is 1)prevention and 2)early detection and treatment with massage, external ultrasound, possible fat grafting, and (infrequently) steroid injections.

Richard H. Fryer, MD
Salt Lake City Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 297 reviews

Improving hard scar tissue after lipo

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Some patients need fat injections to fill in dents and others need more lipo in focal areas for under-corrected areas and some patients need both. If scar tissue is hard but not bound down to the underlying muscle the firmness may improve with deep massage, Endermolorie, Velashape, and external ultrasound. Some physicians might use injectable corticosteroids into the area and this may soften the scarebut there risks including depression!

Ronald Shelton, MD
Manhattan Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 39 reviews

Scar tissue after liposuction,SmartLipo

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It is unusual for scar tissue to not become soft after that long from your liposuction. Also, SmartLipo or SlimLipo,if anything, should have been able to help this for it is laser type liposuction which removes most of the tissue the laser is in contact with. If it responds to none of these, you may need it surgically removed. You mention  that you have numbness also. This is extremely unusual and your nerve may have been injured with those procedures. Maybe the scar tissue you are feeling is what's called a neuroma. 

Edward J. Domanskis, MD
Newport Beach Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

VIDEO: Correction of liposuction irregularities with tummy tuck 6:20

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The attached video shows the results of a tummy tuck to correct skin irregularities caused by agressive liposuction.

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 86 reviews

Scar tissue after liposuction

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Dents and irregularities, over-corrected areas can occur after liposuction which is very operator dependent. Power assisted liposuction is a mechanical hand piece which was developed to reduce operator fatigue, though it should not result in hardened scar tissue. It is also unlikely that the compression garment is to blame for the scar and poor result. Perhaps start over with a board certified plastic surgeon to get to bottom of what has gone wrong.

Best of luck,


Peter E. Johnson, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 44 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.