Is It Safe to Have Abdominal Liposuction if There Are Adhesions and Scar Tissue?

I have had previous abdominal surgeries and hernia repairs however have been left with adhesions and scar tissue, is it safe to have liposuction, I have no existing hernias present. Does the lipo instrument penetrate the scar tissue?

Doctor Answers 13

Liposuction after abdominal surgery

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I would be very apprehensive about performing liposuction in an area full of adhesions and scar tissue. This would entail risks not normally encountered in liposuction. It would be useful to know what type of hernia repair you underwent and whether mesh was used in the process.

Abdominal adhesions and scar tissue in relation to liposuction

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Certain forms of liposuction may penetrate scars more easily than others such as ultrasonic assisted lipoplasty  or PAL. However, the scars to which you refer are insdie your peritoneal cavity and liposuction is NOT performed in this space.

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

Abdominal liposuction on a scarred abdomen

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If you ahve any excess skin or muscle laxity, I would seriously consider having an abdominoplasty (tummy tuck).  This would slim the abdomen down, tighten the muscle and likely excise several of your "socked in" scars and would allow your surgeon to revise the scars that are not excised .   I've taken some nasty, "road map" adbomens and tuned them into a nice smooth abdomens with only a hip to hip suprapubic scar or sometimes an anchor scar.  Consult a board certified plastic surgeon and see what he/she thinks would help you.

Lisa Lynn Sowder, M.D.

Lisa Lynn Sowder, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 77 reviews

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Liposuction after previous abdominal surgery and hernia repair

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Abdominal liposuction may be performed safely after previous abdominal surgery and hernia repair, but the operation will incur somewhat higher risk of complications as well as possibly suboptimal results due to previous scarring. Adhesions usually refer to intra-abdominal scar tissue which is outside the area of liposuction.

Olivia Hutchinson, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon

Abdominoplasty after hernia repair

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Any previous surgery complicates any further surgery.  However, after a full examination by your surgeon and possibly some imaging studies (CT Scan), if everything turns out to be okay, then there is no absolute contraindication to surgery.  Good luck with your procedure.

Liposuction after previous abdominal surgery

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Previous surgical scars on the abdomen do increase your potential risk of injury during liposuction.
You should discuss your situation with your board certified plastic surgeon who has general surgery experience (liposuction can be performed by various doctors that may not have sufficient surgical experience).
The risk you want to avoid is that of accidental injury to your abdomen and abdominal cavity.  Previous surgeries may have left behind openings or weaknesses in the abdominal wall that would allow the liposuction instrument to enter the abdominal cavity which would lead to unwanted injury.
Martin Jugenburg, MD

Martin Jugenburg, MD
Toronto Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 519 reviews

Liposuction and previous scars

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If you have had previous abdominal surgery, I assume that you had a CT scan or other study to let you know that you have no hernias. I f this is the case, in most cases,liposuction can be performed carefully  to avoid  problems.

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

Liposuction Be Safe with scar tissue.

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As most of the expert posters have stated it take excellent technique and experience. Also there can be increased bruising and healing time. But the final result may be limited by the scar tissue. Seek in person opinions. 

Liposuction with prior surgery

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Bruising and bleeding can be increased if the insertion scars go through the prior scars but if there are no hernias then there shouldn't be any significant further risk.

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

Liposuction with previous abdominal surgery

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Liposuction is done only on the fat outside of the abdominal muscles. Therefore, internal adhesions are not a factor. However, any areas of scar between the skin and the muscle will make any Liposuction more difficult but, with care, should not make it any more risky.

Robert T. Buchanan, MD
Highlands Plastic Surgeon

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.