Discoloration, Blotchiness, and Dimpling from Smart Lipo

I had Smart Lipo (with suctioning) done about 5 months ago on my inner thighs and lower abdomen. I am a 20 year old athlete and I just wanted contouring, so not that much fat was taken out. My inner thighs actually turned out well, but my lower abdomen (pouch area) is still discolored, blotchy, and has uneven bumps/dimples. What causes this and will it go away? Can I do anything to minimize the effects?

Doctor Answers 1

Contour irregularities...

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Hi there-

Unfortunately, the poor outcome you describe in your abdominal area is very common with the SmartLipo technique... I see a few patients a month who have these contour irregularities from laser liposuction, and unfortunately require more surgery to restore a pleasing and smooth appearance.

These irregularities occur when there is uneven damage to the fat from the laser used in the procedure, or (if suction was also used) when uneven aspiration is performed. In other words, it might be caused by the laser the machine uses, or the surgeon handling the machine. In my opinion, one of the most concerning things about SmartLipo is that the company that makes it has placed a technology that is not as safe as other liposuction machines in the hands of doctors with less training (usually not plastic surgeons), leading to a great many patients like yourself..

I would add that contour irregularities can happen with any type of liposuction, and can happen to any surgeon (the happen to the best of us), but there is no question in my mind (having used all of the available technologies myself) that I see more of these problems in patients who had SmartLipo than from any other technique.

The good news is that a surgeon certified by The American Board of Plastic Surgery can probably make this a lot better for you. If your original surgeon is, in fact a board certified plastic surgeon (ask which board certified him/her), they will know what to do... If the original surgeon is NOT a board certified plastic surgeon, chances are they will not be skilled in the delicate technique of correcting these problems and I would recommend you find a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon in your area with experience doing so.

Good luck- I hope you end up with what you wanted.

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