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Why does the skin sometimes ripple after liposuction?

Tag Archives: complications

In my Louisville Liposuction practice, I find this procedure to be often reqeusted, right behind breast augmentation in popularity.

One known side effect of liposuction is rippling of the skin. Plastic Surgeons refer to this as a contour irregularity. This isn’t very common but it certainly can occur.

The reason patients experience this problem is twofold. First, if the patient is older and/or has loose skin, when the fat is removed the skin isn’t able to snap back tightly enough and it can leave some ripples. The second reason we see this is if the liposuction cannula is passed just under the skin. Everytime we advance the liposuction cannula a small tunnel is made. As the tissues heal and the tunnels collapse on themselves, if they are just under the skin, the skin can be pulled in which will cause a rippling effect. To combat this we try to stay a bit deeper with the cannula and will cross-hatch the tunnels.

Are you prone to this problem? The only way to really know is to let your Plastic Surgeon examine the area you are interested in having treated.

Lee Corbett, MD

All posts on this blog are provided by Louisville Liposuction doctor, Lee Corbett, MD.

In my Louisville Plastic Surgery practice I am frequently asked “Do you think I am too old to be doing this?”

I just read an article in this months American Society of Plastic Surgeons journal and they looked at complication rates and age. The procedure they studied was the Facelift.

What the studied showed was the regardless of the type of facelift, mini or full , first time or re-do, the complication rates were the same for those younger and older than 65.

The difference maker was how healthy the patient was before surgery. In other words, a 55 year old who is obese, diabetic and has high blood pressure is likely to be more risky to operate on than a 70 year old with no medical problems.

Chronological age is not as important as physiologic age.

If you are unsure if you are a good candidate, just ask you surgeon.

Lee Corbett, MD

A fairly common question posed after a Louisville Breast Augmentation is should you take antibiotics before dental procedures. The ratinonale is that when the teeth are manipulated, bacteria get in the blood stream and if they find the implant they could result in an infection and loss of the implant.

In reality, the chances of this happening are very, very low. As a rule I do not put my patient’s on antibiotics before a trip to the dentist but there are exceptions. If the implants were placed within the previous 6 months I think it’s not a bad idea to take a dose before the dental appt. I also recommend them for my patients who have implants for breast cancer reconstruction. These patients may have weakened immune systems and are more prone to infections. In 12 years I have only had 1 patient get an infection after dental work and she was a cancer patient.

The bottom line is that there are no definitive studies that answer this question. If you have breast implants and are concerned it is best to discuss it with your surgeon.

Lee Corbett, MD

Louisville, KY Cosmetic Plastic  Surgeon

This is one of the tricky areas of Louisville Cosmetic Surgery. Complications like bleeding problems or infection are rare after cosmetic surgery. The risks fall in the range of 1% or less for most procedures like Louisville Breast Augmentations, Louisville Liposuction, or Louisville Rhinoplasty.

But…the reality is these problems do occur and when they do a trip back to the Operating Room may be necessary. This brings the problem of money into the situation.

Most insurance companies will not pay for a complication that results directly from cosmetic surgery, like a bleed or infection at the surgical site. This is an issue that  I recommend all potential cosmetic surgery patients strongly consider. Chances are everything will turn out just fine, they almost always do, but someone out there is going to be that “1” when we tell you chances are “1 in a 1000”.

Lee Corbett, MD

All posts on this blog are presented by Louisville Plastic Surgery expert, Dr. Lee Corbett

A hematoma is collection of blood that can form after surgery. It usually results when a vessel starts to leak blood after your surgery has been completed.

Hematomas are not very common, less than 1% in most surgeries and a bit higher with facial surgery. But, they are always a risk whether you are having a Breast Aug, Facelift, or Tummy Tuck. In fact, a hematoma can occur after almost any surgery. If they occur, unfortunately, a second surgery will usually be required to drain the blood.

When the occur it is almost always within the first 24 hours after surgery. During this time period, at about the 6-8 hour point, your body actually starts to release proteins that break down blood clots to keep you from clotting too much. When this happens, the clot on the end of a tiny blood vessel that was not bleeding during surgery can dissolve and bleeding ensues. This can lead to a hematoma.

The good news is that in the vast majority of cases, the diagnosis is made quickly, treatment rendered, and in the end your surgical result and health are in good stead!

Lee Corbett, MD

All posts on this blog are presented by Louisville Plastic Surgeon Dr. Lee Corbett.