Fibrosis after liposuction: 9 causes and key factors

What is fibrosis after liposuction?

Fibrosis after liposuction is when your body develops excessive scar tissue in response to tissue damage. Fibrosis is a natural part of your body’s healing process, and it is necessary to connect the tissues.  However, in some cases, your body may produce an excessive amount of connective tissue (scar tissue), leading to complications such as uneven skin, lumps, buns pigmentation, skin pulling sensation, lack of movement, permanent scar tissue and need for a second surgery to correct the damage.

Factors such as, lack of compression, genetics, individual healing, surgical techniques used can influence the likelihood and severity of fibrosis. Let´s go deeper…

What causes fibrosis after liposuction? 

Fibrosis is a part of our  healing process and occurs when the tissue has been exposed to trauma such as removal of fat cells during liposuction. Our fat cells are perfectly connected,  during liposuction this connection is disrupted, triggering our body’s natural healing response.  In other words, fibrosis is a connective tissue- but you might recognize this term more often when is related to the overproduction of  scar tissue.

Factors that causes fibrosis are: 

  1. Trauma: The more fat extracted the more severe the the fibrosis respond.
  2. Inflammation: Excessive or prolonged inflation results in more fibrosis. 
  3. Surgeon´s technique: Technique influences the way the body responds to healing. Aggressive or excessive manipulation of the tissue increases the risk of severe fibrosis.   
  4. Poor healing response: Some patients have predisposition to develop more fibrosis than others such as genetics, age, lifestyle etc.  
  5. Necrosis: Necrosis of fat cells that were no extracted with the cannula.
  6. The cannula: the cannula creates spaces that (later) the body needs to fill it with connective tissue (fibrosis). 
  7. No adequate compression: Compression after liposuction is fundamental  to reduce excess fluids, fibrosis, inflammation,  prevent seroma formation and to help contouring the body.  
  8. Seromas: excesses of fluid in the body when not treated on time causes severe fibrosis. 
  9. Lack of proper post operative after care: Your post operative aftercare is designed to guide your body during the healing process. Your body heals in 4 stages ( Hemostasis, Inflammation, Proliferation and Remodeling/Maturation), this process starts since the moment of the  surgery until 6 months after it, for some patients it could take a bit longer.

The post surgery treatment should  include the use of Manual lymphatic drainage, Ultrasound, RF, Cavitations and massage technique specialised for post surgery. Every technique or machine needs to be applied based on the 4  stages of the healing for optimums results and to avoid prolonged inflation and aggressive fibrosis.  

Factors that could influence the excessive formation of fibrosis

  • Skin type:  Dark skin has a greater tendency to develop severe fibrosis or is difficult to treat. Also those patients with tendency to develop keloid are more prone to develop more fibrosis.
  • Diet: There are certain types of food that trigger inflammation, such as sugar, processed food, saturated fats, red meat.
  • Smoke: Nicotine, for example, constricts blood vessels, reducing blood flow to the surgical site and delaying healing. Smoke triggers an inflammatory response in the body. Chronic inflammation is closely linked to fibrosis, as inflammatory mediators can stimulate fibroblast activation and collagen deposition.
  • Alcohol: It increases edema and inflammation for hemodilution (an increase in the fluid content of blood).
  • Genes: Patients with pre-existing scarring issues. 
  • Low protein intake: Proteins are important to rebuild the new tissue. 
  • Inadequate use of the faja/compression garment: The faja is mandatory after surgery and you need to wear it 24/7. Take into account that an inadequate faja or if you wear it in direct contact with your skin can cause burns due to friction. Also, it can create indentation in your skin causing division of the tissue which will develop severe deposits of fibrosis, hard lumps and hard lines.

Be careful and follow your surgeons and therapist instructions because  any problem caused by your garment will increase risks and you will need more sessions to correct them.

I hope this information is useful. If you need advice or have any questions about my treatments , please contact me. You can find me in Mill Hill Broadway and Islington. I´m always happy to help!


Hard lumps after Liposuction? How to reduce Fibrosis after surgery.


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