No Noticeable Difference
When a patient does not appreciate an improvement after corrective liposuction surgery is performed there are a couple of different explanations. If there is truly a thick layer of fat that is still there which can easily be grabbed, then the doctor probably did not remove enough. An inexperienced doctor may not have confidence in removing as much. This is because the thinner the fat layer gets, the more difficult it is to keep the surface smooth. Some doctors may be just lazy and unwilling to put forth the time and effort to achieve significant results. Sometimes, a patient’s fat can be extremely fibrous resulting in much more difficulty in removal. The best prevention to this problem is to find a good liposuction doctor to start with.
Sometimes a patient may not appreciate a difference because the fat was thin to begin with. In this case a change may have been made but not matching the patient’s expectations. This is a problem that cannot be solved with further liposuction. It is a problem of setting realistic expectations.
Sometimes a significant layer of fat can be removed, but the shape does not change much. This happens on the abdomen, for instance, when the layer of fat is very uniform. Thus a flat abdomen is still flat after surgery, just thinner. Or, a rounded abdomen is still rounded and approximately the same shape. Even when a ¾ inch layer is removed in this situation it can be hard to see in a photograph. This is another example where setting realistic expectations prior to surgery would be most useful. Corrective surgery may not even be warranted.
Lumps, Bumps, and Other Irregularities
Perhaps the most common problem in liposuction patients are irregularities in the form of lumps, bumps, ridges, or waviness. These contour irregularities, such as lumpiness after liposuction, can be expected to a small degree, considering that no results are perfect. Sculpting on fat is inherently difficult as explained earlier on this site. Although a novice liposuction doctor can often remove a significant layer of fat, he or she is will have a difficult time producing a very smooth result. Even good doctors will occasionally have patients who come out of surgery with minor lumps and bumps. I believe in treating these areas in a touch-up procedure, and because this part of bringing a case to completion, I would never charge my patients for this.
Unfortunately, there are many revision plastic surgery doctors who cause these type of problems commonly because they just don’t have the skill to do any better. Patients having severe lumps or bumps will often be more self-conscious than before they underwent liposuction.
These contour irregularities are correctable in many instances. However, the possibility of scar tissue resulting from the original surgery can limit how much improvement can actually be made with a revision.