The incisions required for liposuction are quite small, and are hidden in the folds of the body. Roy Kim, MD, Plastic Surgeon in San Francisco, discusses what the incisions look like and where the scars will be hidden.

Pretty darn small! The incisions are about as long as this line- ____

Liposuction is done with several different technologies. The bottom line is that the cannulae, or the small thin instruments that liposuction requires, require very small incisions, usually about 3-5 millimeters in length.

Generally, plastic surgeons hide the surgical incisions by putting them in folds of the body. For example, if you’re getting liposuction in your neck, we put the incision in your chin. If you are getting liposuction in your abdomen, the tiny incisions go in your belly button, groin folds, outer pelvis area, or anywhere else where it’s naturally hidden.

The skin also stretches to accommodate the liposuction equipment, so the actual incision is usually a little smaller than the actual diameter of the liposuction equipment. This contributes to the small size of the surgical incisions.

The scars should heal as very small, thin, white lines. They are very difficult to see long term. Sometimes, depending on how your body heals, they may develop a slight excess of scar tissue. Special creams, bandages, or injections may help the overall surgical incision appearance if this occurs.

Some of the liposuction instruments, or cannulae, can be quite long. This allows the incision to be pretty far away from the actual area of liposuction. The bottom line result to you is that you may have fewer surgical incisions for the same surface area.

Also, feathering, or performing liposuction from 2-3 different areas, is key to get smooth and consistent results in liposuction. Most plastic surgeons will want to perform liposuction in the same area from 2-3 different areas, which allows for more fat extraction and a smoother overall result.

If you’d like more information or have a consultation, please contact Caroline, our Patient Care Coordinator, at or 415 362 1846.


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