Congratulations! You have taken that first step towards achieving your desired body shape – a flatter tummy or slimmer thighs. You should feel excited with renewed vigour and self-confidence, but as weeks pass and the wounds heal, something feels wrong. You are happy that you’ve finally rid yourself of the stubborn fat, but your procedure result isn’t what you hoped it would be. While you scrutinise the treated area, it suddenly hits you…. “Am I a victim of botched liposuction?” Don’t get too angry and frustrated – you don’t have to live with it. 

The Beauty Insider platform does not promote or support any specific treatment. The information provided in this article is for educational purposes only, and we strongly advise all readers to thoroughly research and consult with a doctor accredited by the Ministry of Health before undergoing any aesthetic or medical procedures.

Signs of a botched liposuction  

If you are wondering whether you had a botched lipo, look out for these symptoms:

  • Uneven surface contours like lumps and dimples on the treated areas.
  • Irregular dents or depressions on treated areas due to overly aggressive liposuction techniques. 
  • Obvious skin discolouration
  • Asymmetry, lumps and bumps on the treated areas
  • Excessive post-liposuction tissue scarring 
  • Top Causes of A Botched Liposuction      

Undercorrection and overcorrection

Undercorrection occurs when excess fat pockets are left behind, resulting in leftover bulges and lumps, while overcorrection happens when more fat than necessary is extracted. It frequently results in noticeable indentations and abnormalities such as undulations, depressions, and asymmetries. 

Lack of open, honest, and clear communication between patients and doctors could cause undercorrection or overcorrection of liposuction. This frequently results in exaggerated expectations and poor outcomes.

Hard-To-Reach Body Parts

According to Dr Ivan Puah, a MOH-accredited liposuction doctor in Singapore has found that certain body areas are often where uneven contouring occurs. The common areas are the mid-portion of the thighs, below the trochanteric bulge of the thighs, the sensuous triangle at the junction of the lateral buttocks, lateral thigh, posterior thigh, abdomen (especially those with loose skin or stretch marks), and upper arms.

Chose an Inexperienced or Unskilled Liposuction Doctor

Doctors who want to provide liposuction in Singapore must be accredited by the Ministry of Health (MOH), as this surgery is strictly regulated locally. 

Each body part is distinct and necessitates a different surgical approach. A doctor with significant knowledge and skill can take on this challenge and can attend to a patient’s demands and foresee potential issues. Having steady hands, a collected mind and calm nerves are assets that come with years of experience and training.   

Don’t hesitate to learn more about the doctors you are consulting; consistent outcomes are another strong indicator. Ask for before and after pictures and learn how many liposuction procedures they perform on average each month to further ensure their skills and experience in the matter. 

However, not all accredited doctors have a wealth of experience and good bedside manners. 

Inexperienced or unskilled doctors can cause tissue trauma during the liposuction process. If your liposuction doctor is too aggressive, the tissue beneath your skin can get damaged. This would permanently result in a cellulite-like appearance.

You Were an Unsuitable Liposuction Candidate

A patient’s physical characteristics could also play a significant role. For instance, having too much loose skin, having layers of fat that are distributed differently, or having bulges that are difficult to reach. If not properly managed by an experienced liposuction doctor, unwanted issues may arise.

An ethical and knowledgeable physician will recommend the best course of action to successfully address each patient’s concerns. Patients seeking a procedure that is not right for them should seek consultation from doctors for more appropriate treatments.

Not Paying Attention to Your Post-Surgery Care 

The patient’s safety, comfort, and well-being are, after all, crucial for a successful procedure. So you must play your part to ensure that you commit to all the advice the doctor provides so that YOU can reach the optimal liposuction results.

Psychological Repercussions of A Botched Liposuction

If you are a victim of a botched liposuction job, you may experience discomfort and scarring in the treated area. You may also feel more self-conscious and sensitive to others’ comments about your body.

“Patients who have had a bad experience with the previous surgery are traumatised. Some broke down as they shared their experience with me during the consultation. Not only do they suffer physically, but they are also affected psychologically. They have lower self-esteem, some suffer from social anxiety and even depression,” shares Dr Ivan Puah. 

If you have spotted more than one sign of botched liposuction, we urge you to consider getting a second opinion, especially if it affects you mentally and socially. A negative self-image can be consequential and may impact you in more ways than one.

Corrective Surgery for Botched Liposuction and More

Secondary Liposuction

Corrective surgery is not only for botched liposuction. Corrective surgery is also suitable for those who wish to undergo a second body sculpting surgery. For example, patients who have undergone liposuction, fat grafting or gynecomastia surgeries gained massive weight over the years or, due to the natural ageing of a body, who wish to reduce the fat pockets on specific body parts.

Inefficacy of Non-Invasive Fat Reduction Treatments

Non-invasive fat reductions offered at low prices have been mushrooming everywhere. Some are provided by slimming salons and spas. But how many non-invasive fat removal treatments have met your expectations? 

The way non-invasive treatment eliminates fat cells is by killing them or cutting their supply of oxygen and blood, either via heat or cold. However, non-surgical solutions must be complemented with a weight loss program to achieve tangible results over time. Unlike liposuction, non-invasive fat loss treatment results are not immediate and are less noticeable.

The Solution to Treat Paradoxical Adipose Hyperplasia (PAH)

As experienced personally by one of the big five supermodels of the world, Linda Evangelista developed PAH after undergoing, purportedly, seven cryolipolysis sessions. It was reported that she said she was ‘permanently deformed’ and ‘brutally disfigured’ her body. She underwent two full-body liposuction surgeries to rectify this deformity.

Called paradoxical adipose hyperplasia (PAH), this hard-butter appearance on a treated area after a fat-freezing session is unfortunately permanent, albeit rare. 

What To Do During a Corrective Surgery in Singapore?

You must wait three to six months after your previous procedure, allowing your wounds to heal completely before your corrective surgery. A corrective surgery, unlike normal liposuction, is more complicated as it seeks to rectify the damage that was done prior. Hence, doctors will conduct a detailed assessment and consultation for patients requiring corrective surgery to assess the pre-existing condition and plan the best possible surgical approach accordingly.  

“The two most common areas which are affected by botched jobs are the abdomen and thighs,” Dr Ivan Puah shares. “If your liposuction doctor has made multiple unnecessary incision points and applies incorrect techniques, you’ll end up with an “uneven and asymmetrical body shape and skin texture. Fat grafting with corrective lipo may help to fix these imperfections and make them look normal again.”

Suppose undercorrection was found to have happened to you. In that case, it is best to remove the leftover fat and tighten the skin at the treated area.

If you have had a botched liposuction done in Singapore or overseas, you don’t have to live with it forever. Seek treatment from clinics across Singapore and select the best treatment for you.