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What Are the Chances of Lumpiness and Disfiguration After Liposuction?

Hi, I'm a 29-year-old female. I'm approximately 5'0" at 110 lbs. I work out 4-5 days a week with a healthy diet but with problem areas most short people have: flanks/lovehandles, inner thighs, and a little bit of a poochy belly.

I've never had a major operation before so I'm nervous about liposuction. I also see a lot of blogs here about people being unhappy because of scarring and lumpiness. Is that common and does size have anything to do with that?

Doctor Answers (15)

Lumps after lipo


Lumpiness and irregularities after liposuctioning is very common and can happen even if everything is done perfectly. They can be due to technique, post operative issues(like blood accumulation, and patient factors. The techniques that lead to the least amount of irregularities and lumpiness usually require the use of thinner liposuction tubes and a criss cross pattern of liposuctioning. If some lumpiness is noted during the healing process(very common) massage and ultrasound help break that up. Irregularities can be due to too much fat removal for the amount of skin that is present also. The looser the skin the more irregularities. I have found that the laser techniques tend to be less lumpy but this may be due to the thin instruments that are used.

Harrisburg Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 17 reviews


Actually you sound like a perfect candidate for liposuction. You are young and thin. The areas you describe are typical storage sites for fat and are particularly difficult to lose despite diet and exercise.
The best sites for liposuction are areas where there are deep compartments of fat and the superficial fatty layers can be left intact. The quilting effect of the superficial fat minimizes the chance of contour irregularities (lumps and bumps). Contour irregularities are related to the areas suctioned and the techniques used to perform the suction. The inner thigh has the greatest incidence of contour irregularities as there is no deep compartment fat in this area. This can be minimized with smaller cannulas and attention to detail at the time of surgery.
I would encourage you to meet with a board certified surgeon and look at post operative photos. Ask to speak with patients who have had the procedure done by the surgeon you chose.
I hope this was helpful

Robert W. Kessler, MD, FACS
Corona Del Mar Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 85 reviews

Temporary versus long term liposuction irregularity



Thank you for the question.  Mild temporary contour irregularity after liposuction can be common but long term irregularities are avoidable and largely surgeon dependent.  I would seek consultation with several board certified plastic surgeons and look at their before and after photos.

All the best,

Dr. Remus Repta

Remus Repta, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 91 reviews

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Ideal Candidate for Liposuction


Congratulations, by your description you are at a healthy weight, you exercise and eat a healthy diet. You should be an excellent candidate for liposuction to improve the contour of the areas that bother you. Your surgeon will need to evaluate you to determine the quality of your skin tone. If you have good skin tone in the areas of fatty accumulation you could expect a good result. Scarring is usually not an issue with liposuction because the incisions are so small, but contour irregularity or lumpiness can be an issue at times.

Leo Keegan, MD
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 2 reviews

Good technique prevents lumpiness after liposuction.



Liposuction is very, very safe if you find a skilled experienced surgeon.  Scarring and lumps are extremely rare and can be prevented with small cannulas and gentle technique.

George J. Beraka, MD (retired)
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

Liposuction and risks of irregularities, lumps and bumps


This is most likely driven by the fact that patients request agressive treatment of localized fatty deposits. The more that is removed, the greater is the potential risk of developing this problem.

As some (silly sayings go):

"You can never be too rich"

"You can never be too thin"

Well my corrollary and I say this tongue in cheek is:

"You've never had too much liposuction until you've had too much":

I say that because many patients state" remove as much as you can, doc"

Remaining in the deeper layer of fat and removing conservative volumes with small cannulas and meticulous technique traditionally has a low risk of complications.

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 44 reviews

Liposuction and complications


 Liposuction is a great way to improve areas that have been resistant to dieting.  There are many different ways to perform it.  I always say it is not the want but the magician who waves it that creates the magic.  Go to someone experienced.

Steven Wallach, MD
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

The complications of liposuction you describe are very low if done by an experienced liposuction sur


 Over the past 30 years that I have been performing liposuction I have had very few contour irregularities you describe. If the surgeon does take too much fat superficially then these should not happen. Therefore, select an experienced surgeon and it is very rare for you to have any of these problems.

Toby Mayer, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 14 reviews

Risks of lumpiness after lipo


In general, the risk of lumpiness and uneven contours is low when the surgeon is experienced. There is no magic technology that substitutes for poor technique. But one of the most important reasons that experienced lipo surgeons get good results is clinical judgment about what the patient can realistically expect and good communication about that. From your description, you are a good candidate and the chances of an excellent result are high. Most of the poor results that you hear about are when large volumes of fat are removed and the skin doesn't shrink evenly because it is too loose; often these patients are sold on some technology such as laser that is supposed to help.

Richard Baxter, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 23 reviews

The chances of lumpiness after liposuction should be low


For a young individual at an ideal body weight, and good skin elasticity (no significant weight gain and loss) the risk of dents and irregularities should be low. Liposuction is a perfect choice to reduce or correct the limitations of inherited body shapes such as love handles, fullness over the side of the hip or saddle bags, and full inner thigh. Ideal candidates will indeed experience the best that liposuction has to offer, especially if the surgeon is skillful and well qualified. Dents and irregularities are probably the risk in any liposuction procedure. As not all patients are 'idea' for liposuction, though may also obtain good results, as with any technique in cosmetic surgery we must consider the risk to benefit. This must be weighed against realistic expectations. Patients always hope for the very best and when the result misses the mark will express disappointment on the Internet. Each is unique and all considering liposuction should carefully examine their own situation and goals, and seek the best qualified surgeon in their area.

Best of luck,


Peter E. Johnson, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.