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Abdominal Lipo Waviness and Swelling Post-op 8 Weeks

Hello, I am post 8 weeks surgery. I am 5'2" and 124lbs . I always had a belly as someone who is physically fit I was unable to have a flat belly. The Dr said I should have my flanks done also (though I didn't ask for that). After my surgery I was wrapped across my belly & ever since my profile is terrible & shows waviness. Have tried Vodder massage and it's not helping. The Dr saw me last week and tells me to it's edema in the tissue to wear a CG it will go over time. Is this how I will stay?

Doctor Answers 10

Liposuction - Waviness, Irregularities and the Final Result

Dear liposad,

It does, in fact, take a long time to see the final results from a liposuction.  In my experience, it's about 4-6 weeks for 80% of the result, 3 months for 95% and 6 months for all of it.  Those are guidelines, some people see results sooner, some longer.

That addresses the edema and how long it takes your body to show the final result.

The actual final result, though, is dependent on what you look like before, the surgery that is done, and the way that your body shrinks down into its new contour.  While that timing is what I noted above it is not always possible to get a perfect result after a lipo.  Depending on how your skin has been stretched, how old you are, what you skin type is like, and many other factors, your skin and subcutaneous tissue may not be perfectly flat and tight even once you're achieved the final result.  Obviously, that's what everyone would like; it's just not always possible (sorry!).  So once you've hit the six month mark or so, you may want to be in touch with your PS to go over how you've healed.  You should, actually, stay in touch with him/her throughout the entire process.

Revisions and touchups are occasionally necessary in order t improve the result even further, but it's way too early to even consider something like that right now.

I hope that this helps, and good luck,

Dr. E

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Recovery from Liposuction

Without of pre-op photos to compare, it is impossible to comment on your results.  Also, 8 weeks post surgery is early to start getting worried about results.  There will still be swelling that needs to resolve.  The best advice at this point is to wear a compressive garment that provides a nice event compression to the skin.  Also, if you sit all day for your job, you will get temporary grooves where your skin folds when you bend.  This will eventually resolve as the swelling goes away.


Good Luck with your recovery.

David Shafer, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 61 reviews

Irregular results 8 weeks after liposuction

It is difficult to fully assess the results by photos and without an examination. Furthermore, at 8 weeks, you are still fairly early in the healing process which can take up to a year for the inflammation and swelling to maximally subside.

I will usually have my patients massage the suctioned areas several times a day to help decrease the swelling and allow for more even result. Of course, if the liposuction was inadequate, this will not correct it. You also want to make sure that any garment that you are wearing is not causing localized compression or indentations such as from seams as these can ultimately be permanent.

Steven Turkeltaub, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 23 reviews

Liposuction takes three to six months to improve

You may need a reevaluation after three to six months to evaluate if more treatment is needed but until then it is not fair to evaluate and your surgeon will need to examine you to determine if more surgery should be done.

Ronald Shelton, MD
Manhattan Dermatologist
5.0 out of 5 stars 33 reviews

Waviness and swelling 8 weeks after abdominal liposuction

You are still relatively early on in your recovery from liposuction of your abdomen.

Don't forget that the empty spaces where the fat used to be quickly fill up with fluid; this fluid is replaced with scar tissue.

Scar tissue is typically at its lumpiest several months after surgery, and will shrink and soften over at least 6 months.

Try to resume all your normal activities. Make sure you keep in touch with your plastic surgeon and have him or her check on your healing.

All the best!

Eric Pugash, MD
Vancouver Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 67 reviews

Waviness after lipo

Thanks for posting great pics.  Yes you do have some residual waviness to your abdomen after lipo.  While it is still somewhat early I would expect that these should be resolving by now.  All all of the bruising and swelling to resolve and continue to message any "lumpy" areas for a least another month.  If you are still unhappy and have residual contour irregularities then you should talk to your PS about a revision.

Delio Ortegon, MD
San Antonio Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

8 weeks post-liposuction

At eight weeks post liposuction you are still swollen. You really have to give yourself some time to heal and for the swelling to come down before worrying about some irregularities. This may take 4-6 months minimum.

Steven Wallach, MD
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 18 reviews

Abdominal Lipo Waviness and Swelling Post-op 8 Weeks

Thanks for posting a series of photos. I do agree you have residual waviness. It might improve over the next month but a minor revision with Smart Lipo + lipo would be my personal recommendation. Regards from MIAMI Dr. B

Waves after abdominal liposuction

The waves are apparent in the photo with the taping over your abdomen, and over the progression as we see the bruise improve the waves are better as well. We cannot know how the liposuction was done or how your final result will be, however you should continue to see improvements for several months yet to come. Massage can help if the tummy is not tender. A Spanx Higher Power may provide some support and compression as things settle out.

Best of luck,


Peter E. Johnson, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 33 reviews

Liposuction Results Take Time

For anyone undergoing liposuction, it generally takes at least three months for all of the edema to settle down and the skin to retract.  There is so much trauma to the tissues with the entire process - infusing fluid into the tissues, removing the fat, and all, the postoperative swelling and fluid shifts.  This is why it is important to wear a compression garment for at least 3 months.  At that point, most of the changes should have occurred and you will have a better idea of where you are at.  I hope this helps.

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.