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Can Your Belly Swell Even 4 1/2 Weeks After Lipo?

I had surgery 4 1/2 weeks ago and I have not been able to go back based on distance. I had upper/lower stomach, flanks and back done. My belly seems to have gotten bigger/harder since I saw the initial results. Is this common? Could it be because my garment is too tight?

Doctor Answers 9

Liposuction swelling

Swelling after liposuction is common, and some hardness may develop as a part of the healing process. Usually this softens with time. Sometimes massage helps.  Overtime things usually soften.  It is definitely a good idea to seek follow-up with your doctor.

New York Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 22 reviews

Swelling after lipo

First, distance not withstanding, your responsibility is to follow up, and comply with your post op instructions.  Following these instructions ensures that you have the best chance of a safe and favorable outcome.  See your doctor.

Followup with your surgeon or find a new one

Swelling can take a couple of months to resolve so it's not unusual that you're still swollen a month after surgery. However, if the swelling is recent then it may be a seroma. Please see your surgeon for a follow up, or find one that you can trust in your area.

Swelling, stiffness, and discomfort after liposuction

Hello DC,

Thank you for the question.  The most important thing is to make sure that you are healing well.  Without a photo or an examination this is not possible to do.  The symptoms that you have described are not all together uncommon after liposuction.  It will be important for you to make sure you have not gained weight during the recovery period as well.

All the best,

Dr. Remus Repta

Remus Repta, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 130 reviews

Duration of Swelling AFTER Liposuction of stomach, flanks and back

Liposuction, like all operations, is an organized injury done in a sterile environment. The body always responds with a varying degree of swelling which is maximal the first few days after surgery and then gradually decreases with time.

Compression garments are used after liposuction to help diminish this swelling response but vary in their efficacy since they do not fit all people the same way and do not exert the same amounts of pressure.

By a month after surgery you should NOT have more swelling than you did just after the surgery. At this point you should be well down on the down slope of the post surgical swelling curve. You REALLY should see your surgeon and make sure everything is going well.

Peter A. Aldea, MD
Memphis Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 83 reviews

Abdominal swelling a month after surgery.

If the swelling and hardness is diffuse, then it is normal for many patients. It is not caused by the garment. If you have pain, localized swelling, etc. see your surgeon.

Toby Mayer, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 25 reviews

Belly swell even 4 1/2 weeks after lipo

It is possible to have late occurring swelling. Go see a local PS to re evaluate. Or call the treating surgeon to discuss and send him photos.


Persistent swelling after liposuction

There are many potential causes for this which cannot be diagnosed via email. While this could be due to your garments, it could also be due to a seroma and/or pseudocyst. You should seek evaluation by a surgeon and possibly consider an imaging study.

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 60 reviews

Swelling after liposuction

Swelling can occur for more than four weeks after liposuction but if there is any pain or change in your bowl habits or fever you must be seen. This is always the concern when someone travels a distance for surgery but is not willing to travel for follow-up. You need to ask these same questions of your surgeon! Please call them.

Ronald Shelton, MD
Manhattan Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 34 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.