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What Are These Hard Lumps Post-Liposuction?

I am 1 week post-op from upper arm Liposuction. Up until today, my arms have been soft like jello and felt bruised. Today, I was rubbing my arms and it feels all lumpy under the skin. Whats going on? It still hurts to touch, but what are those lumps? Are these normal, or there's something wrong? Should I call my plastic surgeon?

Doctor Answers (18)

Liposuction Hard Lumps at One Week Will Resolve with Massage


Thank you for your question.

Hard lumps are common early after Liposuction. They are caused by swelling in injured areas of fat. Usually firm massage will resolve them.

Hard Liposuction lumps that last more than3 months may be areas of fat necrosis and if the persist may need to be removed if they are painful or disfiguring

Boston Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

It most likely are just normal fluid collections which will resolve with time and massage.


Lumps and bumps are usually normal fluid collections after liposuction. They tend to last about 4-6 weeks. The initial swelling after the procedure conseals these pockets of fluid but as you massage and exercise then the generalized swelling fluid resolves and these individual pockets become more apparent until you massage them away also. Endermologie is a great way to help them resolve faster. I have my patients spend 5 minutes in the morning and 5 minutes in the evening massaging the areas. I start them exercising and massaging after 1 week. This helps the swelling go down faster but it still takes at least 4-6 months to get to the end result. Don't worry. It sounds totally normal but always see your surgeon to help reassure you that that is all that is going on.


David Hansen, MD

David Hansen, MD
Beverly Hills Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 24 reviews

Massage will correct lumps after liposuction.



Most likely you are feeling small collections of fluid  after liposuction which respond to lynphatic drainage massage.  Start this as soon as possible.  Of course see your surgeon.

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

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Lumpiness from liposuction


Limps after liposuction can be several things. It can be areas that were under treated. It can be areas of swelling or induration of treated tissues. It can also be seromas. Usually the areas of swelling resolve on their own. Sometimes the seromas need to be aspirated, and sometimes the underresected areas need to be treated again.

Steven Wallach, MD
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Lumps after lipo


There are several possibilities at the one week point after upper arm liposuction. The first possibility is those lumps and bumps are hematomas (collections of bleeding) that are new or that weren't detectable initially secondary to swelling. The other possibility is small areas of fat "necrosis" (or dead fat). If these areas are small they should resolve with time. Sometimes massage is thought to help. As always - whenever you have an unexpected turn in your post-op recovery you should absolutely speak with your plastic surgeon. I hope this helps.

Steven Williams, MD

Steven H. Williams, MD
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Lumps After Lipo

Thank you for your question about lumps on your arms after liposuction. You are 1 week after your procedure and it's normal for you to have some areas of hard swelling, which can be due to fluid collection or irregularities in the fat under the skin. Your board certified plastic surgeon can order you a compression garment which should improve both the pain and the appearance. If they persist at 6-9 months post-op, you can have these areas revised, however, they are likely to resolve on their own with the normal healing process. Best Wishes!

Elizabeth Morgan, MD, PhD
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Lumps n bumps


They are normal do not worry,post liposuction some edema is inevitable it will resolve in about 3weeks time.

Thangavel Ayyappan, MD
India Plastic Surgeon

These lumps are likely pockets of inflammation

Agree with most responses that is normal in certain areas such as the arms or abdomen to have dense pockets or nodules of inflammation for several weeks that should resolve with massage.

David Amron, MD
Beverly Hills Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 50 reviews

Lumpy Liposuction


Although some lumpiness is not uncommon following liposuction, I advise all of my Cleveland liposuction patients to have massage to the area following lipo, which softens the tissues and helps with swelling, lumps and hardness. 

Talk to your board certified plastic surgeon if you're concerned about bumps after lipo. 

To your health and beauty,

Dr. Paul Vanek, Double Board Certified Cleveland area Plastic Surgeon in Mentor, OH

Paul Vanek, MD
Cleveland Plastic Surgeon
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Lumps Following Lipo may be from Swelling, Fat Necrosis, Seromas, and Hematomas


It’s not uncommon for patient’s to have lumps and bumps following liposuction. Contour irregularities may have a variety of potential causes. These may include differential swelling, fat necrosis, seromas and hematomas. They are usually transient and respond to conservative management with compression garments and massage. Rarely, aspiration is necessary when hematomas and seromas are present. In most cases, these problems have no effect on the long term results of liposuction.

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Omaha Plastic Surgeon
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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.