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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 24

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.

Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 9 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 31 reviews

All is well.

After liposuction, swelling can be uneven. This uneven presentation can be the concern of many patients. However, over time the swelling resolves and the bumpiness goes away.
Return to your doctor and inquire about massage or lymphatic massage as a way to minimize the swelling.

Robert M. Freund, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

Irregular contour is normal for a few months after liposuction

Lumpiness and irregular contour is normal 1 week after liposuction surgery. The lumps you feel are localized swelling and will resolve itself in a matter of a few months. I would recommend you see your surgeon for regular follow-up visits to ensure you are healing properly. Best of luck.

David P. Rapaport, MD
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 31 reviews

Lumpiness after liposuction

It is very normal early after liposuction to have lumpiness which make take time to resolve, especially on the arms.  Typically the patients should wait a month before messaging the area.  After that it may take up to 6 months before the lumpiness resolves.

Hard lumps post-liposuction

   The lumps that you feel at one week after liposuction are normal.  These swellings represent retained fluid, injured fat and post-op inflammation.  The areas generally smooth out after several weeks to a few months.  If these areas persist beyond 3-4 months, then the bumps may represent areas of fat death and scarring (called fat necrosis).  These lumps can improve with time.  If not they may need to be removed, but be patient and give the liposuction areas plenty of time (months) to heal.

John Zavell, MD, FACS
Toledo Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 18 reviews

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!

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

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

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
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 22 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.