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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 (17)

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

Beverly Hills Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 24 reviews

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

Web reference:

Boston Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 24 reviews

Liposuction massaging after surgery with Bruise-Stick Arnica


These lumps after liposuction represent small pockets of fluid and should be massaged after surgery.  Just in case, I would recommend application of a small amount of an Arnica ointment known as Bruise-Stick that will help dissipate the collection of fluid and plasma. 

Web reference:

Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 43 reviews

Lumps after liposuction


Liposuction is a safe, popular, and effective way to contour the body. Patients should be aware of the recovery process after liposuction. Immediately after the surgery, they will experience a moderate amount of pain, swelling, and bruising.
As the patient is healing, it is common for them to have firm areas, lumps, or uneven areas at the beginning of the healing process. In our practice, we provide every patient with a special compression garment that helps decrease the swelling and provide support for the patient to increase their comfort.

Miami Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 40 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.

Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

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.

Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 14 reviews

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

San Francisco Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 20 reviews

Lumps n bumps


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

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.
Beverly Hills Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 49 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

Web reference:

Cleveland Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 19 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.

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