When Will the Hardness Dissipate? What Type of Massage is Best?

This is my now my 13th week after having Tumescent Lipo. I had a seroma that lasted about a month & a half that I had to continuously have drained. The hardness developed about a week or 2 after surgery & has yet to go away. My upper abdomen now protrudes out past my lower & is very hard. I have read online that massage can help, but people have mentioned lymphatic drainage, ultrasound, Endermogie, & synergie massage & quite frankly I'm confussed because some of these are cellulite treatments.

Doctor Answers (2)

Management of Hardness following tumescent liposuction

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Post Liposuction Swelling, Hardness and Lumps
Regarding your complaint of Post Tumescent Liposuction  Hardness.  Yes it may be perfectly normal especially after your history of a seroma.  Here are some answers about its cause and treatment

Massage can help manage firm lumps and bumps following liposuction to a varying degree. If the reason for this firm area is because of residual edema (called induration) then it will likely be gone by 6 months. Other causes may be from a localized seroma, liquefied fat pocket, or a fat deposit that did not survive.

Therapeutic or "lymphatic massage" may be helpful following  a  Liposuction Procedure to minimize swelling and resolve some of these firm areas.. Make sure your surgeon feels that you have healed sufficiently  and it is safe before doing this.  Endermologie is also very helpful after liposculpture/liposuction but again, not critical.  Although deep tissue massage following liposuction can aid in smoothing out  contour irregularities that invariably accompany this procedure it has limited effect on the final outcome and  is NOT mandatory. Some plastic surgeons recommend it to all  patients as they feel the edema resolves faster.  Ask your surgeon to show you or a significant other how to do this if cost is an issue. Typically they will have you massage toward areas of maximum lymphatic drainage ( for example groin or armpits) A low sodium diet may also be helpful early on.


Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 45 reviews

Hardness13 Weeks after Lipo

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Dear Concerned in Texas,

Having had a seroma (fluid pocket) that had to be drained continuously and now hardness that protrudes is not normal after liposuction. The only time I have seen seromas is when the procedure was done with larger instruments or done with lasers. In both cases, the pockets left after liposuction are too large to close normally. I have never seen this happen with tumescent liposuction using micro-cannulas.

I suggest you get a second opinion. The next doctor you see can request records to see what type of liposuction instruments and possible laser were used. This information and a examination of you will help in the evaluation and treatment.

T. Wayne Day, MD
Nashville Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1 review

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.