Is Abdominal Bulge After Liposuction Normal?

I had liposuction in my upper & lower abdomen, love handles, & lower back 2 months ago. Most of the discomfort is gone. About one month after lipo a bulge formed in the center of my abdomen just above & below my belly button. My doctor told me it was uneven swelling and to continue to massage & wear garment. I'm concerned that it's not going to go away. Is it really swelling? If so, how long until bulge disappears? When I lie down my tummy is completely flat; but when standing bulge is there.

Doctor Answers 10

Post liposuction belly bump

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Possible factors that can cause a bump after liposuction are induration (most common cause that appears about one week after liposuction and slowly dissapates over 6 months), uneven fat removal (area would be soft after about 4 months), muscle issues (ventral hernia, diastasis- this would get much bigger whenever you flex to do an abdominal 'crunch' exersize), hematoma/seroma ( slowly dissapates).  Hopefully over time your issue has resolved.

Good luck!

Kirkland Dermatologic Surgeon

Bulge after liposuction

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The periumbilical area is one that may not be effectively treated with liposuction and may leave more residual fat there that is seen now after swelling is reduced in other areas. It may take a month or two for more swelling to come down but I doubt it will be so much that will suddenly make your area flatter. It may need more liposuction.  I usually take great care to make sure this area gets very numb prior to peforming the liposuction so that I can be very meticulous around the sensitive belly button and remove all the fat I feel is appropriate so that it does not leave my patients with a mound.

Ronald Shelton, MD
Manhattan Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 39 reviews

Abdominal Bulge AFTER Tummy Liposuction

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Liposuction does not result in abdominal bulging and it ids impossible to diagnose you based on one side photograph. You may have a localized fluid collection. However, the fact that it "goes away" when lying on your back suggests we are dealing with a moderate to severe tummy muscle separation (diastasis). It most likely was uncovered by the fat removal of the liposuction. You should discuss this with your Plastic surgeon. Dr. Peter Aldea

Peter A. Aldea, MD
Memphis Plastic Surgeon

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Post Liposuction Bulge

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Swelling after liposuction is very common, especially at 2 months post op. This can be due to fluid ( seroma or hematoma), uneven fat removal, or just injured fat cells and scar tissue. Massage and compression garments are usually helpful, but you should follow up with your surgeon if this does not continue to improve. Good luck

Steven L. Ringler, MD, FACS
Grand Rapids Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 72 reviews

Abdominal bulge after liposuction?

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Unfortunately, it is difficult to make an accurate diagnosis based on one lateral photograph and lack of a physical examination but the fact that the bulge occurred well after the procedure, and completely disappears when you are in the supine position, makes me lean more towards a diastasis (re: separation) in the rectus fascia than a localized fluid collection (re: “seroma”). This is something that your plastic surgeon can easily diagnose and you should see him for reassurance and further evaluation.

Bulge after liposuction

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It seems that the liposuction may have unmasked some underlying muscle laxity.   This may not have been as evident with the thicker fatty tissue present.     If this is the case, it will only be corrected by a muscle tightening procedure.  

Otherwise, you may have a retained fluid collection (seroma or old hematoma) that is causing your bulge.    Close followup and evaluation by a board certified plastic surgeon is your best chance at an accurate diagnosis and safe recovery. 

All the best


Paul S. Gill, M.D.

Gill Plastic Surgery

Houston Double Board Certified Plastic Surgeon

Paul S. Gill, MD
Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 94 reviews

Fullness of abdomen after liposuction

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This could be due to several causes: seroma/hematoma, underlying rectus muscle diastasis, necrotic fat, pseudocyst, fibrosis, etc. So it may be worth to obtain a second opinion but it is unlikely that anyone will intervene prior to 6 months.

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 86 reviews


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It is possible that this could be fluid accumulation, or even some fat still left behind.  Time must be allowed to elapse.  One of the drawbacks of doing only liposuction is that the muscles are not tightened.  

Shahin Javaheri, MD
San Francisco Plastic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 6 reviews

Bump after liposuction

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Without an exam I can not bre sure but it can be swelling, it also can be under treatment, or a fluid collection.  Hard to say but  may resolve with time on its own.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Bulge following abdominal liposuction

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There are several causes that can contribute to this problem.  Lax abdominal muscles, seroma or hematoma, induration or underresection of fat.  Without examining you it would be difficult to determine the cause. 

Michael Orseck, MD
Greenville Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 141 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.