Abdominal Lipo Waviness and Swelling Post-op 8 Weeks

Hello, I am post 8 weeks surgery. I am 5'2" and 124lbs . I always had a belly as someone who is physically fit I was unable to have a flat belly. The Dr said I should have my flanks done also (though I didn't ask for that). After my surgery I was wrapped across my belly & ever since my profile is terrible & shows waviness. Have tried Vodder massage and it's not helping. The Dr saw me last week and tells me to it's edema in the tissue to wear a CG it will go over time. Is this how I will stay?

Doctor Answers 13

Liposuction - Waviness, Irregularities and the Final Result

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Dear liposad,

It does, in fact, take a long time to see the final results from a liposuction.  In my experience, it's about 4-6 weeks for 80% of the result, 3 months for 95% and 6 months for all of it.  Those are guidelines, some people see results sooner, some longer.

That addresses the edema and how long it takes your body to show the final result.

The actual final result, though, is dependent on what you look like before, the surgery that is done, and the way that your body shrinks down into its new contour.  While that timing is what I noted above it is not always possible to get a perfect result after a lipo.  Depending on how your skin has been stretched, how old you are, what you skin type is like, and many other factors, your skin and subcutaneous tissue may not be perfectly flat and tight even once you're achieved the final result.  Obviously, that's what everyone would like; it's just not always possible (sorry!).  So once you've hit the six month mark or so, you may want to be in touch with your PS to go over how you've healed.  You should, actually, stay in touch with him/her throughout the entire process.

Revisions and touchups are occasionally necessary in order t improve the result even further, but it's way too early to even consider something like that right now.

I hope that this helps, and good luck,

Dr. E

Recovery from Liposuction

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Without of pre-op photos to compare, it is impossible to comment on your results.  Also, 8 weeks post surgery is early to start getting worried about results.  There will still be swelling that needs to resolve.  The best advice at this point is to wear a compressive garment that provides a nice event compression to the skin.  Also, if you sit all day for your job, you will get temporary grooves where your skin folds when you bend.  This will eventually resolve as the swelling goes away.


Good Luck with your recovery.

Waves after abdominal liposuction

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The waves are apparent in the photo with the taping over your abdomen, and over the progression as we see the bruise improve the waves are better as well. We cannot know how the liposuction was done or how your final result will be, however you should continue to see improvements for several months yet to come. Massage can help if the tummy is not tender. A Spanx Higher Power may provide some support and compression as things settle out.

Best of luck,


Peter E. Johnson, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 44 reviews

Liposuction Results Take Time

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For anyone undergoing liposuction, it generally takes at least three months for all of the edema to settle down and the skin to retract.  There is so much trauma to the tissues with the entire process - infusing fluid into the tissues, removing the fat, and all, the postoperative swelling and fluid shifts.  This is why it is important to wear a compression garment for at least 3 months.  At that point, most of the changes should have occurred and you will have a better idea of where you are at.  I hope this helps.

Irregularity Often Related to Swelling

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The contour irregularity and waviness that you describe is commonly seen following liposuction of the abdomen.These findings are usually always related to postoperative swelling.Patients undergoing liposuction will inevitably develop swelling following this procedure.During the procedure, the liposuction cannula is passed through the subcutaneous tissue.This causes disruption of the lymphatic channels and cellular injury, which causes swelling.

Significant improvement in swelling can be seen in the first three weeks following surgery, with the majority gone in about three months.Small amounts of swelling may persist up to a year following surgery.

We generally recommend the use of compression support garments for about three weeks following surgery.However, when patients have prolonged swelling, we continue the compression garment for longer periods of time.We also recommend a low-salt diet before and after liposuction.Exercise and stretching is usually started early in the postoperative period, and we want patients to ambulate as soon as possible following surgery.

Massage is also helpful.It decreases swelling by mobilizing retained fluid following liposuction.All of these steps help to minimize the duration of swelling following surgery.

In your case, your swelling is normal and should resolve with time.Compression, massage, ambulation and low-salt intake will hopefully help you get there sooner.

Liposuction takes three to six months to improve

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You may need a reevaluation after three to six months to evaluate if more treatment is needed but until then it is not fair to evaluate and your surgeon will need to examine you to determine if more surgery should be done.

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

Waviness and swelling

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Edema can delay your healing and will contribute to the waviness. Generally speakig, it takes about 2 months for most of the swelling to go away and up to 6 months to see the final results. Unfortunately, due to the edema, you will most likely need to wait a little longer. Follow your surgeon's instructions and wait it out. If there's no improvement by 6 months, please talk to your surgeon about it.

Ronald Levine, MD
Toronto Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 25 reviews

Lumpiness after Liposuction

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Bruising and swelling are normal in the suctioned areas and usually increase slightly after the removal of any tape or foam. The bruising will decrease over 3-4 weeks, but may last as long as 6 weeks. The majority of the swelling will be gone within the first 3-4 weeks. However it may take 6-9 months to disappear completely. The compression garment helps reduce the swelling, and the longer it is worn, the more quickly the process will proceed. As you heal, the suctioned area may feel “lumpy” and irregular. This, too, decreases with time, and massaging those areas will hasten their softening. VelaShape 3 can make this recovery process go faster and help shrink your skin at the same time.

Waviness and swelling 8 weeks after abdominal liposuction

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You are still relatively early on in your recovery from liposuction of your abdomen.

Don't forget that the empty spaces where the fat used to be quickly fill up with fluid; this fluid is replaced with scar tissue.

Scar tissue is typically at its lumpiest several months after surgery, and will shrink and soften over at least 6 months.

Try to resume all your normal activities. Make sure you keep in touch with your plastic surgeon and have him or her check on your healing.

All the best!

Abdominal Lipo Waviness and Swelling Post-op 8 Weeks

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Thanks for posting a series of photos. I do agree you have residual waviness. It might improve over the next month but a minor revision with Smart Lipo + lipo would be my personal recommendation. Regards from MIAMI Dr. B

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.