Can Areas Not Treated with Lipo Swell Too?

Hello, I am 3 days post-op. I had liposuction on my lower abdomen to remove my persistent "muffin top." My PS removed 200 cc's of fat from that area. I feel pretty great. I don't have any bruising, just tenderness and swelling and I'm OK with that. I know it will be several months before it subsides. But one side effect I did not anticipate was to get bloated throughout the rest of my body right after surgery. My legs and arms look like tree trunks, even my face looks puffy. Is this normal?

Doctor Answers 4

Areas not treated with lipo swell?

This is unusual and I would meet with your plastic surgeon to determine what if anything should be done.

Tampa Plastic Surgeon
4.3 out of 5 stars 34 reviews

Legs and Arms Like Tree Trunks after Liposuction

   An exam would be warranted in any case that a patient had massive swelling.  Kenneth Hughes, MD Los Angeles, CA

Kenneth B. Hughes, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 492 reviews

Swelling after liposuction

This is not usual after such a small liposuction. If you were my patient, I would want to hear from you at once and see you promptly. You should call your plastic surgeon. 

You should know -

  • how much intravenous fluid were you given?
  • how much tumescent fluid was injected?

If you had more than 1200 ccs of fluid total, you have extra fluid in your system.

Your surgeon should check you to find out why you are retaining the fluid and how to get rid of it. Thanks for the question. Best wishes.


Elizabeth Morgan, MD, PhD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 43 reviews

Bloating after liposuction

Your body is retaining fluid after anesthesia and intravenous fluids in all likelihood and you should diuresce. However, if the situation is so significant that your legs resemble tree trunks, then you should definitely contact your plastic surgeon. I would be concerned if you have difficulty breathing or have not urinated sufficiently. Good luck!

Robert L. Kraft, MD, FACS
New York Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 41 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.