Back fat comes and goes after liposuction. Is this just swelling?

I'm hoping this is normal, somedays there is no back fat and other days I clearly see a small roll on each side. it does seem to coincide with my abdomen though, those are also the days were my abdomen appears more bloated than flat. I had my abdomen and back treated. I'm 8 weeks post-op. Is this just swelling? I haven't been able to pinpoint why some days I'm swollen and other days not. Thoughts?

Doctor Answers 8

Back fat comes and goes after liposuction. Is this just swelling?

Thank you for your question and I am sorry to hear about your back swelling.  Depending on our diet, water intake, extent of surgery, and our activity level, fluctuations in swelling after surgery will be common for several months.  Though these episodes will not effect your long term results, continued use of a compression garment may limit the number of episodes of swelling you experience. 

Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 65 reviews

It is normal for swelling to vacillate from day to day after liposuction.

Because of normal variation in body physiology swelling will wax and wane in the short aftermath of liposuction. At eight weeks there still significant swelling. This wall improve with time.

Vincent N. Zubowicz, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 35 reviews

Swelling fluctuations are common after lipo

It is common for swelling to fluctuate over the weeks due to a variety of factors such as water intake, patient metabolism, and activity levels. Swelling can last for up to six months, so it is important to be patient and wait for final results.

Mitchel P. Goldman, MD
San Diego Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 25 reviews

Back fat comes and goes after liposuction. Is this just swelling?

Swelling can vary, depending on your position, fluid and salt intake, and the time after your operation.If you are only eight weeks postop, then you probably need to wait longer. Ninety percent of your swelling should be gone by six months postop.It may be helpful to continue wearing a girdle or another compression garment or shapewear.

Stephen E. Zucker, MD
South Bend Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

Post Liposuction Irregularities, Swelling -- Try Massage, Velashape or Venus Legacy With Your Compression

Swelling form liposuction can last a year.  At this point I would be doing venus legacy or velashape treatments.  Of you are concerned that all the fat wasnt removed (and typically it is not all removed some is left behind to give a natural apperance) you can do ultrashape or liposonix to get a subtle improvmeent in fat as well.  Best, Dr. Emer.

Jason Emer, MD
Los Angeles Dermatologic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 190 reviews

Swelling after lipo

This can definitely be due to swelling from the procedure. Even though it may be difficult try to wear your compression garment and that will help improve/decrease the swelling. Remember final results from liposuction take months to achieve.
If the swelling worsens or there are additional concerns you can always go back to your plastic surgeon so they can examine you.

Asaf Yalif, MD
Roswell Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 6 reviews

Day to Day Variations After Lipo

Fluctuations in volume after liposuction are common and to be expected in the first few months and are due to edema.


Larry S. Nichter, MD, MS, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 154 reviews


Hello dear, thanks for your post. I would be patient if its only been 8 weeks.It is normal because you are swelling, this will improve with time. Make sure you are still using some compression garments, sometimes with foam compression over the area, and continue to do frequent, vigorous massages. At 3 months you will be approximately 70% of your final results, at 4 months about 80% and final results at 6 months. Be patient! Good luck :)

Tania Medina de Garcia, MD
Dominican Republic Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 396 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.