How long does it take before seeing a real difference with liposuction of the abdomen? What complications could arise?

OK, I am a 51 year old breast cancer survivor, I had liposuction of the abdomen, a 1000 cc's were removed then fat grafting to the breast for breast reconstruction in Feb of 2016. I don't see a difference in my stomach......It is now July 2016 I don't feel that difference in my stomach!? Pants that I fit into comfortably prior to the surgery , I can no longer wear... What could possibly be going wrong ? I just under went my 2nd surgery 6/2/16. Flanks fat grafting- reconstruction of breast.

Doctor Answers 8

Consult With Your Surgeon

Please be aware that my comments here are general and can’t be taken as specific medical advice. Without knowing all of the details of your specific case, it really isn't possible to offer an informed opinion about your concerns. I will say that, given that only a month has passed since your last surgery, you are likely experiencing some postoperative swelling at the fat graft donor sites. Your best course of action at this point is to consult with the surgeon who performed the procedure and explain your current situation. Let me also add my best wishes for your continued recovery.

Swelling Can Persist for Months

Best wishes for your continued recovery. I'm sorry you aren't seeing the desired results yet. It can take several months for the swelling to dissipate after an extensive liposuction procedure, especially given your recent second surgery. If you haven't done so already, I would discuss your concerns with either your plastic surgeon or oncologist to rule out the possibility of a complication. Good luck.

Arthur M. Cambeiro, MD
Las Vegas Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 141 reviews

Liposuction and fat grafting - pants don't fit properly now

Thank you for your question about your liposuction.

Let your surgeon know your concerns and arrange to be seen in follow-up.
You will be swollen from your second liposuction - but it is best to see you own surgeon to be sure there isn't a seroma (fluid collection) as well.
Always consult a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon.

Best wishes. Elizabeth Morgan MD PHD FACS

Liposuction Results

You need to address these issues with your plastic surgeon, as it sounds like you case is a bit complicated. 

Robert M. Tornambe, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 24 reviews

VASER Hi Definition Liposuction / Body Contouring with Fat Grafting

With a VASER HI DEF procedure you can see results immediately but the final outcome isn't evident for 3-6 months.  Best, Dr. Emer.

Jason Emer, MD
Los Angeles Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 167 reviews

Fat grafting and abdomen

You would have to be seen in person to know why you might be having these issues.  It is very difficult to say without the exam.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 24 reviews

How much needs to be done to see a difference?

Hi MReynolds,

Thanks for your question. It is hard to say what went wrong without photos. When breast reconstruction is involved the liposuction that is involved is not cosmetic in nature as the fat that is removed is just enough for the breast reconstruction and usually is not sufficient to see a huge difference in liposuction or liposculpting areas. this may not be the case if your plastic surgeon let you know that they were going to remove more fat than what was necessary for the fat grafting. Please discuss your concerns with your plastic surgeon. Fat usually accumulates in areas where liposuction was NOT done. Hope this helps. Good Luck. Glad that all is well from cancer standpoint.


All the best,
Carlos Mata MD, MBA, FACS
@breastlift @breastreconstruction @liposuction @docmata #drcarlosmata
Board Certified Plastic Surgeon


Seeing a real difference after Liposuction

I truly sympathize with your situation. 

As with everything, the amount of Lipiduction improvement depends on where you started from and how much was done. In your case it sounds like the surgeons purposefully did a small amount of liposuction because they know they will have to repeat it several times to get the breast results they need. IF you have a BMI of 30 and over, the removal of 1,000 cc may not result in dramatic changes. But- remember, that was not the purpose of the procedure. The purpose was to gradually build your breasts with your own fat and get s natural result. 

Once your reconstruction is
over, then you and your surgeons need to look at the result, compare it to the initial starting point results and decide how to truly contour your figure. 

Peter A. Aldea MD
Memohis, TN

Peter A. Aldea, MD
Memphis Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 102 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.