I had surgery 4 1/2 weeks ago and I have not been able to go back based on distance. I had upper/lower stomach, flanks and back done. My belly seems to have gotten bigger/harder since I saw the initial results. Is this common? Could it be because my garment is too tight?
Can Your Belly Swell Even 4 1/2 Weeks After Lipo?
Doctor Answers 10
Swelling after liposuction is common, and some hardness may develop as a part of the healing process. Usually this softens with time. Sometimes massage helps. Overtime things usually soften. It is definitely a good idea to seek follow-up with your doctor.
Swelling after lipo
First, distance not withstanding, your responsibility is to follow up, and comply with your post op instructions. Following these instructions ensures that you have the best chance of a safe and favorable outcome. See your doctor.
Belly Swelling With Garment
- It restricts the amount of edema that forms and hastens its resolution by mechanical pressure.
- It decreases the amount of bruising.
- It assists the loose skin in retracting or shrinking.
It is common to have weight gain due to edema, serum that collects in the area, and the tumescent fluid that was injected. This will resolve over time. The more you wear the garment initially, the quicker this fluid resolves.
Edema: a condition characterized by an excess of watery fluid collecting in the cavities or tissues of the body.
The length of time that the garment should be worn varies depending on the amount of fat removed, the elastic nature of your skin, how much loose skin remains, and other factors. Your surgeon would give you the best advice, however this is the general routine for my patients.
The first garment should be fitted for you in the office prior to surgery and applied in the operating room. Often it will become loose as the edema is mobilized, and then it will need to be replaced. Spanx is a reasonable compression garment if it gives enough support and is the right size. I have my patents bring them in so I can confirm that it fits well.
Most important advice is to listen to your surgeon, as he or she knows how much fat was removed, the elasticity that remains in your skin, and amount of skin redundancy.
I recommend that my patients wear their garments for a minimum of three weeks full time then for twelve hours at a time (day or night). If there is not a lot of redundant skin, this continues to a maximum of six weeks.
To be effective, the garment needs to fit snugly—but not too tight as that can make it difficult to sleep or cause pressure problems (inspect your skin when it is exposed if you are uncomfortable). As the edema resolves it is common for patients to switch to a smaller garment that fits. A Spanx-type garment would work fine, rather than ordering one or paying more at your doctor’s office.
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Followup with your surgeon or find a new one
Swelling, stiffness, and discomfort after liposuction
Thank you for the question. The most important thing is to make sure that you are healing well. Without a photo or an examination this is not possible to do. The symptoms that you have described are not all together uncommon after liposuction. It will be important for you to make sure you have not gained weight during the recovery period as well.
All the best,
Dr. Remus Repta
Duration of Swelling AFTER Liposuction of stomach, flanks and back
Liposuction, like all operations, is an organized injury done in a sterile environment. The body always responds with a varying degree of swelling which is maximal the first few days after surgery and then gradually decreases with time.
Compression garments are used after liposuction to help diminish this swelling response but vary in their efficacy since they do not fit all people the same way and do not exert the same amounts of pressure.
By a month after surgery you should NOT have more swelling than you did just after the surgery. At this point you should be well down on the down slope of the post surgical swelling curve. You REALLY should see your surgeon and make sure everything is going well.
Abdominal swelling a month after surgery.
If the swelling and hardness is diffuse, then it is normal for many patients. It is not caused by the garment. If you have pain, localized swelling, etc. see your surgeon.
Belly swell even 4 1/2 weeks after lipo
It is possible to have late occurring swelling. Go see a local PS to re evaluate. Or call the treating surgeon to discuss and send him photos.
From MIAMI DR. B
Persistent swelling after liposuction
There are many potential causes for this which cannot be diagnosed via email. While this could be due to your garments, it could also be due to a seroma and/or pseudocyst. You should seek evaluation by a surgeon and possibly consider an imaging study.
Swelling after liposuction
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.