Clothes Don't Fit After Lipo and Fat Transfer? (photo)

Hi doctors, I recently had lipo done on my sides and flanks, and fat transfer to my buttocks. I know that I must still be swollen, as my lower back and flank area is quite numb, but I am a little worried because none of my pre-op jeans fit. Can you please assure me that I am swollen and that if fat was liposuctioned from my sides and flanks, that eventually my jeans will fit even looser around the waist than before? I also had a breast lift/augmentation, if that is relevant. Thanks in advance!

Doctor Answers 6

Swelling after Liposuction

Hello and thank you for the question,


You should expect considerable swelling following a liposuction and fat transfer procedure. In review of your pictures it is pretty clear you are very early in the healing process.  Second, since I am not privy to the amount of fat you had transferred to your buttocks, its hard to say how much swelling you should expect in that region. If a considerable amount of fat has been transferred, though, I would concur with my colleague and say that pant size may change once the swelling has resided due to the increased volume  secondary to the fat transferred.  At this point, though, give your body time to heal.


Kindest Regards,


Glenn Vallecillos, M.D., F.A.C.S. 

Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 31 reviews

Swelling and clothes after liposuction

After any surgical procedure, you will have post-operative swelling. This can last several weeks to months and may affect the fit of your clothes.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

Clothes don’t fit after Liposuction

Bruising and swelling are normal in the suctioned areas and usually increase slightly after the removal of any tape or foam. This will affect the fit of your clothes. 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. And yes your jeans should eventually fit much looser. 

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

Clothes Don't Fit After Liposuction

Hello Katie -

Your larger buttocks will affect how your jeans fit. But your liposuction swelling will do down and your jeans fit better in those areas if

1. Your liposuction was done in the past month or so - as your photos suggest.

2. You don't gain weight

3. You adjusting your eating to fit your new shape. (Otherwise fat reappears elsewhere.)

Liposuction results take time to appear. Numbness is a good guide because it reflects your swelling. As feeling returns, your final result should appear.

Best wishes!

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

Clothes Don't Fit After Lipo and Fat Transfer? (photo)

Thanks for some photos. What does "recently" mean?? A few days, weeks, or months??? If early in the postoperative phase of days to weeks THAN it is swelling. Most swelling leaves by 3 months. I recommend lymphatic massages and external ultrasound. 

Darryl J. Blinski, MD
Miami Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 173 reviews

Clothes don't fit after fat transfer

You are still swollen but, when fat is transferred into the buttocks area, I'm not sure why you would think that this wouldn't alter your size in jeans. While your jeans may be looser around your waist ultimately, that doesn't mean that they will fit in the tush so you may need to do some shopping.

Robert L. Kraft, MD, FACS
New York Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 40 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.