Is There Anything I Can Do About Stiffness After Liposuction?

I got a BBL done and this stiffness is driving me crazy. I feel like I can't breathe sometimes. I tried to stretch and that seemed to make it worse. Is there anything else to do and how long should I expect it to last? Thank You!

Doctor Answers 7

Stiffness after liposuction can be improved

This is not uncommon, especially if the liposuction was extensive. In my patients I always recommend; (1) low salt and low carb diet as swelling makes this worse (2) tight garments and sometimes extra time with epifoam/topifoam pads as this all squeezes out fluid and makes swelling go away faster (3) lots of activity but no exercise (4) ultrasound treatments as these are the best for really severe swelling and this makes it go away the fastest. (5) other things like lymphatic drainage and suction roller treatment like Endermologie help but I think not as much as the above

San Francisco Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 13 reviews

Stiffness after Liposuction

Many patients do have some degree of stiffness after surgery, especially in the areas of liposuction.  It can last up to several months after surgery.  Softening and loosening of the tissues occurs as swelling dissipates and healing proceeds.  Starting about 1-2 weeks after surgery and continuing for the first few months, I have patients receive lymphatics drainage treatments with Endermologie.  This helps significantly with the speed of recovery.

If stiffness and breathing issues are occurring closely after surgery, you should contact your surgeon promptly and discuss this.  It could be a symptom of an embolus.  This needs immediate evaluation and treatment.

If it has been several months already since your surgery and you are still experiencing stiffness and tightening, then it is possible that you have some scar tissue under your skin.  This can be much more difficult to treat. 

Thanks for the question. All the best!


Steven Svehlak, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 31 reviews

Stiffness after Liposuction

Stiffness is part of the healing process that is happening under your skin . Ultrasound massage , manual massage and lymphatic drainage massage will help . Still, normal skin elasticity will probably take up to 4 months to be restored .  Even though it seems that your skin is pulling when you stretch ,  try to do it while taking a warm shower. 

it will all be worth once you achieve your final results , 

Best wishes , 

Katherine Feliz Camilo, MD
Dominican Republic Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 32 reviews

Is There Anything I Can Do About Stiffness After Liposuction?

Thank you for your question, stiffness after liposuction is very common, I always recommend my patients to attend their lymphatic massages after the surgery, this will soften up the tissue and help them heal a lot faster. The therapist at our office is also certified to drain the liquid from our patients to relieve the pressure and avoid stiffness.

Salvador Pantoja, MD
Mexico Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 347 reviews

Lymphatic Drainage Massages

Initial stiffness and soreness is normal and can last for several weeks.  As soon as you're up for it you should start Lymphatic Drainage Massages for the areas that were liposuctioned.  The buttocks can also be gently massaged to increase blood supply and smooth out your result.

Eric Sadeh, MD
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 57 reviews

Stiffness after Liposuction

The stiffness after liposuction is a normal part of the recovery process. There isn't much you can do to accelerate recovery other than lymphatic drainage massages.  With time as the swelling resolves, so will  the stiffness. This usually takes 3-4 months.  Consult with your surgeon before starting any new treatments. Best wishes on your recovery.

Robert F. Centeno, MD, FACS
Columbus Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 77 reviews

BBL recovery

If you are in the early postoperative period and having serious concerns, you should be contacting your surgeon directly and immediately.  If you are asking about stiff or firm areas that were suctioned during a liposuction / fat transfer procedure, these areas will typically get better and softer with time.  Lymphatic massage after liposuction surgery can also be helpful and speed the recovery process.

Sean A. Simon, MD
Miami Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 36 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.