Having new pain, burning and tightness in the flanks - 4 months post op of lipo . A month ago I did not have this pain. (photos)

I had lower back issues early on ( seroma ). After 3 months I was improving . Now I'm having a "new" pain and tightness in the lower back/flanks . When I wake in the morning , my lower back will not move , bend , flex or stretch. I have to roll myself out . I'm taking lyrica, muscle relaxers , anti inflammatory , putting heating pad . When I'm still for long periods , the area just locks up and stiffens and its hard to get relief . These "new" symptoms have been in place for 4 weeks now.

Doctor Answers 4

Liposuction - burning and tightness after 4 months

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Thank you for your question about your liposuction.

  • I am sorry you are having this pain but your photos show a nice cosmetic result, which is good.
  • If you have been working out, you could have caused additonal swelling in the area of liposuction.
  • If you had laser liposuction, it could be persistent irritation from the laser heat.
  • But you are on a lot of medicines for 4 months post surgery -
  • I suggest you see your plastic surgeon, discuss your work-out routine, the cause of the pain and whether you need physical therapy at this point.
  • Always consult a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon.
Best wishes. Elizabeth Morgan MD PHD FACS

Having new pain, burning and tightness in the flanks - 4 months post op of lipo

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Hi, AntiBoxgal.  I am sorry to hear that you are having such a difficult recovery following your liposuction.  Your results are quite good, and clearly you had a lot of fat removed.  Liposuction is often thought of a very trivial surgery -- "in and out, and back to work the next day."  But, I find that liposuction is a surgery that should be as respected as a tummy tuck!

There are many reasons for having pain and stiffness following liposuciton, particularly in the lower back area.  Many structures get disturbed with liposuction -- blood vessels, nerves, the lymphatic drainage system, muscle fascia, etc.  And scar tissue and inflammation is always a component.  A previous seroma may or may not be a confounding factor.

Most likely, you are just having some strain and inflammation to the muscles and/or the surrounding scar tissue. And some patients just have a much tougher time with inflammation following liposuction than others, and some take many months while other do well after weeks.  I would, however, recommend that you see your surgeon to make sure that nothing else is going on, particularly since this is a new change.  

I hope you feel better soon, and that you can enjoy your nice results!

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

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It takes months to heal from aggressive liposuction.  I suggest massage and radiofrequency treatements like venus legacy or velashape at this time.  Vanquish and cellutone really help the body mold to its new shape and further decrease fat.  Best, Dr. Emer.

Jason Emer, MD
Los Angeles Dermatologic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 202 reviews

Liposuction / Liposculpture / High Definition Procedures / Liposuction Revision

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Thank you for your question.

Since there has been a change in your post op course, please contact your surgeon so he/she can examine you and recommend the most appropriate treatment plan at this time.

The best way to assess and give true advice would be an in-person exam.
Please see a board-certified plastic surgeon that specializes in aesthetic and restorative plastic surgery.

Dr. Schwartz
Board Certified Plastic Surgeon
Director-Beverly Hills Breast and Body Institute

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.