10 days post op and I have large areas of rippling/swelling to abs/flank/back. Is this normal? (Photo)

Hello, I'm 10days post op lipo to abd /flank/back with fat transfer , currently wearing high compression garment but I've notice areas of hard rippling/swelling. Could high compression make it worse, should I switch to lower compression? Is the hard areas normal part of healing post lipo? thank you

Doctor Answers 11

After 10 Days, Swelling Is Normal

Thanks for your question. Swelling is quite normal 10 days after liposuction and should gradually improve over the coming weeks. Areas of hardness are also not uncommon, although if the firmness in these areas persists for more than a month or so, it's a good idea to talk to the surgeon who performed your liposuction. Best of luck during your recovery!

San Diego Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 16 reviews

Swelling After Liposuction

Swelling is quite common after any type of cosmetic surgery or invasive procedure. The majority of “swelling” usually dissipates by 6 weeks; however, other symptoms such as those you described may be something different. While extremely unusual in our practice, you can develop fluid collections or hard areas of fat from over-aggressive technique. There are several ways to minimize swelling, including limiting your exercise, wearing your compression garment effectively and adhering to a high protein diet which benefits the healing process. In some cases, lymphatic massage may be beneficial. Please follow up with your board-certified plastic surgeon. Very best to you, Dr. Brian Coan

Brian Coan, MD, FACS
Raleigh-Durham Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 46 reviews

Hard and rippling areas after abdominal liposuction

Thank you for asking about your liposuction.

  • Swelling and areas of hardness are normal after liposuction at 10 days.
  • These will slowly improve, with noticeable improvement by 6 weeks.
  • Ask your surgeon for guidance about your compression garment - it should be comfortable.
Always see a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon
Hope you found this answer helpful. Best wishes.

Contour irregularities 10 days after liposuction.

At 10 days there substantial swelling which would explain any contour irregularity. There's no evidence that compressive garments have any effect on the final outcome. Generally compressive garments that provide comfort are preferred.

Vincent N. Zubowicz, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 32 reviews

Rippling after liposuction

Thanks for the question. It is common for there to be swelling after liposuction. The majority of the swelling will subside after about 6 weeks, but it could take up to several months for the swelling to stop completely.

All the best,

Dr. Results


This is normal and I would not worry about it.If your compression is too tight it may cause some early irregularities.

Robert Brueck, MD
Fort Myers Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 54 reviews

10 days post op and I have large areas of rippling/swelling to abs/flank/back. Is this normal?

Since you are under the care of this clinic best to contact them. I find ripples can be decreased by early lymphatic massages and external ultrasound treatments. But if the techniques used were done unevenly than ripples can occur. 

Unevenness after liposuction

I would definitely discuss this with your plastic surgeon as he/she will be in the best position to assess you and know what your pre-operative situation was like, how much laxity there was, and how much he removed.
Having said that, I would say in general terms, that compression garments that provide uneven compression can cause some long lasting uneven results.  For this reason, I often ask my patients to use additional foam padding under their compression garments and teach them what to look for so they can make adjustments during the healing process.  You can often influence how things heal during the first several weeks after surgery.

Swelling, rippling and firmness after liposuction

What you describe is quite typical after liposuction, and it's usually seen between one to six weeks after the procedure.

When liposuction is done aggressively to get more dramatic results and patients have some loose skin prior to the procedure, this may be accentuated.

I suggest you follow up with your plastic surgeon and know that results typically improve over the first three months.

Best of luck,

Mats Hagstrom, M.D.

Mats Hagstrom, MD
San Francisco Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

Won't go away

 I'm sorry to say that based upon your pictures you have the wrong operation. He has significant stretch marks and looseness of skin on your abdomen and above your belly button. This would suggest the better choice would've been an abdominoplasty. 

Some better pictures may offer a different perspective however.

good luck. 

Mark Eberbach, MD
Tampa Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 42 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.