Hard Spots and Rippling After Liposuction

I have hard spots down my side where they did Liposuction after my Tummy Tuck. Will this ever go away and what caused it? I am 6 weeks post op and when I take photos, it looks like a ripple down my sides. My PS just said it takes time.. no real answer.

Doctor Answers 5

Hard Spots and Ripples After LIposuction Often Temporary

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Hard spots, ridges and ripples during the first few weeks after liposuction are quite common. During the first 2-3 months this is probably related to some areas getting well quickly while other areas remain swollen and inflamed. This can be related simply to more bleeding in one are than another at the time of surgery.

I tell my patients not to worry especially if the areas are still sore as they almost always go away. If this has not resolved completely by 6 months then there is a small chance it may not go away and a touch up liposuction or fat grafting in the office may be necessary to fix it.

Based on your photo it looks like you will have a good result but are right in the middle of the healing process. Be patient and allow the healing process to complete and this will most likely not be a problem. I usually tell my patients complete healing with no swelling present can take up to 10 months after abdominoplasty. Generally 80-90% of the swelling and inflammation is gone by 3 months.

Scar massage may be helpful with circular motions along the firm areas twice for two minutes four times each day. What you need most is a lot more healing time and a little reassurance.

Firm nodules and ripples after lipo and tummy tuck

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In the normal course of wound healing, we call the first 6 weeks the "proliferative phase" meaning the period that scar tissue is deposited to heal the wounds that are created by surgical injury. This is to be expected and can be responsible for the rippling and hard nodules you feel.

Compression, scar massage, manual lymphatic drainage, and endermologie may be useful in expediting the resolution of this firm tissue druing the next pahse of wound healing (from 6 weeks up to 2 years) which we call the maturation phase.

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 86 reviews

This is not uncommon...

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It’s not uncommon for patients to have lumps, bumps and rippling following liposuction.Contour irregularities may have a variety of potential causes.These may include differential swelling, fat necrosis, seromas and hematomas.They are usually transient and respond to conservative management with compression garments and massage.Rarely, aspiration is necessary when hematomas and seromas are present.In most cases, these problems have no effect on the long-term results of liposuction.

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Liposuction and rippling

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Firmness after liposuction can develop and some rippling may develop as well.  Sometimes deep massage helps smooth out the firm areas.  Give it some time, it may take 4-6 months for things to soften.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Final result after liposuction seen at 4 months.

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I would try lymphatic drainage massage right away, but I am not optimistic about your final liposuction result, I am afraid . The rippling is usually technique related.

George J. Beraka, MD (retired)
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon

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.