Is Hard Swelling/bruising Normal After Liposuction? (photo)

I am one week post op after liposuction to my hips, outer and inner thighs. My bruising today is getting worse and my thighs are more swollen then ever. My main concern is that the bruising/swelling on my inner thighs is hard to the touch, it almost feels like a tensed muscle. It is also still very tender. Is this normal or could it need draining? I'm also worried about it turning into scar tissue and staying this size!

Doctor Answers 9

Normal swelling and bruising after liposuction

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

The pictures provided show a very typical result 1 week after liposuction surgery. I think you have a normal amount of bruising. It is typically a bit sore which is normal.  Sometimes the bruises will migrate downward into the lower leg. Do not be alarmed if this happens.  At one week out you should be in some type of compression garment that helps with discomfort and support as well as skin retraction. Formal post lymphatic post operative massages typically begin about 2 weeks after surgery in my practice.  Both compression and massage are important adjuncts to this procedure. I hope this helps!

Is Hard Swelling/bruising Normal After Liposuction?

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Very hard to see in the posted photos but I would recommend IMMEDIATE visit with the surgeon instead of asking over the net. It appears as swelling but a fluid collection can not be ruled out. Please seek in person care. 

See your surgeon to check for seroma or hematoma

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}
While swelling and bruising are very common after liposuction, if it is sore to the touch and it is significantly swollen, it's best to see your  surgeon just incase it's not a hematoma or seroma.

Bruising after Liposuction - When to see your surgeon

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}
This is difficult to tell if this is normal or a small hematoma from your photos. In general bruising and swelling are normal for the first week in the suctioned areas and usually increase slightly after the removal of any tape or foam. 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 much longer to disappear completely. The compression garment helps reduce the swelling, and the longer it is worn, the more quickly the process will proceed. If you are concerned or the problem gets significantly worse, immediately visit your plastic surgeon to get it examined.

Swelling and Bruising After Liposuction

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}
Maximum swelling is usually within about three to five days after your surgery, and the majority of it along with bruising goes away in two to three weeks. You may feel some firmness, though, for a few months afterward. You can assess your results at three to four months after surgery.
Massage can start at a week or ten days after surgery. You can use your hands or a soft paint roller for about 20 minutes once or twice a day.

Aggressive massage after liposuction to soften up and smooth your things

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}
it is normal to have bruising at this stage after your liposuction
Massage on all hard feeling areas will soften them up and help to smooth out your contours.  First three months after the procedure is when you should be actively massaging for maximal benefit

Bruising after thigh liposuction

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}
Your bruising is within normal limits at one week postop. I would encourage you to wear a compression garment and to follow your plastic surgeon's post-op instructions. Tenderness is consistent with swelling and bruising so, at this point, there is no basis for assuming that the swelling will remain or that it will somehow convert into a scarified area.

Bruising and Swelling Common 1 Week Post-Op

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Your pictures indicate that you have significant bruising and swelling following your liposuction procedure.This is a normal finding in someone who is one week post-op.Patients undergoing liposuction often develop swelling and bruising following this procedure.During the procedure, the liposuction cannula is passed through the subcutaneous tissue.This causes disruption of blood vessels and lymphatic channels and cellular injury, which results in bleeding, bruising and swelling.

Significant improvement in swelling and bruising can be seen in the first three weeks following surgery, with the majority gone in about three months.Small amounts of swelling may persist up to a year following surgery.

Both swelling and bruising can be minimized by using tumescent technique and small liposuction cannulas.In the post-operative period, we generally recommend the use of compression support garments for about three weeks following surgery.We also recommend a low-salt diet before and after liposuction.Exercise is usually started early in the post-operative period, and we want patients to ambulate as soon as possible following surgery.Massage is also helpful.It decreases swelling by mobilizing retained fluid following the procedure.

All of these steps help to minimize the duration of swelling and bruising following surgery.It’s important to realize that swelling and bruising usually resolve with time regardless of the post-operative management.

Is normal to have some swelling

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

After getting liposuction is normal to have some bruises and swelling for a couple of weeks. The bruises should disappear by themselves in 7 to 10 days. The swelling could go on for a while, and still a month later you have some swelling left.


You just have to keep on your compression garments and pain medication. Don't miss your surgeon scheduled follow-ups. If you see that the any of the liposuctioned areas grow bigger, then inform your surgeon as soon as possible, so he takes a look at it.

Rafael E. Estevez Hernandez, MD
Dominican Republic 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.