Hardening After Smart Lipo

I am seriously considering smart lipo on my abdomen area (muffin top) but after reading this forum i am concerned with the 'hardening' everyone seems to talk about after the procedure. Why does it happen and how long will it last? Also, many have said the area treated is very sensitive to the touch even months afterwards. Why is this and will it affect sexual relations?

Doctor Answers 5

Smartlipo and firmness

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people who tell you there is no swelling with smartlipo probably don't perform it.  i think there is less bruising, but probably more swelling, at least in the immediate post-op period.  the laser actually melts fat and heats skin, and the firmness is a healing response to this tissue damage.  it is a normal part of healing and expected with smart lipo.  this typically takes anywhere for 6 wks to 6 months to completely resolve.

Baltimore Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 11 reviews

Hardening of tissue after smartlipo liposculpture represents inflammation of the skin and underlying tissue.

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Hardening of tissue after smartlipo liposculpture represents inflammation of the skin and underlying tissue. This can resolve on its own and be improved with anti-inflammatory agents.

Edward Lack, MD
Chicago Dermatologist

Hardening is a temporary phenomenon

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The hardening that patients experience after liposuction or Smartlipo is temporary phenomenon that happens as part of the natural healing process.  It is nothing to worry about.  It generally starts around the 2-3 week and may continue for a month or more. It passes and always disappears.  Generally, I tell my patients that it is a good sign that the skin and tissues underneath are tightening. It does worry patients, but it goes away.  The treated areas can be sensitive but this also dissipates. Not everyone is overly sensitive, it varies with each patient. Whether or not it effects sexual relations is also going to be an individual situation. You should be prepared for a period of sensitivity in case it happens to you after the procedure. Try your best to plan for it.  The end results should be worth a few weeks of sensitivity.

Edgar Franklin Fincher, MD, PhD
Beverly Hills Dermatologic Surgeon

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Firmness after liposuction

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Firmness from liposuction may happen as a reuslt of fat necrosis. I really haven't seen this with traditional liposuction.

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

Firmness of tissue after liposuction

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Liposuction involves the removal of fat cells.  As the body heals, there is the inflammatory healing cascade that involves collagen production.  Less soft fat and more firm collagen/protein equals a more substantial feeling tissue.  The skin retracts backwards to the underneath tissues forming a more dense infrastructure of the skin. Tenderness reflects the healing when the tissues are touched. This is normal and expected.  It resolves with time for most people within a few months or less.  Some people may take longer.  Compression garments often provide relief of symptoms while in others, it may be an annoyance. Eventually this firmness provides the result that most people aspire to obtaining, specifically, a thinner frame with less bulky fat.

Ronald Shelton, MD
Manhattan Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 39 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.