I had lipo 3 months ago. I woke up with severe back pain on one side.Now that side is swelling. What could be the cause? (Photo)

My left side is swelling noticeably and aches. The doctor mentioned some possible nerve damage but wasn't specific. He has given me prescriptions for muscle relaxers, and pain, but I can't really take those because I work early mornings. The pain is tolerable but the swelling seems to be getting worse.

Doctor Answers 7


New onset swelling at 3 months is unusual. I would schedule a visit with your PS and let them examine you. You may have fluid that can be drained.

Louisville Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 25 reviews

Liposuction - severe swelling and aching in one area

Thank you for asking about your liposuction.
  • First, I urge you to stop any prescription pain killers and move to Tylenol and Advil.
  • Addiction to long-term pain medicines is a HUGE problem.
  • It is hard to say what happened during surgery
  • It could have been positioning or lack of protection of pressure points.
  • An area of nerve injury can cause swelling -
  • But an exam and detailed history are necessary to best advise you.
  • If things are improving, although slowly, you have a good chance of this going away.
  • If the swelling has not improved, you may have a seroma - ask your surgeon to check you.
  • If pain and swelling are worse, then at least you need a seroma and neurology evaluation.
Always see a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon. Best wishes  - Elizabeth Morgan MD PHD FACS

Elizabeth Morgan, MD, PhD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 43 reviews

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

I suggest speaking to a physician about the pain, there really shouldn't be any damage to nerves with properly performed liposuction.  Best, Dr. Emer.

Jason Emer, MD
Los Angeles Dermatologic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 190 reviews

Change in exam

Thanks for your inquiry, I suggest you call your surgeon ASAP because you have a change in your exam.  This far out I would not consider new swelling normal.  Good Luck.  

Vishnu Rumalla, MD
Dallas Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 196 reviews

Liposuction/ Liposculpture/ Fat Transfer/ Vaser/ Hi Definition Procedures/Liposuction Revision/Tummy Tuck/Body Contouring

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 #RealSelf100Surgeon #RealSelfCORESurgeon

Jaime S. Schwartz, MD, FACS
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 91 reviews

Post lipo swelling and pain

Thank you for your question. I would recommend to see your PS for evaluation. You have noticeable swelling may be fluid collection which is not common at this stage of healing. It need to be evaluated and come to diagnosis with the help of radiological studies like ultrasound or CT

Ven Erella, MD
Austin Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

What could be the cause of this swelling?

Thank you for sharing your question and I can see your area of concern.  I would reach out to your surgeon for an in-person evaluation.  With the degree of soft tissue swelling present it would be important to rule out a fluid collection development that can be treated in your doctor's office.  If not fluid, the appropriate diagnosis can be made so that treatment can be initiated.

Nelson Castillo, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 65 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.