Air Pocket Under Skin After Lipo Without Drainage

I had Lipo done on my abs, hips, flanks and upper back 3 days ago, and there was no drainage put in. I have 10 holes and was told that they would only need to make 6 holes.

My main concern is that I have this air pocket in the middle of my upper chest and when I push on it I here squishy liquid noises and it sounds like I'm tapping on something hollow. What is this?

Doctor Answers 5

No air pockets after liposuction.

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Air pockets do not form after liposuction.  And drains are almost never necessary.  You probably have a little localized fluid collection which will respond to massage.

Manhattan Plastic Surgeon

Liposuction drainage

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Dear Kari

It is very unusual to place drains after liposuction as there is no place to put the drains. The cannulas produce small tunnels where the fat is removed and not a large open space that you would see after a tummy tuck where the skin is lifted up. I can't remember a tiem where I used a drain on a liposuction.

The number of incisions used is not unusual for the number of areas suctioned as I usually use 2 incisions per area to cross tunnel in 2 directions.

The "noises" you are hearing are little air pockets and small fluid collections. These will go away over the next few weeks. I would suggest a light compression device such as a Spanx type garment.

Good luck!

Liposuction and Drainage

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There usually is not drainage tubes placed after liposuction procedures. I understand your concern for 4 more incisions but the surgeon must have felt that there was a need to place more to get you a better result.

The feeling you may have is some flood or a pocket of space where the fat was suctioned.

There are many things you will feel during this recovery phase. I generally tell my patients that it will be about 4 months time before they achieve their final result.

Good luck

Fluid after liposuction

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While what you are describing is unusual, it is not dangerous.  As the other doctors have said, it is fluid under the skin and it will respond to time and massage.  Follow your doctor's orders on this and don't worry about the incisions as they will disappear over time. 

Squishy Sounds after Liposuction

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Garlic Greetings!

During liposuction hundreds of small tunnels are created by passing the liposuction tubes back and forth in the fat under the skin. To create these tunnels in a symmetrical fashion and minimize waviness, these multiple Cris-crossing tunnels are creating from many small openings. Each liposuction opening (port) will heal and be barely visible.

Immediately after the surgery the body produces fluid which remains in the treated areas and on gentle compression makes the squishing sounds. The vast majority of surgeons close their incisions, less leave them open to allow the fluids to run out (minimizing bruising and really cutting short on swelling but somewhat messy for 24-36 hours) fewer surgeons yet, do use drains to actively remove such fluids. EACH approach is accepted and has its plusses and minuses.

Wear your compression garment as directed by your surgeon and in no time these sounds will go away.

Dr. P. Aldea

Peter A. Aldea, MD
Memphis 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.