Does Liposuction in One Area Cause Swelling in Another?

I had liposuction one week ago on my abdomen and back. Of course my stomach has swelling, but I've noticed that my thighs and calves are much thicker now. Does liposuction of the abdomen and back cause swelling in the legs?

Doctor Answers 6

Swelling and increased weight after liposuction

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Yes, we call this third spacing of fluids and it explains why someone often weighs more after liposuction than before. Any injury causes inflammation which makes your blood vessels leaky and cause fluid to seep into your tissues, even areas that were not operated upon.

Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 86 reviews

Liposuction Swelling

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There may be surrounding swelling do to liposuction done in a nearby area, due to gravity and/or due to the amount of wetting solution infused into the tissues at the time of surgery

John A. Perrotti, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon

Liposuction causes swelling

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After liposuction, gravity will move the abdominal swelling to the pubic area, groin and thighs.  There might be generalized swelling for other reasons including the fluids that were given to you. If you are wearing a compression garment that stops at the mid thighs, then your calves might be swollen because of the restriction above the calves. You shouldn't be taking Motrin or Advil, etc. without asking your surgeon, but if you had for pain, this might cause swelling in the legs.

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

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"Lowdown" swelling

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Dear QTPie,

The swelling from liposuction can drift down into your hips and thighs.  This is just simply the effect of gravity.  The swelling will resolve.  Your plastic surgeon should be carefully observing all the swelling to make sure that it is reasonable and resolving appropriately.

Enjoy your journey,

Dr. ES

Swelling after liposuction

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After virtually any surgery, you can notice fluid retention in other parts of your body.  This should be gone by 2 weeks or so.

Swelling after liposuction

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Swelling in other parts of the body after liposuction is common especially in areas that are more dependent like the legs and groin region.

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