Liposuction - Difference in Recovery from Chest, Abdomen and Flanks?

Hi, 4 days post-op after the above, I am concerned about my flanks. I know that it is def early days, but there is a massive difference between the recovery of my chest/abdomen and that of my flanks. The other two are sore and show a massive improvement already while my flanks seem and feel like they haven't been touched (they haven't changed shape at all). Im worried that due to being under GA, the surgeon may not have accessed them properly. Your views please.

Doctor Answers 8

Liposuction of the flanks typically results in dramatic change

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Liposuction of the flanks, particularly the posterior flanks has more discomfort than the liposuction of either the abdomen or the chest. They also show improvement rather quickly even though the final result will take time. The fact that you have no discomfort or visible signs of surgery in that area, may mean that they may not been adequately addressed. You need to give things a few more weeks, maintain your compression and if no improvement occurs, discuss it with your plastic surgeon.

Recovery of liposuction

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When considering treatment of your chest, abdomen, and flanks I feel the flank area is often the one that patients state hurts the most. This is because this area is more fibrous ( firmer tissues) and we tend to be more aggressive in this area to give our patients the shape they want. It will get better, remember it may take 3 or 4 months to get to end result. 

Jeffrey Kenkel, MD
Dallas Plastic Surgeon

Recovery from liposuction of the abdomen is much more sensitive than the flanks

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It is very early and many things can change.  Definitely, the abdomen is much more sensitive to liposuction, while the flanks (especially the hip areas) are relatively insensitive.  If a large amount of fat was taken then the difference will be obvious (at least with Tumescent Liposuction- which is the type I do) even the next day.  If a small amount was taken then swelling will obscure the change and you will need to wait up to 4 months.

Good luck!

Julie E. Voss, MD
Kirkland Dermatologic Surgeon

Liposuction results

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Liposuction results do take some time.  I can not really comment on your results without seeing before and after photos.  Plus, it is was too early to see the final results.

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

Liposuction in some areas may not show results for a while

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Usually the surgeon can reassure you by telling you how many ccs of fat were removed in the flanks. There may be so much swelling there unlike the other areas, that you can't visulize the improvement for many more weeks.  

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


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The flanks, being a lower part of the body, will retain fluids (and swelling) more that the other areas.  Therer may also be a chance that you have seromas (fluid accumulation).

Shahin Javaheri, MD
San Francisco Plastic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 6 reviews

Flank Liposuction Often Produces An Immediate And Dramatic Change

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Flank liposuction is one area that should not only have an immediate change but is often considerably sore as well. If they don't look any different and are not sore and even a little bruised, then it is very likely that the area of the flanks you were most concerned about may have been inadvertently undertreated or missed during your surgery.

Differing rates of recovery from different liposuction sighlts

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Only your surgeon knows that answer for sure and I do not see why they would hide that from you. You may be seeing excessive swelling because the area is the lowest on your torso and may be demonstrating greated dependent swelling.

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 86 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.