What Causes Lumps After Liposuction?

Im 2 weeks Liposuction post-op and have been trying to get a straight answer about the lumps. I have hard marble sized lumps and one is long--the size of a small finger. What are they? How did they occur? Are they because of a poor job? Will they go away?

Doctor Answers 8

Lumps can be several things

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Two weeks post op is very early in the recovery phase of liposuction. There is still a significant amount of swelling and tissue inflammation in the healing process. As the other surgeons have expressed there can be fluid collections. But also fat is different everywhere. This is one of the theories behind cellulite. Fat can be different even in the same area of the body. So this may be fat that could not be appreciated at the time of surgery. The tumescent solution often masks the true feel of the fat.

But don't fret. It takes up to six months for the final result to be in for the liposuction. So continue to wear the garment. If there is still a contour irregularity (the plastic surgery term for lumps) after 6 months then bring it up with your surgeon.

Patience after surgery

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Lumps are part of the healing process after liposuction. Areas of increased inflammation, collections of fluid, and so forth are by-products of the procedure. Almost always, if the procedure has been done correctly, they vanish. It may take several months, however. Compressive garments, in my opinion, seem to help. But the healing process is takes time and there is little you can do to change that.

Lumps after liposuction

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After liposuction your body needs time to heal and recover. Often when the tissue is recovering, swelling and fluid may cause lumps. With massage and time, lumps are reduced and eventually resolve on their own.

Lumps and Bumps Not Uncommon

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It’s not uncommon for patients to have lumps and bumps following liposuction.Contour irregularities may have a variety of potential causes.These may include differential swelling, fat necrosis, seromas and hematomas.They are usually transient and respond to conservative management with compression garments and massage.Rarely, aspiration is necessary when hematomas and seromas are present.In most cases, these problems have no effect on the long-term results of liposuction.

Lumps after liposuction

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Lumps after liposuctin can be from areas of under resection, it can be fluid, it can be differential swelling.  Sometimes massage can "even" it out a bit.  Review this with your doctor.

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

Most likely, tiny collections of fluid.

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This does not mean that your surgery was poorly done. These little lumps can happen, and they are usually small collections of liquid.

In Manhattan, we send patients for lymphatic drainage massage a few days after liposuction. Massage can prevent or treat these little lumps. So that is what I would recommend for you.

George J. Beraka, MD (retired)
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon

Liposuction and healing causes lumps

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In liposuction, it is more important to leave a smooth bed of tissue and remove less than it is to removal all the fat and leave the skin to contract. Our skin has limits in its ability to lay smooth following fat removal.

Think of your bed quilt or comforter. When pulled tight, it lays flat even with sheets or blankets wrinkled. Now, remove the comforter and put a sheet on over the top of the blankets. Unless everything is pulled tight and perfectly smooth, you will see the contour changes under the sheet.

While not exactly like liposuction, this is a good analogy that once the fat is removed there is a space that will hold healing fluids and you will see them as the quilt covering has been reduced to a loose sheet. The swelling will take three to six months to resolve and the skin will take a year to tighten. In the end, additional liposuction, structural fat grafting or a skin reduction procedure may also make you happier.

I would optimize your nutritional heal, exeercise and see your physican. I hope this helps. See your physician and ask if lymphatic massage maybe helpful to soften the bumps you are describing.

Charles Perry, MD
Sacramento Plastic Surgeon

Two weeks is very early after liposuction

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You are still very early after your procedure. A lot of changes are still going to take place. Some irregularities are normal at this stage and will resolve with time. Make sure you are wearing your garment and that it fits you properly. This will help shape the skin and minimize fluid collections under the skin. Speak with your surgeon about these areas and see what he suggests.

Parham Ganchi, PhD, MD
Wayne Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 172 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.