Not Enough Fat Removed After Liposuction?

I had an abdominal Liposuction on June 12th, 2009 to correct a muffin top that resulted from a myomectomy to remove uterine fibroids last year. My stomach ballooned out over a c-section type scar, and I wanted to flatten that area. The day after my Lipo surgery, I took my garmet off to shower and saw almost no change, not to mention that right above the scar where I wanted my stomach to be flattened the most still buldges out. Now, its very hard and sore. Does this mean that not enough fat was taken out?

Doctor Answers 12

Liposuction results

As I understand your question, you are less than a week after surgery; and therefore still in the "Swelling" phase. I make sure patients understand that the first week after surgery is fraught with swelling and bruising. The second week starts the resolution phase at which point swelling and bruisng START to subside....swelling, depending on the volume of the total treatment area, can persist for 6 weeks and up to 6 months. DO NOT step on a scale during the first month as you will typically see a weight gain.

Therefore, it is rather early to expect significant results. I would discuss the above phases with your surgeon and I am sure he/she, as an experienced cosmetic surgeon would agree and help educate you and prepare you along the path to recovery. Good Luck!

Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 47 reviews

It would be best to find a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon for a complete reanalysis

It is hard to be sure what your condition is presently. In that light I would encourage you to find a different Board Certified Plastic Surgeon and have a complete reanalysis. You may just need further liposuction. You may just need a scar revision or you may need liposuction and a full abdominal tummy tuck. Be sure you feel comfortable with the new surgeon and their recommendations.

Carl W. "Rick" Lentz III, MD
Orlando Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 15 reviews

Wait 6 weekes to evaluate your liposuction result

At three days post liposuction the swelling that you see is fluid and post operative swelling. It will take 6 weeks to 3 months for you to be able to see the effects of your liposuction surgery

Liposuction fullness

 The area that you are concerned about often needs excision to remove the redundant tissue that overhangs the old scar. Liposuction can help, but like in your case it did not give you the desired result.  However, the firmness will soften with time as the swelling subsides.



Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

You probably would have benefitted from a scar revision

Since you have just had liposuction, you should give it time (3-6 months) for all the swelling to improve. After that, you can reassess the situation and decide on a plan. If the scar is still stuck down, then a consultation with a good plastic surgeon can help you decide on the right course. Given your description, a surgical procedure to revise the scar would be helpful. It may even be combined with liposuction, but that really depends on your examination. Good luck.

Sirish Maddali, MD
Portland Plastic Surgeon
2.0 out of 5 stars 1 review

The "muffin top" is not corrected with liposuction.


I know this is not what you want to hear, but I don't think you had the right operation. In Manhattan, we commonly see this "shelf" or fullness or "muffin top" just above the C section scar, and it bothers women a lot. It is easily corrected with a mini abdominoplasty.

George J. Beraka, MD (retired)
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

Liposuction alone unlikely to correct contracted c-section scar

A low transverse incision such as a c-section scar can heal very well as my colleagues in OB have shown. Unfortunately some will develop a tethering of the skin to the deeper tissues forming a bulge or fold above and over the c-section scar. The tethering produces the impression of excess fat over the scar, like the muffin top you describe. It is unlikely that liposuction alone will correct the altered contour of the lower abdomen, or fill the depression along the scar line. You should wait of course now that the liposuction has been done, however you will probably benefit from a release and repair of the incision, layering the repair.

Best of luck,


Peter E. Johnson, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 43 reviews

You need a plastic surgery visit

If it is about one year after your surgery. You waited enough that was good, but you need a visit by a plastic surgeon for evaluation of your complaints.

M. Ryan Khosravi, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 15 reviews

You need a surgeon who can personally assess you.

Dear Morena

You have waited a full year since your liposuction. This is plenty of time to allow this area to heal. Clearly you have an issue. Without a personal examination, it is difficult to know precisely what the issue is.

Gynecologic surgeons (not all fortunately) are apparently trained to lift and sweep up the abdominal fat prior to making the low transverse abdominal incision. This effectively traps a wad of fat above the incision once it has been sutured back together. This seems to be an appalling and all too common technique.

Liposuction can be very effective in flattening these undesriable collections of fat. This is completely analgous to the so-call "mommy pooch" after a c-section. Many of these respond great to liposuction. However, remember that liposuction is an art form and some surgeons loose interest with liposuction because it does not fit their big cutter model of the world.

Normally one would expect that an area undergoing liposuction would become very firm after surgery, but this area would soften and return to its normal pre-surgical texture several months after surgery. That yours did not suggests that something else is going on. It may be related to how your abdominal wall was repaired following the myomectomy.

I would strongly recommend that you find a board certified plastic surgeon with a strong in body work.

Dr. Steinsapir

Kenneth D. Steinsapir, MD
Beverly Hills Oculoplastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

C-section scar revision or mini-abdominoplasty will probably provide superior result

I agree entirely with Dr. Shaefer.

You most likely would benefit from a scar revision.

Sometimes the problem is not the fat but a tight adherent scar similar to a tight belt that causes bulges.

The scar has an absence of fat making the area immediately above it seem more prominent. By undergoing scar revision, a layered repair of the fat, SFS, and skin will likely yield a superior result.

Of course there are other potential reasons that could explain your findings but given the limited information above, this is my educated guess.

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 82 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.