Hematoma After Liposuction and Tummy Tuck?

I had Liposuction on inner thighs, flanks, and abdominoplasty . It has been 18 days since my surgery. Last night, my left inner thigh began to hurt. It feels hard in some small areas along with very tender skin. Could this be a hematoma? Will I need to get this drained? Can I massage the area to help with whatever is going on?

Doctor Answers 4

Firm Areas after Liposuction

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First, it would be wise to follow up with your plastic surgeon as soon as you can.  With that being said, some firm areas that may be tender, are fairly common after liposuction.  The inner thighs can be prone to this, particulary after the combination of liposuction and abdominoplasty.  While a hematome and/or infection is possible at 18 days after surgery, they are both fairly uncommon at this point.  While I suspect these areas are just part of the healing phase, it is always best to play it safe, and see your surgeon very soon.  Best wishes.

Michael Vincent, MD, FACS 

Rockville Plastic Surgeon

Early post op liposuction concerns

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The hardness and tenderness you describe could indeed be old hematoma or even infection. And yes, returning to your caregiver is important to have this evaluated, no matter what "it is", at this point.

Looking back over your early post op history if you had this one area larger all along, more bruised, as well, then you could have hematoma. Did the right side ever look like the left or have they taken different courses from the beginning. Massage would not be appropriate until after consulting w/ your surgeon.

Infection would typically set in, after passing 10 days post op and would be accompanied by redness, tenderness to touch, and a fever by this point. If this is the case, please be seen quickly by your surgeon.

The other possibility is that there was some more trauma (more blood vessels broken for example...not a roughness in technique) to the area @ the time of surgery and the body, as it heals ANY surgical or non-surgical wound, is building more scar tissue in response to this. Scar tissue (collagen) is deposited beginning around 10 days post op and continuing to build out to 6 weeks post op. Internal scar tissue feels hard/firm to touch and can be tender initially. If this were to turn out to be scar tissue, then massage would be appropriate.

Steve Byrd, MD
Dallas Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 22 reviews


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Hello. I think it could be a hematoma. If the area becomes hardened and more painful  you should not massage the area and try to make an appointment with your PS . Hematomas can be treated conservatively if they are not very large. Conversely drainage will be needed with large hematomas.

Derby Sang Caputo, MD
Dominican Republic Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 99 reviews

Hematoma, Seroma or Infection

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It could be any of the above or a combination.  This is not common after liposuction so I would go see your plastic surgeon ASAP.

Good luck

Farbod Esmailian, MD
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 88 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.