How Long Before the Skin Looks Smooth After Liposuction?

i had a tummy tuck and liposuction done 3 weeks ago, but my skin on the area that had lipo done looks lumpy.

Doctor Answers 5

Lumpy skin after lipo

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Thank you for the question! It is rather difficult to fully evaluate your situation without an in-person exam. That being said, small lumps and other contour irregularities are not uncommon after liposuction.  Shortly after surgery, you may see collections of blood (hematomas) or pockets of fat (fat necrosis). Typically, they will resolve in 2-3 weeks along with most bruising. Keep in mind that you may continue to see lumps as a result of swelling. It will take additional 2-3 months to completely subside.  

Although some physicians recommend massaging these lumpy areas, it's effectiveness is not entirely confirmed. I'd suggest that you give it time and let healing process complete naturally. If your swelling persists months after the procedure or you begin to experience increasing discomfort, you should notify your plastic surgeon. 

Remember that an in-person exam with a board-certified plastic surgeon would be the best way to assess your situation and guarantee an individualized medical advice. Best of luck! 


Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 122 reviews

Skin over liposuction sites

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The area of treatment by liposuction may feel firm or lumpy for several months. The best thing to do is massage the areas. Sometimes this is just swelling.

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

Liposuction takes four to six months for maturation of effects

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Don't rush into secondary procedures as there often is significant improvement in the results after liposuction for four to six months.  If something is troubling you, endermologie, Velashape or external ultrasound may help.  Compression garments should be worn for a while more, possibly.

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

Healing After Liposuction

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How your skin reacts to liposuction depends on a number of factors, including the quality of the skin, the area of liposuction, and the amount of fat that had to be removed.  In general, if you have good skin quality and there was only a modest amount of fat removed, the skin should contract down nicely and any waviness or lumpiness should resolve, but it will take a few months for this to occur.

Shahram Salemy, MD, FACS
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 155 reviews

Lumpy skin after liposuction

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You won't see your final result from liposuction until 4 months out from surgery.  If you were lumpy before, you might still be after but if you weren't before, you should smooth out over time and by massaging the area.

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.