Lumpy and Bumpy 4 Weeks Post-facial Liposuction: Will Massage Help?

I had facial liposuction 4 weeks ago on the area under my chin, neck and "jowls." I am 33 and it looks pretty good. There is some swelling still and it feels lumpy or tight under the skin in some areas. The doctor recommend doing light massage on it at this point. Can using a Clarisonic help? What kind of massage/technique should I do and how often? When will the swelling subside?

Doctor Answers 8

Lumpiness after chin liposuction is usually temporary

'Lumps and bumps' after neck liposuction (or any liposuction procedure for that matter) are not uncommon.  These are contour irregularities that may last up to several months -- rarely are these irregularities permanent.  Using your thumbs to massage the relevant areas is an excellent start to obtaining smooth results.  Occasionally, small aliquot steroid injections may be necessary to hasten resolution.  In our practice, we use radiofrequency-based laser devices 3 weeks post-operatively to soften and massage out any irregularities.  This is highly effective as improvements can be seen immediately -- and there is no downtime!

Los Angeles Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 4 reviews

Massage will help lumpy bumpy skin 4 weeks after Face, Neck, Chin and Jowl Liposuction

Swelling and skin irregularities and lumpy bumpy skin, also called skin contour irregularities, are the most common complaint following Liposuction.

They can be temporary or permanent.

Skin contour irregularities can be more common after liposuction in areas of thin skin such as the face, chin, neck or jowls and also after Liposuction in any area in thin fit people who do not have a lot of fat beneath the skin.

Warm compresses and massage usually help resolve temporary skin irregularities or lumpy bump skin after Liposuction.

Most temporary irregularities are caused by collections of blood and fluid and partially damaged and inflamed  fat and will resolve with massage by 2-3 months. You should see some improvement immediately after massage.

There are however some skin irregularities which become permanent.

If the Liposuction has been done non uniformly, it is possible that lumps of fat left behind can produce permanent lumpy bumpy areas which can only be improved by secondary Liposuction. Areas needing further Liposuction treatment are not evident, and should not be treated until at least 6 months or a year has elapsed to allow time for temporary irregularities to resolve.

Temporary skin irregularities tend to be firmer, often tender and do not feel soft like fat.

Chin Strap & Massage Following Neck Liposuction

It’s not uncommon for patients to develop lumps and bumps following liposuction of the neck.  During the liposuction procedure a cannula is repeatedly passed through the neck subcutaneous tissue which removes cores of fat and creates a series of tunnels.  This process disrupts the neck lymphatics and also causes cellular injury.  This predictably causes swelling, scarring and bleeding which causes the lumps and bumps that are frequently seen following this procedure.

The vast majority of lumps and bumps have resolved in 2 to 3 weeks following surgery, but it’s not unusual for them to persist for several months. For this reason, we generally recommend the use of a chin strap and massage following neck liposuction.

Massage is easily accomplished by gently rolling your fingers across the area.  In some cases warm compresses can be utilized to facilitate this process.  The majority of patients respond to these maneuvers with flattening of the areas of bumpiness.

When patients fail to respond to massage residual fat may be the cause.  Under these circumstances, additional liposuction may be necessary.

It’s important to be patient and maintain good communication with your surgeon.  Your surgeon should be able to help manage your lumps and bumps and alleviate your anxiety.

Richard J. Bruneteau, MD
Omaha Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 194 reviews

Lumpy after neck lipo

You are early in the healing process. It is normal for the colors of bruises to change as they heal. Its always best to have the strap on to reduce fluid accumulation. Swelling can remain for many months and the skin softens over time as well. Massage can also be helpful. Every plastic surgeon is just a bit different in terms of their post op protocol so make sure to check with your plastic surgeon before intialting any reatment recommendations from this post.

Raj S. Ambay, MD
Tampa Plastic Surgeon
4.3 out of 5 stars 35 reviews

Chin Liposuction

Use a massage technique that is not too aggressive, and inflammatory.  I doubt the Clarisonic is going to help you to any significance, other than cleaner skin.  We have people massage gently 2-3 minutes, and do this 3-4 times a day.

Vivek Bansal, MD
Danville Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

Lumpiness after chin and neck liposuction

Your swelling and lumpiness will likely last a few months. Massage to the area 3-4 times per day with your thumb in an upward and outward direction will help. You can use a clarisonic as it may break up the swelling faster.

Gary D. Breslow, MD, FACS
Paramus Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 44 reviews


The lumpiness after liposuction can occur.  Massage is an effective method to help lesson these areas.  There are no recommended techniques or devices.  Usually, just the good old fashion use of your or someone else's hands will do.

Dr. ES

Lumpiness after chin liposuction

Massage after liposuction is most often a good idea.  It helps with the swelling and with the lumpiness that you may notice immediately postoperatively.  For other parts of the body, we have been using Smooth Shapes and/or Cellupulse treatments to soften areas that remain firm after liposuction.   

Allan J. Parungao, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 40 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.