Lumpy, Uneven, Hard Stomach After Liposuction? (photo)

It has been 2 weeks and my stomach is getting worse as the time passes. I asked my ps but he says they will go away with time. I am afraid that this is not happening as they are getting worse. I never wore a garment because my ps did not recommended. Is this normal? My stomach was so beautiful the first week and the second week its just so disgusting :(, I know it takes time but I haven't seen any positive results from people who did have lumpiness and uneven after liposuction.

Doctor Answers 6

Abdominal Lumpiness After Liposuction

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Your abdomen looks so good after 1 week because there was still swelling present which caused the tissue to look smooth and even.  At 2 weeks, some of the swelling has gone down (edema fluid) and now you can see the pre-scar formation on your abdomen.  As you can see, the fat has separated into bands similar to the bands you had on your abdomen before the liposuction, and those were the normal folds.  You should have worn a compression garment, preferably with a piece of Reston foam over the middle portion of your abdomen to decrease this type of formation. 

Technically, there are some free fat cells which are knocked off their moorings, and they migrate both above and below your skin folds after liposuction.  These get trapped in clumps above and below skin folds held together by fluid and some blood components, and if not treated, can turn to scar tissue which may be difficult or impossible to get rid of. 

If you were my patient, even at 2 weeks, I would have you begin wearing a pressure garment with Reston foam.  I would begin you on ultrasound (the kind physical therapists use for sore muscles) 2-3 times per week, 20 minutes per session.  I would begin using DMSO immediately to decrease bruising and swelling.

There is a bigger question here.  How old are you and how many children have you had?  If you are young, i.e. under 40 and have had no children and no large weight gain or loss in your life, then possibly this question is moot.  However, if you had children, if you are older or had big weight gains or losses, then you may have been a more appropriate candidate for a skin resection to include a tummy tuck rather than a liposuction. 

Ask your surgeon about massaging the areas

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You are still early on in your recovery. The final result can usually be assessed at 3-4 months.

Ask your surgeon if you can begin massaging the area. Massage can start at a week or ten days after surgery. You can use your hands or a soft paint roller for about 20 minutes once or twice a day.

Swelling will persist up to 1 year after surgery.

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It’s not unusual for surgeons to recommend the use of compression garments following liposuction.Although the majority of plastic surgeons recommend some type of compression, there are plastic surgeons who don’t always recommend compression.It’s important to understand that every patient is unique, and for this reason the use of compression varies from patient to patient.

Patients who undergo liposuction can expect swelling, pain, firmness, lumpiness and contour irregularity following this procedure.At this point, your swelling and contour irregularity are entirely normal and should resolve with time.

Significant improvement in swelling and pain can be seen in the first three weeks following surgery, with the majority of swelling gone in about three months.Small amounts of swelling may persist up to a year following surgery.

We generally recommend a low-salt diet before and after liposuction.Exercise is usually started early in the post-operative period, and we want patients to ambulate as soon as possible following surgery.Massage is also helpful.It decreases swelling by mobilizing retained fluid following liposuction.All of these steps help to minimize the duration of swelling following surgery and ultimately improve the aesthetic result.

In your case, your physical findings are normal and should resolve with time.Compression, massage, ambulation and low-salt intake will hopefully help you get there sooner.

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Lumpy, Uneven, Hard Stomach After Liposuction

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Thank you for submitting your question. Wavy, irregular areas after laser liposuction are common and will dissipate in about 6 weeks to even as long as 6 months. Lymphatic massage and external ultrasound will help smooth out the areas faster. Good Luck and hope for a speedy recovery

Lumpy, uneven, hard stomach after liposuction

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Thank you for question and pictures. Generally speaking, it takes up six months and sometimes longer to see the final results of liposuction. You need to patient and follow your surgeon's instructions. At two weeks after surgery, you are very early in the healing process and the shape will change overtime.

Moneer Jaibaji, MD
San Diego Plastic Surgeon

Lumpy liposuction results

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Because it has been only two weeks since you had liposuction of your abdomen, I would expect you to improve dramatically as the swelling resolves completely over the next six months.  Try not to worry to much about it until that time has passed. If you still had lumps, options include revision liposuction, diet, exercise and skin removal. Good luck.

David Stoker, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 62 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.