Pain, swelling, and sloshing feeling in back. Any suggestions?

I had smart Lipo(back, flanks, abs) five days ago and still in extreme pain. I have an area (bottom back) feels like it sloshes when I walk and burns extreme pain when I lay down. Very heavily bruised with 4L removed under general anesthesia. I was hoping to go back to work today but there is no way I can get off the strong pain meds. Shall I see my doctor ASAP or is this normal? I'm not sure what amount of pain I should still be in five days post opp. Thank you.

Doctor Answers 6

Pain, swelling, and sloshing feeling in back. Any suggestions?

YES see your chosen operative surgeon TODAY!. I usually see my postop Lipo and SmartLipo patients within 2 to 3 days of surgery! Pain postoperatively is a very subjective issue. So in person follow ups help alleviate this anxiety.

Visit Your Doctor

It certainly sounds like a trip to see your surgeon is appropriate. While each patient perceives pain differently, the fact that you don't yet feel well enough to go back to work is a red flag. Please give your doctor's office a call as soon as you can to get to the bottom of what's causing your symptoms. I suspect that you may have a seroma that can easily be addressed with drainage which often relieves the pain as well. This is an uncommon, but well described side effect of liposuction which, by the way, is the reason we have our patients wear compression garments.

Kevin M. Johnson, MD, FACS
Spokane General Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 15 reviews

I think the sloshing sensation will be fine

i think it is a good idea to see your surgeon to check you out.

i have done almost 600 Smartlipos and they are never done under GA. Rather i do them under straight local in the office or with some oral sedation. 
all of my patients go back to work the next day. 
you are definitely experiencing more pain than is normal. 
i have never had a seroma and it would be very unusual. you should see your dr to have this checked out.
4 liters is a very large amount to remove. 
pain is subjective. i think it definitely helps to move around and walk etc immediately after surgery and to shower the next day etc. the worst thing you can do is spend almost all of your time in bed. that makes it worse.

try and force yourself to get up and walk around and get some fresh air outside etc. 

your pain will get better and you will probably be pleased with the results. 
remember you will keep improving for 6  months. .

hang in there.
david berman md

David E. Berman, MD
Sterling Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 76 reviews

Significant pain after smartlipo

I am sorry that you are having issues about your procedure and thanks for sharing your question. I can appreciate your concern.

Definitively, communicate with your doctor. You may have significant fluid collection that may need to be addressed.

Wishing you the best in your journey

Needs a recheck

The sloshing sound sounds like a seroma is developing.
This will need drainage soon.
Best to call your doctor to get this done.
Best wishes.

Trapped fluid can produce your symptoms

This is the typical presentation of fluid trapped within the tissues. If it sloshes, it's a pocket of fluid that needs to be drained. See your surgeon. It won't improve on it's own.

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.