Still Swollen - 8 Month Post-Body Lift and 6 Months Post-Lipo of Thighs and Back/flanks

I had a body lift with hip/flank/back lipo 8 months ago (April) then in June had inner thigh lipo and back. I have considerable firmness and discomfort in the lower abdomen/pubis area on a regular basis. Will this go away soon? it seems like it should be done swelling but I find that during my period it gets worse and is very uncomfortable. Any suggestions as to what it is and how to best deal with the firmness? Should I still be swelling like this with almost 9 months out from the surgery?

Doctor Answers 7

Prolonged Swelling Following Massive Weight Loss Surgery

The wound healing process following lower body lift and liposuction surgery can last for over a year. Most of the swelling resolves in 6 to 8 weeks, but small amounts of swelling may persist for up to a year. These procedures inevitably interrupt lymphatic drainage and this takes time to re-establish itself. Patients can minimize swelling with compression, massage and limitations on activity level. It's important to remember that swelling is a normal part of wound healing and should resolve with time.

Significant swelling eight months following lower body lift should be evaluated by your plastic surgeon. In the vast majority of cases, this swelling is probably normal, but in a small percentage of patients, it might represent a problem. For this reason, patients with persistent swelling should discuss their situation with their plastic surgeon.

Omaha Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 194 reviews

Still Swollen - 8 Month Post-Body Lift and 6 Months Post-Lipo of Thighs and Back/flanks

Thank you for your question.  The swelling can last for up to a year after a body lift. Hard areas after liposuction can last for 6 months.  I would recommend you have an examination by your surgeon and discuss your concerns.  Best wishes. 

Jeff Angobaldo, MD
Dallas Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 108 reviews

Swelling 8 months post Body Lift

Congratulations on having undergone a 360 lower body lift with hip, flank, and back liposuction! The firmness and discomfort that you are describing is uncommon. It is especially uncommon nine months out from your surgery. The firmness that you described is most likely scar tissue. Scar tissue can take up to 24 months to stabilize. I believe your menstrual cycle makes your pain worse due to increased swelling.

I would suggest you follow up with your board-certified plastic surgeon to determine if anything can be done. If indeed these areas of firmness are scars, these scars may need to be removed. Sometimes excessive deep scars after a 360 lower body lift can be removed with liposuction or may require surgical resection.
Good luck with your weight loss journey. If you have any questions, please contact my office.

Dr. Katzen

J. Timothy Katzen, MD, FACS
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 206 reviews

Swellling after body lift

It is unusual for patients to have significant swelling eight months after a body lift, but it can happen.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

Swelling 8 months after bodylift

Eight months after surgery is a bit longer than most patients to experience swelling and firmness.However, I have seen a few patients who took up to 1 year for things to get better. Ask you surgeon about seeing a massage therapist who has experience with this or to try external ultrasound. You may also want to ask your surgeon if there is a possibility of this being due to a chronic seroma.

Karol A. Gutowski, MD, FACS
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 68 reviews

Swelling post bodylift

It is not uncommon to see edema below your abdominal incision for the first few months.   At 9 months, it appears that the lymphatic channels are taking longer than normal to re-network.   I would recommend deep tissue massage to loosen scar tissue, tight compression garments, and elevation of the extremities as much as possible to decrease swelling.

Paul S. Gill, MD
Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 85 reviews


The picture you posted seems to be shrtly after surgery, there is still significant swelling and bruising.

if you are several months after lipo, body lift (LOOKS LIKE AN ABDOMINOPLASTY)


Samir Shureih, MD
Baltimore Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 7 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.