What are the hard knots/bumps under the skin after having Cellfina?

I had Cellfina 3 wks ago and now have numerous hard bumps/knots under my skin, from 0.5 - 1 inch in size. I'm still in the recovery phase and my plastic surgeon says they're normal, so I'm not worried. However, I'm curious - what are they? If they're trapped fluid, should I do lymphatic massage? Or are they deep hematomas (I no longer have much visible bruising)? Any info on what these knots/bumps are, and anything I can do to speed their resolution, would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!

Doctor Answers 12

Cellfina Recovery

During the recovery period after treatment with the Cellfina System, fluid accumulation and tissue hardening are normal side-effects from the procedure. As patients heal from the release of the tethering bands underneath the skin, fluid accumulates and tissue begins to swell. Using compression therapy helps reduce this swelling and promote healing. As new tissue is developing, tissue hardening can develop in the treatment areas. The hardened nodules under the skin are a sign of fluid accumulation or scar tissue, and they will diminish over time. Gentle massage can be helpful for patients to minimize discomfort and accelerate the resolution of hardened tissue. Your board-certified plastic surgeon is your best resource in your recovery period. Good luck and congratulations on your procedure!

Los Gatos Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1 review

Knots post op

Cellfina is THE ONLY FDA cleared treatment for long term elimination of cellulite! It does not help with skin tightening however, so you'll need to address that after your procedure if that is something you're concerned about as well. As for the "knots" people are posting about: this is most likely the fibrous nodules that can harden after the bands have been severed. A small amount of scar tissue may form as well. Compression is important after Cellfina to minimize swelling. Warm compress and light massage daily can help these bumps to resolve faster, and will also settle any discomfort. Cellfina is only FDA cleared for treatment ton the posterior upper 2/3 thighs, and buttocks, not yet for stomach. 
I hope this helps, be well. #cellfina #cellulitereduction #bellyfat

Cellfina Recovery

Every patient will have a different response to Cellfina treatment.  This has to do with different number and size of the dimples or depressions being treated, the age of the patient, medications the patient takes, or other health conditions.  In all cases, however, it is expected there will be at least 2-4 weeks of firm or nodular tissue in the areas treated.  This is in part due to the controlled injury that the treatment requires, the body's inflammatory response, and sometimes due to bruising from the procedure.
The important thing is not to worry and be patient.  Gentle massage and light exercise may also help.  Generally, if your health permits, non-steroidal anti inflammatory medication can relieve some of the discomfort associated with these areas.  Talk to your surgeon to be sure.
Continue being ptient and you will see the benefits!  Best of luck to you.

Paul K. Holden, MD
Phoenix Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 43 reviews

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Cellfina produces cellulite improvement without stitches

Although there is no surgery with a scalpel blade, Cellfina is a minimally invasive procedure, so there is inflammation which is the normal healing process, especially felt near the insertion sites because of the movement of the needle against the skin as it's severing the collagen bands deeper in the dermis. As inflammation causes firmness temporarily, we see this commonly, and most patients don't develop unsightly scars. The insertion sites will feel firmer than the surrounding skin and over time this hardness softens.
The exception is if the patient is a keloid former. In this case, if a hypertrophic scar, keloid or post treatment darkening develops,  this may take many treatments of medication injection, laser treatment and topical therapy to improve the result.

Ronald Shelton, MD
Manhattan Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 37 reviews

What are the hard knots/bumps under the skin after having Cellfina?

Thank you for your great question! Cellfina is the only FDA approved treatment that minimizes the appearance of dimpling caused by cellulite. However, it does not treat laxity of skin that is sometimes confused to be cellulite. The bumps or knots that you are feeling on the puncture sites are not unusual. They are commonly due to the swelling of tissue or can be a small collection of fluid that typically resolves on it's own over time. Massaging can help but it's best to ask your surgeon what they recommend prior to starting any self-treatment. Remember, results get better over time so be patient!

Dan Mills, MD
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Bumps after Cellfina

Those little hard bumps are simply what we call little areas of induration - basically some inflammation and swelling as your body reacts to having the procedure.  A little light massage (usually during a warm shower) will help them go away faster, but they will go away over the next month or so.  Nothing to worry about.


There should not be anything deep.  The whole treatment takes place at 5mm to 10mm below the skin surface.  There can be fluid and blood accumulate in these areas.  Although I have not had a patient need any fluid removed this has been reported.  Follow up with your surgeon closely.  I have encourage gentle massage as well.

Post Cellfina treatment

Cellfina allows us to cut the fibrous bands responsible for cellulite. After we do so, the body forms an inflammatory response to the procedure bringing in swelling fluid, collagen and ridding the area of any accumulated blood. This is what causes the bumps you are feeling. They should get better over time and we have found massage to be helpful. Discuss with  your surgeon their routine for dealing with these areas of inflammation.

What are the hard knots/bumps under the skin after having Cellfina?

Those hard knots-bumps are just tissue swelling in most cases. They can also be small collections of fluid. Massage is always a good idea. Such bumps should be brought to your surgeons attention but they are not at all uncommon. Good luck!

Steven M. Gitt, MD, FACS (in memoriam)
Phoenix Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 36 reviews

Cellulite, Vaser Smooth, Thermi RF, Cellfina, Fat Transfer, Cellulaze, Subcision, Dimpling, Sculpsure, Coolsculpting

Cellfina is an FDA approved minimally invasive procedure that reduces the appearance of cellulite for at least two years on the buttocks and back of the thighs of women.
It works by releasing the internal bands that cause the cellulite dimpling and so we have not seen any fat atrophy. You should not see much of a difference with weight gain or loss but this also has not been studied.
Other areas of the body with dimpling, it is important to make sure it is truly cellulite before treatment.

It is common to have swelling bruising and firmness after the procedure. This can last for a few weeks.
It is different than Cellulaze which is a laser.
If you have had previous poor results with cellulaze, you can still do Cellfina.
Cellfina has shown 100% noticeable improvement and 96% satisfaction in all patients at 2 years.
Cellfina is designed to be a one time procedure.
It can be used on women with all skin types but caution should be taken if theres a history of keloiding.

It can also be combined with other treatments such as Thermi or
Ulthera if skin tightening is needed.

We have done Sculpsure and Coolsculpting if fat reduction is wanted, but its best to wait 3 months to see the results before proceeding.

It can also be done at the same time as other procedures such as liposuction and BBL or as a stand alone procedure in the office.

Since Cellfina outcomes can be based on technique and experience, please see a board certified plastic surgeon that specializes body contouring to see if Cellfina or other treatments are available to meet your goals.

Take care,

Dr Schwartz
Board Certified Plastic Surgeon
Director-Beverly Hills Breast and Body Institute

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.