Large and Very Hard Lump After Smart Lipo

I had Smart Lipo 3 months ago, and I now have a huge and very hard lump on my abdomen, but it's not painful. My doctor said to massage and it will go away. I was completly flat after surgery, and then around 6 weeks post-op, this lump came up. Is it normal for it to come up that late? Will it go away by 6 months like my doctor says? Please help!

Doctor Answers 2

Difficult to say without an exam...

Hi there-

It is very difficult to know what might be happening without an examination...

In my opinion, SmartLipo is not as great an option as the manufacturer and their marketing machine would have people believe... Having used lasers for liposuction, as well as all other options available, I do not think that the laser devices are as safe and effective as alternatives...

This is further complicated by the fact that it seems most providers performing SmartLipo are not certified by The American Board of Plastic Surgery, but rather are physicians trained in gynecology, ophthalmology, or some other specialty, meaning they "trained" in the techniques for liposuction (because SmartLipo IS a type of liposuction) over the course of a couple of days or weeks, rather than the years a plastic surgeon spends training in liposuction...

So, it is often difficult to know if poor outcomes from SmartLipo are the result of the technology not being as safe (which I do believe), or because the technique of the surgeon was poor (which is also often the case).

If your surgeon is not a plastic surgeon, I would recommend that you find a surgeon Board Certified by The American Board of Plastic Surgery and have an exam.

Orlando Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 157 reviews

Smart Lipo Hard Lumps - Cause and Treatment

Massage can help manage firm lumps and bumps following liposuction to a varying degree. If the reason for this firm area is because of residual edema (called induration) then it will likely be gone by 6 months. Other causes may be from a localized seroma, liquefied fat pocket, or a fat deposit that did not survive. 

Therapeutic or "lymphatic massage" may be helpful following  a  Liposuction (Smart Lipo, Vaser, Tickle lipo, or conventional lipo) to minimize swelling and resolve some of these firm areas.. Make sure your surgeon feels that you have healed sufficiently  and it is safe before doing this.  Endermologie is also very helpful after liposculpture/liposuction but again, not critical.  Although deep tissue massage following liposuction can aid in smoothing out  contour irregularities that invariably accompany this procedure it has limited effect on the final outcome and  is NOT mandatory. Some plastic surgeons recommend it to all  patients as they feel the edema resolves faster.  Ask your surgeon to show you or a significant other how to do this if cost is an issue. Typically they will have you massage toward areas of maximum lymphatic drainage ( for example groin or armpits) A low sodium diet may also be helpful early on.

Larry S. Nichter, MD, MS, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 154 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.