Why Do I Suddenly Look Pregnant After Abdominal Liposuction??

I had abdominal/lovehandle liposuction two weeks ago and loved my results when I had my tape and compression garment taken off one week post op. My results have only been improving, however, today I looked under my garment and my stomach looks so bloated! It looks like I'm pregnant. Two days ago I had to take my compression garment off for two hours while the laundry was getting done. Could this be the reason? Is it possible that the fat came back?? thank you!

Doctor Answers 9

Why Do I Suddenly Look Pregnant After Abdominal Liposuction?

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What you are seeing a recurrence of some of the swelling, it is not a return of the fat. That can happen, and although the compression is important, it can even happen when wearing the garments. You will, in time, return to the appearance you had when the tape and garments came off initially.

Las Vegas Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 27 reviews

Why Do I Suddenly Look Pregnant After Abdominal Liposuction

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Thank you for submitting your question. Liposuction in the first few weeks will result in mild pain, Swelling and bruising. Minimize activities and use of a compression binder will help with the immediate swelling. Final results will take 6-12 months.  Discuss your concerns with your plastic surgeon. Best Wishes

Swelling, not fat returning

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The fat wouldn't come back, since it's been permanently removed. What you're seeing is swelling, and it will get better. Continue to wear your garment as advised.

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Significant increase of swelling noted at 2 weeks post liposuction

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The "sudden" increase in the size of your abdomen two weeks following liposuction may just represent normal swelling. This can persist for several more weeks or more before beginning to subside. Less likely though possibly, this could also represent an abnormal fluid accumulation known as a seroma; even rarer - a hematoma.

You may want to discuss this situation with your surgeon. 

Steven Turkeltaub, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 33 reviews

Liposuction and swelling

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Swelling is quite common after liposuction and you have to give it a few months to settle down.  It usually gets better with time.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Swelling after liposuction

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 Swelling in the abdomen two weeks after liposuction can be very normal.  Reasons can include:

  1. Routine swelling
  2. Removing the compression garment
  3. Increasing your activity level (or exercise)
  4. A pocket of trapped fluid (seroma)
  5. A pocket of blood (hematoma)

Check with your surgeon to make sure it is not something that needs to be treated, such as a seroma or hematoma.

It is not possible for the fat to come back in the areas treated with liposuction two weeks after surgery.

Michael S. Hopkins, MD (retired)
Albuquerque Plastic Surgeon

Fullness after liposuction

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If you have sudden fullness after liposuction, you may have a seroma (fluid collection) or less likely a hematoma (blood collection).  In either case, you should contact your doctor and be seen.  They most likely can drain the fluid in the office with local anesthesia.  


Good Luck.


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The fat does not come back and it is too early to accumulate new fat in the remaining fat cells. It is normal for patients to see swelling after they remove the garment. This will decrease gradually over 6-8 weeks. Sometimes patients get a fluid collection or hematoma. You would need to be seen by your doctor to determine this.

Liposuction Results?

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Thank you for your question.

You are likely experiencing swelling which is part of the healing process ( a you should your surgeon to rule out seroma).  The swelling can take months to subside and even longer for skin to “redrape".  At that point you will see the final results. 

Best Wishes.

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.