Swelling in Feet After Liposuction

I had Liposuction 2 weeks ago and had 2.5 liters of fat removed from my knees, thighs, stomach and back and am experiencing severe bloating.

I wanted to know if swelling is normal on the feet? The swelling on my back is as hard as a rock.

Doctor Answers 6

Lower extremity (legs, calves, ankles) swelling following liposuction

Swelling of the legs and ankles is quite common following extensive liposuction to the thighs and can be aggravated by the compression garments. Unilateral (swelling and/or pain) can be a sign of a mores serious condition such as a blood clot and should be evaluated emergently. Otherwise, gentle ambulation, toes to thighs compression wear, and time will resolve the swelling.

Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 82 reviews

Post Lipo swelling

You are really talking about two things that are normal.

The feet do swell as a result of compression garments and retained fluid from surgery- this is normal and resolves over time.  Keep the feet elevated to expedite resolution of swelling.

The hardness is called induration and is really swelling between the cells, and likely some sluggish resolution of lymph fluid. It will become lumpy and bumpy until it finally heals. Compression garments help, and massage (deep tissue/lymphatic drainage) will help. Again, you need to give it more time. The good news is that your size will reduce and the detail will become evident as swelling resolves

Scott E. Kasden, MD, FACS
Dallas Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 106 reviews

Foot Swelling After Thigh and Knee Liposuction

Liposuction is an extensive sterile traumatic event. You are stabbed tens to hundreds of times with a sterile steel tube which vacuums fat from under the skin. To compress these tunnels and promote scar adherence of the skin to the underlying muscle frame we commonly use compression garments (medicalese for girdles).

The trauma of surgery results in swelling and some hardness of the tissues under the skin and swelling below the area. The garments themselves delay flow in the veins and lymphatic vessels below the garments resulting in swelling. This is common and could be alleviated with periodic loosening of the garment, massaging of the feet / calves towards the groins and either elevation of the legs or lying supine for an hour or so.

Peter A. Aldea, MD
Memphis Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 109 reviews

Swelling after Liposuction

The swelling in your feet is most likely related to the compression garments that may be constricting your ankles. Best to make sure it is not too tight in this area or get another garment that goes to your toes.

The swelling and "hardness" in your back is directly related to the trauma of liposuction procedure and should resolve in time.

The bloating is related to water retention and you should restrict salt intake, drink at least 8 - 8oz. glasses of water per day and move around.

Please call your doctor and explain these symptoms to him/her and perhaps go in for another post-op visit to help with these issues. Most of this is perfectly normal at this time and just requires some patience.

Joel B. Singer, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
3.3 out of 5 stars 35 reviews

Knee liposuction in Los Angeles

It is not uncommon to have gravity affect the swelling in your feet after liposuction. This will resolve quickly. Raffy Karamanoukian Los Angeles

Raffy Karamanoukian, MD, FACS
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 94 reviews

See Your Surgeon for Persistent Swelling of Feet after Liposuction

Much of what  you describe is expected during the recovery process after liposuction. Bruising and
swelling are normal in the suctioned areas and usually increase slightly after the removal of
any tape or foam. The bruising will decrease over 3-4 weeks, but may last as long as 6
weeks. The majority of the swelling will be gone within the first 3-4 weeks. However it may
take 6-9 months to disappear completely. The compression garment helps reduce the
swelling, and the longer it is worn, the more quickly the process will proceed. If you are
concerned or if it does not improve, speak to your plastic surgeon to get it examined.

Regarding the swelling of your feet - see your surgeon about this to see if it is from a too tight garment, expected, or potentially from other causes like a venous clot in your legs that needs treatment

Larry S. Nichter, MD, MS, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 157 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.