Swelling After Tumescent Liposuction?

I had Tumescent Liposuction on my upper and lower abdomen 5 days ago, is the pulling pain in my lower ab normal when i stand the first few minutes?

I also feel that my lower belly still looks the same. My upper abs look way flatter, could it be swelling? It looked perfect immediately after the procedure and it swelled for 2 days and on day 3 it looked flat, but now I am concern because it is poofy and jiggly.

Doctor Answers 14

Swelling after abdominal liposuction

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What you are describing sounds normal. The swelling and retained fluid tend to follow gravity and make your lower abdomen seem fuller. If you looked good at the time of surgery, you will most likely get that result within 2 to 3 months.

Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 76 reviews

Gravity helping you heal

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Most likely your upper tummy is flat and your lower is still puffy due to gravity pulling the remaining tumescent fluid down. We often place an extra tiny opening or two at the lower tummy specifically to allow this water to clear itself more quickly. The openings typically close in a couple of days, and what is left of the fluid will be absorbed over time. That is why it is helpful to wear your compression garment and help keep the water from accumulating in one area.

Dont worry, our bodies heal at their own rates, and it is natural for us to expect things to be moving along faster than they actually can. It is unlikely things are not going according to plan; but if you find your swelling or pain is increasing you should contact your surgeon.

Christopher J. Peers, MD
South Bend Facial Plastic Surgeon

Swelling & Healing Process Following Liposuction

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                  Patients undergoing tumescent liposuction will inevitably develop swelling and pain following this procedure.  During the procedure, the liposuction cannula is passed through the subcutaneous tissue.  This causes disruption of the lymphatic channels and cellular injury.

Significant improvement in swelling can be seen in the first three weeks following surgery, with the majority gone in about three months.  Small amounts of swelling may persist up to a year following surgery.

                  We generally recommend the use of compression support garments for about three weeks following surgery.  We also recommend a low salt diet before and after liposuction.  Exercise is usually started early in the post-operative period, and we want patients to ambulate as soon as possible following surgery.

Massage is also helpful, it decreases swelling by mobilizing retained fluid following liposuction.  All of these steps help to minimize the duration of swelling following surgery.  In your case, pain and swelling are normal and should resolve with time.  Compression massage ambulation and low salt intake will hopefully help you get there sooner.

Swelling and jiggling after liposuction of abdomen

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I am not too concerned about the pain you are describing.  Your surgery was quite recent.  The swelling should probably be evaluated by your surgeon.  If you are standing  frequently, it may be that gravity has caused the swelling (edema) after surgery to accumulate in your lower abdomen.  If this is the case, wear your garment religiously according to your surgeon's instructions, rest as much as possible and talk to your surgeon about lymphatic drainage massage.  The reason I suggest a follow up visit is the possibility of a seroma.  A seroma is a collection of fluid that sometimes needs to be drained in the office.

Andrew Jimerson, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 557 reviews

Tumescent Liposuction Results - When is the Swelling Gone?

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There are two reasons for swelling after tumescent liposcution. First, in the operating room fluid is injected into the fat to help with the fat removal and speed your recovery. Second, any surgery is a form of injury, and injury leads to swelling as part of the healing process.

The tumescent fluid goes away in about a day, and the swelling from the injury of surgery peaks at two to three days. After a few days the swelling will begin to subside. In most areas it goes away from the top down due to gravity pulling the fluid downwards. Less swelling at the top of the abdomen is normal. The other side of this coin is that there will be more prolonged swelling at the bottom of the abdomen.

It takes about three weeks for a significant amount of the swelling to resolve, but even at three weeks there is still swelling. You will usually notice the swelling continuing to decrease for about three months. If you look critically at photographs of liposuction, I can usually notice changes out to a year, but the amount of change becomes more subtle with time.

Properly fitted compression garments can be helpful to decrease swelling and discomfort after surgery. Medications, such as diuretics, are not usually helpful or recommended, but some herbal medications can be helpful with proper guidance.

Joseph Mele, MD
Walnut Creek Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

Swelling after liposuction

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Liposuction is extremely effective and popular procedure. This is because it is able to effectively recontour the body through very small incisions and with minimal downtime. When we perform this procedure, we first add water to the area that we are going to treat. This fluid allows us to remove the fat effectively and safely. After the surgery, you can expect for some of this fluid to leak through the incisions of the liposuction for the first few days. In our practice we also tell patients that immediately after the liposuction procedure, they may not notice a significant difference area this is because although a large amount of fat may have been removed, their body has begun the swelling process and they also have that extra fluid on board. As they are body pushes out that extra fluid either through the urine or through the small liposuction incisions, and as the swelling goes away on its own, you will begin to see your final result.

You still have some time before you see final results.

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Given that you are only a few days after surgery, I’d be more surprised if you didn’t notice some swelling and discomfort in the treatment area. Swelling is part of the body’s normal healing response after trauma, including liposuction surgery. Also, any remaining tumescent solution can also contribute to some of this effect. Give it a little more time and keep wearing your compression garments, and you should see noticeable improvements in your contours before too much longer. If the swelling seems to be getting more pronounced, definitely call your surgeon and schedule a follow-up.

Swelling after Liposuction?

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Thank you for your question.

At 5 days post op  It is much too early to evaluate the results of your surgery.

Swelling is part of the healing process.  I ask my liposuction patients to wear a compression garment for 4 weeks post op surgery to help with the swelling.  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.

Tumescent Lipo

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Swelling goes to the direction of gravity and swelling goes from north to south and the swelling will be in the low abdomen last.  This will resolve, but avoid sitting too much and causing a crease there.  Standing and a good compression garment is good as well.

Vivek Bansal, MD
Danville Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

Swelling after liposuction is normal

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Swelling after liposuction of any type is a normal process.  The tumescent technique for liposuction uses injection of large volumes of fluid containing local anesthetic and epinephrine to constrict the blood vessels and reduce bleeding. Much of the tumescent fluid is removed during the procedure, however, many times there is additional fluid that is left behind that can cause swelling in adjacent areas for several days.  Typically, surgical swelling reaches it peak at three days, and then dissipates gradually over the next several days to weeks.  With liposuction swelling can be prolonged due to damaged fat cells that were not removed during the procedure, loose skin which allows fluid to accumulate, or collections of blood or serum in the treatment area.  If your swelling continues to increase rather than resolve, you should see your surgeon for follow-up to make sure this is not an abnormal collection of fluid (seroma) which could require further treatment.  In most cases, the immediate result following liposuction is the best indicator of the end result.  Good luck to you.  

Steven L. Ringler, MD, FACS
Grand Rapids Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 72 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.