Uneven Swelling on Love Handles After Liposuction?

I had a Liposuction 3  weeks ago (May 26) on my love handles. I noticed that my right love handle is gone, but the left one is not gone completely. I know I'm still swollen because I feel sore and lumpy on both sides. I still have bruising on my left love handle, but it looks fatter.

Did my doctor left some fat in this area, or is this just swelling? I believe the doctor had to work on one side more than on the other (not sure which side though), would that cause the uneven swelling?

Doctor Answers 12

Liposuction results?

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Thank you for the question.

At 3 weeks postop it is still too early to evaluate your final results. I ask patients to wait at least 2 to 3 months to assess the results of the procedure. It may take several months later for the skin to “redrape".

I would suggest continued follow-up with your plastic surgeon.

Best wishes.

Uneven swelling three weeks after liposuction

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Uneven swelling can be seen after liposuction depending on pressure of the garment, sleeping position, uneven bruising. Asymmetry over the hip can also be influenced by limb length discrepancy. The short answer is it is really too soon to tell. Rest and follow recovery instructions and give it three months.

Best of luck,


Peter E. Johnson, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 44 reviews

Uneven swelling after liposuction

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After liposuction surgery, patients can expect to experience swelling, bruising, and mild drainage. Your body is currently undergoing a recovery process after the surgery. It will take months until the swelling has resolved and you will achieve your final results. During this healing time, it is possible that you will have uneven results in an area of the body. Your best plan of action is to wear your compression garment at all times during this healing process. The garment will apply even and consistent pressure onto the treated areas so that the skin may stick smoothly onto the underlying muscle.

It's too early to tell on this

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It takes about 4 to 8 weeks to see the final results of liposuction, so don't worry yet.  It may still be naturally swollen, so this may be completely normal so far. On the other hand, if it is painful or warm, please contact your doctor as you may need treatment for an infection or collection of fluid.

Joel Schlessinger, MD
Omaha Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 50 reviews

Time Heal All

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Three weeks isn't enough time to make any conclusions about your result. There is still a modest amount of swelling and if one side had to be worked on more than the other it may have more swelling. At three weeks post op I have my patients go from wearing the garment 24 hours per day to 12 hours per day during the day. If you still have significant asymmetry after 6 months then you should discuss it with your surgeon.

I would not even consider a revision until 6-8 months after surgery.

Give it time

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It is too early to tell what your final result will be. It is not uncommon to have one side more swollen than the other after liposuction. I would give it at least three months and even six, preferably, to see your final result. If after six months there is still a marked difference I would then ask your Plastic Surgeon to see what can be done. In most cases additional liposuction will correct the asymmetry.

Robert M. Jensen, MD
Medford Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 46 reviews

Uneven Swelling

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Uneven swelling is common following liposuction. Most of the swelling will be gone in 2-3 weeks, but some firmness can last for a couple of months. You can assess your results at about the three or four month mark. You can try massaging the area with your surgeon's advice.

Asymmetric Swelling Following Liposuction

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It’s not unusual for patients to have asymmetric swelling in the immediate post-operative period following tumescent liposuction.  In most cases the majority of swelling has resolved in 4 to 6 weeks, but in some cases swelling may persist for 3 to 4 months following surgery.  Swelling can be asymmetric for a variety of reasons following surgery.  In some cases it may be positional, while in other cases it may be related to intra operative factors.

In the vast majority of patients, asymmetric swelling resolves with the passage of time.  Rarely revisional surgery is necessary, but this is unusual.  It’s important to discuss this issue with your plastic surgeon.  A little reassurance will make your post-operative experience much more tolerable.

Tumescent Lipo

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Swelling asymmetry is common after lipo as people sleep on one side or need more work on one side.  At the 6-8 week mark, you should be getting more symmetrical.  At that time consult with a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon for more guidance.

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

Swelling after liposuction

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Swelling after liposuction can persist for weeks.  The final result will probably not be realized for 6 months.  No two areas swell the same, so uneven swelling is the norm.  Be patient, it should smooth out with time.  Endermologie treatments can help to smooth the swelling and improve the results of your procedure.

David Finkle, MD
Omaha Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 82 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.