3 Weeks Post-op After Cellulaze and my Feet and Ankles Are Still Swollen?

Three weeks ago I had Cellulaze done on the front of both thighs, left outer thigh and buttocks. I have been wearing a compression garment 24/7. Four days post-op, the swelling went to my ankles and feet. I had it done by one of the docs in the trials, so I went to an experienced doc. Is this normal to still have this kind of swelling? I can't even wear capri pants and it's in the 80's here. I'm getting scared my lymph nodes were damaged and this is permanent. Please advise. Thanks.

Doctor Answers 10

Swelling after Cellulaze

Swelling can occur depends on many factors. Your personal medical health, high blood pressure, kidney issues, a fluid retainer, etc. The aggressiveness of the CELLULAZE delivery in watts and joules. Not wearing the compression garments + Topifoam correctly or long enough. Or a combination of these issues. If you were my patient I would place you and lower extremity elevation, mild diuretic, salt intake restriction, blood pressure monitoring. Maybe best to discuss these options with your doc. Follow up would be nice. 

Miami Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 174 reviews

Cellulaze Swelling

It is normal for gravity to pull the swelling down to your ankles and feet.  The swelling should be subsiding some, but you may benefit from a lymphatic massage to help move the fluid through.  Give the recovery process a few more weeks, and the consult your surgeon if you continue to have concerns.

Jeffrey W. Hall, MD
Austin Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 19 reviews

Swelling after Cellulaze

It is normal to still be swollen 3 weeks after cellulaze. Give yourself a few more weeks for the swelling to go down you will also see your final results in 3-6 months.

Bruce E. Katz, MD
New York Dermatologic Surgeon
3.8 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

Swelling of feet and ankles 3 weeks after Cellulaze

It's not uncommon to experience swelling of lower extremities after Cellulaze procedure. It's important to see if your swelling improving or worsening. You can measure the circumference of your ankles to make sure it's not getting worse. In my experience, very early swelling may be related to ill-fitting compression garment and prolonged standing. It's uncommon to have permanent lymph nodes damage after a properly performed Cellulaze procedure. Massage therapy and elevation of your lower legs should help. Make sure that your surgeon is aware of your conditions and helps you monitor your progress.

Best wishes,

Stewart Wang, MD, FACS
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

Swelling in feet and ankles after Cellulaze

Hello and thanks for the question, Carol.  The swelling in the ankles was caused by a couple of things - one is that I guess your garment goes to the knees or just below them.  Also gravity is working against you.  Since the garment is tight, it can decrease the amount of removal of fluid from below the knees through the skin and lymphatic system.  This happens also after liposuction and for a brief time when sitting in a long airplane ride. Compression stockings that start at your toes will help "push" this fluid back out of the lower extremities.  I hope this helps and best of luck.  Robert Kratschmer, MD

Robert Kratschmer, MD
Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 36 reviews

Swelling following Cellulaze

I would definitely agree with what Drs. DiBernardo and Blinski.  Though minimally invasive, swelling from what has occurred below the skin's surface can last quite some time following surgery. (In some cases 6-8 weeks) Don't be alarmed but do follow up with the surgeon that performed your procedure. Continue to wear your compression garments  (and make sure you have sufficient compression) and keep your legs elevated when you are sitting. You may consider Smoothshapes or lymphatic massage to help mobilize fluids and swelling.  Many of our patients have found this very helpful.

Good luck~

Dr. Grant Stevens 

Grant Stevens, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 147 reviews

Swelling after Cellulaze

This is normal.  Depending the number and size of areas treated and your healing potential, the swelling can persist up to 8 weeks.   Please followup with your PS for a checkup.

Dr. Basu

Houston, TX

C. Bob Basu, MD, FACS
Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 211 reviews

Swelling can be expected after Cellulaze but should resolve

Cellulaze is performed in the top 2mm of the skin.  The larger lymphatic vessels are deeper. Having said that, Dr Blinsky gives good advice as to what to do.  It seems as though you had a fair number of sectors done whichwill lead to swelling,...althought the compression garments hold back the swelling in the treated area, they can also push the fluid down into the feet  aided by gravity.


Barry E. DiBernardo, MD
Montclair Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 50 reviews

Check back with the doctor who did your Cellulaze procedure

Swelling may last a long time in the lower extremities after procedure such Cellulaze or Liposuction.  If you are concerned, check back with the doctor who did your procedure.

Mark Taylor, MD
Salt Lake City Dermatologic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 18 reviews

Swelling after Cellulaze

Cellulaze is a minimally invasive surgical procedure, therefore after the treatment there will be some swelling, a little soreness and some bruising. I would suggest scheduling an appointment with the doctor who performed the treatment to ensure that this is just a side effect of the treatment. Best of luck.

Daniel Shapiro, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 107 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.