Lumps after liposuction are not uncommon. These lumps are more common in large areas, such as the stomach, back, and thighs.
Patients may have skin irregularities (similar to extreme cellulite) for two weeks following their liposuction procedure, and this may even last for a few months.
Lumps after liposuction are more common in older people and those with poor skin elasticity. Skins with stretch marks are more prone to post-liposuction irregularities.
What causes lumps after lipo?
The most common cause of lumps and bumps after lipo is the accumulation of fluid under the skin, which in turn causes swelling, or inflammation. While a liposuction procedure is underway, many tunnels are created under the skin by the cannula. These hollow spaces are filled with bodily fluids, which causes irregular swelling, hence the bumpy skin surface.
These tunnels gradually collapse with the help of the compress garment, which presses the skin down and helps it settle down and fit the underlying musculature.
In some cases, bumpiness might be caused by localized hematoma (blood accumulation under the skin). This takes up to one year to improve, when the blood is absorbed, or can be surgically removed.
Other liposuction lumps are residual fat that remains after liposuction. These are small bumps and gradually settle down. A secondary liposuction procedure can also solve this problem.
Additionally, a lack of skill on the part of the surgeon increases the chance of occurrence of dimpling and lumpiness in liposuctioned areas.
How to treat lumps after lipo?
Lumps typically don’t last long. The passage of time is the best treatment for post-liposuction dimpling, but there are some treatments that can help the skin flatten out faster. Some of them are:
- Laser skin tightening
- Radiofrequency therapy
- Ultrasound therapy
Massage can improve the bumpy appearance of the skin. A special form of massage called manual lymphatic drainage therapy is prescribed by some doctors to help the patient recover faster from surgery and get rid of swelling and fibrosis (scar tissue formation) sooner.
A manual lymphatic drainage massage can help you get rid of lumps after lipo faster.
Laser skin tightening, as another option for smoothing out skin after liposuction, is a non-invasive treatment that uses infrared light to tighten skin and cause the skin to contract by heating the collagen under the skin’s surface.
If after 3-4 months you still have bumps and lumps on the liposuctioned areas, they may be because of fat death (necrosis). See a specialist for a diagnosis of the condition. The specialist may ask you to have an x-ray, ultrasound test, or MRI to find out if the lumps are caused by fat necrosis.
Fat necrosis often improves over time, but sometimes you may need treatment. Two effective treatment options for fat necrosis are needle aspiration and surgical removal of the lump.
The needle aspiration involves inserting a thin needle into the body to drain the oily content produced by the fat necrosis. If the lump is too large to be removed using the needle aspiration technique or it is located in a difficult-to-access place, the surgeon may prefer to remove the lump surgically.