Lumps & Bumps After Liposuction: How to Smooth Out Stomach?

Liposuction has been one of the world's most popular body contouring procedures for the last decade. In this operation, local fat deposits, which are resistant to diet and exercise, are removed from the body to make it look slimmer and fitter. 

Despite its numerous benefits, lipo surgery has some inevitable complications that may affect its result. In this article, we discuss one of the common side effects of this operation that almost all patients deal with, i.e., lumps and bumps. Read on to learn how to smooth out the stomach after liposuction. 

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liposuction surgery

What to Expect After Liposuction Surgery?

During the liposuction surgery, the fat walls are first melted by ultrasound, radiofrequency, or laser energy. Then, a suctioning device removes the fat cells from the body. Depending on the technique of lipo surgery, you may experience mild to severe pain, swelling, bruising, redness, skin discoloration, scarring, and lumpy skin after the procedure. The first weeks after liposuction is essential for proper recovery and obtaining desirable results. If you follow your surgeon's instructions carefully, you will have a comfortable recovery period and fewer complications. 

Liposuction Recovery

The average recovery time after liposuction is six to eight months. Although most of the bruising and pain will be subsided within two to four weeks after the operation, the swelling may persist for up to 12 months. During the liposuction recovery period, consider the following tips:

  • Avoid strenuous activities and sports such as riding a bicycle, swimming, running, climbing the stairs at a fast pace, etc.;
  • Get plenty of rest and avoid stress;
  • Maintain a healthy diet rich in lean protein, fibre, minerals, and vitamins;
  • Stay hydrated to increase your metabolism;
  • Take your pain medications and antibiotics as you have been instructed;
  • Avoid bed rest. It would be best if you took a short walk around the house every day to prevent the blood clot;
  • Be aware of the infection symptoms such as high fever, smelly and green pus coming out of the wound, and severe nausea;
  • Wear loose and comfortable clothes; 
  • Avoid sexual intercourse for two weeks;
  • Avoid smoking and drinking alcohol;
  • Do not lift, push, or pull objects heavier than five pounds;
  • Do not use hot tubs and saunas until your wounds are healed completely.

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Liposuction Recovery

Why Do I Have Lumps and Bumps After Liposuction?

 In liposuction surgery, the surgeon uses a suctioning device -called a cannula- to drain the melted fat cells. In the shape of a narrow tube, the cannula creates tunnels under your skin when it goes back and forth. These hollow spaces are filled with bodily fluid or blood, forming lumps and bumps under the skin. If the tunnels are filled with clear fluid, the body will absorb the fluid within 4 to 8 months, and the stomach gets smooth and flat. Meantime, wearing the compression garment the surgeon gives you after the surgery can reduce the bumps and help your skin settle more quickly to its underneath muscle.

However, if the hollow tunnels are filled with blood (hematoma), it takes longer for the body to eliminate excess blood accumulating in them. Most patients with localized hematoma have announced that they had a smooth belly almost 12 to 14 months after the operation. In rare cases, residual fat may remain in the operated area and form small hard spots. Mostly, these fat pockets settle down on their own, but in some cases, the patient should undergo a second operation to resolve this problem. 

How to Smooth Out Stomach After Liposuction?

Lumps and bumps are unavoidable side effects of liposuction, but you can speed up their healing process and have a smooth stomach soon after the procedure by using the following treatments:

How to Smooth Out Stomach After Liposuction?

Wearing compression garment

Perhaps the most practical way of smoothing the stomach after liposuction surgery is wearing the compression garment provided by your doctor. This garment helps the body prevent fluid build-up, minimizes the lumps and bumps, helps the skin to conform to the new contour, and subsides the swelling. You must wear the compression garment 24/7 for two weeks after the surgery and are only allowed to take it off when showering. You can only wear it at night from the third week onwards to reduce the swelling. 

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Manual lymphatic drainage massage 

The gentlest treatment for liposuction lumps and bumps is manual lymphatic drainage (MLD). This specialized massage technique helps the fluid flow through the tunnels and is processed by the lymphatic system. It also releases trapped blood cells and reduces bruising and swelling to a great extent.

Usually, the patients need four to six sessions of professional MLD, but you can also do it at home during the first four weeks following the surgery. If you have signs of infection or the operated site cannot tolerate excess pressure, manual lymphatic drainage may have countereffects and adversely impact your new contour.

Laser therapy

Laser skin tightening is another effective treatment for getting rid of lumps after liposuction. During this procedure, laser light is emitted on the skin to stimulate collagen production and tighten the skin. The tighter your skin, the sooner it adjusts to your new body contour.

Ultrasound and radiofrequency therapies

Ultrasonic therapies are mainly used when small fat pockets remain under the skin. The ultrasound or radio waves heat the fat cells, relax the tissues, help blood circulation, and smooth the stomach. 

Surgery and needle aspiration 

If fat cysts (fat necrosis) develop under the skin after lipo surgery, the surgeon has to remove them through a minimally-invasive surgery or needle aspiration operation. MRI, ultrasound examination, and X-ray can detect fat necrosis. In needle aspiration, a narrow needle is inserted into the fat cyst to extract its fat cells. In the surgical treatment, the surgeon makes small incisions on the exact location of the bumps and removes the hard spot. Fortunately, fat necrosis is a rare complication of liposuction, and it is unlikely to occur if you choose a nifty and experienced surgeon.

In liposuction surgery, the surgeon uses a suctioning device -called a cannula- to drain the melted fat cells.

FAQs About How to Get Rid of Lumps and Bumps After Liposuction

1) Will lumps go away on their own after liposuction?

Yes, the lumps and bumps may be hard and discomforting for the first few months after liposuction surgery, but they go away gradually, and the skin returns to its normal state.

2) How long does it take for my stomach to smooth after liposuction?

On average, it takes almost six months for the stomach to become smooth again; however, if you constantly wear a compression garment, stay hydrated, and do mild exercises after the surgery, your bumps will fade away sooner. 

3) How long should I wear a compression garment after liposuction?

It is generally advised to wear a compression garment for six weeks after the lipo surgery. This garment reduces the swelling, minimizes the lumpy bump, and prevents scarring after the procedure.

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