Post Liposuction Lumps and Ripples

After liposuction some people experience subcutaneous lumps, ripples and internal scarring that cause the contour of the body to be uneven.

One of the most important things to remember is that liposuction is surgery in which the surface below the outside of the skin is peeled away from the surface below to cause a pocket into which the cannula can go to suck out the fat.

All surgery, no matter how light or intensive, causes trauma to the body which can give rise to scaring.

I see many cases in my clinic who, a few weeks after liposuction, have large lumps under their skin which do not seem to go away. They can be uncomfortable, painful, and unsightly and even at times give rise to infection – and this is apart from the normal bruising that occurs post-liposuction.

Sometimes I see people who have had liposuction more than a year previously and still have these subcutaneous lumps and scarring.

In some parts of the world the drains are left in after liposuction and a drainage massage is done for up to three days to pump out the lessened fat and any fluid. After the drain is taken out lymphatic drainage massage is continued daily for maybe a week.

Unfortunately in many wealthier countries this does not happen because it blows out the cost of the procedures too much and beyond what the average person would pay.

This frequently leads to many surgeons not even mentioning the post-liposction massages and drainage lessens complications and produce a smoother result.

In other cases people just don’t want to spend the money on after care. This can lead to frequent complications, making the area look far worse than it did before the liposuction.

What also tends to happen is that the longer someone leaves the problem, the more difficult it is to remedy and sometimes that scarring becomes so difficult to move that a second surgery needs to be carried out to surgically remove the scarring and encapsulation.

Complications include:

  • Subcutaneous lumps
  • Rippling of the skin and body contour
  • Pain
  • Sensitivity when moving
  • The cannula pocket failing to close, causing an internal space that fills up with fluid or fat
  • The fat solidifies
  • Misalignment of tissues as they heal, causing a form of fibrotic addictions
  • Infection and cellulitis
  • Coagulation of floating fat increases where the post-liposuction garment creases into the body
  • A deep sense of unhappiness and fear about the results


Prevention and remedy:

  • If possible choose a surgeon who fully informs you about aftercare when having liposuction
  • Set aside a budget to cover aftercare costs
  • Find a body worker who really understands how to dissolve problematic liposuction lumps and ripples
  • If your surgeon keeps the drains in afterwards, comply with their massage requirements
  • If your surgeon does not keep the drains in, start massages 10 days after surgery to allow for wound healing
  • Have lymphatic post-liposuction drainage massage at least two times a week for six weeks to prevent lumps, ripples, scarring and fibrotic adhesions forming
  • If lumps, ripples, scarring and fibrotic adhesions have formed then you must have a massage three times a week
  • In difficult cases have a massage three times week for 12 weeks to break down the lumps
  • Remain in a state of liver cleansing during this time so the fats can be expelled from the body


The more fat that is sucked out during the surgical liposuction, the greater the bruising and trauma to the body and the greater the risk of complications.

The results of liposuction can be stunning and dramatic and give the body the shape you desire. However, it’s important to remember the after care is just as important as the liposuction in getting those good results and avoiding complications.

Tracie O’Keefe is an aesthetician, body worker and naturopath who started working with fat reduction techniques back in 1970 and has helped hundreds of people avoid and remedy post liposuction complications.

Book your post-liposuction massage in Sydney at our clinic by calling 02 8021 6429


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