Q: Dr. Eppley, I had liposuction of my stomach and love handles three days ago. Within a day after the procedure, my genitals got really swollen and now are bruised as well. My penis and scrotum are extremely swollen, at least twice as big as they usually are. The shaft of my penis is bulging and hanging around the tip. There is bruising on the shaft that makes it look like it has gangrene. Is this normal and should I be concerned? Is there anything I can do to make it go down faster?
A: In men the most common areas to perform liposuction are the abdomen and flanks. The procedure induces a lot of trauma to the tissues underneath the skin and then the area is placed under compression with a circumferential wrap that is worn after surgery. Between this wrap and gravity, fluids including blood are forced ‘south’. Men have a convenient receptacle to receive these fluids known as the scrotum and penis. Thus it is not rare in large and aggressive amounts of male abdominal liposuction to have significant swelling and bruising of the genitalia. Because it can be quite shocking to see and always unexpected, I advise all my male liposuction patients to expect this postoperative phenomenon. It will peak at about 3 days after surgery and will be completely gone by 10 to 14 days later. It is not harmful no matter how it might look and is always a self-solving issue. There is nothing that you can do that will really hasten along its resolution.
Dr. Barry Eppley