Q : I had liposuction in December and still have pain in my stomach. Also I have an ugly lump under my chin after my liposuction and facelift. Have you seen such chin lumps before?
A: While liposuction doesn’t look like much from the outside, what goes on inside is quite extensive and traumatic to the fatty tissues. While liposuction can be very effective at fat removal and contouring, full recovery is not quick and really takes time often as long as three months to four months.
As part of this prolonged recovery process, there are some very typical aches, pains, and irregularities which one will experience. While liposuction is not acutely painful, soreness and discomfort persist at different intensities over time. As one gets more active and moves about more, twinges of shooting pain and tightness will occur. This is the stretching out and breaking loose of scar tissue that has formed as a result of the procedure. The skin over any liposuction-treated area will also be numb. Full feeling will return but again will take months. Some of the those shooting pains may also be nerves that are healing and re-establishing feeling.
One of the very common sequealae of liposuction is the temporary areas of lumpiness or irregularities that will be felt. These are collections of dead fat, scar and blood that have accumulated in an area. These feel very firm and painful to manipulate or massage. They are extremely common in the neck area because of the thinner neck skin and being an easy place to accumulate in the center of the neck. With time, they will get softer and eventually go away. The neck can get quite indurated after liposuction and will create fullness that temporarily distorts the good result that was seen at the end of surgery. One can massage the neck area several times a day which will help soften it faster.
The recovery after liposuction is a prolonged process and patience is definitely needed. I would not judge the final outcome until you are six months out after your surgery.
Dr. Barry Eppley