Lipo 360, also known as 360 liposuction, is a body contouring procedure that removes fat from the midsection, waist, abdomen, back, flanks and hips. It is an invasive procedure that requires anesthesia and involves small incisions for the insertion of the cannula to suction out fat.
After lipo 360, it is normal for the treated areas to feel hard and swollen as the inflammation from the trauma of liposuction heals. The hardness is caused by swelling, inflammation and post-surgical edema. This is a normal part of the healing process. The hardness typically begins to subside within a few weeks, but it can take 2-3 months for the areas to completely soften.
How long does post-lipo 360 hardness last?
The duration that your stomach will remain hard after lipo 360 depends on several factors:
Amount of fat removed
The more fat that is removed, the more inflammation and swelling will occur during healing. Removing larger amounts of fat means a longer period of hardness in the treated areas.
Number of areas treated
With lipo 360, multiple areas are treated – the abdomen, flanks, back and hips. Treating more zones means a greater amount of trauma and inflammation, leading to increased hardness that lasts longer. Focusing on fewer areas may result in a shorter period of hardness.
Your body’s healing capability
The time it takes for your body to recover and the swelling to subside is highly individualized. Some patients’ bodies rebound faster than others. Your age, genetics, health, diet and other factors affect healing.
Use of compression garments
Wearing tight compression garments as instructed after surgery helps minimize swelling and encourages the skin to retighten. This can help reduce hardness more quickly. Not wearing compression consistently can prolong swelling.
Typical duration of post-lipo 360 hardness
Most patients experience the following general timeline of hardness:
First 1-2 weeks
The treated areas will be extremely firm, swollen and mildly painful for the first week or two. This is when the hardness will be most pronounced. Moving gingerly is recommended.
The hardness should begin improving during weeks 2-6 but may still be considerable. Bruising may be visible. Numbness is normal. Swelling will make clothes fit tighter.
6 weeks to 3 months
From 6 weeks to 3 months, swelling continues to subside. The firmness in the abdomen, back and flanks progressively improves. You’ll start to see results as the areas soften.
From 3-6 months, most residual hardness has resolved. The areas should have a soft, natural feel and you see your final contours. The results continue to improve during this time.
Tips for dealing with post-lipo hardness
Here are some tips for managing the firmness and swelling after lipo 360:
Wear your compression garment
Wearing compression 24/7 as directed for the first several weeks is essential to minimize hardness. Follow your surgeon’s instructions on when you can begin reducing wear.
Drink plenty of fluids like water and electrolyte drinks to stay hydrated. This helps reduce swelling. Avoid alcohol which can prolong swelling.
Take medications as directed
Pain relievers, antibiotics and other medications prescribed by your surgeon should be taken fully and on schedule to help with recovery.
Avoid strenuous activity
Activities like heavy lifting, bending, straining and vigorous exercise can worsen swelling and hardness. Follow your surgeon’s guidelines on when you can resume exercise.
Do light massage and lymphatic drainage
Gentle massage and lymphatic drainage techniques can help encourage edema to drain from the treated areas after a few weeks. Ask your surgeon when this is appropriate.
Eat an anti-inflammatory diet
Focus on eating fresh whole foods like fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, healthy fats and anti-inflammatory herbs and spices to help the healing process. Avoid salt, processed foods, sugar and saturated fats which can worsen inflammation.
It takes time for your body to fully recover after liposuction trauma. Allow your body to heal and don’t get discouraged if hardness persists a bit longer than expected.
When to call your surgeon
You should call your plastic surgeon promptly if you experience any of the following:
– Extreme swelling that is sudden or comes on rapidly
– Significant increase in pain that medication cannot control
– Areas that feel very tender, hot or show redness
– Drainage from the incisions that has an odor or is pus-like
– Fever over 100.4°F
– Bleeding that is heavy or will not stop
– Loss of feeling for more than 24 hours
– Leg numbness, pain or warmth that could indicate a blood clot
These could indicate an infection or other complication that needs medical care. Most side effects resolve without intervention, but it’s safest to have severe symptoms assessed.
Results and satisfaction after lipo 360 hardness subsides
It understandably can be discouraging to have firmness and swelling for weeks after lipo 360. However, once this dissipates, most patients are very happy with their improved contours and smooth results. Areas will feel softer and natural.
Here are some of the results and satisfaction patients experience after the post-lipo 360 hardness resolves:
Slimmer, more defined waistline
Removing fat from the abdomen, back and flanks creates a slimmer, more sculpted waistline. This is more visible as the swelling goes down.
Smoothed bulges and problem spots
Stubborn fat bulges that diet and exercise did not improve are smoothed. Problem areas like love handles and back fat have a more contoured appearance.
Better proportion and balance
Removing fat from 360 degrees around the midsection creates better overall body proportion and a balanced figure.
Having an improved midsection that looks fit and toned can greatly boost self-confidence. Clothes fit better and you feel better in your body.
Motivation to stay healthy
Seeing your sculpted results after recovery motivates many patients to eat right and stay active to maintain their new figure.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why does my stomach feel so stiff and swollen after lipo 360?
This hardness in the abdomen, back and flanks is normal postoperative swelling and inflammation from the trauma of liposuction. It takes time for this to resolve as your body heals.
When will I be able to resume my normal activities after lipo 360?
Light normal activities can usually be resumed in 1-2 weeks but your surgeon will provide specific guidelines. More strenuous exercise/activity should be avoided for about a month.
How long should I wear my compression garment after lipo 360?
Your surgeon will direct you on how long to wear compression. Most recommend wearing it 24/7 for 2-6 weeks, then reducing to just during the day for another month or two to help control swelling.
Will I need a second lipo 360 procedure if my stomach doesn’t get flat enough?
It’s best to allow 6 months to see your final results and allow all the swelling to resolve. Many patients are happy with just one procedure. A skilled surgeon can help determine if a revision is recommended.
Can I combine lipo 360 with a tummy tuck for more dramatic results?
Yes, a tummy tuck combined with 360 liposuction can provide more skin tightening and dramatic contouring results. It does involve a longer recovery though.
The hardness you experience in the abdomen, flanks, back and other treated areas after lipo 360 is normal post-surgical swelling that takes time to subside. Most patients need 2-3 months for the firmness to resolve and the final contours to appear, but the timeline varies by individual. Following your surgeon’s instructions can help minimize the duration of hardness during your recovery. Being patient through the healing process allows you to enjoy your slimmer, smoother results long-term.