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It's Been One Month Since I Had Smart Lipo on my Full Stomach, Back, Love Handles and I'm Bigger Now Why?

I have been on a diet and just started to slowly get back into working out because that was what I was told. I wear my compression garment religiously. After surgery I was much smaller and it seems as time has gone by I'm more swollen and don't understand why?

Doctor Answers 6

Bigger after Smartlipo

Swelling starts to occur in the tissues treated by Smartlipo about one day after the procedure, so you look great immediately afterward and worse at one month.  It can take up to 6 months for all swelling to dissipate, but much of it will probably be gone by 8-10 weeks.

Woodland Hills Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 3 reviews

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Smart Lipo recovery time

Most patients are still swollen one month in. It may not look swollen from the outside but under the skin is still disturbed and will take so time to fully heal.

Bruce E. Katz, MD
New York Dermatologic Surgeon
3.5 out of 5 stars 15 reviews

Smart Lipo is a trade

We like to tell patients its a trade. They trade us those nasty fat cells, and we trade them water. Everyone certainly leaves bigger than when they came in

Timing wise -

The water absorbed during the lipo procedure will take a few weeks to excrete.  

Following this the post-op swelling from the lipo will disappear as the body heals.

Finally, the collagen stimulation from the laser will begin to kick in after a few months.

So you will likely start off bigger, and continue to reduce over about 5 to 6 months as you progress from one stage of healing to the next..  What a wonderful time to do some lifestyle changes along with the smart lipo, and look like a million bucks.

Christopher J. Peers, MD
South Bend Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

Liposuction and swelling

Swelling after liposuction is quite common.  This can take several months to improve. Give it more time, but if concerned, see your surgeon.

Steven Wallach, MD
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 18 reviews

Swelling after liposuction

Assuming fat was removed in the process, you should be fine!   One month is early, and some patients retain more fluid and swelling than others.  It can take 6 months for all the final swelling to resolve, and it is important to maintain your weight (or lose) during this process - not gain.  Salty food or high carbohydrate foods can cause you to retain more fluid, so avoiding this may help.  Too much activity too early on (and not wearing your compression garment) can also keep swelling around.  Be patient and good luck!

Michelle Spring, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 26 reviews


All patients are different. Swelling and retained numbing fluid causes the swelling in the short term, Be sure to wear your garments and begin now to look at exercise and diet control.

David A. Bray, Sr., MD
Los Angeles Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 6 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.