Lipo and Swelling

I had Lipo on Tuesday and have been suprised at the pain. I had a TT in February and was at work in ten days,so I have a pretty high pain tolerance. My question is that I am swelling..alot My feet and lower legs look huge. I know some swelling is ok and I always retain a little water that I take lasix for. Has anyone experience alot of swelling? Have you tried any natural remedies? I had my back, thighs and Bottom done. I am wearing a VERY snug compression garment that goes to my knees.

Doctor Answers 11

Lipo and Swelling

Very rare to have " alot' of swelling but can occur. You need to consult with your chosen surgeon FIRST. before you undertake any self treatments, like Lasix. 

Liposuction - Swelling at 10 Days, Is This Cause for Concern?

Hi Brina1234,

Swelling after liposuction is common and, in general, the more you have done and the lower down the work is done, the more prolonged and dramatic the swelling will be.  It is entirely to be expected that with the lipo of the areas you describe that you'll have swelling that will persist.  It takes several weeks to months for the swelling to go down and much longer to see the final results (4-6 weeks for 85%, 3 months for 95% and 6 months for all - or sometimes even longer).  And it's not surprising that you're having more pain with this than with the tummy tuck - again, pretty common.

It would be more of a concern if you had unilateral (one-sided) swelling of one foot while the other was fine.  That could indicate a problem with blood clot, such as a blood clot.  With bilateral and symmetric swelling, though, that is much less likely.

You should, of course, be in touch with your plastic surgeon about this and any other issue related to recent surgery.  And, since you already take Lasix, you should also contact your medical doctor to coordinate your care; you may have less ability to clear fluid than someone who does not normally need Lasix.  So while swelling is common post-lipo, your situation is a little unusual and you should, therefore, contact your doctors to let them know what's going on.

I hope that this helps, and good luck,

Dr. E

Lipo and Swelling

Most non-Plastic surgeons under-estimate the amount of trauma liposuction creates. Those hundreds of tunnels from which fat was removed result in tissue swelling and fluid inside these areas. The compressive garments are used to reduce the formation and persistence of this swelling.

As regards pain, we are all different in our perception of pain and just because you had a good experience with a tummy tuck may not necessarily mean you would have one with liposuction. That being said extreme pain and swelling of the legs may be something other than liposuction and could represent clotting of a deep vein (DVT) or injury to a deep muscle with a resulting high pressure (compartment Syndrome). It would be best for you to be looked at by your surgeon to make sure your pain is nothing serious especially since it sounds like you do have a high pain threshold

Dr. Peter A Aldea

Peter A. Aldea, MD
Memphis Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 83 reviews

Lipo recovery

Many people under-estimate the recovery from liposuction, particularly on the legs.  That seems to be one of the more uncomfortable areas.  Remember, all that tunnelling under the skin ...despite the tiny incisions on the surface of the skin.  The swelling may last several weeks, particularly down towards the ankles.  Use compression, walk if you can, put your feet up when you are resting...and hang in there.


Best of luck!

Liposuction and swelling

Swelling is quite common after liposuction especially of the lower legs.  If you have a lot of pain that is of concern, and I would suggest that you talk with your surgeon.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 22 reviews

Some Swelling Normal

It is not unusual to have lower extremity swelling after thigh lipo. If the garment is very tight, I suspect you are swelling below the lower edge of the garment.  Sometimes a tight garment will contribute to more swelling. However, you still need to see your doctor as a lower extremity blood clot can also make your legs swell. You need to make sure that is not the case.

Good Luck

Brian Klink, MD
Vacaville Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 75 reviews

Swelling after liposuction

You should wait three to four months for the swelling to subside. Make sure to wear your compression garment and drink plenty of fluids and go to the washroom regularly to help with swelling. You should also cut back on salt intake and move around at a leisurely pace to keep your circulation going. When sitting or lying down, elevate your feet. Please see your surgeon for advice that is specific to your situation, and you may want to stop taking Lasix unless advised by your surgeon. Best of luck.

Swelling after lipo; treatments of swelling

The hardest thing from a patient perspective about liposuction is that it is not an immediate gratification procedure. Despite the small incision, there is an extensive amount of surgery under the skin happening which results in your body creating swelling. This varies with the extent of the procedure. It usuallyl takes about 2 weeks to get back to your preoperative weight. 4 weeks to start to see changes and 3-4 months to achieve your results. Occasionally I may prescribe a mild diuretic to help speed this process up, but usually the body takes care of it. Compression definitely helps. Remember also that your result depends not only on what your surgeon did but you embracing the necessary diet and lifestyle changes.

Jeffrey Kenkel, MD
Dallas Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 6 reviews

How much swelling is normal after liposuction?

Liposuction swelling depends on the quantity of fat removed and the anatomic location of the fat removal.  Because of gravity, lower extremity liposuction is normally associated with increased swelling that takes longer to resolve.  Patients who have a great deal of liposuction performed also become significantly swollen.  It is difficult to determine if your swelling is normal without more information.  You should see your plastic surgeon as soon as possible.  Do not take any diuretic such as Lasix.

Elizabeth S. Harris, MD
San Antonio Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 13 reviews

Lipo of back, thighs, and bottom can cause significant leg swelling!

Liposuction (any technique) causes extensive disruption of entire areas of lymphatic drainage within the fatty tissue layers, so swelling and some degree of bruising is ALWAYS normal with this operation. Add to that general fact the information that you already have leg swelling for which you take a powerful prescription diuretic, and the fact that swelling tends to not only occur in the operated areas, but also in the areas below (dependent edema from effect of gravity) the operative sites, and you have ample reason to have dramatic swelling different from what you experienced with your tummy tuck. In addition, the tight compression garment probably does not go to your toes, so the tightness at your calf or knee may be acting a bit like a tourniquet, aggravating venous congestion and adding even more swelling. It would be a good idea to make sure you are wearing compression stockings (like Jobst, Sigvaris, or TED hose) to help keep the blood moving in your legs, reducing swelling and minimizing the potential for blood clots.

Surgical swelling is not of concern as long as you stay hydrated, relatively active, and wear the compression stockings in addition to your liposuction garment. Lying down and elevating your legs above heart level when they get really swollen can allow gravity to assist in the drainage of lymphatic swelling, as well as enhancing venous flow. Do this as often as your recovery schedule permits.

Calf pain or chest pain may indicate blood clot or pulmonary embolism, so if in doubt, see your surgeon promptly! Best wishes for a speedy recovery and a splendid result!

Richard H. Tholen, MD, FACS
Minneapolis Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 196 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.