Ask a doctor

Liposuction Bruising: How to Get Rid of Bruising After Lipo?

How long does swelling and bruising from Liposuction usually last? Should I wait until fall/winter (i.e. pants season) to do the procedure?

Doctor Answers 21

Liposuction Bruising: How to Get Rid of Bruising after Lipo?

Liposuction may be done anytime of the year.  Scheduling is a personal preference.  Bruising normally resolves in 2 weeks.  Swelling can take 3 - 6 months to fully resolve.

Austin Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 15 reviews

Have a question? Ask a doctor

Depends upon you and the surgeon

No one can answer this question for you. Some people get a bruise that lasts a month when they knock their relatively gently against a chair, and other people take a knock. Some surgeons are more gentle than others; some surgical techniques create less bruising, and it depends the area of your body and how much you remove.

It's often hard to predict for a given patient, even when you are examining them. But your best bet is to ask your own surgeon.

But being here in Santa Monica, California - I can tell you without a doubt that summer is the "low season" for liposuction. I just finished a busy streak of winter and spring liposuctions for patients that wanted to look their best for summer. Starting in the fall, the liposuction patients will start coming back.

So if you like to live in shorts and a bathing suit and do outdoor activities all summer, i'd just suggest you wait...

Steven Teitelbaum, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 34 reviews

Minimizing Bruising With Liposuction

Patients undergoing liposuction often develop swelling and bruising following this procedure. During the procedure, the liposuction cannula is passed through the subcutaneous tissue. This causes disruption of blood vessels and lymphatic channels and cellular injury which results in bleeding, bruising, and swelling.

Significant improvements in swelling and bruising can be seen in the first 3 weeks following surgery, with the majority gone in about 3 months. Small amounts of swelling may persist up to a year following surgery.

Both swelling and bruising can be minimized by using tumescent technique and small liposuction cannulas. In the postoperative period, we generally recommend the use of compression support garments for about 3 weeks following surgery. We also recommend a low salt diet before and after liposuction. Exercise is usually started early in the post-operative period and we want patients to ambulate as soon as possible following surgery. Massage is also helpful. It decreases swelling by mobilizing retained fluid following the procedure.

All of these steps help to minimize the duration of swelling and bruising following surgery. It’s important to realize that swelling and bruising usually resolve with time regardless of the post-operative management.

Only 1 week of bruising usually with Lipo under local anesthesia only

At 1 week you see only a little improvement in the areas treated with liposuction but it is still an improvement over what you were prior to the procedure so get it done now and start looking better in only 1 week. At 1 month you see a major difference and at 4-5 months you see the end results as a rough gauge. Bruising is usually gone in 7-10 days and taking arnica helps a lot.

David Hansen, MD
Beverly Hills Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

Lipo bruises for 6 months

Your title asks about bruising but the question asks about swelling so let's address both for the other readers. Bruising after liposuction, if done correctly and you're not a redhead, usually is resolved by 2 weeks. Bruising should be mild and tends to be localized to certain areas as opposed to the entire area.

Swelling is the most significant in the first 2 weeks. I use Topi foam to reduce swelling and give better overall compression. The compression garment should be worn for 6 weeks. The first 3 weeks it's worn 23 hours per day and the second 3 weeks it's worn during the day 12 hours / day. The final results are not achieved until about 6 months after surgery.

So hold off buy a new wardrobe until then.

Results after Lipo

The swelling tends to last about 4 months time and the bruising about 2-3 weeks, but really depends on the person. After the initial 4 months, you will have good days and bad days, as the more active your are the more swelling that will accumulate during the day. When you wake up in the morning the swelling will be minimal. Over the next few months there will be less and less swelling over time.

Good luck, and make sure you choose a board certified plastic surgeon to perform your liposuction.

Farbod Esmailian, MD
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 49 reviews

Bruising and Swelling

Bruising from liposuction can last a couple of weeks.  Arnica and Bromelain can significantly reduce the swelling and bruising.  It is not typically necessary to wait for Winter, but obviously that is up to you!

Takes a couple of weeks

Getting out of bed and doing normal things around the house, or even a little stroll outdoors, is a good thing. This activity minimizes the risk of blood clots and decrease swelling. You should also always follow your surgeon's post-op instructions as well as wear your compression garment. I generally advise patients wear their garment 24 hours a day for three weeks, removing it only when bathing or washing it. From 3 to 6 weeks, wear your garment in the day only. It helps with easing swelling and reducing the risk of seroma.



Swelling and bruising is to be expected after liposuction on any area of the body.  How long the swelling and bruising last is dependent on the patient but most of the time the swelling and bruising lasts for several weeks.In my practice, the main concern that seems to affect scheduling a liposuction procedure isn’t necessarily the swelling and bruising; it’s the compression garment that will need to be worn 24 hours a day for 6 full weeks after surgery.  Depending on what areas are liposuctioned the compression garment could be visible with certain clothes.  For example, some patients choose not to have their arms liposuctioned during the summer because the garment would be visible with tank tops or short sleeve shirts.Be sure to research board certified plastic surgeons then schedule a consultation for a thorough exam to make sure you are a candidate for liposuction.

Be well and good luck!

Liposuction and Bruising

As is the case in most situations, it is best to prevent the bruising in the first place.  Bruising is the result of blood trapped in the tissues after the procedure.  To prevent bruising, it is helpful to refrain from ingesting drugs such as aspirin and ibuprofen for two weeks before the procedure.  There are many different herbs and supplements that can also increase bleeding after any surgical procedure.  It is very important to follow the directions of your surgeon in preparing for this procedure.  Normally, your surgeon will first infuse a solution into your fat before beginning liposuction.  This solution normally contains epinephrine which will constrict blood vessels and decrease postoperative bleeding and subsequent bruising.  After liposuction, you will be placed in a compression garment which should further help reduce bruising and swelling.  All of these steps help to minimize the bruising after this procedure.  Once bruising has been established however, your body will need to break down the trapped blood and naturally excrete it.  Unfortunately, there is nothing you can do to hasten this process. 

John J. Edney, MD
Omaha Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 66 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.