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How Long Will It Take for Liposuction Recovery? (photo)

im 19 years old and im getting liposuction may 30th. im having my love handles, upper and lower abdomen done. im afraid ill have excess skin and i was hoping to be able to wear a bathing suit 2 weeks after surgery. since im younger, will recovery time be less, and will i have a shrunken bellybutton like some? im really worried my abdomen will be all wrinkly after its finished. any helpful tips or advice? i also want to start working out as soon as possible, what is the quickest recovery time?

Doctor Answers (6)

Liposuction Recovery

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Generally after liposuction, a compressive garment is worn for 3 to 6 weeks, and final results are not evident for approximately six months. Surgical drains are often left in the incisions to help facilitate fluid exiting the body and keep from causing complications. Scars are very minimal. Most patients can resume exercising within a few weeks after liposuction. Initially, patients should not attempt too much exercise. Be aware of how your body is recovering, and do not overexert yourself. Best of luck! 


Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 91 reviews

Liposuction recovery

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  1. You are young and fit. Skin looseness is unlikely.
  2. Discuss your belly button worry with your surgeon. The sunken belly button comes from removing too much fat in that area.
  3. Recovery - most people go back to work or school by 5-7 days.
  4. Working out? Pain and swelling are your guide. Wait 2 weeks. Check with your surgeon. Start back slowly. Always wear your compression garment.
  5. Wrinkly abdomen - avoided by leaving some fat in the skin and by criss-crossing the fat removal. Discuss with your surgeon before the operation.
  6. On the beach in a bikini in 2 weeks? You may still be a bit swollen and bruised. Consider a beach cover up or a one piece suit for the first beach outing.
  7. Your photos show you have a marked spinal curve. Is that your normal posture? If so, add weight strengthening of your back to your work-outs to avoid future back injuries. Enjoy your result and the beach!

Elizabeth Morgan, MD, PhD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 18 reviews

Typical Liposuction Recovery

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I think if all goes well you may be able to recovery as quick as you wish but not everyone can do this and the recovery process varies greatly between individuals. In general being 19 years old has its advantages of a speedy recovery in most.

Here are the usual recovery information I give my patients:

As with all operations, pain and discomfort varies greatly from patient to patient. Generally, one should expect that pain medication will be required for the first few days. Continuing discomfort can last varying amounts of time.  Much of the swelling and bruising will be improved within two weeks; however, some will persist for six to eight weeks.  It is often difficult to see permanent changes in the body shape before this time.

Most patients are instructed to wear an elastic garment from four to six weeks to help with skin shrinkage.Ask your surgeon how long you should wear your elastic garment. 

Normal activity may be resumed at 1 to 2 weeks post operation.  In general, patients may return to office work 3-5 days after the operation, and 14 days for more active employment.  After the operation, exercises are recommended, such as walking immediately and progressive activities beginning on the 14th day, in order to minimize the adhesions between the skin and the deeper tissues. Walking, swimming, or a stationary bicycle can usually begin in a few days after surgery. Specific time periods for resumption of daily activities, work, and exercise with be further discussed by your surgeon post operation.

Early results are seen 10-14 days after surgery, but improvement continues for 4-6 months.  Persistent swelling and irregularities may be present for several months.  If antibiotics are prescribed, they should be taken as directed.

Larry S. Nichter, MD, MS, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 38 reviews

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Wearing a bathing suit just 2 weeks after liposuction is possible but may be pushing it.

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In a young patient with good skin elasticity, you can wear a bathing suit just 2 weeks after liposuction and you will look a little better than before lipo but the longer you wait, the better you will look.  The end results will take about 4 months in a young patient and starting massaging and exercising at 1 week post op helps a lot especially if done under local anesthesia which allows you to get the best results usually and the quickest recovery. Trust what your doc tells you to do and when he wants you to do it. Follow his instructions and don't worry, you will be in that bathing suit looking hot soon enough. Sincerely,

David Hansen,MD

David Hansen, MD
Beverly Hills Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 24 reviews

How Long Will It Take for Liposuction Recovery?

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Thanks for the photos posted. 2 weeks hoping to look great is a bit unrealistic! You need to discuss with your chosen surgeon in more detail. I always tell my personal lipo patients final results can take up to 3 months. 

Darryl J. Blinski, MD
Miami Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 61 reviews

Bathing suit after liopsuction

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Younger patients typically have more elastic skin which "snaps back" quickly. Without palpating your abdomen, it is difficult to assess whether you have too much excess skin. However, be aware that getting a sunburn is not wise during your recovery. At two weeks postop, you wil still have some swelling and bruising. You cannot predict individual recovery times nor can this be rushed.

Robert L. Kraft, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 8 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.