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How Long Does Recovery from Liposuction Take?

hips, thighs, back of kneas, waist/lovehandles, and stomach area i weigh 150, and am 5'4" tall and am 23 yrs old

Doctor Answers (11)

Recovery From Liposuction

+10

I'm amazed at how naive some plastic surgeons are when they talk about liposuction.  The reality is that liposuction is the most painful cosmetic procedure performed.  I wish it wasn't but that's the truth.  The reason is that the cannulas are passed along the muscle fascia and through the fat layers many, many times.  And although this causes a neuropraxia or makes the sensory nerve to the skin go to sleep and be numb it still is a painful procedure.   Not intolerable but not fun for the first 3 days.

If the surgeons uses good technique and waits for the epinephrine in the tumescent to work, there really is only mild bruising and this is quite helpful.  The more bruising the more pain.  What is painful is muscular motion under the area of liposuction.  Pain results from changing from one position to another such as sitting to standing and lying to standing.  Most patients tell me that once they are moving it really isn't too bad.  

So the long and short of it is that you should plan on taking 7-10 days off.  After that you should be able to return to work but you'll have "discomfort" for weeks to come.  You probably won't feel normal till about 3 months after surgery.   And in the end the result will be worth the short term discomfort.


Fairfax Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 16 reviews

Time to Recover from Liposuction

+2

Here is the information I give my patients regarding the recovery process after liposuction. In general however young adults like yourself tend to recover faster than most.
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. Your plastic surgeon will tell you how long you should wear your elastic garment. For patients with poor skin elasticity Endermologie treatments may be recommended.
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

Liposuction on multiple areas

+2

Recovery can take different time for different people depending on the amount of surgery. It may be safer to have separate surgeries and do liposuction on one or two areas than to try to get all done the same time for convenience. Multiple surgeries adds to the length of the procedure and may add to the risks of the procedure.

Ronald Shelton, MD
Manhattan Dermatologist
5.0 out of 5 stars 31 reviews

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LIPO RECOVERY TIME

+1
Although every patient is different, it is common to experience some discomfort for the first few weeks after liposuction but any discomfort or soreness should be well controlled with pain medications prescribed by your plastic surgeon.  There will also be visible swelling for a few weeks up to a few months.  The swelling will continue to decrease over time and your final result will be visible in 6 months to a year.  Most patients will also develop some bruising that could last for a few weeks as well.  How long the bruising lasts depends on your body’s ability to heal.  By far the longest part of the recovery process is wearing the compression garment that is placed immediately after surgery.  I recommend my patients wear their compression garment 24 hours a day for 6 weeks.  The compression garment helps the swelling resolve more quickly and also helps the skin retract to reduce the risk of sagging skin.  Unlike other surgeries liposuction will not affect your lifestyle as long as a tummy tuck would for example but you should be prepared to take it easy for a couple of weeks and avoid any strenuous activities.  Do not resume your normal physical activities without first being released to do so by your plastic surgeon.  Be sure to only research board certified plastic surgeons in your area then schedule a consultation for a thorough physical exam to confirm you are a candidate for liposuction.

Be well and good luck!

@norrisplastic

Morgan E. Norris, MD, FACS
Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 16 reviews

Liposuction Recovery

+1
Liposuction recovery for the multiple areas you have mentioned will take several weeks.  The first week you will be sore but the pain medication will help.  You will be required to wear a compression garment for a month following surgery.  I ask my patients to avoid exercise for the first 10-14 day.  After that you can progress your activity gradually.  Begin with walking or riding a stationary bike.  You can progress to the elliptical or jogging after a month.

Younger patients like yourself seem to be more resilient and progress well after their procedure.  Follow the guidance of your surgeon give yourself time to heal.

Christopher J. Morea, MD
Raleigh-Durham Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 35 reviews

Liposuction results

+1

Liposuction results take several months.  You have to give some time for the swelling to dissipate. This often takes 4 months or longer.

Steven Wallach, MD
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 15 reviews

Liposuction

+1

full and complete recovery can take several weeks; however, one can usually resume work, though may have pain and/or discomfort, within a few days, or sooner.

Shahin Javaheri, MD
San Francisco Plastic Surgeon
3.5 out of 5 stars 2 reviews

Time off for recovery after liposuction

+1

This alot of liposuction to be performed and in all honesty you would be better off getting closer to your ideal body weight of 125 lbs prior to liposuction. However, I would generally advise at least 2 weeks off.

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 41 reviews

Recovery from liposuction is pretty quick.

+1

Hi.

You should be able to go back to work in one week at the most.  But you will be bruised for three weeks.

George J. Beraka, MD (retired)
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

A couple of days is usually all you need off for most liposuction

+1

Liposuction is remarkably well tolerated. There will be some swelling for a few weeks and a little bruising a few days, but for the most part you should be back to 90 percent of your regular life within a couple of days.

There is a little mild soreness that persists.

Perhaps the most inconvenience you will feel is wearing the compressive garment. - one of our patients affectionately called it a "fun suit". You may come to love it, or hate it, but  it really assists in getting the swelling down.. 

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