Ask a doctor

Is Swelling/bruising of Ankles and Feet Normal After Extensive Inner/outer Thigh Lipo and How Soon Should It Subside? (photo)

right after surgery 9days ago,my left leg and ankle were more swollen and bruised than the right. I noticed inside of my ankle being swollen. Today, I noticed that my ankle is still swollen and maybe even a bit more than before. In addition, I noticed this morning that my foot is slightly more swollen and there is now bruising on the top right of my foot. My foot is not red nor is it hot. I elevate while sitting. Should I elevate higher than my heart? Is this normal? Pics are attached.

Doctor Answers (4)

Swelling and bruising after liposuction

Maximum swelling occurs at about 3-5 days. Most of the swelling and bruising will be gone in 2-3 weeks, but some firmness can last 6-8 weeks. The final result can usually be assessed at 3-4 months.

Getting out of bed and doing normal things around the house, or even a little stroll outdoors, is a good thing. This activity will greatly minimize the risk of deep clots in your leg veins and will help to decrease swelling. You should also always follow your surgeon's post-op instructions as well as wear your compression garment. The garment helps prevent accumulation of fluid in the areas where fat has been removed. It will also help to decrease swelling, and to conform the skin to its new position, maximizing the cosmetic outcome. It will allow you to see the final result following surgery much sooner. Failure to comply with garment instructions will increase the risk of seroma formation and suboptimal results. Please keep your leg up when resting, and it can be higher than the heart as long as you're comfortable doing so. Please speak to your surgeon if any of these symptoms appeared suddenly.

Toronto Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 69 reviews

Ankle swelling after leg liposuction


Thank you for your question about your ankle swelling after leg liposuction.

  • It is very common to have lower leg swelling for weeks after upper leg liposuction.
  • A long leg liposuction garment that goes well below the knees may help.
  • Keep legs up as much as possible.
  • But sudden swelling can indicate other problems - call your surgeon and discuss with him/her as well. Hope this helps. Best wishes.

Elizabeth Morgan, MD, PhD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 22 reviews

Ankle swelling after liposuction of the thighs


Swelling does show up in the lower legs--ankles, shins, feet--after liposuction of the thighs. Gravity forces fluid to drift downward. In the summer heat swelling may be even more evident. Elevation of the lower legs above the level of the heart will encourage the pooled fluid to return to the body's circulation. This type of swelling can occur in the first several weeks after liposuction. However, it's always wise to double check with your surgeon when anything is going on that you're unsure about

Kimberly Finder, MD
San Antonio Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 34 reviews

You might also like...

Perhaps you needed liposuction of the ankles.



1)  If thick ankles are really new, you should see your surgeon right away to make sure you don't have a blood clot.  A sonogram will solve this problem.

2)  But the ankles are often ignored when doing liposuction, even though this is an area that makes a huge difference to lifestyle.  Study your before surgery pictures to make sure your ankles were not somewhat thick to begin with.

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