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Swelling Increase 3 Weeks Post Op?

I had liposuction on my inner/outer thighs, arms, abdomen about 3 weeks ago. About 2 weeks post-op I noticed that the swelling decreased considerably and I was seeing results. A few days later swelling increased significantly and has not subsided at the 3 week mark. I have been wearing my compression garment 24/7 this entire time, eating healthy, walking for an hour every night. Why is swelling getting worse now when it seemed to be getting better before?

Doctor Answers (3)

Swelling Increase 3 Weeks Post Op?


      If there is no seroma, the increase in swelling is likely due to increases in activity or dietary changes.



Kenneth Hughes, MD Los Angeles, CA

Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 238 reviews

Increased swelling after 3 weeks....LIPOSUCTION


This is 99% due to a very significant ingestion of salt.....Sodium!   Patients often deny this at first,  but after a meticulous assay of all taken in orally, they come up with some sweet tasting pudding full of salt even though a sweet taste.   Remember there is salt everywhere.  Your ingestion should be 1500 mg or a little less.  This is not easy.  Over 2000mg you retain salt and water is attracted to the salt.  Your lymphatics are poorly functioning in the area of surgery and water and salt collect.  Once in place the swelling takes 4 to 5 days to exit.  Diuretics are a double edged knife.  Stay away from diuretics.  They can deplete potassium and this is bad.  Be careful of salt.  Remember you will be salt sensitive until the lymphatics start to connect and function and this can easily take 6 months.   This  salt is your problem.   Excessive exercise can also play a role in edema so think and think again.   My Best,  Dr C

George Commons, MD
Palo Alto Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

Swelling after liposuction


Swelling after liposuction will fluctuate as your activity level changes. Best to keep wearing your garment and follow your surgeon's instructions.

Steven Wallach, MD
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 18 reviews

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