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When Will This Leakage Stop?

I just got smart Lipo yesterday morning on my upper and lower abdomen, waist and hips. The doctor took 2 &1/2 liters of fat out. I am concerned because I am leaking through my pads, compression garment and my clothes I'm wearing.. I had to sleep on a rubber pad last night because i was leaking so much. Is there anything I can do to reduce the leaking or make it stop? I need to go to work tomorrow!! Please help!

Doctor Answers 6

Leaking after Smart Lipo...

After having Smart Liposuction or any kind of liposuction, drainage is completely normal. Try not to be alarmed when you see the color of the liquid, it is just the local anesthetic mixed with a little bloody fluid. Drainage will gradually subside during the first 2 - 3 days after surgery.  It is recommended to keep absorbant pads on the the areas that are leaking for as long as you are draining.  By doing that it should help keep your sheets and clothing dry. 

Edison Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 113 reviews

1150 Amboy Ave
Edison, NJ 08837

Leakage after Smartlipo

The anesthetic fluid injected during Smartlipo can take several days to drain out.  Drainage is usually heaviest in the first day and usually stops completely by day 3 or 4.

Lawrence A. Osman, MD
Los Angeles Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 4 reviews

23659 Calabasas Rd.
Calabasas, CA 91302

Smartlipo leakage

This is completely normal to drain from the incision site, do not be worried. The drainage should subside within 2 days post procedure.

Bruce E. Katz, MD
New York Dermatologic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 16 reviews

60 East 56th Street
New York, NY 10022

Significance of Leakage

Believe it or not, the fact that you are leaking is a wonderful thing!  This means that your body was in a well hydrated state prior to surgery, and therefore your body does not sense the need to hold on to the medicated numbing fluid.  If your body were to absorb the fluid due to dehydration, this could potentially raise your blood pressure due to the epinephrine content: epinephrine is blood vessel constricting medication that keeps you numb during the procedure.  It is always best that it drains naturally.  The best news is that most people complete the drainage process within 24 hours after the procedure if they are adequately compressed.  However, I do not feel it is wise to return to work for 48 hours, as your body is still trying to heal from the surgery.


Dr Windell Davis Boutte', M.D. FAAD

Board Certified Dermatologist/ Surgeon



Windell C. Davis-Boutte, MD
Atlanta Dermatologic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 117 reviews

4650 Stone Mountain Hwy
Lilburn, GA 30047

It will stop

I discuss with my patients that for the first 24-48 hours you will drain fluid from the incision sites, and that often the pads will need to be changed quite often.  I usually suggest for them to sleep on top of towels in order to soak up the fluids during the first night.  I would contact your plastic surgeon if you have persistent drainage after five days.

Robert Kratschmer, MD
Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

11200 Broadway St.
Pearland, TX 77584


Post liposuction with laser will have drainage for 24-48 hours in most cases. The drainage should begin to lessen soon and you can wear properly placed pads

David A. Bray, Sr., MD
Los Angeles Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 6 reviews

3711 Lomita Blvd.
Torrance, CA 90505

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.