I am 10 days post op after having Laser Liposuction to upper and lower abs, love handles and lower back. Why am I the same size?

The fluids have sinced passed however, my measurement is exactly the same as it was before the procedure. Is this normal? Should my results be visible at this point? Should I be drinking gallons of water to pass fat cells?

Doctor Answers 6

Healing From Liposuction Takes Months

Sometimes the immediate results aren't apparent from liposuction, especially if "contouring" procedures were performed like using the laser.  You will be swollen and bruised as the area heals and this takes up to 3-6 months to fully resolve.  Continued compression and beginning exercise after 14 days really helps the healing process along.  Some advocate lymphatic massages as well or ultrasound treatments.  I often give diuretics to my patients after 2-4 weeks if they are still significantly swollen, to help it resolve more quickly.  But it is a process, which takes time and patience.  If you are worried about the results, you should see your physician and explain your concerns.  I wish you the best of luck, Dr. Emer.

Los Angeles Dermatologic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 190 reviews

Liposuction can take up to six months to see final results

Ten days is much too early to determine results from a liposuction procedure.  Initial swelling is often at its greatest at two to three weeks after surgery.  When removing fat cells you leave negative space that is filled by the body's natural fluids in attempt to heal itself.  Compression often helps this initial swelling.  After the first few weeks, you should start noticing a slow reduction in swelling.  After a month or two, you should start seeing the initial results.  You should, however, consider that when performing liposuction not all damaged fat cells are removed with the cannula.  Damaged fat cells left behind can take up to six months to degrade and be absorbed but the body.  Therefore, you should continue to see the results change up until that time.  It is very important to follow your surgeon's directives with compression, diet and exercise and postoperative massage if recommended.  

Suzanne M. Quardt, MD
Palm Springs Plastic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 15 reviews


There are a lot of questions about the healing process in this RealSelf arena.  Please understand that to see 65% of results takes 4 months , to see 80 % takes 6 months, 90 percent at 9 months and 100% usually at one year.  Yes, the lymphatics take that long to begin to function and there is zero you can do to speed lymphatic healing.   The disrupted lymphatics must reconnect to finally end swelling tendencies.  This is sort of like the sun rising in the East and setting in the West.  The lymphatics take a long time  to heal and function normally.  No amount of massage or vitamins or anything else meaningfully helps.  It still takes a year.  Sure salt avoidance helps the daily swelling tendency but the swelling tendency still persists for one year or until lymphatics reunite which is one year to full function and sometimes even longer.   There is NO WAY around this.  This is the HARD CORD facts of wound healing.   My Best,  Dr C

George Commons, MD
Palo Alto Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 36 reviews

Wait to see results

It is too early to assess your results. Generally, it can take 3-4 months before you can start seeing results and for some, it can take almost a year even. Continue following the post-op instructions your surgeon gave you.

Jerome Edelstein, MD
Toronto Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 176 reviews

I am 10 days post op after having Laser Liposuction to upper and lower abs, love handles and lower back. Why am I the same size?

You are likely swollen from the procedure, which is expected.  I generally advise my patients to wait at least 6 months after liposuction to evaluate the final outcome of the procedure.  Drinking water is good for hydration but will not "pass fat cells."  Definitely communicate any concerns with your surgeon.  Good luck and be safe.

John T. Nguyen, FACS, FICS
Double Board Certified Plastic Surgeon

John Nguyen, MD, FACS
Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 82 reviews

Same shape after liposuction

  • Your swelling is not gone at 10 days. You are still swollen.
  • If the liposuction removed relatively little fat, your shape will be the same or even larger until the swelling is completely gone.
  • You should see improvement by six weeks.
  • If you are impatient, ask your surgeon about a few days of a diuretic. It will sometimes help the swelling.

Elizabeth Morgan, MD, PhD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 43 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.