After Liposculpture, Day 1 Looked Great, Day 7 I Could See All the Fat Coming Back

I had liposculpture on outer+inner thighs, hips, and arms one week ago. On Day 1 the thighs looked good, 7 days later, I can see the fat coming back to the areas which it was removed from (making me look pear-shaped, where as on Day 1 I had no bulges out of my thighs) Could this be water-retention? I've had enough time to let the swelling subside. Is it normal to see better results on days 1 and 2 than days 7 and 8? Am I looking at having a 2nd procedure?

Doctor Answers 14

Laser Liposuction Best Results

Yes, patients often look better just after the procedure then the following week.  One really starts to appreciate improvement at one month but wait 6 months to see final results.


Kansas City Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 40 reviews

After Liposculpture, Day 1 Looked Great, Day 7 I Could See All the Fat Coming Back

-- Hello dear, thanks for your question and provided information as well.. This is the surgical procedure that revolutionized cosmetic surgery becoming one of the most performed cosmetic procedures. Subcutaneous tissue or fat is removed in order to contour the body in a way that is harmonious and pleasing to the senses. It can be performed in almost all regions of the body such as the neck, chin, abdomen, back, buttocks, thighs, arms and ankles. Usually done through a small incision in the skin through which a cannula connected to a vacuum is applied, it can be performed alone or in combination with other procedures. After liposuction your body is going to be really swollen for at least 2 to 4 months after your surgery. It is important for you to wear your compression garment for at least 6 months, the first 3 months 24/7 and then the last 3 months at least 12 hours per day for your body get use to not having the faja for so many time. When you remove it, your body can get swollen and also you can have pain. Remember to also compress your body to prevent a seroma which is an accumulation of liquid that has to be drained, it is hard to touch and also really painful. Bruises are completely normal for almost 3 months from surgery, that’s why is better for you to use a bruising cream and apply it all over your body 3 times a day. To prevent bad circulation and swollen legs, use compression socks. Brazilian butt lift can be performed with the same procedure and for a month it will be swollen and it will drop a little bit without losing it’s shape if you use your garment.. If you’re going to perform liposuction on your inner, outer, anterior, lateral, postetior thighs, be careful and consult with your surgeon what’s best for you, sometimes we have more extra skin than fat, that can cause severe sagginess on our legs, which can be only be reversed performing a thigh lift!

Tania Medina de Garcia, MD
Dominican Republic Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 362 reviews

Be patient, as residual swelling may last for up to 6 months.

It is very common for patients to see great results immediately after liposuction then become worried a week later as they seem to see the results disappear. Rest assured that this is normal, and it is not the fat coming back. What you are seeing is swelling, which tends to peak around 3-7 days and then gradually begin to resolve. Be patient, as residual swelling may last for up to 6 months, after which you’ll see your final results. 

William Groff, DO
San Diego Dermatologist
4.8 out of 5 stars 41 reviews

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Fat "Returning" after Liposuction

What you're noticing isn't fat "returning" to an area (in fact there is no way adipose could regenerate that quickly, as liposuction physically removes adipocytes rather than just shrinking them like traditional weight loss would. What you're noticing is your body reacting to the trauma and manipulation in the area by swelling. By wearing your compression garment as direct, you'll help resolve this process more quickly. 

Cameron Rokhsar, MD, FAAD
New York Dermatologic Surgeon
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Timing of liposuction swelling

What you are describing is exactly what I would expect.  I actually have my patients return at 7-10 days so I can reassure them that this is normal.  From week one to two the swelling is peaking and you should expect significant but gradual improvement over the next 6 weeks.

York Jay Yates, MD
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Final liposculpture results after 8 weeks

I tell my patients that they need to wait for a minimum of 8 weeks after liposuction to begin to see their final results.  The more aggressive the liposculpture, the more time needed to allow swelling and fibrosis to resolve.

Richard H. Fryer, MD
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Different results 1 and 7 days after liposculpture

  the results you report are not unusual and certainly does not mean that the fat that was removed is returning.  Almost certainly, this represents postop edema which comes and goes after surgery.  Please try to be patient!

Lawrence Kass, MD
Saint Petersburg Oculoplastic Surgeon
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Swelling after Liposuction.

Thank you for the question.

What you have experienced is not unusual;  patients will report increased swelling one week after surgery. It will take several months for the swelling to dissipate and up to one year for the skin to  redrape  so that you can see the final result.

Continue to follow-up with your plastic surgeon with any unusual signs or symptoms and to address questions and concerns.

I hope this helps.

Swelling after liposculpture

it is very common to be more swollen a few days after liposuction than the first day. The swelling takes time for the body to absorb and most of it should be gone in about 6 weeks, but the final result might take 6 months or more.

Julio Garcia, MD
Las Vegas Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

If you have concerns, please check back with your surgeon.

If you have concerns about your results, check back with your surgeon.   If your procedure was done by a skilled and experienced doctor, he/she will be in the best position to give you answers to your questions.  It take some time to see the final results.

Mark Taylor, MD
Salt Lake City Dermatologic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 17 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.