Had Lipo, thigh lift & tummy tuck this past Thursday. I am as sore as to be expected, however the drainage is scary? (Photos)

This is my 2nd time going through this. my 1st surgery was in Jan, where the focus was my stomach. I had a mini tuck but for some reason a "donut" formed around my belly button. I also had a thigh lift but my scar fell from my groin. Thurs he went back in and redid the lift and a complete tummy tuck (I had weight loss surgery 3 years ago). I am not in a ton of pain BUT the lipo holes have me worried. A TON of fluid is draining. And I have soaked 3 compression garments this morning. what can I do?

Doctor Answers 7

Drainage After Liposuction -- Liposuction Side Effects -- Speak to your physician if concerned

It is normal to have swelling/bleeding after liposuction.  It can last a few weeks with swelling/bruising that can last weeks to months.  If you're concerned, I suggest calling your doctor.  Best, Dr. Emer

Los Angeles Dermatologic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 190 reviews


Drainage from liposuction sites is normal and expected. Most is completed by about 48 hours, though some will drain longer. It may look like cherry Koolaid. I would also suggest calling your doctor's office and discussing your drainage.

Connie Hiers, MD
San Antonio Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 13 reviews

Drainage after lipo

Thank you for your question. Usually drainage stops within the first 48 hrs. If it continue to drain more  you need to be seen by your PS make sure no infection or other issues. Good luck

Ven Erella, MD
Austin Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 31 reviews

Had Lipo, thigh lift & tummy tuck this past Thursday. I am as sore as to be expected, however the drainage is scary?

Thank you for sharing your question and photographs and congratulations on your revision surgery.  Traditional tumescent liposuction patients can anticipate a fair amount of drainage from their liposuction sites for the first 3-5 days after surgery, especially if the sites are not sutured closed.  Your pictures do not demonstrate any early warning signs but reach out to your surgeon so that they can provide reassurance and/or see you in their office for an in-person examination.  Best wishes. 

Nelson Castillo, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 65 reviews

Thigh lift, liposuction and tummy tuck - drainage continues after 4 days

Thank you for asking about your liposuction, thigh lift and tummy tuck.

  • You are right to be concerned - liposuction drainage usually stops in 24 hours.
  • Prolonged drainage can mean an eaerly infection.
  • So please call your plastic surgeon this morning and discuss the problem.
  • Depending on what was done, s/he may say it's fine, or want to see you or call in a prescription.

Always see a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon. Best wishes  - Elizabeth Morgan MD PHD FACS

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

Significant drainage is expected for a day or two after large volume liposuction.

There is nothing in the photograph that looks particularly alarming. Nevertheless, there is no harm in bringing your situation to the attention of your surgeon.

Vincent N. Zubowicz, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 35 reviews

Had Lipo, thigh lift & tummy tuck this past Thursday. I am as sore as to be expected, however the drainage is scary?

Generally tumescent style liposuction comes with a significant amount of drainage for the first 24-48 hours. I would suggest you follow up with your surgeon. He/she should have given you a list of expectations and an idea of what is considered normal. 

Lawrence Bundrick, MD
Huntsville Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 7 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.