Pain meds/antibiotics after lipo?

I'm having outer thigh liposuction to remove several inches of fat under general anesthesia, and I know I'll be taking antibiotics starting a few days before the surgery, but how long are patients usually under antibiotics or pain meds after surgery? Furthermore, how long will I experience heavy pain/discomfort after the surgery?

Doctor Answers 7

Pain Medications and Antibiotics and Liposuciton

this is very independent to each physician and I suggest you speak to your treating doctor about their recommendations. they should have a coordinator who sits with you for an hour prior to surgery to go over all your pre and post operative care an the entire procedure and expectations.  Best, Dr. Emer.

Los Angeles Dermatologic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 190 reviews

Antibiotics and Pain meds

Good luck on your upcoming surgery! Pain is variable for everyone, some patients feel that after the first 3-4 days of liposuction they can begin to transition away from Rx pain meds depending on the extent of surgery. The pins and needles feeling will improve after a few weeks and is made more comfortable with a garment. We typically give preoperative antibiotics and a small oral course although there no strong evidence that prophylactic antibiotics are of extreme benefit.

Bahair Ghazi, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 43 reviews

Pain and antibiotics after liposuction

Most plastic surgeons will prescribe a short course of antibiotics to be taken after liposuction. 

There is proven evidence that giving a single dose of antibiotics immediately prior to elective surgical procedures lowers infection rates.

This dose is typically given intravenously either in the preoperative area or in the operating room.

It is typically administered by nurses or by the anesthesiologist. 

There is no need to take antibiotics prior to surgery.

The single dose is referred to as perioperative antibiotics. 

Pain after liposuction is typically lesser than with more invasive procedures. Many patients will describe the feeling as a muscle burning sensation similar to that of having overexercised when being out of shape. 

Most people consider liposuction as requiring three to five days of recovery.

Patients can typically engage in low-impact activities, such as walking, immediately after the procedure.

High-impact exercise, such as running, may take two to three weeks. 

The amount of discomfort after liposuction is dependent on individual perceptions, anatomic areas treated and level of aggressiveness of the liposuction treatment. 

These would be excellent topics to review with your plastic surgeon prior to the procedure. 

Best of luck,

Mats Hagstrom, M.D.

Mats Hagstrom, MD
San Francisco Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 18 reviews

Pain pills post lipo

Usually you may need the pain pills for a day or two,Pain though is very subjective.Usually you can stop the antibiotics relatively soon after the surgery.Check with oyur doctor.

Robert Brueck, MD
Fort Myers Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 62 reviews

Liposuction recovery

Thank you for your question about liposuction.

  • You really will not need antibiotics after liposuction.
  • Research consistently shows that antibiotics immediately before such surgery reduces the already low rate of infection. 
  • Most people have pain for 2 - 5 days -
  • Pain medicines vary from surgeon to surgeon - I prescribe small amounts of oxycodone.
  • Pain also varies with how much is removed so for specific information about your recovery, your own surgeon is your best source of information.
Always see a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon.
Hope you find this information helpful. Best wishes.

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

Antibiotics are really not necessary for uncomplicated liposuction.

Antibiotics at any time during liposuction probably have no influence on infection. Most of us prescribed them for short time after the operation science notwithstanding. Most patients don't need narcotics pain medication and can get by with Tylenol or ibuprofen.

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


antibiotic treatment ranges from just 24 hours up to one week. different physicians have different opinions on this. intense pain afterwards would last for 2-4 days. it is dependent on how many areas you are doing at one time, and also your pain tolerance. 

James E. Leake, MD
Marietta Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 19 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.