Are Liposuction Final Results Similar to the First Few Days Before Swelling Occurs? (photo)

I had upper and lower abdominal, waist and hip liposuction on 1/25/13 w/ the surgeon taking 2300 cc of fat. The first three days I could tell an immediate difference, w/ the best day being day 3 (pic 3). Today, day 4, I woke up and look and feel bloated and pregnant (pic 4). I know swelling is a natural part of the process, but do you find that the final results are closer to what the person sees initially? I loved the immediate contouring difference I saw on days 1-3, but now I'm worried.

Doctor Answers 12

Takes time to see result after liposuction

In general there is 2.2 pounds per liter of fat removed.      In general you are 50% of the way there at 6 weeks and 80% at 3 months.    When large areas are treated with liposuction there is always some degree of fluid retention.   Liposuction is really more about how much fat is left behind and not how much fat is removed. You can remove all of the fat and it will not look very good.

Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 19 reviews

Swelling after liposuction

You *definately* will not see results right away.  If you are larger to begin with you can see a modest difference at the beginning.  But, most likely you are going to look incredibly bloated right after the procedure and that continues to increase for several days afterwards.  Most swelling has resolved by 3 months.  That is typically when I see the best *results* in my patients.

Amy S. Bekanich, MD
Austin Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 18 reviews

Liposuction and 3 Days Postop

   Do not try to evaluate the results right after surgery or within the first few days.  You will need 6 months before you can appreciate the results.  Kenneth Hughes, MD Los Angeles, CA

Kenneth B. Hughes, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 496 reviews

Swelling after liposuction

Variable increases and decreases in swelling is not uncommon shortly after liposuction and this should improve.  Swelling can depend on your activity, salt intake, fluid intake, as well as your rate of healing.  Try and be patient as these fluctuations will gradually improve.

Adam David Lowenstein, MD, FACS
Santa Barbara Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 56 reviews

Postoperative Liposuction Swelling

What you are seeing after your liposuction surgery is incredibly common. It takes several days after liposuction for the full effects of swelling to rear its ugly head. This wipes out many of the changes that you saw in the first day or two. What is important to understand is that it will take weeks to a few months to have all the swelling go away and the final results to be seen. There is a very good chance you will eventually return to the positive body changes that you initially saw.

Barry L. Eppley, MD, DMD
Indianapolis Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 72 reviews

Final result after Liposuction

Thanks for the photos and questions.  I wouldn't rely on what you looked like right after surgery or a few days afterwards to judge the final result.  Just be patient, as it will take several weeks for the results to appear.  Best of luck.  Robert Kratschmer, MD, Plastic Surgery, Houston, TX

Robert Kratschmer, MD
Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 36 reviews

Swelling after Liposuction

Swelling after liposuction is very normal and to be expected. Swelling can last 3-6 months. By wearing a compression garment this swelling can be reduced. Assuming your surgery was performed by a board certified plastic surgeon, be patient and give it time. If you have any ongoing concerns, contact your plastic surgeon. 

Scott Farber, MD
Boca Raton Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 20 reviews

Swelling after liposuction

You begin swelling immediately after surgery that continues to progress for a few days.  It can take months for all of the residual swelling to be completely gone.  Try to be patient and contact your PS if you are still concerned.

Kindest regards,

Neil J. Zemmel

Neil J. Zemmel, MD, FACS
Richmond Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 107 reviews

Are Liposuction Final Results Similar to the First Few Days Before Swelling Occurs?

WAY too soon to comment At least a month to 3 months is needed to allow full healing after a 2 liter+ liposuction. 

Darryl J. Blinski, MD
Miami Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 174 reviews

Liposuction results

You will definitely have swelling after liposuction.  Yes, you may not have a lot of swelling the first day or two, and then may swell. It will take several months for the swelling to go away.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 29 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.