What is the expected recovery for Liposuction?

Doctor Answers 8

Liposuction Recovery

Thank you for your question. It is important to realize that the amount of time it takes for recovery varies greatly among individuals. The first few days after surgery, you should rest quietly. If you can elevate the body part, it is usually suggested that you do so. Remember, you must not take Aspirin or certain anti-inflammatory medications. You most likely will wear a garment. If it is too tight, you should promptly notify your surgeon. During the first 48 hours following surgery, patients experience varying degrees of swelling and bruising. Although the vast majority of patients will have virtually no bruising, some patients will have bruising. Bruising typically disappears within 7 to 10 days. Stitches are usually removed within a week of surgery. Straining, bending over and lifting should be avoided during the early postoperative period. In many instances, you will be able to resume most of your normal activities within 10 days or less. Best of luck!Dhaval M. Patel Double board certified Plastic surgeon Hoffman Estates BarringtonOakbrook Chicago

Hoffman Estates Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 93 reviews

Liposuction recovery


Your surgeon will be able to give you the best information in your consultation but our patients are seen the day after surgery to make sure they are doing alright and to answer any questions. Generally, sutures are removed 5-6 days post-op. I recommend my patients that they can start with light exercise at three weeks.   Best wishes.

Cory Lawler, MD
Melbourne Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 10 reviews

Recovery after liposuction

Healing or recovery times after various procedures is obviously something we are asked on a regular basis.

I like to explain healing in various phases. I think it helps the patient understand that when we say that it takes three months to heal, the first three months will be very different than the last three months.

Initial healing after liposuction typically feels like muscle burn after an intense workout or an intense workout when you're out of shape. That soreness and tenderness typically settles down three to five days after the procedure. Many patients are capable of going back to normal daily activities within a few days after liposuction. Most patients can engage in exercise between one and three weeks after the procedure. Low-impact exercise, such as slow speed muscle training, may be easily tolerated a week or a week and a half after the procedure. High-impact exercise, such as running or contact sports, will require two to three weeks. 

Final results are typically seen around three months after the procedure, and patients may experience some minor changes for longer than that.

There are a few variables that can change the perception of the recovery. These variables include how much fat was removed, how aggressively the fat was removed and what areas were being treated.

For example, highly aggressive and high-volume liposuction on the front of the abdomen would cause more discomfort and for longer. Chin liposuction, if done gently, will have a fast recovery with few days of downtime. Liposuction of the calves and ankles can have a potentially longer recovery in regards to swelling and possible pain.

Other variables have to do with the technique the surgeon uses and how meticulous he or she is in using tumescent anesthesia. The proper placement and correct amount of tumescent anesthesia can make a world of difference in terms of bruising and in terms of recovery time. 

Lastly, there are personal differences among patients. Some patients will perceive the exact same procedure as being either much more difficult or much easier than they had anticipated.

It's our job to try to read and understand who our patients are and make a judgment call to best convey descriptions of recovery, the procedure process and what patients should expect regarding all aspects of the surgery.

Best of luck,

Mats Hagstrom, M.D.

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

What is the expected recovery for Liposuction?

I recommend my patients to get back to work 7 or 8 days after the Liposuction, and to use a compression garment for 6 weeks during the day to limit the inflammation or edema.

Drink water, and physical therapy and ultrasound will help with the recovery and diminish discomfort.

Adolfo Sesto, MD
Dominican Republic Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 46 reviews

Recovery time

Recovery after liposuction is generally very easy and requires minimal downtime.  There is associated soreness for a few days and you can resume activity as soon as you feel fit.  The final results are not evident for a few months due to swelling and bruising that depends on each individual.

Payman Danielpour, MD, FACS
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 36 reviews

Liposuction recovery

Most patient in  my experience have soreness post-op like a tough workout, and usually can go back to light duty within a few days. Exercise is often re-started within a week or so, but swelling will last 4-6 months and sometimes a bit longer.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

Liposuction recovery

It really depends on how much liposuction you are having done and what areas of the body. In general you will have significant bruising and swelling for 3 weeks. The swelling may last 3-4 months. After 2 weeks most patients are back to normal activities. It will take longer to return strenuous exercise. Hope that helps!

Ellen A. Janetzke, MD
Bloomfield Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

Recovery for liposuction

Thank you for your question. Recovery is about a week for liposuction procedures, but it can be 2 weeks for more extensive procedures.

Best Wishes,
Dr. Mentz

Henry Mentz, MD, FACS
Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 34 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.