Why Am I Healing Slowly After Liposuction?

Ten days ago, I had liposuction on my inner/outer thighs, love handles, and the full length of my stomach. I was told I could return to a desk job after two days. However, I am still experiencing pain and swelling when I walk or stand. I have pain in my inner thigh and that area is hard. I cannot stand for more than an hour, walk more than a half mile, or keep my feet on the ground for an hour. Is this normal? I wear my compression garment at all times. I was very active prior to surgery.

Doctor Answers 3

Soreness after liposuction

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Frankly, you aren't healing slowly. This is a matter of expectations. Personally, I would not downplay the recovery time required when an extensive liposuction of the abdomen, flanks and thighs is performed. I would not tell a patient that they could return to work two days after such a procedure as it only creates false expectations and then disappointment. Take it easy and don't go on any long walks for at least 3 more weeks.

Why Am I Healing Slowly After Liposuction?

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Estimations on returning to work will vary from patient to patient due to amount of swelling that occurs and the pain tolerance of each patient. I would say that expecting to return to work in two days was wishful thinking. Massage, time and the compression garment will help, but I would have said a return to work date would be 7-14 days, and not to full activity and mobility for 4-6 weeks.

Pain in Legs after Liposuction

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Having liposuction of so many areas tells me your liposuction was done under general anesthesia. Your liposuction was aggressive enough to cause significant bruising and pain. Your degree of pain and swelling may be normal but this may also be a sign of a blood clot in one or both of your legs. That could be a potentially serious complication and can easily be tested for by getting an ultrasound of your legs. Even your family physician can order the test and it should be covered under insurance.

For anyone reading this who has not had liposuction done yet, this ladies experience shows why it is a good reason to consider tumescent liposuction using micro cannulas and avoid aggressive liposuction done under general anesthesia. We usually do the tummy in one session and the legs can be done as soon as a month later. Most of our patients are easily back to walking and work in a day or so.

Good luck and please have pain in the legs after general anesthesia checked out.

T. Wayne Day, MD
Nashville Dermatologic Surgeon

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.