How Long Does It Take to See Final Liposuction Result?

I noticed immediate results a few days after having lipo, then weeks later, the results vanished. How long until I see the final and lasting result of my liposuction procedure?

Doctor Answers 50

Four months.

To Yigall,

Hi! The reason your results from liposuction " vanished" is that swelling developed to create fullness. This swelling gradually fades and you begin to see again the improvement in contour.

There is another reason besides swelling that the contour improves over several months. In addition to the fat cells removed with liposuction, many other fat cells are not removed but only injured by the liposuction cannula. These injured fat cells slowly ATROPHY over several months and then of course the treated area (thigh, abdomen, etc.) SHRINKS!


Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

Your final result can usually be seen by 3 months, although this varies by individual and body area.

Liposuction helps to improve the shape of a body area by removing fat. Multiple tunnels are made underneath the skin, preserving the supporting structures while suctioning out the fat.

The resulting tissue scaffold is similar in concept to a honeycomb. The empty channels from which the fat has been removed tend to fill with fluid postoperatively. Compression garments are recommended to limit the amount of fluid that can accumulate in the suctioned areas, thereby shortening the time until you see your final result.

Your body will resorb all of this fluid over time. Although the rate of resorption varies among different body areas and among different individuals, in my practice most patients attain their final and lasting result by 3 months.

James C. Grotting, MD, FACS
Birmingham Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 14 reviews

6 months to a year

Yigall,

It takes at least 3 months for most of the swelling to go away after liposuction. Truely final results are not fully apparent until 1 year.

You will have 80-90 percent of your final result by 6 months. however I have seen patients who looked even better after 1 year than they did after 6 months.

I always encourage patients to wait a year before considering any revision or repeat liposuction. Only then can we evaluate the full extent of fat removal and skin tigthtening and make a reasonable plan for any revision or further liposuction.

It can take 3 to 6 months for your final results.

Yigalll,

Often after liposuction, you see very nice results right away. Then, over the next day or two the areas become very swollen and it looks like nothing was ever done. It can take several months for this swelling to go completely away. Approximately 80% will resolve in the first month and then three to six months for the remaining 20%.Also, if you wear a garment, it may help keep down the initial swelling.

Finally, just because you had liposuction, it does not mean that you can let your body go. You need to continue to exercise and eat a nutritious diet. Liposuction is not a miracle, it is just a second chance after letting your body go the first time.

Good luck with your recovery.

David Shafer, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 72 reviews

Swelling can obscure early results

Swelling is normal after liposuction and can persist for at least 3-6 months following your procedure.  By six months, the vast majority of your swelling will have resolved.  However, some of the minor residual swelling that continues to give your tissues  a "rubbery" feeling may take up to a year to fully resolve.

Final liposuction result

Results after liposuction can be very tricky initially if you look at yourself in the first day or two after the procedure and while you're in the garment it appears that you seen marked improvement but then swelling sets in and even with the garment on its hard to sometimes see the result but usually by the end of 4 to 5 weeks you start beginning to seeing the results and at the end of about three months you really can tell the difference.

When to expect results from liposuction

This is a wonderful question! With liposuction I am always careful to discuss recovery along with when you can anticipate enjoying the final results. With liposuction you will continue to swell for 48-72 hours following your procedure before your swelling peaks and then will start to go down. After the initial 2-3 days post-operative the reduction of swelling is gradual taking about 3 months before a majority of the swelling will subside. The compression garments and supplements provided in the post-operative kit I provide for my patients help reduce and control swelling as you progress. With this being said liposuction is always a game of patience when waiting to see final results, but it is worth it. For the remaining minimal swelling to subside it may take up to an additional 3  months. This small amount of swelling may not even be noticeable although you may feel a little firm in the areas you had treated. Liposuction is a wonderful procedure which offers beautiful and lasting results. I do hope you have found this information helpful and I wish you luck! 

Ronald Downs, MD, FACS
South Bend Plastic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 8 reviews

Final Results from Liposuction

It is very common to see the most improvement after liposuction immediately after surgery before any swelling kicks in. After that and within the first few days a lot of the improvement can be lost due to swelling and then it will gradually resolve over time. I like to show patients their appearance the day after surgery so they have an understanding of what to expect over time because much of the improvement is temporarily lost in the first few weeks and months from swelling. How long patients have to wait to see their true final results depends on the person although, I think for most patients the majority of the results would be noticeable within 3-6 months and some small improvement will continue beyond that point as well. In addition, many patients will further improve their results, after they have healed, with a well balanced diet and exercise program.

Robert Cohen, MD
Santa Monica Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 39 reviews

Liposuction Results

Thank you for your question about liposuction results. The results you noticed immediately after surgery were from a reduction of fat in the area you had treated and that's great! Afterwards, yoy started to swell and swelling changed the appearance of the area. The good news is, this is completely normal and it will go away. If you're patient, you'll notice a steady improvement over the coming 6-9 months and a final result at 1 year. Best Wishes!

When to expect final results from liposuction

This is an excellent question! I am very careful to always discuss, in detail, the post-operative process with my patients prior to there surgery as this is very common. Typically after liposuction you will begin to swell for the next 48-72 hours before the swelling peaks and then starts to go down. With this in mind it is very normal to go home after your procedure noticing a contour change immediately only to find this change diminishing over the next 72 hours. This is perfectly normal and to be expected as your body is naturally healing. The utilization of compression garments over the next 4 weeks, I have found, helps to control the amount of swelling offering support and comfort at the same time. I will typically have post-operative photos taken at 3 months following the procedure as this is when the majority of the swelling has subsided with the last remaining 10-15% of swelling diminishing over the following 3 months. Liposuction offers a beautiful and minimally invasive opportunity to achieve the body sculpting you are working so hard to obtain and with a steady healthy diet and exercise following your procedure it is possible to maintain your results. 
I do hope you have found this information helpful and I wish you luck!

Patrick Viscardi, MD
South Bend Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 20 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.