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 47

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
5.0 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
5.0 out of 5 stars 14 reviews

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


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
5.0 out of 5 stars 70 reviews

6 months to a year


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.

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.

Liposuction Healing

Lipo is great for instant-gratification seekers, but don't fret if you still see imperfections in your shape several weeks later. It can take 4 months, even a year, to get an accurate picture of how the body will look once the swelling subsides and everything settles into place. Lipo patients who started out especially overweight will have to bide their time before realizing their dream results, because it takes several weeks for skin to redrape over the new area and for tissue to heal completely.

Michelle Copeland, MD, DMD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 8 reviews

Liposuction results

Results are seen the after surgery. Swelling varies from person to person. On average it could take up to 3-6 months to see your final result. Keep the areas compressed and less swelling will occur.

Jaime Perez, MD
Tampa Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 61 reviews

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
4.5 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

Final liposuction results 6-12 months

Most of the initial swelling is down in the first three weeks. Prior to this if one is thinner to begin with they may actually be slight larger and not fit into previously worn clothing. From this point on the improvement due to continued shrinkage of the area is gradual so that in most patients 80% of their result is at the 3 month mark. Then due to continued remodeling of the tissue and tightening of the skin the final result is between 6-12 months depend on the area. The outer thighs and hips is more rapid while the calves and ankles will take up to a year

David Amron, MD
Beverly Hills Dermatologic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 56 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.