How Long After Lipo Until I Can Weight Lift?

I had my first lipo done in june of 2010. January of this year I had a second lipo. I noticed that I have more swelling than the first one. It's been six weeks now and I hardly see the difference. I know it's going to take a while. I want to start lifting weights but I'm concern that it will cause more swelling. is it ok to start a vigorous exercise program after a second lipo? and If not how long should I wait? Thank you.

Doctor Answers 10

Should be okay to start now

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By this time you should be okay to start weightlifting, but I'd suggest you take it easy at first. However you should really be asking your surgeon. 

Swelling can be worsened when you exercise, so it's a good idea to wear your compression garment while you exercise.

Weight lifting after liposuction

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I generally advise that patients wait at least 3 weeks before they start exercising again. Please make sure to start off slowly and stop if you feel anything abnormal. Swelling is common and will gradually subside.

However, you should follow your surgeon's instructions as they may have different guidelines.

Exercise after liposuction

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Depending on the amount of surgery, type of liposuction, the body site involed and the exercise planned, the restrictions might be from two to four or more weeks. Some physicians recommend their patients to wear their compression garment during exericse for the first several weeks. Ask your surgeon what he or she recommends for you and your specific surgery.

Ronald Shelton, MD
Manhattan Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 39 reviews

When to start vigorous exercise regimen following 2nd liposuction procedure

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Before you start a vigorous exercise regimen after your second liposuction, you should inquire of your plastic surgone to obtain his/her recommendations as he/she was the one who performed your surgery. For my patients, I usually recommend 2.5 to 3 weeks for unlimited activities.

Swelling after the second procedure usually lasts longer with maximal resolution at around 1 year.

Steven Turkeltaub, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 33 reviews

Weight Lifting After Liposuction

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A lot of this depends on how much liposuction you had and what the sites were. Swelling in the extremities is very common after a liposuction procedure. It is recommended that you wear your garments for AT LEAST 6 weeks post operatively. This is also a good guideline to follow as far as strenuous activity.

Miguel Delgado, MD
San Francisco Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 81 reviews

Liposuction Causes Temporary Lymphedema And Swelling

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What you are experiencing is the typical temporary lymphedema caused by liposuction. It will often be more prominent the second time around as the fat reduction result is less and the lymphatics are disrupted once again. Even though exercise may cause some increased swelling afterward, I would go ahead  and exercise. The lymphatic push caused by exercise may actually help the overall postoperative swelling to resolve sooner, even if it causes some immediate increase in the swelling.


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Six weeks is a good frame of time to wait before weightlifting. Start off slowly and increase intensity, since you'll be a little out of shape since you haven't lifted for so long. Some patients prefer to wear their compression garment while exercising to help control swelling.

But before you start, it's best to ask your surgeon! 

Ronald Levine, MD
Toronto Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 25 reviews

Exercise following Liposuction

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It is not unusual to have more swelling following a secondary liposuction procedure.  Nevertheless, it would still be possible to engage in at least some form of moderate exercise six weeks following surgery.  You may want to continue to wear your garment until the swelling resolves.

Andrew P. Giacobbe, MD
Buffalo Plastic Surgeon

Exercising after liposuction.

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I tell my patients to wait at least 4 weeks before beginning strenuous exercises after liposuction.  This allows the tissues to heal and gain strength before stessing them and decreases the possibility of complications.  Your swelling is tissue edema from the surgery and it is greater after the 2nd surgery due to reinjury of the lymphatics in the tissue.  This will resolve over time, so be patient.

Liposuction, Exercise and Weight Lifting

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Hi Alice in Wonderland (I feel I've heard your name before...),

I tell my patients that there is no exercise for three weeks after surgery (we're talking about liposuction only; other procedures are different).  At that point, they can start slowly and advance as tolerated.  That means stretching, aerobic exercise, walking, etc., before moving on to more vigorous exercise.  And if you hurt yourself or something is uncomfortable, back off and wait a few days, then you can start again slowly.

I think that you are unlikely to cause problems with the healing as long as you don't push your exercise routine too far.  It takes 4-6 weeks to see 80% of the result, 3 months to see 95% and 6 months (or longer) to see the final result.  I don't know of much that you can do to speed that process and as long as you're not hurting yourself, I would think that the above routine is reasonable for you to follow.

I hope that this helps, and good luck,

Dr. E

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.