How Long Until I See Final Liposuction Result?

I underwent SAL of bilateral hips & flanks, lower back, bilateral inner and anterior thighs and knees.

Four weeks later the edema is subsiding with help of a diuretic, and I'm horrified with the results. I have rippling of the outer thighs; the anterior area (biggest concern) also looks like nothing was done.

My Dr. said 17 1/4 lbs. was removed, but I honestly don't feel or see better results. Am I being premature? My surgeon's practice/credentials are reputable, but right now I don't believe in his skills. I also have breast reduction and tummy tuck scheduled with him... Help!

Doctor Answers 4

You should not see rippling after liposuction.

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It is true that you don't see the final result after liposuction for four months, but what you describe sounds worrisome. In any case, if you have lost confidence in your surgeon, hold off on more surgery.

Manhattan Plastic Surgeon

Liposuction results

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Liposuction edema may last several months.  However, rippling is usually not apparent with swelling in fact the swelling often masks any rippling that may develop down the road.

17 pounds removed through Liposuction?

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If this amoutn of fat was truly removed, it is far exceeds what is considered high volume liposusction which is defined as 5 liters or equivalent to 11 pounds.

Furthermore, I find it confusing that you can have 17 pounds removed and not see a difference.

If you did have 17 pounds removed then it is very likely that you have loose skin. While massage and time may help to improve you current results, it is most likely that you will be left with loose skin.

Swelling can last 8-12 weeks. Massage, compression, and creams may help results.

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First of all, 17 1/4 lbs is a lot of fat to be removed during a liposuction procedure. Normally, I limit myself to about 8 lbs which is pretty standard. If 17 1/4 lbs of fat was actually removed, it would be expected to still be swollen at this point. You may want to ask your doctor about massage therapy, compression, and topical creams to help with skin elasticity.

Be careful with diuretics as they can have serious side effects. Make sure you are keeping properly hydrated and you are keeping up your potassium levels.

As far as your upcoming procedures, take your time on making a decision. Breast reduction and tummy tuck are very serious surgeries and are not to be taken lightly. Give yourself time to heal and handle the current situation first. Then do plenty of research to make sure that you are ready to proceed.

Thomas T. Nguyen, MD
Orange County Plastic 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.