Liposuction Recovery Time/ Brusing? (photo)

21 years old, fit/athletic body with muscle and a large frame (165 lbs). Former swimmer. The liposuction will be performed in the upper and lower abdomen and hip area (love handles). How long is the recovery concerning swelling/bruising in an initial state? Past surgeries involving knee went great, rapid recovery. High tolerance to pain. Also, additional comments/recommendations/predictions always welcome. Thank you.

Doctor Answers 10

Typical liposuction recovery timeline

After surgery, you will have a moderate amount of drainage from the liposuction incisions. You will need to rest for the first 2 or 3 days, but most people are up and about shortly after liposuction surgery. We generally recommend our patients take 5-7 days off from work. Heavy lifting and exercising should be avoided in the first 2 weeks. Your body will tell you when you are ready to get back into your regular exercise routine. You will need to wear support garments for approximately 4-6 weeks after liposuction surgery. This helps the skin attach to the underlying tissues after liposuction and reduces the chance of fluid collection under the skin. During this interval, you can remove the garment to shower, and rest your skin for short periods. There will be some numbness associated with the liposuction surgery. This numbness usually persists for about 4-6 weeks. Minor lumps and irregularities are common after liposuction. These irregularities are related to fluid accumulated in the subcutaneous fatty-layer of the skin, or the trauma associated with liposuction. Irregularities even out after the first 2 or 3 weeks post surgery. Minor asymmetry between the two sides of the body can be seen after liposuction. This, too, is related to accumulations of fluid or trauma related to the operation. These asymmetries usually resolve within 2 or 3 weeks after liposuction.

Washington DC Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 31 reviews

Liposuction Recovery Time/ Bruising?

           Recovery will vary based upon the amount of liposuctioned fat, but swelling can last for 3 to 6 months.  The result will depend upon that amount as well as the skill with which it is removed to maintain a smooth contour.  Find a plastic surgeon with ELITE credentials who performs hundreds of liposuction procedures each year.  Then look at the plastic surgeon's website before and after photo galleries to get a sense of who can deliver the results.  Kenneth Hughes, MD Los Angeles, CA

Kenneth B. Hughes, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 496 reviews

Recovery From Liposuction

A small volume liposuction is easier to recover from than a large liposuction.  Any procedure takes your enrgy for several weeks, as your body is undergoing repair.  Most people need pain pills for only a few days. Vigorous activity should be limited for 3-4 weeks to keep from stirring up bleeding. Bruising take 1-4 weeks to go away. The tissues will feel numb for a number of weeks as the swelling recedes.  The final result take 3-6 months to evolve.

Mary Lee Peters, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 116 reviews

Only liposuction of ankles and calves has longer recovery.


1)  This is the only area prone to prolonged swelling, so compression stockings are used.

2)  But for the stomach and flanks, the recovery is quick.  Back to work in a few days, and you look fine in three weeks (not final result, of course). Bruising usually gone by three weeks, and you begin to see nice shape.

George J. Beraka, MD (retired)
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

Liposuction Recovery Time/ Brusing? (photo)

Only an average can be given to you. The average recovery time for the liposuction you describe is 1 week to 10 days. As for "bruising" that is very individual to each patient. I have seen no bruises vs a month of bruises. 

Darryl J. Blinski, MD
Miami Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 174 reviews

Recovery After Liposuction

In general, recovery from a liposuction procedure depends on several factors, including the number of areas treated, the total volume removed, the technique used, and the general health of the patient. From the photos only it appears you are a good candidate for this as the excess fat is well localized and there seems to be reasonable skin tone. Most patients are able to resume there usual activities within 2-3 weeks.

Gustavo E. Galante, MD
Schererville Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 54 reviews

Liposuction recovery

Dear Jackie,

you seem to be a great candidate for liposuction. You should have a great result in the right sculpting hands. Bruising should last less than a week. Swelling may be linger based in the procedure. In our offices, we use garments as well as early post op lymphatic massage and endermologie to decrease recovery time and improve final outcome. Please discuss with your surgeon prior to undergoing these procedures. Best of luck. 

Kevin Tehrani, MD, FACS
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 96 reviews

Recovery After Liposuction

Recovery from liposuction of the abdomen and flanks is fairly easy for patients who are active and have high tolerance to pain.  For the first 24 hour you may experience some drainage from the incision sites.  Bruising may occur in some areas and swelling is very common.  At our practice we recommend Arnica Montana tablets to be taken at least the day before the procedure and continued afterwards to reduce bruising and swelling.  A pressure garment is worn for a period of 4 to 6 weeks to not only reduce swelling but to shape the body. We inform our patients to expect majority of the swelling to diminish by 8 weeks and then 10% up to 6 months.  Most patients return back to work within 3 to 7 days. 

M. Mark Mofid, MD
La Jolla Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 36 reviews

Rapid recovery after liposuction

Most of my patients would be able to return to a sedentary job a day or two after liposuction of the lower and upper tummy and hips.  I instruct my patients not do do any heavy exercising for about 2-3 weeks. I I typically have them wear a girdle for 4 weeks to promote contraction of the skin and prevention of fluid collecitons. With tumescent liposuction and strict avoidance of medications that increase bleeding for 2 week before surgery, the bruising is often minimal and gone within a week. However, brusiing can occur and can last up to 3 weeks or so. Roughly 80% of the swelling is gone within a week or two. At the end of 6 weeks, roughly 95% of the swelling is gone. However, the appearance of your body can take up to 4 months or so to achieve the final result.

John J. Bandeian, MD
Bristol Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

Liposuction Recovery Time/ Brusing?

Many thanks for the question.

Its about a week for sure not more in short.

Take care.wish you all the best

Ashok Govila, FRCS, MCh, MS
Dubai Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 88 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.