How Long Before Liposuction Results Can Be Corrected?

I had a full Tummy tuck, Breast augmentation, and Liposuction of the hips and outer thighs 4 weeks ago. I immediately noticed the results of the outer thigh Liposuction and of my left hip; however, my right hip is way bigger and it does not seem to be swelling.

How long do I need to wait in your opinion to have the lipo corrected? I am a nurse so I know it is fat and not swelling. I am very pleased with my other procedures.

Doctor Answers 11

You will see the final result in 4 months.

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For most cosmetic surgery (breat augmentation, for example), it certainly does not take 4 months to see the final result. You see it in one month.But for liposuction, it does take at least 4 months to see the result, because it isn't just the swelling that goes away.

In addition to the fat cells removed with liposuction, millions of fat cells are traumatized and left behind. These injured fat cells slowly atrophy over 4 months, and cause continued shrinking and improvement of the liposuctioned area. That's why you have to wait so long.

Unfortunately, it does sound like you will need a revision, and I would wait 6 months to do it.

Manhattan Plastic Surgeon

You are early after Liposuction

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You are early and if this area is adjacent to your tummy tuck incision I would suggest to you that it may represent skin as well as fat and therefore removing more than just fat may eventually be the best idea.

Let things settle for 6 months to a year and then re-assess. Surely let your plastic surgeon know your concerns and even review before and after images with him or her as this this might be helpful.

John P. Di Saia, MD
Orange Plastic Surgeon

6-12 months before considering major revision

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I encourage you to discuss your concerns with your plastic surgeon but you need to give at least 6-12 months of healing time before any attempt is made to re-treat an area of liposuction asymmetry.

Dr Edwards

Swelling after liposuction

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Remember that some asymmetry is normal.  But, at 4 weeks there is probably still swelling that will need to subside before you see the final results. 

Important to wait after Lipo

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Even though you may not perceive much swelling, it is definitely there. I perform tumescent liposuction, liposuction using local anesthesia, and routinely tell my patients that they will see significant improvement after 6 - 8 weeks, but that it can take up to 6 months to see their final result. That last bit of swelling can take a long time to resolve. To be fair to yourself, I would wait at least 4 months before evaluating your hips for symmetry.

Lawrence Osman, MD
Los Angeles Dermatologic Surgeon

Way too early to make this judgement.

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Dear Mcagle

Your impression may or may not prove to be correct. However, liposuction takes time to heal. Four weeks after a liposuction means that there is still plenty of swelling.

Routinely, I do not take post-liposuction photographs until 2 months after liposuction because this is about earliest time frame that one can reliably see the difference created by liposuction. However, the swelling continues to improve over another four to six months beyond this period.

One observation that I have made is the one side always seem to lag behind another making side by side comparisons of the body tricky business in this time frame. Being patient is very difficult.

However with time the swelling will dissipate. Certainly if more liposuction is needed, it is very straight forward to perform this type of surgical revision.

Dr. Steinsapir

Kenneth D. Steinsapir, MD
Beverly Hills Oculoplastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

How long should you wait before revision for liposuction

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Even though you have a medical background, it is important to understand that liposuction causes swelling and that swelling can take several months to diminish. It may even feel like fat but is actually a little thicker due to the fluid between the fat cells. In my practice, we always counsel our patients that liposuction will cause swelling and it will be very difficult to evaluate your final result until 4-6 months have passed. It is really a long waiting period. Many patients are unhappy waiting for the result since they feel that they have recovered and are able to do most activities. However, after 4-6 months, there is really a pleasing difference that most patients will describe.

Having said all of that, you may still need a touch up or revision procedure. I would wait 6 months before considering that procedure. You want the tissues to be soft and supple before considering a revision. Keep in mind that repeat liposuction is a little tougher since the tissues are more scarred and more firm. Good luck.

Sirish Maddali, MD
Portland Plastic Surgeon

Wait at least 6 months or more for Liposuction correction

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Following surgery, especially multiple procedures you will have swelling and it will be at least three months before it starts to shrink. The skin Will take up to a year to shrink. It is too early to look at your results. Be patient, let all the areas shrink. Re-evaluate with your plastic surgeon at 6 weeks to three months. It is a lot easier to take more than put some back! Best wishes.

Charles Perry, MD
Sacramento Plastic Surgeon

Waiting is hard, but worth it

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Tissue that has been traumatized by liposuction has a certain amount of stiffness or fibrosis for several months. In fact it will always be a little harder to do repeat liposuction in the same area. In order to allow the tissue to return to a more normal state I ask at least three months before doing any revision liposuction and maybe more if the tissue still feels stiff or firm.

In order to see the final result as to how much difference there is between the right and left side you will need at least three months to make an accurate comparison.

Best Wishes

Dr. Peterson

Marcus L. Peterson, MD
Saint George Plastic Surgeon

Waiting period

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I tell my patients to wait at least 6 months before any intervention.  There may be a need for some touch up liposuction, however, a small amount of swelling is still present in those first 6 months.

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.