How painful is liposuction and how long does it take to recover from Liposuction and Tummy Tuck?

Who long does it take to recover from Liposuction and tummy tuck surgery

Doctor Answers 8

How painful is liposuction?...

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Anticipated discomfort after both liposuction and tummy tuck is quite different. Generally it feels like the workout from hell with swelling and tenderness. This is generally well addressed with pain medicine that doesn't usually require narcotics. The more active one is post-operatively the quicker the recovery, within reason. Abdominoplasty or tummy tuck usually involves working with the muscles and this is what's more painful. Use of long-acting numbing medicine at the time of surgery really helps with that initial recovery. Plan a week of recovery from liposuction and two weeks for tummy tuck.

Dr. Derby Sang

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Thank you for your question.

Pain tolerance and use of meds are different in each patient. i would say that after your surgery you will feel a bit uncomfortable but not in real pain. recovery can take from 4-6 months it all depends on how you treat yourself.

Best of luck

Derby Sang Caputo, MD
Dominican Republic Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 99 reviews

What to expect with a tummy tuck and liposuction

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This can vary from patient to patient, but the Tummy Tuck adds recovery time and discomfort which can last a few weeks. There is some expected swelling which can last 3-6 months after liposuction. I recommend adding RF treatments externally like venus legacy, exilis ultra, Vanquish, shock/vibration therapy like Cellutone/z wave, hyperbaric oxygen and compression in order to decrease swelling and improve results. See an expert for a formal evaluation. Best, Dr. Emer

Jason Emer, MD
Los Angeles Dermatologic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 207 reviews


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In general, most of my patients do not find liposuction to be too uncomfortable. Most feel post-op that it is like a "tough gym workout."  Tummy tucks on the other hand have significantly more discomfort and often need a lot more time to recover from them.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Pain and Recovery: Liposuctions vs Tummy Tuck

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Liposuction is more of discomfort than pain but this may depend on the areas and sizes of the areas treated.

Liposuction recovery is fairly quick with no real restrictions, while after abdominoplasty (tummy tuck) patients cannot do heavy lifting or activity for at least 3-4 weeks.

John A. Perrotti, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon

Liposuction and tummy tuck - pain and recovery

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Thank you for asking about your liposuction and tummy tuck.

  • The muscle sutures of the tummy tuck are the most painful part of this surgery.
  • Please have your surgeon use exparel in the muscle to reduce the pain.
  • Recovery - first week up and around but very tired and sore, even with Exparel.
  • But off narcotics usually by day 3, although one may be needed at night.
  • Second week - moving around more easily but stil tired.
  • Third week - for people with a short commute and a desk job, back to part time work if necessary
  • No lifting more than 15 pounds for 4 - 6 weeks
  • No exercise except walking and swimming x 4 - 6 weeks
  • Help with little children - varies but at least 3 weeks.

Always see a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon. Best wishes  - Elizabeth Morgan MD PHD FACS

Dr Kayser

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Thank you for your question. This can vary from patient to patient but generally my patients are off their narcotics within 3 to 5 days after which they are on their regular over-the-counter medications. Liposuction is usually not quite as uncomfortable as the tummy tuck requires tightening of the abdominal muscle which is the part that tends to be the most uncomfortable. I would certainly ask your plastic surgeon regarding these specific questions. I hope this helps and have a wonderful day. Dr. Kayser - Detroit

Melek Kayser, MD
Detroit Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 43 reviews

How painful is liposuction and how long does it take to recover from Liposuction and Tummy Tuck?

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Thank you for sharing your question.  If you are having these procedures combined the tummy tuck will be the limiting factor in your recovery and though nothing replaces an in-person examination I would allow for at least two weeks of uncomplicated recovery time.  Your surgeon is your best source of information with respect to recovery as they know the full details of your procedure.  

Nelson Castillo, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 80 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.