Question about liposuction. Is it as painful as going through labor for the first time?

They say that going through labor when a women is nine months pregnant and ready to deliver is one of the most painful experiences a woman could go through? Especially, if a woman needs to get a c section to get the baby out? Is liposuction just as painful as a woman going through labor for the first or fifth time? Also, when you are under local anesthesia you do not feel the pain or discomfort, but when the local anesthesia wears off you the patient would feel the pain from the liposuction?

Doctor Answers 7

Nasal appearance after fracture reduction.

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My patients are told to expect mild to modest tenderness for a few days to a week after liposuction.  More extensive the procedure the longer the time for tenderness and swelling to resolve however overall it is a quite tolerable and generally easy experience.  I do not think it compares in any way with delivering a baby.If you are only having a small region liposuctioned then do it under local anesthesia is a good cost saver generally with minimal discomfort.  If you are having multiple areas liposuctioned it may become smarter to do it with either sedation or general anesthesia (light) provided by the anesthetist.I recommend that you discuss all of your options carefully with your board-certified plastic surgeon before proceeding and best wishes.

Jon A Perlman M.D., FACS
Diplomate, American Board of Plastic Surgery
Member, American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS)
Beverly Hills, California

Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 33 reviews

Liposuction Pain

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Thank you for the question.

Liposuction pain is nothing close to labor pain.

If done under general anesthesia you will not feel anything.  You will wake up and its all done.  You will sore for a few days (everyones pain tolerance is different).  You need to be prepared for wearing compression garments afterwards..that is what most patients complain about!

Relatively speaking, liposuction under local anesthesia will be more uncomfortable but not to that extent.

Would schedule a consultation to go over areas of interest and get more detains regrading the best type of liposuction for your particular body and goals.

Best would be to meet with a surgeon certified by the "American Board of Plastic Surgery" and who is preferably a member of "The American Society Plastic Surgery " and The American Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery".  She/he would give details not only on the procedure but also recovery.

Would check the surgeons credentials, track record, reviews, before and afters, expertise, artistic vision, and experience in this procedure.

All the best,All the best, 

Liposuction Pain

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I've never heard in 17 years anyone comparing liposuction pain to labor pain. Take solace that it is much milder!
Best of luck!

Gerald Minniti, MD, FACS
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 100 reviews

Pain from liposuction

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It is unlikely that liposuction would cause pain similar to that of delivering.

if liposuction done using general anesthesia or deep sedation patient should have minimal discomfort or no discomfort during the procedure.

if full body liposuction is done with patients fully awake relying only on local anesthesia it can be an uncomfortable procedure.

I personally do most liposuction without a general anesthesia and giving my own sedation.

The ability to get patients comfortable is very technique dependent.

If someone is not experienced treating patients with local anesthesia the procedure can become much more painful.

Depending on the area treated most patients will require some sedation to get through the procedure comfortably.

If only small amounts of fat are removed there is generally minimal discomfort.

Aggressive liposuction, which is sometimes appropriate, can be more uncomfortable.

Some patients are more sensitive than others.

Recovery after the local anesthesia wears off isn't too bad.  Many people say it feels like they over did it at the gym and their muscles burn a bit when moving.  This usually lasts 2-3days. There is some soreness for a few weeks after that.

I prefer to do liposuction without general anesthesia for multiple reasons.   

These se include better results, increased safety, faster recovery and lower costs.

When liposuction is done with general anesthesia patients do not feel any pain during the the procedure but May have side effects from the general anesthesia and be more sore afterwards.

make sure you see a board-certified plastic surgeon who has ample experience with liposuction.
Overall this is a fairly easy procedure to undergo and to recover from.

In comparison to an abdominoplasty it's a walk in the park.


Mats Hagstrom M.D.

Mats Hagstrom, MD
San Francisco Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 20 reviews

Liposuction and Pain

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No, under general- the patient does not feel any pain. Tumescent fluid burns as it goes in that is why many who do small areas give medications prior to the fluid infiltration. Liposuction, if performed by an expert with a postoperative protocol like mine including; massages, RF tx and hyperbaric oxygen, there is little pain 1 week after surgery. I suggest pictures to determine best procedure. For best results, hi definition and full body contouring procedures need to be under general anesthesia I suggest seen an expert. Best, Dr. Emer.

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


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Thank you for the question and liposuction should not be painful during or after

Dr Corbin

Frederic H. Corbin, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 65 reviews

Pain after liposuction

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The pain after a cesarean section can be quite intense, because the abdominal wall muscles are cut and then sutured together. Liposuction is much different. Most patients relate it to a bad bruise as only the fat is treated, no muscles. You should not feel pain when under local, but you may feel some discomfort when the surgeon injects the numbing medication prior to doing the liposuction.

Gustavo E. Galante, MD
Schererville Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 55 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.