Just had lipo, is the way I'm sleeping affecting my recovery? Is there anything I can do/take to reduce swelling and bruising?

I got liposuction done to my love-handles a couple of weeks ago and since the procedure I've continued to sleep on my sides because the pain wasn't that bad. Now, two weeks on, I feel like the areas where I've had fat removed are stiffer than ever and there seems to be no sign of a reduction in swelling, in fact, I feel like its getting worse. Also, one of the incisions at the back (even though seems to be healing) keeps leaving a yellow-ish stain in my compression garment. Should I be worried?

Doctor Answers 4

Swelling after Liposuction--Add Venus Legacy, Exilis Ultra, Cellutone to aftercare

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I recommend following up with your Dr if you feel like your swelling is getting worse. Chances are this is normal swelling which will resolve in 3-6 months. I also 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. Best, Dr. Emer

Los Angeles Dermatologic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 207 reviews

Healing after liposuction

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It is very normal for there to be drainage and swelling after liposuction.  The drainage can be a yellow straw-coloured fluid (serous fluid) or can be slightly blood stained.  This will resolve once the incisions are fully healed.  This is usually about two weeks, but can be slightly longer - especially in an area where there is a lot of movement or if there is a lot of drainage.  The swelling will take more time to resolve, often up to 3 months or longer.  Wearing your compression garment at the beginning (I typically ask patients to wear them 24/7 for 6 weeks) can help to decrease swelling, decrease fluid collection, and to improve contour.  Sleeping on your sides shouldn't be an issue, especially if it isn't uncomfortable for you.  The only thing that might happen, is that you might find that the side that was down against the bed when you were sleeping might be more swollen when you first wake up.  This is because of gravity - the fluid will shift down.  You are still very early on in the recovery process, and everything that you have described sounds like normal healing!  Don't lose heart - it should get better with time.  Good luck.

Liposuction - swelling not improving after 2 weeks

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Thank you for asking about your liposuction.

Although chances are that all is fine, you need to return to your surgeon to be checked. 

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

Liposuction/ Liposculpture/ Fat Transfer/ Vaser/ Hi Definition Procedures/Liposuction Revision/Tummy Tuck/Body Contouring

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I appreciate your question.

I would recommend that you discuss this question with your surgeon as every surgeon has their own respective post op protocol for his/her patients.  Your surgeon is your best resource as he/she is most familiar with your medical history and how you are healing at this time.

The best way to assess and give true advice would be an in-person exam.

Please see a board-certified plastic surgeon that specializes in aesthetic and restorative plastic surgery.

Best of luck!

Dr. Schwartz

Board Certified 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.