What is normal after lipo?

I am 6 weeks post lipo. After wearing my compression garment for a day or so when I take it off my stomach is flat. But after a few hours of not having it on my stomach begins to pudge out. Is this the swelling or did I just gain all of my weight back?

Doctor Answers 6

What is normal after liposuction

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What is normal after liposuction? Your certainly will have some swelling and tenderness for up to two months.  There will be some numbness however this will resolve.  You may see some transient weight gain, however that could he helped with lymphatic massage and possibly diuretics for a short time.
 When you entrust your face or body to a plastic surgeon, first check for certication by the American Board of Plastic Surgery, the board-certification that indicates complete training in plastic surgery.
Good luck.

Naples Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 27 reviews

Swelling after liposuction

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Thank you for your liposuction question.

  • You are still swollen - this is why the compression makes things flat.
  • Without it you swell,
  • Liposuction recovery takes time  - allow yourself 6 months. Best wishes and enjoy your result!

After Liposuction

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6 Weeks is still early in the healing process after liposuction.  Many changes occur very slowly.  Your surgeon likely asked you to wear the garment around the clock (except for showers) for the first 6 weeks.  Typically after 6 weeks the garment is removed.  Many patients feel the need to put it back on, since they like the tight feeling the garment gives them.  However, it is important to get used to supporting your own trunk/core muscles at this point, so I advise my patients no more than 8 weeks of garment use, then take it off for good.  Exceptions to this include any post-operative complications including seromas and/or hematomas.  Your surgeon will be able to advise you more specifically. 

It is not uncommon to feel heavier and to show a few extra pounds on the scale after liposuction.  Your body holds on to a lot of fluid after surgery and gets rid of it very slowly.  6 weeks is the first "milestone" in your recovery.  3-4 months from now, you will be able to look back and see a difference.  During this time, however, it is important to watch your diet and eat healthy portions.  Remember that your activity is restricted, so it is wise to restrict your food intake accordingly.  Make wise food choices (fruits, vegetables, protein, plenty of water) and be sure you are eating enough to heal, but remember you are not exercising as much, and therefore not burning as many calories as usual.

Best of luck to you and congratulations!

Emily J. Kirby, MD
Fort Worth Plastic Surgeon

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Liposuction Results and Swelling

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Liposuction takes months to heal and the swelling can come and go through that time.  If the stomach is flat, but pertruding after compression, you may have visceral fat that is pushing your stomach forward.  Visceral fat is fat that is deep in the body around organs and cannot be treated with liposuction.  Again, the healing process takes months, so follow your post-operative care and consider an appointment with your physician as followup if you are concerned.

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

Complete resolution of swelling after liposuction may take months.

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You can use the color of the entry points for liposuction is a barometer as to what's going on within the fat. As long as there is pink or red color it means the area is still biologically active.

Liposuction and swelling

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That is correct.  The area will stay swollen for a while (several months), so the compression garment will keep it flap when it is worn.

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