Normal to Gain Weight After Tumescent Lipo? (photo)

I had lipo of U/L abs, flanks, bra line and abdominal skin excision 5 days ago via tumescent. I weighed 140 the am of surgery, today I weigh 152. I expected a few pounds fluctuation but I am tremendously swollen. Is a weight gain of 10 lbs or so typical ? If so, when can I start to feel some relief/ see a difference in the swelling ? I can't fit into anything pre op at all.

Doctor Answers 7

Weight changes after liposuction

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What a great question and common concern.  I am repeatedly asked how much weight I expect my patients to lose with liposuction and they usually seem appalled when I answer, "none."  Liposuction is NOT a weight loss tool.  It is a great way to permanently remove stubborn fat stores, but it does not typically result in significant weight loss.  The weight gain you are seeing is likely "water weight" and will go away over the upcoming weeks.  During liposuction you receive intravenous fluid.  Also, tumescent fluid is injected into the treatment areas by your surgeon.  Additionally, your body responds to the surgery with inflammation and swelling.  Elevate the swollen areas above your heart as much as possible - this uses gravity to enhance drainage.  Talk to your surgeon about getting an appropriate sized compression garment - this is an invaluable tool to deal with post-operative swelling.  At about 2 weeks post-op, some plastic surgeons recommend lymphatic massage to encourage swelling to subside, but definitely speak to your plastic surgeon first.  Be encouraged, this is a common post-operative problem and is generally short-lived.

Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 557 reviews

Very normal and expected

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You weigh more now due to increased water in your body for several reasons:

1) Your surgeon injected many liters of tumescent fluid into the liposuctioned areas which hasn't gone away yet

2) The anesthesiologist gave you lots of fluids to keep you healthy during the operation.

3) The body normally responds to injury/surgery with inflammation and swelling in the area of injury/surgery so the operative sites have extra fluid.

4) The body has a stress response to surgery which retains water throughout the entire body

Your weight will return to normal in next few weeks. The dramatic noticeable swelling will be gone within a couple weeks while resudual minor swelling will take several months to go away.

Armin Moshyedi, MD
Bethesda Plastic Surgeon

Weight gain after liposuction

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Weight gain can occur following liposuction and is attributed to swelling and fluid retention. Since you are still early on in your recovery period, you can expect to experience this type of swelling. Most of the swelling will be gone in 2-3 weeks, but some firmness can last for a couple of months. You can assess your results at about the three or four month mark. You should ask your surgeon about this, however I generally recommend patients wear their compression garment day and night for 3 weeks then another 3 weeks during the day only.

Reduce salt intake and drink plenty of fluids to encourage going to the washroom regularly. This can help.

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Normal to Gain Weight After Tumescent Lipo?

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     There will be weight gain following liposuction temporarily due to retention of fluid and swelling.  Kenneth Hughes, MD Los Angeles, CA

Tumescent liposuction and post operative weight gain

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It is not unusual to note a weight gain of several pounds in the first few days following a tumescent liposuction surgery.  During this type of surgery, salt water is injected into the subcutaneous fat and, in most cases, patients are given a significant amount of fluid via intravenous catheter.  It may take several weeks for your body to loss this extra fluid weight.  Check back with your surgeon, but wearing a compression garment and watching your salt intake can help speed the process.  Best wishes.

Vincent D. Lepore, MD
San Jose Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 63 reviews

Weight Gain after Liposuction Normal?

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Thank you for the question and pictures.

Some weight gain after any type of surgery is normal. Our bodies tend to hold onto fluid ( fluid retention) when they are stressed. You will find that this fluid will mobilize in the near future and your weight will return to normal.

I hope this helps.

Fluid Retention Following Liposuction

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                  It’s not unusual for patients to have significant swelling following tumescent liposuction.  This occurs for a variety of reasons.  Patients are typically given significant amounts of tumescent fluid and I.V. fluids during their surgical procedure.  In addition, the body responds to trauma or surgery by retaining fluid as a protective mechanism.

                  Under these circumstances, patients can see significant weight gain from fluid retention following tumescent liposuction.  This weight gain typically peaks 5 to 7 days following surgery and in most cases resolves spontaneously.

                  In your case a twelve pound weight gain would not be unanticipated following this type of procedure.  If you’re anxious about this phenomena discussion with your surgeon is appropriate.  Your surgeon should be able to reassure you and make your post-operative experience more comfortable.

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.