Best Remedy for Swelling After Tumescent Liposuction?

What is the best thing to do after Tumescent Liposuction for swelling?

Doctor Answers 30

Wear your compression garments and drink plenty of fluids.

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It’s normal to notice some swelling after tumescent liposuction, partially as the result of any remaining tumescent solution that’s still present in the tissue. The body also swells as part of the natural healing response. Wearing your compression garment should help expel excess fluids faster. It’s also a good idea to drink plenty of clear fluids (water or herbal tea, not soda or coffee) and avoid high-sodium and salty foods. Eating lots of fresh fruits and vegetables and staying mildly active to promote healthy circulation are also key for keeping swelling to a minimum after lipo.

Raleigh-Durham Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 77 reviews

Swelling after Liposuction?

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Thank you for your question.

Swelling is part of the healing process.  I ask my liposuction patients to wear a compression garment for 4 weeks post op surgery to help with the swelling.  The swelling can take months to subside and even longer for skin to “redrape".  At that point you will see the final results. 

Best Wishes.

Swelling After Liposuction

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The best thing you can do post Tumescent Liposuction is to wear your compression garment as instructed by your doctor. We also advise patients to start on massage techniques a couple weeks post-op. This can be as simple as just hand massaging the areas, or we suggest to our patients to purchase a small trim size paint roller to help those harder to reach places. Our office provides a treatment called Exilis that uses radio frequency heat to target stubborn fatty areas as well as tighten the skin. Some patients will choose to do a treatment or two of these post Liposuction just to help reduce swelling faster as well. Overall, I guess it is just a time thing. Of course you know that everyone's body heals at different rates and although we definitely want you up and moving around, keep in mind that the more you're up, the more swelling you will probably have at the end of the day. 

Lawrence Bundrick, MD
Huntsville Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 11 reviews

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The swelling after tumescent liposuction really shouldn't be that bad if you are wearing an appropriately tight garment. Immediately after surgery I use Topi foam to add compression and significantly reduce swelling. This is worn for two days then the foam is removed and the garment is worn for 6 weeks. If you're wearing a good garment the swelling should be fully gone in 2 weeks. Remember your dietary intake also contributes to the swelling so watch the amount of salt you ingest.

Compression is key to swelling after liposuction

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Liposuction will cause a bruise over a large area and the key to controlling swelling is a well fitted compression garment. Initially the garment will be very tight as it keeps swelling under control, and will noticeable loosen as you progress in your recovery. As the garment become looser we transition to a very snug Spanx which is more comfortable for daily wear and work.

Best of luck,


Peter E. Johnson, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 44 reviews

How to control swelling after tumescent liposuction

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It is very important to wear a good compression garment for at least 6 weeks. It would also help to start arnica montana prior to surgery and continue as directed. You need to be careful of not over doing things, your body is going to tell you if you are. If you notice you are starting to get swelling, it is time to get off your feet. Either sit or lie down and elevate your legs.

Miguel Delgado, MD
San Francisco Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 81 reviews

Swelling after liposuction

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Thank you for your question! Swelling is an entirely normal part of the postop course.  The majority of the swelling is gone in the first two weeks.  Minor swelling persists much longer - up to 3 months or longer!  A compressive garment is essential and should be worn 24/7 (except for bathing) for the 1st 4 to 6 weeks postop.  Don't worry - it will resolve!
Nicolas M. Hynes, MSc, MD, FRCS(C)

Swelling after tumescent liposuction

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Wear your compression garment as instructed by your surgeon, and be patient. Remember that in the beginning, although fat has been removed, you will have swelling just like with any surgical procedure. You should be active, but too much activity early on could bring on more swelling. The results after liposuction gradually improve over weeks, even months.

Swelling after liposuction can be related to activity level

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I've noticed that my tumescent liposuction patients tend to have prolonged swelling when they return to exercise activities quickly after surgery. This varies based on the individual, so there is no real recommendation I can give except that one should wear their compressive garment more often than not for at least 6 weeks after the procedure.

Swelling & Healing Process Following Liposuction: What To Expect

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Patients undergoing tumescent liposuction will inevitably develop swelling and pain following this procedure.  During the procedure, the liposuction canula is passed through the subcutaneous tissue.  This causes disruption of the lymphatic channels and cellular injury.

Significant improvement in swelling can be seen in the first three weeks following surgery, with the majority gone in about three months.  Small amounts of swelling may persist up to a year following surgery.

We generally recommend the use of compression support garments for about three weeks following surgery.  We also recommend a low salt diet before and after liposuction.  Exercise is usually started early in the post-operative period, and we want patients to ambulate as soon as possible following surgery.

 Massage is also helpful, it decreases swelling by immobilizing retained fluid following liposuction.  All of these steps help to minimize the duration of swelling following surgery.  In most cases compression massage, low salt diet and early ambulation speed recovery. 


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.