Realistic recovery time for liposuction?

I'm scheduled for lipo on Nov, 25th 2014. Thanksgiving day is a few days after that and then my birthday is on Dec 4th. The assistant at my PS's office is telling me I'll be fine to go to thanksgiving dinner with my family (very simple and private gathering at my uncles) and she said I'll be fine as well to go to dinner for my birthday. Nothing major. Should I believe her??? Everyone recovers differently and I know that but, what's realistic and what is she just trying to make sound like no big deal?

Doctor Answers 10

Liposuction Recovery

Thank you for your question. It is important to realize that the amount of time it takes for recovery varies greatly among individuals. The first few days after surgery, you should rest quietly. If you can elevate the body part, it is usually suggested that you do so. Remember, you must not take Aspirin or certain anti-inflammatory medications. You most likely will wear a garment. If it is too tight, you should promptly notify your surgeon. During the first 48 hours following surgery, patients experience varying degrees of swelling and bruising. Although the vast majority of patients will have virtually no bruising, some patients will have bruising. Bruising typically disappears within 7 to 10 days. Stitches are usually removed within a week of surgery. Straining, bending over and lifting should be avoided during the early postoperative period. In many instances, you will be able to resume most of your normal activities within 10 days or less. Best of luck!Dhaval M. Patel Double board certified Plastic surgeon Hoffman Estates BarringtonOakbrook Chicago

Hoffman Estates Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 93 reviews

Recovery is less painful and faster when liposuction is under local.

There is so many advantages to tumescent local liposuction. You are up and about the next day. you can go to work in 2 days and back to the gym in 1 week. Not to mention the better results since your doc can stand you up and have you turn in all positions so he/she can fine tune you. sincerely, David Hansen,MD

David Hansen, MD
Beverly Hills Dermatologic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 42 reviews

The reality of recovery from liposuction

People differ in the rate at which they recover from liposuction, but the initial healing process is very similar for everyone.  The biggest determining factor in the early phases of healing (first 2 -4 weeks) is how much fat was removed.  The more fat removed, the longer the swelling lasts and typically the more discomfort.  However, taking too little fat defeats the purpose.

In my practice, I tend to take out what is necessary to create the best possible result, and sometimes that means longer recovery times.  In general, however, the schedule is as follows:

Day 1-3  Significant swelling and possible drainage of fluid from the incisions, also the worst of the discomfort.  Must wear compression garment.
Day 4-14 Swelling quickly improves, but still with at least 50% of the way to go. Pain medication requirement decrease and most patients can switch to ibuprofen.  No exercise during this period.  Must wear compression garment.
Day 15-45 May exercise, switch to second stage garment to control swelling.  By end of 6 weeks approximately 80% of swelling is gone.
Day 45-90 Lose the garment.  Last bits of swelling go away.  Some people will have residual swelling for up to 6 months.

Leif Rogers, MD, FACS
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

Liposuction and Recovery

My patients are typically up and doing well the next day, they go about their normal routine except for some leaking.  2 days later they are back completely to everything except extreme exercise which I limit to 7-10 days.  It all depends on how the procedure is performed and what techniques they use.  Having sedation dramatically increases the downtime and bruising/swelling in my opinion that is why I do a tumescent approach.  I suggest speaking to your physician in detail about what to expect.  Best, Dr. Emer.

Jason Emer, MD
Los Angeles Dermatologic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 190 reviews

Liposuction recovery

Thank you for your question.
As you realize each person pain tolerance and recovery is different.
The amount and location of liposuction would needed to give you a more accurate answer.
In general and based on average amount of liposuction, in my experience and what I discuss with patients:
1) first couple days you should take it easy and do that which does not cause pain ie daily
2) usually back to work in 3-4 days (non-physical job)
3)progressive walking
4) when compression garmet is removed 4-6 weeks, progressive exercise program is begun.

All of this should be gone over with your Plastic Surgeon directly if you have questions.

Best wishes,

Robert A. Hardesty, MD, FACS
Riverside Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 98 reviews

Realistic recovery time for liposuction?

     Liposuction recovery will depend upon number of areas involved and the extent of that liposuction in each area.  Having dinner is probably not going to present a major obstacle.

Kenneth Hughes, MD

Los Angeles, CA

Kenneth B. Hughes, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 492 reviews

Realistic recovery time for liposuction?

You are not providing enough information for an answer. You need to speak with your surgeon. It depends on your health and how many and which areas are being done. I can tell you the average patient I see (good health and low BMI) would recover as you have stated above.

Ronald V. DeMars, MD
Portland Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 27 reviews

Recovery after liposuction

Going to a family dinner a few days after liposuction will not adversely affect the quality of the result. In other words, you're not harming anything by going to dinner. The real question is whether your degree of pain will prevent you from attending. If you're having liposuction involving multiple areas of the body, you might feel too sore to enjoy the dinner gathering, although you would be equally sore if you stay at home. As you mentioned, patients recover at very different rates. I've had patients who would easily be able to attend a family dinner the day after surgery, and others who wouldn't feel ready for 7-10 days or more after liposuction. Without knowing the areas to be treated, it's hard to be more specific. If you don't trust the information from the surgeon's assistant, ask to speak directly to the surgeon to obtain an honest estimate of time off.

Andres Taleisnik, MD
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 37 reviews

#Liposuction #recovery


It depends on how much liposuction you get and what part of the body. Generally, for a focused area, you should be able to celebrate a small dinner with family a few days after.

I hope this was helpful,

Dr. Daniel Barrett
Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery
Beverly Hills, CA

Daniel Barrett, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 62 reviews

Recovery time for liposuction

Recovery can range from 5-7 days for liposuction and up to two weeks for more extensive body lifting procedures.

Henry Mentz, MD, FACS
Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 34 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.