Laser liposuction recovery as a flight attendant.

I am a flight attendant and am required to do a lot of bending and lifting for my job. I have a laser lipo consultation scheduled soon, but am impatient and curious..I am not sure how long I'd have to be out of work for this procedure? I can't afford to be off for extended periods of time, and can certainly avoid lifting if necessary by just asking other crew for help, but don't want to risk complications.

Doctor Answers 8

Laser Liposuction

Hello, and thank you for your question. When it comes to laser liposuction, I usually recommend avoiding heavy lifting for about two weeks after the procedure. Also, a compression garment will need to be worn to reduce swelling and ensure optimal healing. However, recovery time will vary depending on the amount of fat that needs to be treated. A consultation with a surgeon near you can help to answer all of your questions. 


Beverly Hills Physician
5.0 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

Laser Lipo

Generally, the tumescent (numbing) fluid drains from your incisions for 24-48 hours. Many patients with sedentary jobs are able to return to work after the drainage stops. Patients in more strenuous professions, may need to work with a limited capacity because increased exertion may lead to increased inflammatory response in the areas treated. You should also consider the potential risks associated with laser Liposuction, specifically internal burns which may present as external burns. I would suggest that you research power assisted Lipo and schedule your procedure on the first day of a week long vacation.

Yours in health.

Mark Hennessy, MD
Houston Physician
5.0 out of 5 stars 11 reviews

Laser Liposuction Recovery? Don't Bend and Lift After Liposuction

Everybody heals differently, but I usually advise my patients to abstain from vigorous exercise or heavy lifting for two weeks after liposuction. You will be bruised and sore and will need to wear a compression garment during that period. While you may feel fine after a couple of days, you won't know that until you are in the postoperative period. I suggest arranging for at least a week off from work, preferably two. You can use it as a time to relax and take good care of yourself, gradually re-introducing activities until you're ready to return to work. Consulting with a board-certified dermatologist will give you a better idea of what to expect with laser liposuction.

Douglas Wu, MD
San Diego Dermatologist
4.9 out of 5 stars 47 reviews

Laser Liposuction downtime

It really depends on the areas treated, the amount of fat removed, the type of work you do and your physical fitness before the procedure. But on average my patients go back to work after 2-3 days and I advice them to avoid any strenuous activity for 1 week. Make sure that you stay well hydrated. Good luck!

Renata Wix-Harris, MD
Livingston Physician
5.0 out of 5 stars 8 reviews

Time off

Thanks for the question, I spend a lot of time discussing downtime with patients as it will always be different for each individual. It really depends how much lipo you are having and where you are having it. The more lipo you have in terms of volume the more downtime you will have as well if you are having lower extremity lipo that tends to slow people down. If you are close to your ideal body weight you should be able to get back to work with your supportive garment on in about 4 days

Ryan Neinstein, MD, FRCSC
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 77 reviews

I would let you return to work much sooner

i do all of my Smartlipo with oral sedation and local anesthetic. i let my patients return to work the next day and over 90% do so. your work is more physical so it is reasonable to wait 2-3 days but you should be fine then. You will be sore then but should be able to do your job. any drainage usually stops by the next day. Since you are not being put to sleep, there is little risk of a blood clot. 

of course, if you want to, you could do more time off, but you could push and return to your job in 2-3 days. Obviously the more areas you treat, the more sore you will likely be, so that could be an influence. however, as i said, i have treated many patients with several areas and they do fine.

good luck

david berman md

David E. Berman, MD
Sterling Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 112 reviews

Smart lipo and flying

You typically need 48 hours to recover from Smart Lipo. Domestic flights are possible after that. Just stay well hydrated. When flying for over 8 hours we recommend 5 -7 days rest after smart lipo. The most important parameter is SL under local anesthesia with a plastic surgeon that has a lot of experience with the procedure. Good luck

Spero Theodorou, MD
New York Physician
5.0 out of 5 stars 5 reviews

Minimal down time

With newer techniques that are used in conjunction with laser lipo, the down time should be minimal.  My patients often go back to work 48 hrs post procedure, it also depends on the number of areas to be treated etc.  You will be sore, think of not going to the gym for 6 months and then deciding to partake in a strenuous full body workout.  That is the soreness you should expect, but that does not limit patients from doing there daily activities.  The main thing is you will need to wear a compression garment for a couple weeks after the procedure which may interfere with your uniform.  Other than that, no limits!


Hope this helps

Calvin Jung, MD
Houston Physician
5.0 out of 5 stars 24 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.