Skin Reattachment/tightening After Lipo?

How long does it generally take for skin to reattach/redrape/tighten after liposuction ? ( I am 36 with decent skin elasticity & am 2 wks post op.)

Doctor Answers 10

Skin Reattachment/tightening After Lipo?

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Thank you for the question.  How much skin will "tighten" will depend on the quality of skin elasticity of the overlying skin.  Generally, younger patients and patients whose skin does not demonstrate loss of elasticity (physical findings of stretch marks, irregularities etc.), tend to do better with liposuction surgery.  Many patients who present for liposuction surgery are not good candidates for the procedure.  Ultimately, it is better not to undergo the liposuction procedure if the outcome leaves the patient with skin contour irregularities or other aesthetic problems that he/she is displeased with (and are very difficult to correct). This is one of the many reasons patients are better off seeking consultation with board-certified plastic surgeons who have the full "armamentarium" of procedures at their disposal.

Generally speaking, good candidates for liposuction surgery are patients who present with localized areas of diet and exercise resistant adipose tissue and an overlying skin “envelope” that demonstrates good skin elasticity. 

My best suggestion again: make sure that your selected surgeon is a board-certified plastic surgeon giving you good/ethical advice. Best wishes.

Skin Redraping

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     I believe the answer is different for each patient.  The ability for skin to re-drape depends on the elasticity of that person's skin.  The more elastic, the better and quicker the overall result. Obviously, at first there is significant swelling and discoloration. Over the subsequent months, the swelling improves and the result becomes apparent.  Along with a healthy lifestyle of proper diet and exercise, it may take up to a year to see the true final result.



Clifford King, MD
Middleton Plastic Surgeon


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In our practice we tell our patients to wear there compression garment for 3 months at least. It take 6-8 weeks for your skin to be as strong as before.

Stuart B. Kincaid, MD, FACS (in memoriam)
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon

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Skin attachment after liposuction

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The skin and subcutaneous tissues are always attached to the muscular and deeper layers, but since much of the fat has been removed there is now a potential space that can be occupied by fluid.  This is why you have to be prudent about wearing the garment after the surgery.  The skin will continue to tighten over the next few months, and you will see continuous improvement.  SmartLipo also tightens the skin directly, but this still will take time to see the results.

Skin redrape post liposuction

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Good morning Danielle. Everything said & done skin retraction post lipo is pretty subjective. Usually visible skin retraction takes approximately 2-4 weeks and gets better & better over the 4-6 months following the procedure.

In our practice we advise the patients to wear the pressure garments for a month 24x7; and for another month through 12 hours of their choosing; depending on the weather conditions & the comfort of the patient.


Skin Tightening after Liposuction

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   The skin can tighten after liposuction as the swelling continues to resolve.  Compression is recommended for 4 to 6 weeks during this phase.  At 3 to 6 months, much of the healing is over.  Kenneth Hughes, MD Los Angeles, CA

Results of liposuction

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The skin swelling commonly seen after liposuction continues to improve for 6 months or more after surgery. Most patients see a significant improvement in their shape within the 1st month though. 

Skin adherence

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I usually have my patients wear the liposuction garment for about 3-6 weeks after surgery.  However, the skin is still attached to the underlying tissues even after liposuction.

How long for skin reattachment after liposuction?

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Even after the most aggressive liposuction the skin is actually still quite attached to the deeper tissues by numerous strands of collagen that normally connect the deep surface of the skin with the muscular fascia. However, the greater of volume of fat removed and the looser the skin, the longer the redraping and contraction of skin will take. I like to encourage the wearing of a 'gentle' compression garment for about 3 weeks in the average case. It can be worn longer if the patient has prolonged edema and swelling but with the incorporation of lymphatic drainage into the post operative protocol this is not typical. If it feels comfortable to wear a garment longer, by all means, continue to wear it. Otherwise I have not found it to improve long term results by wearing it longer than 3-4 weeks. Best of Luck   Dr Harrell

Skin Reattachment After Liposuction: A Timeline

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After conventional or tumescent liposuction, the skin needs a period of time to heal and "reattach" to the deeper tissues.  I have found that the skin is in pretty good shape at 4 weeks postop, but will gain even more strength by 6 - 8 weeks. 


In our practice, we keep our patients in fitted pressure garments for 3 - 4 weeks or longer, depending on the skin tone of the patient prior to surgery.  Once the 3 - 4 weeks have passed, we transition patients to more comfortable "Spanx" type garments (body support garments available at department stores) for another 4 weeks or so.


I feel that it is important to not exercise for at least 4 weeks or so after major liposuction as to not loosen the healing skin.



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.