Healing Bruises After Tummy Tuck and Liposuction

I just had Liposuction and a full Tummy Tuck done a week ago. I'm very pleased with what I've seen so far. However, I have extensive bruising from my hips to my knees, both sides of my stomach area, and the pubic area. How long before these bruises heal, and how can I speed up the healing process?

Doctor Answers 47

Bruises after tummy tuck and liposuction

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Most of the bruising is from the liposuction element of your surgery. It looks like you will have a beautiful result and 10 days is very early for you to be at all worried. The bruising will be gone in another 2 weeks and you will be feeling much better by then. Stick close to your surgeon and follow their advice for the best recovery. Good luck!

You have a great result

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First of all, you have a great result! Your bruising and swelling look normal for one week after surgery. You will be surprised, but the swelling and bruising will resolve over the next week or so. I usually have my patients go for medical massage starting 10 days after surgery to help with the swelling and lymphatic flow. However, you should discuss this with your surgeon before starting any therapies. Also, avoiding alcohol, salt and spicy foods helps keep the swelling down. Finally, Arnica Montana tablets or cream may help with the bruising. This is available in most health food stores.

I hope this is helpful.

Dr. David Shafer

New York City

Follow post-operative instructions

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Bruising time and severity varies from individual to individual. The best thing that can be done is to follow your doctor’s post-operative instructions for a faster recovery. Using a compression garment for two weeks 24 hours a day and as tolerated thereafter, except for showering, will help with swelling and prevent slow healing and excessive drainage.

I also use TopiFoam on my patients up to three days after surgery to assist with the bruising. Drinking adequate amounts of liquids to prevent dehydration, and avoiding alcoholic beverages for 48 hours before and after surgery will help with recovery. Avoiding soaking in baths or sitting water (no pools or ocean water) for at least 7 days after surgery will minimize the risk of infection. Arnica may also help.

Most of the bruising resolves by 2 weeks

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In most cases, the bruising is much improved by 2 weeks, and the swelling by anywhere from 2-4 weeks. I find that simple things like walking at gentle massage really do help, but time is the best treatment. You look like you are healing relatively normally for 1 week after surgery; be patient and talk directly with your surgeon as he or she will have their own specific protocols for the post-surgery period.

Shahram Salemy, MD, FACS
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 155 reviews

Help for bruises after tummy tuck or liposuction.

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Congratulations! You look great. Many of my patients are very happy with a lotion called BruiseGuard or Arnica montana to prevent and/or treat bruising. You should feel free to try them now if your surgeon approves, but there is nothing proven to speed up the process.  It looks like you will have bruising for 2 to 3 weeks.  Here is the most important thing I can tell you:  Whatever you do, avoid all sun (and tanning bed) exposure on the bruised areas until the bruising is fully resolved. If you don't, the bruising could last for months and months.

James N. Romanelli, MD, FACS
Long Island Plastic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 25 reviews

So far so good

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For 1 week your photo and bruising is very typical. Bruising around the abdomen is to be expected. Regarding the bruising down to your knees likely liposuction was also performed on your thighs/hips and it does move lower with gravity.

Arnica montana is an over the counter herbal remedy that can be used orally and topically to help with bruising. Vitamin K can be helpful as well.  It can take a few weeks for all the bruising to resolve.   Looks like you are doing just fine! 

David J. Levens, MD
Coral Springs Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 79 reviews

Healing Bruises After Tummy Tuck and Liposuction

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Everyone heals differently and at a different rate. You do not have any reason to be worried yet. I would give your body a couple more weeks of recovery and the bruises should be gone by then. Good luck!

Tummy Tuck and Liposuction

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Most of the bruising is from the liposuction surgery.  10 days is still to early, the bruising should be gone in another 2 weeks and you will be feeling better by then.  If you have concerns regarding your recovery you should ask your surgeon. 

Kevin Dieffenbach, MD
Oahu Island Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 34 reviews

Healing Bruises After Tummy Tuck and Liposuction

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After the Tummy Tuck operation the recovery period depends on your physical status, age, general health and condition mainly. The operation itself does not take too long therefore you receive a mild anesthesia. Since the anesthesia that you receive is mild; you will not have problems associated with anesthetic agents after the operation. This is especially important and can be achieved with only a team of plastic surgeons like we have. After the operation you will have stiches and bandages which will be removed after the 10th day. You can start to do your daily activities 3 days after the operation but we do not advise you heavy lifting, running or activities that require excess physical activity. The more you rest, the faster your recovery will be.

Bulent Cihantimur, MD
Turkey Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 102 reviews

Healing bruises following tummy tuck

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This is a very common and great  question! Typically bruising will start to subside between 7-10 days post-operative. I would suggest speaking with your Board Certified Plastic Surgeon on possibly some supplements you could take to help speed this process along. I provide Bromelain and Arnica to all of my patients which help to reduce swelling and bruising post-operatively. The other main factor is patience. As hard as it is to wait, your body has just been through a set of invasive procedures resulting in a beautiful new you! With this in mind your body needs time to heal. Typically at 7-10 days you will start to see reduction in bruising with a majority fading by 14-20 days post-operative. Hang in there, it will get better! I hope you have found this information helpful and I wish you luck! 

Patrick Viscardi, MD
South Bend Plastic Surgeon
4.9 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.