Swelling Increase 3 Weeks Post Op?

I had liposuction on my inner/outer thighs, arms, abdomen about 3 weeks ago. About 2 weeks post-op I noticed that the swelling decreased considerably and I was seeing results. A few days later swelling increased significantly and has not subsided at the 3 week mark. I have been wearing my compression garment 24/7 this entire time, eating healthy, walking for an hour every night. Why is swelling getting worse now when it seemed to be getting better before?

Doctor Answers 4

Swelling Increase 3 Weeks Post Op

Thank you for submitting your question. Swelling after liposuction will last for many weeks after surgery, esp the thighs.  Final results take 6-12 months. Minimize exercise, lymphatic massage, and using a contour garment will help with the swelling. Discuss your concerns with your Plastic Surgeon

Dallas Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 104 reviews

Swelling Increase 3 Weeks Post Op?

      If there is no seroma, the increase in swelling is likely due to increases in activity or dietary changes.



Kenneth Hughes, MD Los Angeles, CA

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

Increased swelling after 3 weeks....LIPOSUCTION

This is 99% due to a very significant ingestion of salt.....Sodium!   Patients often deny this at first,  but after a meticulous assay of all taken in orally, they come up with some sweet tasting pudding full of salt even though a sweet taste.   Remember there is salt everywhere.  Your ingestion should be 1500 mg or a little less.  This is not easy.  Over 2000mg you retain salt and water is attracted to the salt.  Your lymphatics are poorly functioning in the area of surgery and water and salt collect.  Once in place the swelling takes 4 to 5 days to exit.  Diuretics are a double edged knife.  Stay away from diuretics.  They can deplete potassium and this is bad.  Be careful of salt.  Remember you will be salt sensitive until the lymphatics start to connect and function and this can easily take 6 months.   This  salt is your problem.   Excessive exercise can also play a role in edema so think and think again.   My Best,  Dr C

George Commons, MD
Palo Alto Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 36 reviews

Swelling after liposuction

Swelling after liposuction will fluctuate as your activity level changes. Best to keep wearing your garment and follow your surgeon's instructions.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 29 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.