Swelling After Liposuction and Scar Revision

How long does the swelling last after Liposuction and a scar revision? I am 3 weeks post op and still wearing a garment, as well as foam pads. Horizontal scar was from a hysterectomy. Doctor wants to follow up with Fraxel to smooth out my stomach. Will this help? Also, I had this done because I had sagging lower abs and a stretch mark around my belly button.

Doctor Answers 2

Everyone will have swelling after liposuction and tummy tucks

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The duration of swelling after liposuction varies from patient to patient and is generally related to the extent of the procedure, i.e. the volume of fat removal. Depending on the type of compression garment used and the patient compliance most patients will begin to see an improvement at around four to six weeks. The improvement will then continue for six months or more.

Sometimes for the original condition you describe a patient may achieve a better result from a tummy tuck or abdominoplasty rather than liposuction. I’m assuming this was considered and your surgeon had a good reason for recommending the treatment route you followed. It is still very early in your course of recovery so you can be optimistic that you’re appearance will continue to improve.

Good luck and best wishes. I hope you achieve the appearance you desire.

Sacramento Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 50 reviews

Recovery after liposuction and scar revision

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Following ANY surgical procedure, you can expect some swelling, bruising, discomfort and overall fatigue. This "downtime" varies from person to person, and procedure to procedure.

Liposuction in particular will cause a significant amount of swelling, bruising and numbness, as a normal part of the procedure. This can take 3-6 weeks to begin to resolve in the initial recovery period.

A scar revision may also have some pain, swelling and bruising that will follow the normal period of recovery - look to your recovery after your hysterectomy incision as an example of what you may expect during healing.

Scar therapies may be initiated as early as 3-4 weeks after surgery. There are many options - you will discuss these in detail with your Plastic Surgeon.

Compression garments are usually recommended during the initial period after liposuction to contain swelling, speed absorption of fluid, and encourage skin contraction.

After six weeks, there will still be some swelling, numbness and aching in the area of liposuction. Bruising is usually gone by this time.

It can take up to one YEAR for the final result to be evident after liposuction or any surgical procedure.

The best advice is to be patient!

As you start to feel better along your recovery period, you may feel frustrated that you have not fully recovered. This is normal.

Be good to your body and know that your body is busy healing, even as you sleep.

Happy recovery!

Karen M. Horton, MD
San Francisco Plastic Surgeon

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.