Swelling Worse Than Ever

I had smartlipo and vasor on my upper/lower abs/lovehandles 10 days ago.FYI- dr said he took out 4 lbs. I wasn't huge to begin with(size 4.) The day after surgery I looked pretty good and was excited about my possible result. Now, 10 days later, I am more swollen than ever. I still can't wear shorts that I wore before my surgery. Is this normal? Is it a good sign that I looked good the day after? When will this swelling go down? Would it help to exercise? I am taking arnica daily.

Doctor Answers 4


I find that patients who have a salty diet after liposuction or any surgery for that matter really swell up. Consider a low salt diet and get up and move as much as possible to help get all that extra fluid out!

New York Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 77 reviews

Swelling after lipo

Swelling can be worse in the days after your surgery. It will go away, but make sure you wear your compression garment as advised and drink plenty of fluids. You should also walk a bit,which will help. Cut back on sodium, too.

Michael Constantin Gartner, DO
Paramus Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 140 reviews

Swelling Worse Than Ever

It is not the norm. Best to see your chosen surgeon daily for lymphatic massages and external ultrasound. I might recommend diuretics. Seek medical attention.  

Darryl J. Blinski, MD
Miami Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 174 reviews

Post-lipo swelling

4 lbs of pure fat is a lot to take out and you can expect swelling for some time You are less than a week out of surgery and you are absolutely expected to have swelling for several weeks. You likely drained for several days or are still draining. In my practice, the patient wears a first stage compression guarment for the first 7-10 days and a second stage for the nest 6-8 weeks to support the skin. Its good to move around and walk but we do not recommend streneous physical activity like running or excercising for the first 10 days. If you are close to your menses, you may retain fluid more aggresively in which case a short course of diuretics can help expedite resolution of the swelling. Liposuction is traumatic especially the energy and heat generated by LASER and Ultrasound in addition to the mechanical trauma and disruption of local lymphatics. In my practice we undertake an aggresive posst-lipo care treatment regimen for the first 7 days post-op and aggresively manage the fluid build up the first 3 weeks with light compression, massage, ultrasound-guided needle aspiration of seromas, oral diuretics and corticosteroid taper. We recommend our patients avoid the sitting position as much as possible and walk 2 miles per day and keep well hydrated with water or electrylyte-balanced solutions. It is important to keep your surgeon apprised of any changes, concerns or questions so that they can intervene in a timely manner.

Edwin Ishoo, MD
Cambridge Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 20 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.