What is the Recovery Time for Lipo on Thighs, Butt, and Stomach?

I want to have my thighs, butt and my stomach reduced. what would be the recovery time?

Doctor Answers 13

Not all liposuction recovery is the same!

This can vary depending on the amount of fat removed, with some recovering rather quickly over a week whereas more extensive liposuction may take up to 3 months for pain and discomfort to improve or resolve. Removing 500cc in a 110lb individual is not the same as 4000cc in a 180lb individual

Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 82 reviews

Recovery Time for Liposuction

Here is the information I give my patients regarding the time for recovery after liposuction.
As with all operations, pain and discomfort varies greatly from patient to patient. Generally, one should expect that pain medication will be required for the first few days. Continuing discomfort can last varying amounts of time.  Much of the swelling and bruising will be improved within two weeks; however, some will persist for six to eight weeks.  It is often difficult to see permanent changes in the body shape before this time.
Most patients are instructed to wear an elastic garment from four to six weeks to help with skin shrinkage. Your plastic surgeon will tell you how long you should wear your elastic garment. For patients with poor skin elasticity Endermologie treatments may be recommended.
Normal activity may be resumed at 1 to 2 weeks post operation.  In general, patients may return to office work 3-5 days after the operation, and 14 days for more active employment.  After the operation, exercises are recommended, such as walking immediately and progressive activities beginning on the 14th day, in order to minimize the adhesions between the skin and the deeper tissues. Walking, swimming, or a stationary bicycle can usually begin in a few days after surgery. Specific time periods for resumption of daily activities, work, and exercise with be further discussed by your surgeon post operation.
Early results are seen 10-14 days after surgery, but improvement continues for 4-6 months.  Persistent swelling and irregularities may be present for several months.  If antibiotics are prescribed, they should be taken as directed.

Larry S. Nichter, MD, MS, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 159 reviews

Liposuction Recovery

Usually, if you lipo all three areas at the same time, your recovery period before you can return to work is roughly one week. While in my experience laser-assisted lipo can be completed in one area and you can return to work next day or day after that, most of the time liposuction in multiple areas causes slightly more discomfort and necessitates a longer recovery. The duration of time usually required to see good final results is 3 to 4 months.

Deason Dunagan, MD
Huntsville Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

Recovery Time for Liposuction

Every patient is a bit different in their recovery time.  In most cases, you are up and about in just a few days.  However, you will still have swelling and some bruising.  The bruising will take about one week to resolve.  In most cases, about 80% of the swelling resolves in the first 2 to 3 weeks.  The remaining 20% of the swelling may take up to several months to resolve.  However, once the initial swelling resolves you should see great results.  Good luck.

David Shafer, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 77 reviews

Liposuction Recovery

It really depends on how much fat needs to be removed.  But I usually have my patients wear a compression garment for 6 weeks and have them hold off on exercise for 4-6 weeks time.

My patients usually take pain medication for the first 3-5 days.

Hope that helps.

Farbod Esmailian, MD
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 79 reviews

Liposuction Recovery

Thank you for your question. It is important to realize that the amount of time it takes for recovery varies greatly among individuals. The first few days after surgery, you should rest quietly. If you can elevate the body part, it is usually suggested that you do so. Remember, you must not take Aspirin or certain anti-inflammatory medications. You most likely will wear a garment. If it is too tight, you should promptly notify your surgeon. During the first 48 hours following surgery, patients experience varying degrees of swelling and bruising. Although the vast majority of patients will have virtually no bruising, some patients will have bruising. Bruising typically disappears within 7 to 10 days. Stitches are usually removed within a week of surgery. Straining, bending over and lifting should be avoided during the early postoperative period. In many instances, you will be able to resume most of your normal activities within 10 days or less. Best of luck!Dhaval M. Patel Double board certifiedPlastic surgeon Hoffman Estates BarringtonOakbrook Chicago

Dhaval M. Patel, MD
Hoffman Estates Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 93 reviews


This can vary depending on the amount of fat removed, the quality of your skin and the activities you do.  Some patients recovering quickly over a week whereas more extensive liposuction may take up to a month for pain and discomfort to improve or resolve.  It is best to see a board certified surgeon for a consultation so that they can tell you the best recovery time for you.

Kevin Dieffenbach, MD
Oahu Island Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 33 reviews

Lipo Recovery Varies from Patient to Patient - We Recommend Taking 1 Week Off from Work

Liposuction recovery varies from patient to patient. We generally recommend that patients take a week off from work following this procedure. Occasionally, patients are able to return to work even sooner. Patients usually resume all of their normal activities within six weeks following surgery without restrictions.

We feel that exercise facilitates recovery and because of this, we encourage physical activity. Although swelling may still be present six weeks following surgery, the majority of patients have effectively returned to normal activity. 

Richard J. Bruneteau, MD
Omaha Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 194 reviews

Liposuction recovery

Usually recovery from liposuction is fairly quick as compared to other surgical procedures that we do.  Figure that you would probably need a couple of days to return to desk work.

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

Recovery from liposuction

patients heal differently based on their baseline pain tolerance level, the amount of surgery done, their medical condition and inherited factors.  Many patients are exercising again around three weeks after surgery, but take it slowly at first. Some patients actually excercise within a few days but that is not recommended.
Bruising can be seen for three to four weeks and senstivity to touch can persist for a couple of months or more.

Ronald Shelton, MD
Manhattan Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 38 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.