How Much Time Should I Wait Between Lipo Procedures? (Photos)

how much time should I wait between lipo procedures. Day 1 would be 4000cc on i/n thighs, hips, u/l abs, back, knees, and arms. I am 199 lbs 5'7 curvy and think I will need another 2-3K cc to get the hour glass figure I am looking for (175 lbs)I was told 4 days, 6 weeks, 3 mths, I am confused. Which is it. Surgery 1 is Oct 5, 2011.

Doctor Answers 13

Liposuction revision specialist

How long one would have to wait is entirely dependent on what you need to revise. We usually wait until all the swelling has subsided. 

Dr. Karamanoukian
Realself100 Surgeon

Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 94 reviews

Staged liposuction, safety and timing between surgeries

The timing between any two surgeries will be dependent on how long it takes your body to recover. The larger the first surgery, the more areas treated, and the greater the blood loss, the longer the recovery. I believe a safe time is 3 months and repeat lab work should be done to confirm optimum health is restored. The patients themselves can be there own best advocate. Don 't do the repeat surgery until you feel yourself again and fully restored. 

I would not do repeat liposuction in the same area personally. I believe one area should be addressed thoroughly and to completion. After liposuction, the area has the invasion of scar tissue making secondary liposuction more difficult, bloody and painful. 

I do think repeat liposuction is fine if addressing totally different areas making sure safety is the priority. 

One another note, I believe your expectations are inappropriate if you are looking to achieve a specific weight. You want to lose 22 pounds with your procedure. I can not emphasize enough that this is not a weight loss procedure. To lose 22 pounds you would need to suction 12 to 13 liters of pure fat. If you instill fluid in a one to one ratio you would then need to suction twice that amount (24 to 25 liters) which would be ill advised in my opinion. Make no mistake, I believe you can achieve a greatly improved result, but a certain weight should not be your goal. Your goal should be improved contour alone. 

Jay Burns, MD
Dallas Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 46 reviews

Timing between liposuction procedures

The answer to your question is fairly straightforward but the problem is expecting liposuction of any type to give you a particular shape you are looking for such as an "hour glass figure". Liposuction only reduces the thickness of the fat layer between and the muscle from an exces to a normal thickness. Your insides, bone, muscle, and skin structure are not affected and are major determinants of your shape. 

The confusion over staging has to do with physical recovery (often referred to as "healing") and full recovery of the tissues such that no further changes will occur (maturation, resolution, settling). Physical recovery from liposuction including blood volume and obvious swelling/bruise takes about two weeks. Full resolution of the liposuction treated area to see final results and compare to other areas usually takes three months. Tumescent injection reduces blood loss to a minimum and local anesthesia avoids the effects (and costs) of general anesthesia but I would still recommend waiting two weeks for physical recovery and three months for evaluation of the results. 

Scott L. Replogle, MD
Boulder Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 1 review

Time between liposuction procedures

I recommend that patients wait between 3 to 6 months between procedures. It's important to ascertain that all the seeking has dissipated. Also, in elective surgery, you should give body a rest between anesthesia sessions. Then you can critically evaluate what needs to be done in the second procedure or even if this is necessary.

Robert L. Kraft, MD, FACS
New York Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 40 reviews

Staging Liposuction Procedures

I believe that staging large volume liposuction procedures is the safest weigh to achieve optimal result.  It is very important that the procedure is done in an accredited facility with meticulous monitoring and probably an overnight stay.  I would perform 4-5 liters of liposuction at the initial procedure and treat each are to completion.  I would then wait 3 months to allow your body's physiology to return to normal and for significant swelling resolution to better assess the amount needed at the next stage.  At the next stage,  I would then address the areas that were not treated initially.  I do not like to return to a previously treated site as their tends to be more scar tissue in this area which can lead to increased bleeding, contour abnormalities and ultimately a subotpimal result.   Allowing sufficient time in between stages is much safer than trying to repeat these procedures too close together.  Best of luck!

Louis DeLuca, MD
Palm Beach Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 53 reviews

Questions on staged liposuction

There appears to be several issues here which are of concern including potential expectations or results. Yes, you can have an improved contour but what you may be expecting could be different.

Regarding the liposuction, if you are having the same areas re-suctioned, my recommendation would be to wait between 3 and 6 months before proceeding. I would be very concerned for a number of reasons regarding a physician who would only wait 4 days. There would be far too much swelling and distortion which will impact the results.

Be vary careful!

Steven Turkeltaub, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Waiting between liposuction procedures.

While 199 lbs and 5'7" is still a fairly high BMI, you m ay want to focus on diet and exercise first to lower your weight. In general, liposuction is for contouring and for stubborn areas.  The ASPS recommends no more than 5L of fat removed in one session, You probably should wait 3-4 months between to heal and for most of the swelling to subside before going on to do more.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

How long to wait between Lipo procedures.

If you plan on having the same areas operated on again, it would be best to wait at least three months for the swelling to subside. Prior to that time you will not have a clear picture of what is fat and how much of it is swelling. This will give your body also plenty to time to recover from the first operation.

Robert M. Jensen, MD
Medford Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 40 reviews

Multiple Liposuction andTiming

When any type of liposuction is performed, your body reacts in the same manner.  First, there is rapid swelling, maybe some bruising, and or course, some tenderness.  Most of the swelling goes away in the first few weeks but the remaining swelling  and skin shrinkage will take months to completely settle which is why you should consider waiting three months or more before proceeding with your second stage of liposuction.  This applies no matter what type of anesthesia you have; local, IV sedation, or general.  The delay will allow your surgeon to better plan the next stage and enhance your results without having to guess how much swell ling is still present.  This will also allow your body to replenish your blood loss and also the nutritional stores-proteins, etc.-that you use to heal after any type of surgery.  Lastly, try not to focus of how many cc's you need to remove to achieve your goal.  Liposuction is a contouring and sculpting procedure and that is how the results should be judged; not by how many cc's you got out.  Also, large volume liposuction procedures can have increased complications and overnight monitoring may be a very good idea.  Make sure you have your procedure at an accredited surgery center or hospital-(ask the facility and if they are accredited, they will be happy to tell you)-and make sure your surgeon is Board Certified!  Good Luck.

Herluf G. Lund, Jr, MD
Saint Louis Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 83 reviews

When should I stage liposuction?

I recommend waiting 3 months in between procedures.  This allows for some of the swelling to diminish, allowing for more accurate planning.  It also is important to decrease general anesthesia risks such as blood clots by spacing the procedures adequately.   If you are having general anesthesia and such a large volume liposuction (4000-5000cc is large volume),  you are approaching a scenario when it is recommended that you are monitored overnight and not just sent home from an outpatient surgery center due to fluid volume shifts and potential lidocaine toxicity.   Please be sure that you are having the procedure in an accredited facillity with a board certified plastic surgeon.

Michelle A. Spring, MD, FACS
Missoula Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 42 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.