Does swelling after awake Tumescent Liposuction usually begin right away? Why cant I see results immediately 24 hours post op?

Doctor Answers 7

Swelling is normal

It is normal to swell to a certain extent in the areas that surround the liposuction because of local movement of the fluid.  It its also common to have generalized swelling because of the fluid shift that is occurring globally.  All of this will resolve.  Some in the first few weeks, some over 6 months.

San Antonio Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 135 reviews

Swelling after Liposuction

Thanks for your question. The answer is yes! Swelling begins while the procedure is being performed! Significant swelling is present in the first 48 hours and slowly decreases over the following 2 weeks. Less significant swelling continues for up to 3 months (or longer). So be patient - it will get better!
Hope this helps!
Dr. Nicolas Hynes, MSc, MD, FRCS(C)

Nicolas M. Hynes, MD
Hamilton Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 13 reviews

Does swelling after awake Tumescent Liposuction usually begin right away? Why cant I see results immediately 24 hours post op?

Post-liposuction swelling starts right away and progresses of the first 3-7 days. The tissue induration (firmness) will take weeks to months to gradually resolve. Interestingly enough, most patients will weigh more after their liposuction than they did before. That is because of water retention. Your results will gradually manifest over the next few weeks. Be patient. Good luck!

Steven M. Gitt, MD, FACS (in memoriam)
Phoenix Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 36 reviews

Swelling after liposuction

Hi, there.
Swelling starts after surgery.  You would have the worst swelling during the first 1-2 weeks.  Majority of swelling decreases in 6 weeks. 
You will look worse before looking better.
Please wear compression garment and follow your plastic surgeon's post-op instruction.
Best regards.

Sugene Kim, MD, FACS
Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 76 reviews

Swelling and liposuction

Yes, swelling occurs rather quickly with liposuction. The majority of swelling will dissipate after about 4-6 weeks, but it can persist for many months.

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


Thank you for your question. The procedure of tumescent liposuction is the type of technique used. Tumescent is the process  of injecting large amounts of IV fluid with diluted lidocaine (local anesthesia) and epinephrine ( a medication that shrinks capillaries)  into the subcutaneous fat. The definition of tumescent means "swollen" and "firm." There is so much fluid used to numb the area and loosen the subcutaneous fat that you are unable to see your results after surgery. This tumescent technique is very effective  at minimizing blood loss as well as helping with pain management by keeping the operated areas numb. Swelling begins to resolve around one to two weeks after surgery and continues to resolve even up to a year.    

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 81 reviews

Swelling after liposuction

  Swelling after any form of liposuction is common in the first 24 to 48 hours for two reasons. One, not all of the tumescent fluid is removed by liposuction and remains in the space. Two, the passing of the cannula through the tissues does tear some very small blood vessels which, when they leak, cause both bruising and swelling. This leaking of the blood vessels usually resolves within a week to 10 days. By two weeks, most patients begin to see that they start to look thinner in the areas that had the liposuction done. Good luck and congratulations on your surgery.

Marc J. Salzman, MD, FACS
Louisville Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 54 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.