True Weight After Lipo? How Much of My Weight is Actually Swelling?

I am post liposuction 6 days(YAY!).I weighed myself the morning of my surgery & I was 136.6 lbs.I know from much research & conversations with my doctor that lipo doesn't cause much weight loss.Now I'm so swollen I have no idea WHAT my true weight is.When I stepped on the scale this morning, it had me at 141.6 lbs, exactly 5 lbs MORE than my pre-surgery weight.I'm thinking this is due to the massive amount of swelling in both my thighs?? How much WEIGHT is on me due this swelling? Thanks! :)

Doctor Answers 8

How Much of My Weight AFTER Liposuction is Actually Swelling?

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Great question. As you know from life experience, every injury results in swelling. If you played active sports you know that in most cases the fall or hit at first are not as painful as what happens afterward. In its effort to repair the injury, the body's lymphatics leak fluid and inflammatory cells which through a complex process remove dead cells and reconstruct new tissues. The inflammatory process lasts several weeks to months and the swelling WILL gradually diminish.

You should ask your surgeon how much fat he removed. I often photograph the canisters with the fat and show it to my patients to let them see what was lost. If you watch your diet and remain active your weight WILL dip below your starting 137 pound point. Convert the amount in milliliters of supernatant (floating) fat removed by your surgeon to pounds and you will get your answer.

Peter A Aldea, MD

Memphis Plastic Surgeon

Fluid Retention after Liposuction

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The body's response to trauma is to retain water.  Liposuction is a surgical event that the body perceives as a traumatic event.  When you take fat or tissue away, you will have a weight increase after surgery.  This usually will resolve itself in a few weeks.  Fat does not weigh as much as bone or muscle.  You may look thinner after liposuction, while the scale may not change in a big way.  Remember to wear your compression garments and do those things post operatively that your Plastic Surgeon tells you to do for the best results.

Jeffrey J. Roth, MD, FACS
Las Vegas Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

Weight loss after lipo

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Fat weighs about 6-7 lbs per gallon or about 1.8 lbs per liter.  Therefore if your plastic surgeon took out about 4 liters of actual fat (not fat and tumescent) then after your swelling subsides you should weigh less by the amount of liters of fat removed x 1.8 pounds.  Of course, if you gain or loose weight in the interim period that you are waiting for your swelling to decrease then that number will change accordingly.

Most important of all, you should look at liposuction as a body contouring procedure not as a weight loss procedure.

All the best,


Remus Repta, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 173 reviews

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Fluid weight following liposuction

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At this point, it would be impossible to accurate assess what part of your weight is due to swelling versus other causes. It can take up to several weeks for much of this fluid weight to resolve - some from the swelling and some from the IV fluid given to you during surgery. In the meantime - stay somewhat active but within the parameters as given to you by your surgeon, avoid overindulging and stay off the scale.

Steven Turkeltaub, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 33 reviews

Weight after Liposuction?

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Thank you for the question.

It is normal for patients to “retain” fluid after surgery. This will throw off your weight calculations until the fluid is mobilized ( and excreted). This may take a few weeks to complete.

Best wishes for the remainder of your recovery (and stay off the scale for a while).

Weight gain after liposuction

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You are totally correct that, after liposuction, until your swelling goes down, you cannot accurately assess your true weight. You can expect that your body has mobilized fluid as swelling and you will have to give it some time. I hope that you are wearing a compression garment which will help to reduce swelling and enable you to reach the final result faster.

Swelling after lipo

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You'd benefit from not weighing yourself for a few weeks after surgery, because swelling can really add to your weight. At most, you'll have lost a couple of pounds from surgery, so that 5 pounds extra is probably swelling. Although you could also ask your surgeon about how much they removed.

Ronald Levine, MD
Toronto Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 25 reviews

Swellling after surgery

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Usually patients gain weight after srugery. Most of that is water weight that the body accumulates as a repsonse to the surgery. This usually takes a few weeks to resolve.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 30 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.