Will I Look Thin 5 Days After SmartLipo?

I'm 19, 130 lbs and 5'2" . I'm having Smart Lipo done on my outer/inner thighs, hips, knees, love handles, and back. I plan to start working within a week or so after my surgery, although I'd like to know, will I see a drastic difference after 5 days to a week? Like drop 2 sizes? Or will I still look the same and only see results after a months or so? I really hope I'll see a difference as I'd like to look slimmer for my new job. Please let me know. Thanks!

Doctor Answers 20

It takes time

5 days is asking too much. Smartlipo recovery is faster than most liposuction procedures, but even so you need to give yourself more time to look significantly thinner. The reason is that your body will swell for a week or two. Swelling and bruising are less with smartlipo, but you will still have some swelling. You will also be wearing a compression garment for 2 weeks.

I generally tell patients to expect that swelling resolves by about 2 weeks and you will notice improvement at that point. Maximal results, however, are still probably about 3-6 months down the road.

Beverly Hills Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1 review

No drastic difference after 5 days

Smartlipo is a good tool in the hands of the right plastic surgeon who picks the right patient, and given your description of your age, height and weight, you may very well be a very good candidate for the procedure. But it is still a surgical procedure, and with that comes swelling and downtime, in particular if you are having the procedure in multiple areas as you describe.

I would tell you the same thing I tell all patients who are seeking Smartlipo, or even conventional lipo: the final result takes time, and this may be anywhere from 6 weeks to 6 months or longer. Don't be dissapointed if you do not see any difference at a week, or if your clothes even feel a bit more snug-- this is normal, and with time and patience the swelling will resolve.

The key is to voice your concerns to your surgeon so that the two of you are on the same page and that you may adjust your schedule as needed to allow for the recovery period.

Best of luck,

Dr. S

Shahram Salemy, MD, FACS
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 149 reviews


Swelling can be worse in the days after your surgery, so at 5 days you may look worse than before your surgery. But it will go away with time. I'm not sure if you'll drop 2 sizes, because it depends on how much fat is removed. 

Michael Constantin Gartner, DO
Paramus Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 131 reviews

Looking skinny after 5 days

The benefits of laser lipolysis, or SmartLipo, is less bruising, less swelling, and less pain.

However, overall,  the swelling will stay a bit longer.

After any surgical procedure the swelling will continue to increase for 3-4 days, after that the swelling will slowly decrease. Trying to look skinny in 5 days is a bit overly optimistic. It may take several weeks to have significant decrease in size.

Wearing garments, massage, initiation of conservative aerobic exercise program can help the swelling to subside faster, however, it'll be very difficult to match your 5 day deadline.


Boris Volshteyn M.D., M.S.

Boris Volshteyn, MD, MS
East Brunswick Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

Will I Look Thin 5 Days After SmartLipo?

Dear jenny7art, Thank you for submitting your question. Swelling after liposuction will last for many weeks after surgery Final results take 6-12 months. Minimizing activities, lymphatic massage, and using a contour garment will help with the swelling. What I have noticed in my patients is that they go down one pants size in 6 weeks and 1-4 sizes in 12 weeks.  Best wishes

Jeff Angobaldo, MD
Dallas Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 95 reviews

Swelling will probably hide results

Patients can generally assess their results in about three to four months, as swelling, bruising and firmness may hide results. Swelling in particular will make you look larger than you actually are, so please follow your surgeon's post-op instructions and wear your compression garment as advised to help with your recovery. You will probably need to wear your garment for a couple of weeks. 

Jerome Edelstein, MD
Toronto Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 176 reviews

Liposuction swelling and recovery - Los Angeles

The swelling has a lot to do with the amount of fat removed. I do not anticipate that you will look completely normal within 5 days of your surgery. Raffy Karamanoukian, Los Angeles

Raffy Karamanoukian, MD, FACS
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 94 reviews

Thinner after smart lipo?

You will swell more and feel larger intially. Swelling, and some lumpiness/ uneveness is normal but the fluctuation should lessen over 6-9 months. You should be noticing less swelling over time not more. You can also have some numbness intially and that too will generally resolve over 6-9 month but could take up to a year. Follow up with your plastic surgeon to make sure you are on course.

Raj S. Ambay, MD
Tampa Plastic Surgeon
4.3 out of 5 stars 33 reviews

It's still Surgery

Thanks for the question.  This is one of the most frequently asked questions that I've heard from my SmartLipo patients.  Everyone wants to know how quickly they can go shopping and buy new clothes.  It's very important to keep in mind that while this is a less invasive Liposuction technique, this is still surgery.  You can expect to see swelling, the majority of which should be resolved in approximately 2-3 months.  However, the reduction of swelling can also depend on yourself.  Are you wearing your compression garments regularly?  Are you sticking to a reduced sodium diet after your procedure for the first two weeks to reduce fluid retention? 

It's also important to remember that there is no "reduced size guarantee".  Liposuction isn't necessarily about the reduction in size as it is more about shaping and contouring the body by removing unwanted areas of fat. The difference is that SmartLipo is a tool that is more effective in the hands of a skilled Plastic Surgeon.  

Mytien Goldberg, MD, FACS
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 5 reviews

Smart Lipo Recovery

It takes time to heal, of course, however, even swollen and bruised you may very well be smaller than you are now in 5 days.  Spot reduction of fat is incredibly powerful!  Seeing a difference in how you look will also help you work out- it gets frustrating when you seem to be doing everything right with no big changes- Lipo is a big change and that inspires you in ways you are yet to see!

Melanie L. Petro, MD
Birmingham Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 29 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.