How long before you see results after liposuction?

I had liposuction on my stomach 20 days ago. I was told it would take 5 months for me to see the results however they stated they took out 4 liters yet I am bigger than I was before I had it done. My stomach is hard, I am still in pain. Is this normal 20 days after a procedure is completed?

Doctor Answers 8

Compression is Key

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Swelling  is normal and will slowly subside three to six months after your procedure, you should see some improvement by now. You should be wearing  a compression garment for 3 months. This will  help with the swelling and shaping of your body. Its always best to discuss your concerns with your surgeon on your follow ups.

Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.3 out of 5 stars 42 reviews

Lipo and results

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Patients often have a lot of swelling or the first 6-8 weeks and then it settles down. The final result is often realized by about 6 months.

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

Liposuction - Post Op Swelling

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Thank you for your question. While swelling will slowly subside three to six months following your procedure, you should see some improvement by now. You may wear a compression garment if you feel it helps. Please discuss your concerns with your board certified plastic surgeon. Hope this helps and good luck with your recovery.

Liposuction and swelling

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Some improvement is usually evident soon after the procedure. It is important to wear a compression garment or abdominal binder 24 hours day (except when showering) for the first 4 weeks and during the day for the 5th and 6th weeks to help reduce the swelling and prevent fluid accumulation (called a seroma). Most of the swelling resolves in 3 months. The hardness that you feel is normal at 3 weeks after liposuction, and will gradually go away by itself.  You should not have any pain except when you try to get up out of a chair or engage in other activities that require contraction of the abdominal muscles.  Avoiding such movements will help to prevent pain. For example, use your arms to support your weight when getting up out of a chair.  Turn on your side and boost your self up with your arms when getting up out of bed. If you continue to have concerns, please follow up with your surgeon. Follow your doctor's recommendations completely. Good luck with your recovery.

Renuka Diwan, MD
Cleveland Dermatologic Surgeon

Liposuction - when do i see results

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Thank you for asking about your  liposuction
  • It will take at least six months from surgery to see your final result.
  • This is because of swelling.
  • Yes, the swelling can make you temporarily bigger than before.
  • It is normal to be swollen after 3 weeks but not normal to be in pain.
  • I suggest you discuss the pain with your surgeon to find out what is causing it.
Always see a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon. Best wishes  - Elizabeth Morgan MD PHD FACS

How long after liposuction?

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After liposuction, you swell considerably, especially over the first 5 - 7 days.  Then, over the next month, that swelling will go down, irregularly, with lumps and bumps that shift as the swelling subsides.  Virtually all patients have obvious lumps of swelling at 6 weeks.  I tell all my patients they will still be swollen at 6 months, but should look good, with only minor lumps.  It can easily take 6 - 12 months for those to go away as much as they will.  At 20 days, you will still be significantly swollen.  More if you have been very active or not wearing your compression garments as religiously as you should.  I don't usually look at results before 6 weeks, and only then very cautiously due to residual swelling.

Richard R. Orr, MD
Evansville Plastic Surgeon

Swelling after lipo

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sounds like you had a large procedure but it's early. I generally tell patients that it takes roughly 3 months for abdominal lipo to start showing results. Swelling may be intrabdominal gas as slow motility is often a side effect of that procedure.

Robert V. Mandraccia, MD
Fort Myers Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

Swelling after Liposuction

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Thank you for your great question!
This is a very common in the office.

Final Results usually take between 6-12 months, but most patients see the beginning of results within one month. Usually by 3 weeks much of the swelling is down and most patients are looking better than before the surgery.

I wish you well. 

Dr McAdoo 

  • 32,000 procedures 
  • 20 years experience
  • AOA board certified plastic surgeon

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.