Liposuction allows you to target stubborn areas of fat, improving both body shape and confidence. Today’s liposuction options allow for excellent results with less downtime than ever before. If you’re curious about recovery after liposuction, we’ve answered some of the most frequently asked liposuction questions we get, and included our top liposuction recovery tips.
What is the first day like, after liposuction?
Right after your liposuction procedure you will probably feel groggy and tired. You’ll be driven home by a friend or relative, and should plan to rest for the remainder of the day. We’ll make sure that you and the person who takes you home have detailed instructions for care. If we think you’ll need it, we will give you a prescription for pain medication. You may have some discomfort but should not feel substantial pain, even in the first few days of liposuction recovery.
Liposuction recovery tip: staying well-hydrated with water or fruit juices, and resting, will help you feel better during the first week.
What will I feel like a week after liposuction?
One week after liposuction, most people do not need pain medication anymore. You should be able to walk around and do light housework. If you have a job that is not physically strenuous, you can be back at work by now. Depending on where you have fat removed from, you’ll likely still be wearing a compression garment at this point in the liposuction recovery process. Liposuction recovery tip for a week after your treatment: although you’ll likely be feeling better, remember to keep following your post-treatment instructions we give you. If you overdo it, this can slow your recovery and can increase swelling.
One month after liposuction, will there be any side-effects?
After a month, most of your swelling and bruising will be gone, but it is normal for liposuction recovery to take 2 – 4 months. Your body can make scar tissue that can take months to soften. You’ll also have swelling that can linger for months. Some patients find they have tingly areas of skin for even up to a year. However, by this one month mark you should be able to see results of your liposuction, even though you’ll still be in the final phase of recovery. Some swelling and bruising are normal at this point.
Will I need pain medication during liposuction recovery?
Some patients are fine with over the counter pain medication, and some need a prescription medication. Your level of discomfort will depend on what type of liposuction you have, and what areas of the body we treat. Liposuction done with sedation usually results in an easier recovery than liposuction done under general anesthesia. Additionally, the more fat that’s removed, the more likely someone is to need a stronger pain medication. Most patients find any pain is well-managed, and do not have substantial discomfort during liposuction recovery.
Liposuction recovery tip: if you’re taking prescription pain medication, try to stop taking it as soon as you feel you able. This will allow you to get back to driving, and feeling more focused.
Will I get antibiotics when I have liposuction?
In many cases we do prescribe antibiotics to make liposuction recovery easier. Surgeons sometimes give these before liposuction, but sometimes give them during or after the procedure. The antibiotic effect will last through your recovery period, even if they are given before the procedure. Liposuction recovery tip: do not stop taking your antibiotics until you’ve finished all doses, even if you feel completely fine. It’s very important to finish antibiotic prescriptions as written.
How long will I have bruising after liposuction?
Bruising is normal after any liposuction procedure, and is a result of the tissue and blood vessels being aggravated during the treatment. You can expect to see substantial improvement in bruising within 2 – 3 weeks following your procedure. The amount of bruising can be quite variable depending on your tendency to bruise in general, the area of your liposuction, and the technique used. Liposuction recovery tip: there is very little you can do to minimize bruising, except to rest as much as possible and follow your post-procedure instructions. The bruising will subside with time.
How long will I have swelling after liposuction?
During recovery from liposuction, almost everyone has swelling. This swelling will be most notable in the first week, and will gradually subside. On average, people find they have swelling longer than bruising. This is one reason it’s very difficult to judge the results of your liposuction until you’ve had a chance to heal. Although people generally have a reduction in swelling over the first month, it can take 4-6 months for the swelling to be completely gone. Some people find their swelling is better in the morning, after they’ve rested, and gets more pronounced later in the day, as their activity increases. Although it’s difficult, being patient through this phase is a key liposuction recovery tip!
After liposuction, when will I be able to see my results?
Even though most of the bruising will be gone in a few weeks, and your swelling will be subsiding, it’s important to be patient in evaluating the final results of your liposuction. It can take up to 4 – 6 months for all the swelling to go away, so you will not have an accurate idea of your liposuction results until that point. Many of our patients want to buy new clothing to match their new, improved, body shape after liposuction.
Liposuction recovery tip: Don’t buy new clothes until your swelling has dissipated – this is the best way to truly see your final results.
Do any types of liposuction have easier, shorter recoveries?
an aggressive and invasive procedure. Recent liposuction technologies and techniques allow for much more gentle procedures with easier and shorter recoveries. Liposuction techniques like VASER Liposuction and micro body contouring techniques are especially known for having shorter recovery periods. We offer a range of liposuction options and are happy to explain the different recovery processes of each.
Can I exercise during recovery from liposuction?
Although each case is different, we’ll likely ask you to wait a week before doing any exercise. We’ll also ask you to wait several weeks before doing strenuous exercise like aerobics. However, you can and should be walking, at least by the day after your procedure. Walking may not give you a strong cardio workout, especially if you’re used to more vigorous exercise, but it can have substantial benefit. Slow walking improves your circulation and can promote healing. You’ll want to pay close attention to your body because anything strenuous can increase swelling and bleeding. This is why an important liposuction recovery tip is to start with walking for just a few minutes, at a slow pace. Walking every hour or so is beneficial in reducing your risk of forming dangerous blood clots as well.
How long will I be out of work while recovering from liposuction?
Depending on the type of liposuction you have, it may be possible to return to work as soon as the next day. However, it’s often preferable to be able to take a few days off to rest and recover. Of course, it’s much easier to return to work after a few days if you have a non-physical job. People who lift or have other strenuous aspects to their jobs should expect to take up to a few weeks off. Liposuction recovery tip: taking a few extra days off work can help you heal faster and may lessen swelling, since your ability to rest can be beneficial.
Are there any red flags to look for during liposuction recovery? When should I call my doctor?
Most people who have liposuction recover with no complications. However, for your safety it’s important that you understand any red flags to look out for. You will get specific instructions for when to call the doctor after your procedure, but in general here are warning signs to look out for:
- Excessive swelling (some swelling is expected)
- Severe pain or pain that increases after the first few days
- Pooling of blood under your skin
- Fever of at least 100 degrees
- Substantial headache
- Severe pain in your leg (this can be a sign of a dangerous blood clot)
Liposuction recovery tip: don’t hesitate to call us if you are worried. We are always here to support our patients, and can discuss any concerns you have.
If you are interested in liposuction, it’s important to feel comfortable in the recovery process, so you know what to expect. At Athenix, we provide liposuction in Los Angeles, Seattle, Portland, Fresno and Orange County. We are committed to supporting you through your entire procedure from your initial consultation through a complete recovery. If you are curious about liposuction options, we are happy to meet with you and teach you about the most innovative options.