July 2022

What should you expect when recovering from liposuction?

Liposuction is a common plastic surgery procedure. Many people decide to have this procedure to take away some unwanted fat in areas of their body. Whatever your reason for deciding to get liposuction, before you have the procedure you need to be prepared for the recovery period.


What is recovery like?

Recovery can be split into two categories, there is the immediate recovery and long-term recovery. Immediate recovery is when you can return to work in about a week and return to physical activities in six weeks. Long-term recovery can last about three months. There are a few stages of recovery after surgery including: 

  • Immediately after surgery when your doctor puts a compression garment on the areas where the surgery was performed.

  • A few hours after surgery is when the anesthesia wears off more and some discomfort begins. The amount of discomfort depends on the area where you had liposuction. You should stay overnight in the hospital to be monitored.

  • A few days after surgery your doctor will remove the compression garments and check the incision. 

  • After the first week, you should have a gentle massage on the area to move the fluid around. Swelling will continue to decrease over time. 


Recovery is nothing to be afraid of, but you should be aware of the different stages that you will go through. Your doctor will be with you every step of the way and you can always reach out if you have any concerns. [1]


ecovering from liposuction

What should you not do during recovery?

Liposuction is a very safe surgery, but there are some things you should not do during recovery. Some of these things are:

  • Not moving, you need to get up and move a few days after your surgery. If you don’t move at all you have a higher risk for blood clots. In the first few days after your surgery, you should get up and walk around your home.

  • Not drinking water is something you can’t do. You must stay hydrated after liposuction surgery. Drinking water will minimize your chances of excessive swelling.

  • Not wearing your compression garment. Wearing your garment at all times for the first few weeks after your surgery will help your swelling and healing. If you take your garment on and off too many times you could be at risk of developing more fluid.

  • Sitting in still water. You should not take a bath or sit in still water for about a month after surgery. Baths and still water can increase your chance of infection. You can get a waterproof garment so you can shower.

It is important to listen to your doctor and follow your doctor’s instructions closely. These instructions are to keep you safe and ensure a speedy recovery. [2]


Are there complications that can occur?

With any surgery complications can arise. Liposuction is an incredibly safe and common surgery, so you should not be afraid of these possible complications. Despite how safe liposuction is it is still important to know about the possible complications. 

Possible complications include contour irregularity when your skin looks bumpy after healing. Fluid may accumulate under the skin and need to be drained. The affected area could become numb for a period. Infection is possible but very rare. Fat embolism is a complication that occurs when fat becomes trapped in a blood vessel, this complication is considered a medical emergency. 

The risk of complications increases if the surgery is being done on a larger area or having multiple procedures done at once. Your surgeon will make you aware of any possible complications. To make liposuction as safe as possible, you might consider only having this one procedure done before any others. [3]



1 https://www.healthline.com/health/cosmetic-surgery/liposuction-recovery#...

2 https://www.insider.com/guides/beauty/what-not-to-do-after-liposuction

3 https://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/liposuction/about/pac-20384586