Liposuction Recovery Time and Risks

If you would like to educate yourself on liposuction recovery time, you're in the right place. This article will take a look at the most important aspects of the topic. Liposuction is a common body contouring procedure and for many people it's the best means to get rid of undesired fat pockets that don't melt away with a diligent diet and exercise routine.

One question that they often ask doctors is, "What is the recovery time for liposuction and are there any liposuction risks?" It's only natural to want to learn more about the weeks following the surgery. You should know where you are headed at. For more details, skip to the paragraphs below.

What to expect after liposuction

A lot will be going on after the procedure. First, you will spend a few hours in the recovery room and if everything is okay, you are not likely to stay in the hospital. Before you are discharged, arrange for someone to drive you home. Your recovery process will continue there.

If you've had any mild or intense surgical procedure before, you know what to expect. Your body will be aching. The American Society of Plastic Surgeons points out patients are likely to experience bruising and swelling in the treated areas. There may be mild to moderate pain once the effects of the anaesthesia go away.

The skin tone will not be the best you've had but no worries - everything will be back to normal soon. Your surgeon will prescribe antibiotics to curb infection and medication to help with the pain.

Another thing to expect is having temporary drains placed in the incision sites which will allow any fluids to drain out of the system. This means your cuts will remain open for the time being and you will have to be extra careful when handling them. You will be directed on how to care for them. Compression garments are going to make this process a little bit easier. They will keep the wound from contamination.

One thing you certainly should not expect is to be feeling in tip-top shape when you walk out of the clinic. Remember that this is a surgical procedure and it carries discomfort, the levels of which vary from patient to patient.

Cold packs will help reduce swelling in the affected sites. Don't put ice directly on the skin, though. Cover it in a towel or cloth beforehand.

If you have realistic expectations about the process, you will go through it effortlessly.

Lipolysis Treatment on the Belly Adipose Tissue

How painful is Liposuction Recovery

For most people, soreness is moderate and easily manageable with medication. The pain is worse the first few days, obviously, and then it gradually diminishes. Its intensity will fluctuate for everyone because people experience pain differently. If you have a low threshold, you may be affected by it on a grander scale but it should never be unbearable in the first place.

As with everything else related to the liposuction procedure, you should speak with your surgeon if you notice something suspicious in the incision areas or about the way you are feeling as a whole.

How long is Recovery after Liposuction

Without further ado, let's see how much time it takes for the body to recuperate after liposuction. The healing part is largely influenced by the number of areas that are going to be addressed, a person's individual response, and the technique used to extract the extra amount of fat. Here is everything in more detail.

Liposuction recovery time, generally speaking:

For the most part, the recovery process takes at least two weeks. It is during the first seven days that a patient experiences the most discomfort and trouble. On the second week, they begin to feel better. The bruising starts to go away and pain is no longer a concern. However, the recovery process relies on how much fat is removed, a person's age, gender, and other factors. So, everyone will experience it differently.

Liposuction and fat transfer to buttocks recovery:

It will take at least three to four weeks to recover from this. Note that this procedure is slightly more complex given the fact that there will be fat graft in addition to liposuction. It means more areas of your body will be affected. On top of that, you will have to be more careful so as not to ruin the butt lift results. To make the journey more bearable, you should try not to put a strain on the treatment areas and also follow your physician's directions closely.

Breast liposuction recovery:

The body usually takes longer to heal from breast liposuction or reduction surgery, about 6 weeks, although the timeframe is different for everyone. Some may be feeling much better on the second week post-op. You should by all means take 7-14 days off work to ensure you are not giving your immune system a hard time. If you have kids, you should ask someone to help you with childcare and housework. The swelling will subside after 7-14 days.

Tumescent liposuction recovery:

Most of the swelling and discomfort go away by the end of the second week. The average recovery is 10 days. The amount of fat removed by the surgeon will never be back. Mind you that the remaining fat can grow bigger and you can still gain weight after the surgery. Hence, you ought to be careful with that if you are willing to sustain the nice results after tumescent liposuction.

Tummy liposuction recovery:

As mentioned above, every person is different but for the most part, you should be fine and fully recovered after the second week of your belly fat removal. The tummy liposuction treatment area will look better after this time has elapsed but it may take longer for it to obtain a nice and flawless look.

VASER liposuction recovery:

VASER is an ultrasound-assisted liposuction which melts the fat cells before they are sucked away. Some patients will have recovered completely by the end of the second week's mark, with swelling and bruising slowly vanishing. Others may need more time altogether. Give yourself a break and don't feel bad if it is taking longer to heal.

Laser-assisted liposuction recovery time:

You will feel fine on the third week following your laser liposuction treatment, ready to return to work and resume housework activities. Your skin may take longer to obtain that pre-surgery look. To express it in numbers, you should expect it to take three months. Bruising may persist more than two weeks for some people. You should have a word with a board-certified plastic surgeon about it if it is bothering you.

Liposuction fat transfer recovery:

It should take anywhere between one and three weeks to return to work and your daily routine altogether. Because fat transfer is involved, you have to be more patient. Also, swelling may persist longer and the results will be observable after two months, give or take.

What are the Risks of Liposuction Procedure

Even though it creates fascinating results, liposuction is considered an invasive cosmetic procedure since it involves making incisions into the skin and using anaesthesia. It has to be performed in an operating theatre following all safety precautions to avoid contamination and infection.

Because of this, the liposuction surgery carries some risks associated with either surgery in general or the very essence of the manipulation. You should be aware of every complication and side effect that could possibly arise before you agree to go under the knife. When it comes to health problems, the truth should not be sugar-coated. Ask your doctor for all the information.

Here are some of the risks and possible side effects from liposuction:

Reaction to the anaesthesia. These days, the majority of liposuction procedures are carried out under local anaesthesia which has fewer side effects than general anesthesia. We shall list some of them. As far as the former is concerned, temporary contraindications include headaches, dizziness, pins and needles, numbness, twitching muscles, and blurred vision. When it comes to the latter, there may be nausea, confusion, chills, and vomiting.

Fluid accumulation. Sometimes extra fluid might build up under the skin where the punctures were made but also in other areas. If it becomes too much, it may have to be let out through a needle.

Internal puncture. This is a very uncommon complication but it needs to be mentioned. Sometimes when the surgeon inserts the cannula into the tiny pockets they created beforehand, they may puncture a nearby organ. In most cases, this kind of mistake has to be repaired right away before it begins to affect the entire system.

Infection. Another rare occurrence is skin infection due to the manipulation. Even though you will be in good health before you undergo the procedure (that's a general rule of thumb), it is not impossible to develop infection.

Contour irregularities. Bumps may form under or over the skin as a result of damage done by the cannula. Sometimes it can be caused by poor elasticity, uneven fat removal, or unusual healing. There is no way to predict in full how the body is going to react to a procedure like this. Some of these irregularities may be permanent.

Lidocaine toxicity. Lidocaine is a numbing medication used for local anaesthesia during surgical procedures. It is one of the safest methods for numbing skin sensation these days. However, at times it may trigger toxicity.

Heart, lung, and kidney problems. In rare cases, the liposuction procedure can affect vital organs.

Fat embolism. Although rare, pieces of the body fat that is targeted during the procedure may somehow escape and find their way into a blood vessel. From there, they could easily travel to another area and reach the brain or lungs. Blocked blood flow requires emergency treatment.

How to Speed up Liposuction Recovery

Unrecognizable Girl In Oversize Jeans

There is no doubt every patient wants to recover quickly from liposuction so they can go back to their normal activities and enjoy the lovely outcome. Here are some tips to speed up the process that your surgeon may suggest.

Take care of your incisions

One of the risks of surgery is an infection which could easily occur if the incision site is left unattended to accumulate dirt and bacteria. You want to change your compression garments and dressings as often as you have been instructed by your surgeon. You should keep the area dry at all times the first couple of days until the tiny wounds close.

After that, you may be allowed to shower but not bathe. You have to wait until you are given the green light to submerge yourself in a hot tub. This is because even though the incisions close, it takes a significant amount of time before your skin heals completely.

Don't wear tight-fitting clothes

It is best to wear loose-fitting attire so as not to prevent proper circulation in the blood vessels. As much as you'll be tempted to show off your new physique, you should wait until after your body has healed. Your surgeon will instruct you to wear a compression garment which will improve the healing process a tad bit. They will fit well on your body.

Take walks but don't overdo it

While you have to take the time to rest more, it is also essential to keep your body moving to promote circulation which will accelerate healing. However, you should by all means steer clear of vigorous physical activity, weight lifting, or running. The best thing to do is to take frequent walks around the house a few times a day unless otherwise directed by your doctor.

Watch your diet

To help your system recover faster from liposuction, you have to provide it with quality fuel so it has the energy to move things along. Thus, make sure to eat nutritious foods that are high in vitamins, minerals, protein, and healthy fats. Say no to junk food, too much salt and white sugar. You may feel better and also help improve the liposuction results.


It is common sense to drink water every day but when you've just had surgery, it can escape your mind. You are too tired or feeling discomfort or you just don't feel like it. It is not uncommon for patients to get dehydrated after surgery. They are usually instructed to stay away from foods and drinks several hours before the procedure.

With long operations, doctors monitor fluid levels and act accordingly. However, liposuction is a relatively short procedure that isn't executed under general anaesthesia in most cases these days, so hydration will be on you.

Make sure to replenish the lost fluids by downing 7-8 glasses of water per day. Needless to say, the amount of water the body needs varies from one person to the next and is best calculated by multiplying your weight in kilograms by 0.033.

Don't smoke

It goes without saying that smoking can only make things worse. It slows down healing and should be avoided prior to and after surgery. Hence, your surgeon may prohibit you from taking puffs.

FAQ about Liposuction Recovery

To top it off, here are some questions and answers about liposuction fat removal that everyone has been asking about.

Q: How long is recovery from stomach liposuction?

A: How long is the recovery time for abdominal liposuction is dependent on the size of the area and your immune system. You will spend at least two weeks at home before you can move on with your life.

Q: How long is recovery from thigh liposuction?

A: Thighs, buttocks, and hips are a larger area, so you can expect to experience a 2-week recuperation period after you have had fat extracted from your thighs. You'll need a compression garment.

Q: How much weight can you lose with liposuction?

A: The sad reality is that liposuction is not a body weight loss method. A candidate may lose one to two kilograms (2-5 lbs) in total when they have excess fat removed by a doctor. And that's about it. This is not surprising as fat is generally lighter than muscle. Lipo removes fat in certain areas rather than the entire torso. You should not employ liposuction for weight loss, i.e. if your objective is to shed some pounds. Your doctor shall ensure you have this health information in advance.

Q: What can you not do after liposuction?

A: After you have lipo, it is vital to stop taking blood thinners as they will hamper your recovery and may also put you at risk for bleeding complications. (Blood thinners make your blood flow effortlessly through the arteries and veins.) You should definitely refrain from heavy exercise or being sedentary. Neither is okay. You want to perform light physical activities like walking all the while ensuring your body is getting the rest it needs. Finding a balance is key. Last but not least, you are not supposed to drive a car until the incisions heal and it's no longer painful to keep your seatbelt fastened.

Q: Does the fat come back after the liposuction procedure?

A: The fat that has been suctioned from under the skin will never come back. But the fat cells that you still have can become bigger if you don't monitor your food intake.

Deciding if Liposuction is Right for You

It's not easy to make a decision about liposuction with a clear mind because your emotional state may get in the way. This, in turn, will raise your expectations, which is a recipe for disappointment. That's why it is wise to wait a few days, even weeks after you've had that discussion with a surgeon about going under the knife. If you consult a board-certified plastic surgeon, they will give you a list of things to think about and never pressure you for an answer.