What to expect after liposuction
If you’re considering liposuction, you’re probably curious about recovery and downtime. The good news is that most patients say their recovery was much easier than they expected. Those patients followed our doctors and their surgical team’s post-op instructions. Here’s what you need to know.
How will I feel after surgery?
Our plastic surgeons typically perform liposuction using general anesthesia, so you will feel groggy for the first day or so as the effects wear off. Discomfort varies by patient, depending on the areas treated and how much fat is removed, but intense soreness is more typical than pain. You’ll go home wearing a compression garment; keep it on except to shower—compression helps control swelling and support your new shape.
After liposuction, how soon can I….
- Go back to work? Typically within 1 week for a desk job. Some patients are ready to go back after just a few days.
- Start working out again? Most patients are able to gradually resume exercise after 2 to 3 weeks. Just wear your compression garment and avoid activities that place excessive strain on the area.
- Stop wearing that compression garment? The garment helps your results, so keep it on until your doctor gives you the green light. 3 to 6 weeks is a reasonable estimate. If it’s too tight, tell us! We can swap it out for a more comfortable size.
- Hit the pool in my bikini? Wait a month before swimming to protect healing incisions from infection. If you’re just going to lounge on the deck, you must apply broad spectrum sunscreen (we’ll recommend a safe product for incision sites) to prevent scars from darkening.
When will my results be final?
Your excess fat will be gone immediately, but initially your results will be somewhat obscured by post-op bruising and swelling. The biggest chunk of swelling will resolve in about 2 to 3 weeks after liposuction, so you’ll notice big improvements by this time. Residual swelling may hang around for a few months after surgery (and may fluctuate during this time), so don’t judge your shape for at least 3 months.
Scars are tiny to begin with (about 1 cm across or less), and with proper care they usually fade so much they are only detectable by the patient him or herself.
Questions? Our surgeons and staff would love to answer them at a personal consultation with you.