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Liposuction Recovery Timeline

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Understanding the recovery process is vital to having realistic expectations for any procedure. In this blog, our board-certified and award-winning plastic surgeons share their expertise on the recovery process of liposuction. Join us as we delve into the comprehensive liposuction recovery timeline, liposuction swelling timeline, and unravel the stages that guide you towards a renewed and sculpted version of yourself post surgery. Let the insights from our esteemed surgeons pave the way for a smooth, informed recovery.

The Liposuction Procedure

Liposuction is a surgical procedure that removes pockets of excess fat from various body parts including the abdomen and waist, hips, buttocks, chest and back, thighs, calves and inner knee, upper arms, chin, neck and cheeks.  

“Liposuction is one of the most common procedures we do here at CAPS because it just flat out works. It involves the direct removal of fat calls. It’s not for reducing weight but it is a spot reduction treatment and the ideal liposuction candidate is actually near ideal body weight. It’s a very safe procedure in the right hands, so always choose a board-certified plastic surgeon.”

-Dr. Treece

1-3 Days After Surgery

Following your procedure, your surgeon will provide you with post-operative care instructions, pain medication, and a compression garment or elastic bandages. During the first few days after liposuction surgery, it’s important to wear your compression garment around the treated area to reduce swelling and help your body adjust to its new shape. 

During this time, patients will experience pain, swelling and bruising in the treated area. Patients are advised to limit physical activity and rest as your body heals from surgery.

1 Week After Liposuction

One week after your liposuction procedure, you should notice a significant reduction in pain and soreness if your first few days were filled with complete rest. Many patients are able to return to work and light activities but swelling and bruising may still be present. Patients are typically advised to continue wearing compression garments and avoid exercise or other strenuous activities. Hear from one of our patients about their liposuction results after one week:

“I am still pretty swollen a week out, but the results I've seen so far are nothing short of amazing. When I took my binder off to shower the first time I couldn't believe my eyes and had to sit down to catch my breath. The time and money spent are well worth it. I wouldn't go to anyone or anywhere else.”


2-3 Weeks After Liposuction

A few weeks after your plastic surgery, you will notice swelling and bruising start to subside. The pain and soreness should also decrease. If the treated area is still sore and swollen, do not worry. Swelling can take months to completely subside and the pain will decrease over time. Patients can begin to resume normal activities but are still advised to avoid vigorous exercise.

4-6 Weeks After Liposuction

Regarding 1 month liposuction results, many patients can resume normal activities and light exercise, but the treated area may still be tender and sore. Once you’ve hit six weeks, the majority of swelling and bruising should have subsided. Hear what one of our liposuction patients said about their experience after five weeks:

“I had a procedure done with Dr. Tyler Angelos 5 weeks ago. He did an amazing job with my liposuction. My entire healing process has been a breeze, I had no pain, just some minor soreness that I was able to just use Tylenol or ibuprofen for. Their nurses are wonderful and very quick at responding to any questions or concerns.”

-Whitney R, Facebook

6-12 Weeks After Liposuction

As swelling continues to decrease, the treated area should begin to look more toned and sculpted. You will likely no longer need to wear your compression garment and your activity levels should not be restricted. However, it may take several months for the full results to be visible. Hear from one of our patients on their results six weeks after surgery:

“My results are already so amazing with being just 6 weeks out. I’m still a little swollen on my sides but that will eventually go down. I’m exited to continue to watch my results. My self-esteem is so high now.”


What Is The Scar Going To Look Like?

Many patients ask about visible scarring from the procedure. Hear what Dr. Vasko has to say about liposuction scars and how you can prevent them.

“Whenever you cut the skin, there is going to be some sort of a scar. Scars do tend to look their worst in the first six to eight weeks, they get a little thicker, lumpier, and pinker and then gradually remodel over time. 

You’ll want to protect your scars from the sun so they don’t get tanned or burned when they’re fading. You can do scar massage and we can talk post-op about scar creams and things like that. For persistent scars that are staying a little more purple or pink, we can do a laser treatment in The Laser Center and that can help to take some of the pinkness out.”

-Dr. Vasko 

Liposuction scars are typically very faint, small and well-hidden. By following post-operative instructions and wound care, you can minimize the risk of scarring.

How Long Will It Take To Fully Heal And See Results?

“The one thing I tell people a lot is that you’ll see immediate improvement right after your surgery, but it can take a full six months to see your final result. So set your expectations accordingly.”

-Dr. Wakelin

Our board-certified plastic surgeons have helped thousands of liposuction patients achieve the toned, contoured look they desire. See what’s possible from liposuction results and explore the before and after photos from real patients just like you! 

Schedule A Liposuction Consultation

If you’re ready to turn your body contouring dreams into a reality, or if you have any questions about liposuction recovery and the healing process, schedule a consultation today. One of our expert plastic surgeons will meet with you one-on-one to explain the procedure, answer any questions, discuss your goals and explore your options.