American Society of Plastic Surgeons
For Medical Professionals
 

Liposuction

Lipoplasty

Liposuction, sometimes referred to as "lipo" by patients, is a surgical procedure that involves the removal of excess fat from specific areas of the body.

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What should I expect during my liposuction recovery?

After your liposuction surgery is completed, dressings or bandages will be applied to the incisions. You'll need to wear an elastic bandage, support bra or a compression garment to minimize swelling and support your body as it heals. If you have drainage tubes, you may be asked to monitor and record how much fluid is emptying into the reservoir.

You will be given specific instructions that may include how to care for your body following surgery, medications to apply or take orally to aid healing and reduce the potential for infection, specific concerns to look for at the surgical site or in your general health and when to follow up with your plastic surgeon.

Be sure to ask your plastic surgeon specific questions about what you can expect during your individual recovery period.

  • Where will I be taken after my surgery is complete?
  • What medication will I be given or prescribed after surgery?
  • Will I have dressings/bandages after surgery?
  • When will they be removed?
  • How will I bathe?
  • How long will I wear the pressure garment?
  • When can I resume normal activity and exercise?
  • When do I return for follow-up care?

What is the timeline for a liposuction recovery?

Recovery PeriodWhat to Expect
Week 1
  • Monitor pain, swelling and bruising (medication may be required)
  • Significantly limit your activity
Weeks 2-3
  • You will start to feel much better
  • Return to work (depending on your job)
  • Limit exercise and activities
Weeks 4-5
  • Bruising should be gone
  • Swelling should start to subside
Week 6 and Beyond
  • Continued improvement in swelling; may start to gradually increase activity and do gentle exercise

Following your physician's instructions is key to the success of your surgery. It's important that the surgical incisions are not subjected to excessive force, swelling, abrasion or motion during the time of healing. Your doctor will give you specific instructions on how to care for yourself.



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