What to Expect After Liposuction

Liposuction is a surgical procedure, and has some recovery time.  People who have liposuction can usually go back to work after 10 to 14 days, depending on the extent of liposuction, and the type of work that you do. You’ll need to wear the compression garment around the clock for 6 weeks, and then half time for 4 more weeks after your procedure. The compression garment helps reduce swelling and encourages your skin to adapt to your new shape.  Contact Dr. Jeff Roth at Las Vegas Plastic Surgery for more information.

Most people will see noticeable decreased swelling of the treated area by 4 weeks post-procedure as swelling goes down. Typically, patients will “downsize” their garment at this time.  You’ll likely feel more comfortable in your clothing and start to see your results emerge. However, your final results can take 6 to 12 months to fully develop. You may notice some numbness in certain areas, which is usually transient.

You may want to continue wearing your compression garment when you start easing back into exercise a few weeks after surgery. The compression can provide extra support and comfort when you’re moving around more. Those with physical jobs, (police officers, firefighters, etc.), may want to continue wearing it under their uniform for potentially a few weeks up to a few months. The gentle compression can help with discomfort during activity and work duties during your healing process.

It’s important not to resume any strenuous activity until your surgeon gives you clearance, usually around 4-6 weeks post-op. Start slowly with light activity and give your body ample time to recover its strength. Listen to your body, and rest when needed. Results will continue to improve during the next few months.

Proper care during recovery is crucial. Be diligent about wearing your garment as directed and attending all follow-up appointments. Follow activity restrictions and your surgeon’s directions for bathing, treatment of scars if applicable, and more. Don’t hesitate to reach out to your care team if you have any questions or concerns throughout your first weeks and months after liposuction. Staying compliant with aftercare guidelines is key to smooth, lasting results.


How long will I be swollen?

It’s normal to have swelling, bruising, and some numbness for 4-6 weeks or longer after liposuction. Swelling often peaks at 3-5 days post-op. Wearing your compression garment as directed can help minimize swelling. It may take 6-12 months for your final results to fully develop.

When can I resume normal activities?

Your surgeon will provide guidelines, but most patients can return to desk jobs within 10-14 days and light daily activities after 2 weeks. Listen to your body, and go slowly at first. Avoid strenuous exercise and heavy lifting for 4-6 weeks based on your surgeon’s recommendations.  Attend your post operative appointments, and the care team will continue to give guidance.

How long will I have to wear compression? 

Expect to wear your compression garment around the clock for at least six weeks. Then it transitions to part-time wear (12 hours on/12 hours off) for 4 weeks. Your surgeon may recommend wearing it longer with activity for comfort and support.

When will I see my full results?

You’ll notice improvements each week as you heal, but know that your final results can take 6-12 months to fully develop once all swelling has resolved. Follow your surgeon’s extended recovery plan for the best overall outcomes.

What if I have concerns during my recovery?

Don’t hesitate to call your surgeon’s office with any worries or issues after your procedure. They want to help you have the best recovery possible. Report signs of infection, abnormal pain, significant swelling, or other concerns promptly to keep your healing on track.

Following post-procedure guidelines diligently through the first months is extremely important for patient safety and satisfaction. Don’t skip check-ups and be patient through the phases of recovery. Take care of yourself, and you’ll be able to enjoy your refined shape for years to come!

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