What to Expect Post Liposuction

Actual Patient

What to Expect Post Liposuction

Actual Patient

What to Expect Post Liposuction

Actual Patient

What to Expect Post Liposuction

Actual Patient

Portrait of pretty woman in green dress​​​​​​​

Liposuction remains an extremely popular cosmetic surgery procedure, and one of the only effective ways to successfully tone up and improve the shape and appearance of those areas of the body that don’t respond to diet and exercise. These typically include the abdomen, hips, thighs, flanks, buttocks and upper arms. The procedure itself involves the insertion of a narrow, metal tube into the target area which is then moved back and forth to loosen excess fat, which is then removed via gentle suction. Only small incisions are made, leading to liposuction being referred to as minimally-invasive. However, this doesn’t mean that you won’t need to take some time off to recover and heal following your procedure.


Liposuction can have a significant impact on your body and taking the necessary time to recover will help to ensure that you get the best possible result following your treatment. To help you be prepared, we have put together the following information about what you should expect post-liposuction.

Post-Liposuction discomfort


You should be prepared to feel some discomfort after your procedure. Many patients compare this to a painful bruise in the area where they have had their procedure. It shouldn’t be so severe that it stops you from reading, watching tv, etc, but it will be noticeable. You will be given pain medication to help you manage your discomfort, and this should be taken exactly as directed. Don’t be tempted to try and wait until you are seriously hurting as this will only slow down your recovery and make you miserable.



You can expect for the area where you have had liposuction to be covered with dressings over the incision site and a compression garment. You will be given specific instructions for keeping the wounds clean while they heal, but since they are so small, this usually only takes around a week depending on your rate of healing. The compression garment is extremely important as it will help to control your swelling and inflammation and associated pain and will support the healing process. You should wear this exactly as directed, which is usually for up to six weeks.

Visualization of results


Liposuction can cause significant swelling, and, in some cases, this may not completely subside for several months. This means that it can be some time before you can fully appreciate the final result of your procedure. In most cases, the optimal result will be available between eight and twelve weeks after your liposuction.



Liposuction is performed through a series of very small incisions, each around the size of the width of your pinky fingernail, in the target area. This helps to minimize scarring. With the proper aftercare, any scars will fade fairly quickly.

Time off


Moving around carefully is important following any surgery as it helps to increase circulation which boosts healing and prevents blood clots from forming. Most patients will be able to return to work within three days of their liposuction. If you have a very physical job, you should expect to need to take longer to heal and recover. Your cosmetic surgeon should be able to advise you how long you should schedule away. You will also need to avoid strenuous activities for around two to three weeks depending on the advice of your surgeon.

Warning signs


Complications after liposuction are usually very rare, but it is helpful to be aware of the warning signs so that you can seek help promptly. Some of the concerning side effects and complications of a liposuction procedure include:

-         Sudden chest pain

-         Shortness of breath

-         Severe pain in the area where you have had liposuction

-         Coughing up blood

-         Signs of infection including abnormal swelling, warmth or red skin

-         Fever

-         Pus draining from the incision sites

-         Pain in your calf, back of the knee, thigh or groin


If you would like more information about what to expect post-liposuction, please feel free to get in touch with our experienced and knowledgeable cosmetic surgery team today.