What Is the Average Liposuction Recovery Time?
Taking the time to understand the process of liposuction and how fat cells are actually removed before undergoing surgery is key to having a positive experience and getting the results you want.
Often, the healing process starts with understanding the recovery process. That’s because this is the phase of the liposuction procedure that you, the patient, are largely responsible for. Taking it easy during your liposuction procedure recovery, following the directions of your board certified plastic surgeon, and getting help when you need it will all help to facilitate a faster recovery and better results.
Below, we’ll discuss what to expect when it comes to the average liposuction procedure recovery.
AVERAGE RECOVERY FROM LIPOSUCTION
Liposuction procedure recovery times vary for the varied liposuction procedures available and each patient’s unique situation. However, the majority of patients will be ready to return to their regular daily routines after around three to six weeks. At this point:
- Most patients can stop wearing their compression garment (some may need to wear their compression garments for longer, however).
- The majority of swelling and bruising should be gone.
- Patients should not experience any lingering pain or soreness.
- Patients will be able to see (most of) their full results from surgery.
Incidentally, women’s and men’s recovery time durations are usually the same.
While the six-week mark for cosmetic surgery is usually a definitive turning point in liposuction recovery, it’s important to note that some patients won’t see the full results from their liposuction until six months to a year after their procedure. This is usually due to residual swelling that takes time to completely go away.
RETURNING TO WORK AFTER LIPOSUCTION RECOVERY
Depending on the extent of the liposuction and where the procedure was performed, most patients can return to work after about a week of recovery. Keep in mind that this is generally acceptable for those who work at desk jobs or similar. Light work is fine after about a week of recovery (though compression garments may still need to be worn).
More intense work, on the other hand, should be put off for another week or two. For example, if you are on your feet all day as a teacher or salesperson, or if you work as a trainer, athlete, or similar, you may need to wait before returning to work.
Similarly, if a large amount of excess fat cells were removed from multiple locations on targeted areas of your body, you may need more rest before going back to work. The good news is that no one should be able to tell that you’ve had liposuction if it is not your intention to share this fact with friends or co-workers.
While cosmetic procedures like chin liposuction surgery will be more visible, for nearly all other areas of the body, a compression garment can easily be worn beneath clothing.
PHYSICAL ACTIVITY AFTER LIPOSUCTION
Exercise is a critical part of staying healthy. However, directly after liposuction, patients should avoid light exercise and any other exerting physical activities. This is because strenuous activities after surgery can put your health and your results at risk.
Ultimately, it’s best practice to wait until your surgeon says it’s okay to return to a regular exercise routine. This usually happens after about two to three weeks. You will be able to take brief, gentle walks at the beginning of your recovery (more on this below), but weight lifting, running and jogging, biking, and other sports should be avoided during this time.
Most of all, you should avoid straining your incision areas. Strain and tension where incisions are located is the leading reason for poor liposuction scar recovery. If it is your aim to avoid the appearance of significant scarring (as it is for most patients), make a special effort to reduce tension near your incisions.
This means avoiding bending or stretching your upper body if you’ve had liposuction around your abdomen. It also means avoiding activities that might make you tired and out of breath. Finally, do not lift anything heavy while you are in recovery from liposuction. Heavy lifting of weights, boxes, or even babies and children may put tension on your incisions. In a worst-case scenario, closed incisions may reopen, causing bleeding, pain, and excessive scarring.
THE IMPORTANCE OF REGULAR AMBULATION POST-SURGERY
Surgeons and doctors will almost always promote “early ambulation” for their patients after major surgery., but what does this actually mean?
“Ambulation” is simply a medical term for movement — particularly, walking. When your surgeon tells you to get up and move around as soon as possible after your procedure, they’re telling you to ambulate.
Early and frequent ambulation promotes blood flow and overall improved circulation. A chief risk for patients after surgery is blood clots. Movement helps reduce this risk and other potential complications. It’s a good way to reduce your chances of being hospitalized, and it will help speed up your recovery overall.
As a liposuction patient, you’ll want to move around regularly, but not too much. Never over-exert yourself. Rather, make it a point to get up every hour or two and walk around your house. As you get stronger (and as your surgeon allows), take your walks outdoors and go for longer stretches.
FAQS ABOUT LIPOSUCTION Procedure
HOW PAINFUL IS LIPOSUCTION Surgery RECOVERY?
Patients should not experience significant pain during liposuction or plastic surgery procedures or recovery. Some light soreness and discomfort is normal at the beginning of recovery.
IS THE RECOVERY TIME ABDOMINAL PATIENTS EXPERIENCE THE SAME FOR OTHER BODY PARTS?
Yes, liposuction incisions usually heal at about the same healing rate on different areas of the body.
WHAT IS THE LIPOSUCTION LOVE HANDLES RECOVERY TIME?
Most patients who have liposuction on their love handles can start returning to their normal activities around one to three weeks after surgery.
HOW LONG AFTER LIPOSUCTION WILL I SEE RESULTS?
Final results from liposuction will occur around one to three months after surgery. Full recovery and the reduction of all swelling may not occur until six months to a year after surgery.
HOW LONG IS LASER LIPOSUCTION Surgery RECOVERY TIME?
Most laser liposuction patients can start returning to their normal activities around one week after surgery.
How long do you have to be off after liposuction?
The recovery process after liposuction unfolds in distinct phases. Typically, individuals can expect to resume their daily activities within one to two weeks and return to work within a span of two to six weeks.
However, it’s important to note that full recovery from liposuction may take approximately up to six months to achieve.
What to expect immediately after liposuction?
Immediately following the procedure, it is normal to experience mild discomfort along with visible signs such as bruising, redness, and swelling.
What to expect 3 weeks after liposuction?
By the third week, you can anticipate the absence of pain or discomfort in the treated area. However, it is normal to experience some residual swelling during this time.
You will notice a reduce swelling within a period of three to six months.
BOOK A LIPOSUCTION CONSULTATION TODAY
If diet and exercise haven’t been enough to get rid of unwanted fat and achieve your weight loss goals, maintain a healthy weight, or take care of stubborn body fat cells in specific problem areas, liposuction may be the ideal cosmetic surgery to help you permanently remove fat cells.
Call us today to schedule a consultation appointment at our surgery center with female double board-certified New Jersey plastic surgeon Dr. Smita Ramanadham. We’d be happy to discuss more about the liposuction recovery process with you and explain how liposuction can help you achieve the figure you’ve always dreamed of.