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How can I speed up the swelling of liposuction?

12 FAQs About Liposuction Aftercare

Liposuction is a cosmetic procedure that removes unwanted fat deposits from the body using a cannula to vacuum excess fat from the body. This blog addresses 12 of the most commonly asked questions regarding Dallas Liposuction Aftercare.

Since liposuction can be performed on various areas of the face and body, so the exact recovery process and timings will vary depending on the specific area. Liposuction recovery and aftercare instructions are therefore one of the most frequently brought up topics in consultations by patients with concerns or questions about their recovery so this blog aims to address these questions.


  • What Happens Immediately After The Procedure?
  • What Are Liposuction Garments?
  • How Long Should I Wear Compression Garments For After Liposuction?
  • How To Reduce Swelling After Liposuction?
  • What Is Fibrosis After Liposuction?
  • How To Get Rid Of Lumps After Liposuction?
  • How To Tighten Loose Skin After Liposuction?
  • Does Liposuction Leave Scars?
  • How To Recover From Liposuction Faster?
  • What To Wear After Liposuction?
  • What To Eat After Liposuction Surgery?
  • How Long After Liposuction Can I Exercise?
  • What Not to Do After Liposuction?
  • Conclusion
  • Disclaimer

What Happens Immediately After The Procedure?

After the procedure, an adult should drive you home and stay with you for 24 hours. You will be fitted with compression garments and given advice on what to do in your recovery period and what side effects you may experience.

Any discomfort can be addressed with prescription medications and over-the-counter pain relievers. According to Healthline the best ways to reduce pain after your procedure are to take the prescribed pain medication, drink plenty of water, wear your compression garments, ensure you rest and avoid salt as this can increase swelling.

Follow-up appointments with your surgeon should be scheduled so they can track your progress and appointments for things like stitch removal may also be necessary. If you have any questions or concerns regarding your recovery or any symptoms you should contact your plastic surgeon.

What Are Liposuction Garments?

Immediately following the procedure, you will be fitted with a compression garment to control swelling and help your skin adjust to its new contour. Swelling after liposuction is a normal part of the recovery process. Compression garments apply pressure evenly across the treated area to help prevent excessive fluid build-up. This reduces the risk of potential complications such as bleeding, bruising, and the likelihood of prominent scarring. The garments also provide significant support to the area and help to shape your body. According to RealSelf most doctors believe wearing a good compression garment is essential to help with swelling or bruising and speed up healing.

How Long Should I Wear Compression Garments For After Liposuction?

Most surgeons recommend wearing your compression garments at all times for the first few weeks. After that you should continue to wear your compression garments for around 12 hours a day, or when you want additional support or comfort in that area, for a further few weeks.

Some surgeons will recommend wearing your compression garments 24/ 7 for the first few months following your surgery while others won’t recommend wearing one at all. Surgeons vary on what they believe is the best recovery protocol but mostly, the difference in advice will be based on the specific procedure you have had.

If a large area was treated with liposuction and a lot of fat was removed you may need to wear your compression garment for far longer than if a minor incision and removal were made. It is therefore important to speak to your surgeon and follow their advice on what is best and safest for you to do.

How To Reduce Swelling After Liposuction?

Swelling can be present for months after the procedure and should not cause any concern. The best way to reduce swelling after liposuction is by wearing your compression garments correctly and for the specified amount of time. Other ways to help reduce swelling include going for daily walks and having the area massaged.

According to Insider, lymphatic drainage massages are the best way to reduce fluid building up around the area as this helps to pump the fluid back into the lymph vessels. The area should be gently massaged to help with swelling, bruising, and other side effects of the procedure. However, self-massage is generally not recommended and it is normal for some fluid to leak from the incisions.

What Is Fibrosis After Liposuction?

Fibrosis after liposuction refers to imperfections occurring as a result of the procedure. These can include lumps, scarring, and thickened areas of tissue. Over time these should improve naturally but they can be helped with regular massaging of the area.

How To Get Rid Of Lumps After Liposuction?

Lumps are a normal part of the recovery process for liposuction but they can often be minimized by using open-drainage or bimodal compression techniques. These techniques can be discussed with your plastic surgeon if you have any concerns about lumps remaining after liposuction.

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Occasionally, lumps do remain after liposuction as the procedure does not guarantee a perfectly flat result so expectations should not be too unrealistic. However, most lumps tend to be short-term or can often be treated by another session of liposuction.

How To Tighten Loose Skin After Liposuction?

The best candidates for liposuction are those with good skin elasticity, this means that your skin will easily adjust to the size change of an area, so loose skin is unlikely to be a problem. Your plastic surgeon should assess your skin elasticity in your consultation and if you have concerns over loose skin you can have this treated alongside your liposuction procedure. Any loose skin which causes concern after your liposuction procedure can be surgically removed or massage treatments and firming creams can aid in tightening the skin.

Does Liposuction Leave Scars?

Liposuction scars can occur as a result of the incisions made to insert the cannula into the skin. explain that the incisions tend to be small and done in areas that are less obvious or are less likely to scar.

The possibility of scaring does depend on the procedure, the amount of fat that is removed, and individual tendencies to scar. If you have concerns over liposuction scars, scar removal treatments can be carried out such as laser or applying products designed to fade scars.

How To Recover From Liposuction Faster?

It is important not to rush your recovery or push your body too hard as you will need time to heal and recover. It is important that you follow all the recovery advice your plastic surgeon has given you. American Society of Plastic Surgery explain that it is also important to drink plenty of water, go for walks, wear your compression garments and make sure to look after the incision areas by keeping them clean and protected.

What To Wear After Liposuction?

Since swelling after liposuction is a normal part of the recovery process it is important that you do not wear restrictive clothing as this would be extremely uncomfortable.

Loose-fitting clothing is recommended but it cannot be advised what particular size of clothing will be needed as the extent of swelling varies amongst patients. Many patients can wear their previous clothing, while other patients need to buy something in a larger size until the swelling subsides. You will be wearing a compression garment under your clothing so even though the procedure will reduce your size there are post-procedure factors to take into account when deciding on suitable and comfortable clothing.

What To Eat After Liposuction Surgery?

No specific diet is necessary after a liposuction procedure but your body is recovering from surgery and so you should be eating well to aid the body’s healing process. Anti-inflammatory foods are recommended to reduce the risk of inflammation after the procedure and salt should be avoided since this causes inflammation. To maintain your results you should have a healthy diet post-procedure, as it is possible to gain weight after liposuction.

How Long After Liposuction Can I Exercise?

Some light exercise such as walking is recommended but only around 25% of your normal workout is recommended to begin with and this can be increased depending on your individual recovery.

The exact time before exercise can be resumed depends on the area that was treated and your body’s personal recovery time. Any vigorous exercise should be avoided after surgery and you should give your body time to recover and not strain yourself.

What Not To Do After Liposuction?

It is essential that after liposuction you do not take off your compression garments other than to shower or for other necessary activities, unless your surgeon advises otherwise. Vigorous exercise should also not be performed straight after liposuction and you should not smoke for 3-6 weeks after the surgery.


Having an understanding of the recovery process and aftercare that is recommended for any liposuction procedure is a great step in researching or preparing for the procedure. For more information about the specific areas, you can have liposuction performed on and the risks involved you can read our blog ‘What Areas Of The Body Can Be Treated With Surgical Liposuction?‘

If you are considering any liposuction procedure you should meet with a Board-Certified Plastic Surgeon, who has significant expertise in liposuction procedures, to help you learn more about the process, risks, and recovery.


Please note: All materials on the Site, such as text, treatments, outcomes, photographs and images and any other material provided on the Site are for information purposes only and are not a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding treatments. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this Site.

Though the content of this blog has been carefully prepared, the author of this content is not a medical doctor and the content has not been reviewed by a Board-Certified Plastic Surgeon.

Unless specifically stated, patients referred to in this blog have not received liposuction from Dr. Liland. This blog does not endorse the work of any doctors or surgeons mentioned. Stories relating to patients’ personal experiences of liposuction procedures should be treated as anecdotal only.

Any application of the material provided is at the reader’s discretion and his, her, or their responsibility.

Liposuction Patient Information

Liposuction is a procedure that can sculpt the body by removing unwanted fat from specific areas, including the abdomen, hips, buttocks, thighs, knees, upper arms, chin and neck. Localized deposits of fat are removed to recontour one or more areas of the body. Through a tiny incision, a narrow tube or cannula is inserted to vacuum the fat layer that lies beneath the skin. The cannula is pushed and pulled through the fat layer, breaking up the fat cells and suctioning them out. The suction action is provided by a vacuum pump.

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This basic technique of liposuction is used in all patients. However, as liposuction has been developed and refined, variations have been introduced. Individuals considering liposuction may feel overwhelmed by the number of options and techniques being promoted. Manhattan liposuction plastic surgeon Dr. Zevon has been trained and certified in liposuction techniques and is familiar with the field. He can help you decide which is the right approach for you, taking into account safety and appropriateness for your needs. A combination of techniques may be used.

Ultra-sound assisted liposuction requires the use of a special cannula that produces ultrasonic energy. As it passes through the areas of fat, the energy explodes the walls of the fat cells, liquefying the fat. UAL has been shown to improve the effectiveness of liposuction in fibrous areas of the body, such as the upper back or the enlarged male breast.

If only a small amount of fat and a limited number of body sites are involved, liposuction can be performed under local anesthesia. If you prefer, intravenous sedation or regional anesthesia, such as an epidural, can be used. If a large volume of fat is being removed, general anesthesia may be preferable. Manhattan liposuction specialist Dr. Zevon will discuss anesthesia options with you during your liposuction consultation.

Preparing for Liposuction Surgery
Starting Now
Please read and familiarize yourself with these instructions. By following them carefully you will assist in obtaining the best possible result from your liposuction surgery. If questions arise, do not hesitate to communicate with Dr. Zevon and discuss your questions at any time.

Re-read the General Instructions for Cosmetic Surgery Dr. Zevon gave you.

Complete your personal Information Sheet so that Dr. Zevon’s office will know who will escort you home after your surgery and where you plan to spend the night of your liposuction surgery. Bring it to your pre-operative appointment. You may also telephone, e-mail or fax the information to us. If you cannot locate it, let us know so that we can provide you with another.

To protect your bedding and mattress from liquid oozing from the incision sites, you may place a plastic drop cloth (such as one a painter would use) or shower curtain liner beneath your sheets. In addition to the plastic, use old sheets covered with large bath towels. You may also want to protect the car in which you will be driving home after liposuction surgery. A plastic garbage bag works well for covering car seats.

If you are a woman having lower body liposuction (any area below the abdomen), buy some support-style pantyhose to wear under the post-surgery compressive garment after the first week or so, when Dr. Zevon tells you to do so.

Dark sweatpants are the ideal attire post-liposuction.

Pre-Operative Instructions
The Day Before Surgery
Unless you are having local anesthesia, DO NOT EAT OR DRINK ANYTHING AFTER MIDNIGHT.

If you are having local anesthesia or your liposuction surgery is in the afternoon, check with us as to what or when you may eat or drink before surgery.

The Morning of Surgery
Shower or bathe with anti-bacterial soap. Wash the liposuction surgery areas thoroughly. Do not apply any moisturizers, deodorant, talcum powder or other products afterwards. Do not use hairspray or perfume.

Wear simple, comfortable, loose-fitting, dark colored clothing. Wear tops with front closures, such as zippers or buttons, bottoms that are easy to pull on, and comfortable shoes. No pantyhose or high heels. Do not wear new clothes. Sweat pants are ideal. Do not bring jewelry or valuables with you.

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Post-Operative Care
Immediately After Surgery

When you arrive home, be prepared to rest in bed for the first 48 hours after liposuction surgery. Remember to protect your bed with plastic, old sheets and bath towels, and wear dark-colored old clothes or sweatpants. Eat and drink lightly. You may go to the bathroom with assistance as needed. If you feel nauseated, lie on your back with your head down and remain still. Any sensation of nausea should pass by the morning after your surgery. If you feel fine, light activity will not harm you.

Take the antibiotics and pain medication prescribed by Dr. Zevon according to the pharmacy instructions. Don’t take the pain medication on an empty stomach, as this will induce nausea and vomiting. Have another adult give you the pain medication at the correct time and/or keep written records of how much you take and when you take it. You do not have to take the pain medicine if you are not in pain, but you must take all of your antibiotics. The period of greatest discomfort usually does not last more than 12 to 14 hours. Do not drive while taking pain medication.

Contact Dr. Zevon…
If you have severe pain not responding to pain medication or dressings that feel too tight. DON’T TAKE CHANCES! Call if you are concerned about anything you consider significant. During office hours, call 212.496.6600. After hours, call 917.612.3800.

What To Expect
There will be some fluid draining or oozing from the operative sites into the dressings. The appearance of this fluid may be clear red-it is blood-tinged fluid. This is normal drainage.

Extensive bruises (black & blue discoloration) and swelling in and around the liposuction surgery areas are common after liposuction. The areas of your body where you have had liposuction surgery may be covered with unsightly bruises. Bruising usually lasts 3 to 6 weeks. If you had liposuction of the abdomen, you may have bruising, swelling and discoloration of the genitalia, as blood and other fluid may descend into the soft tissues of the genitalia. This is normal, and is not cause for alarm.

Swelling reaches a plateau at 48 to 72 hours after liposuction surgery and persists at peak levels for several days. During the first week after liposuction surgery, you will notice that your clothes are tight and that you have gained weight due to fluid retention. This is normal. About 50% of the expected contour reduction occurs within 30 days, another 25% at 2 months and most of the final 25% by 3 months.

Patients who have liposuction of the abdomen may experience more postoperative pain than in other areas, probably from irritation of the underlying tissues, which is aggravated every time you breathe deeply, sit up, or bend and straighten.

The liposuction surgery areas may feel irregular and lumpy. This will resolve as you heal. When permitted, massage may speed the softening of any lumpy areas. (You must wait until 10 days after liposuction surgery for massage.)

Wearing the Garments
Compressive Garments: After your liposuction surgery, Dr. Zevon will apply dressings to the areas where the surgery was performed and place you in a specially ordered restrictive garment, called a compressive garment. The compressive garment, which resembles a tight girdle, helps reduce swelling, compressing the skin as it re-adjusts after the liposuction surgery. It is very important during this period for the skin tissue to be supported and sculpted for the proper re-shaping to occur. You should wear the compressive garment day and night for 2 weeks after your liposuction surgery (except when showering as instructed below) and then at night only for 2 more weeks. If your compressive garment has zippers, when instructed by Dr. Zevon, you may wear support-style pantyhose beneath the garment to minimize contour depressions from the zippers.

Changing & Showering
On the second day after liposuction surgery, as directed by Dr. Zevon, you can change the garment and remove the dressing placed underneath the garment. It is best to do this in the presence of another adult in case you get dizzy. To avoid lightheadedness, sit down for 5 or 10 minutes after removing the garment and the dressing. At this time, you can shower with the garment and dressing off. Do not take a bath during the first week after liposuction surgery, as the wounds may still be open. Again, an adult should be present while you are showering in case you are lightheaded. After the shower you can change into a new compression garment that Dr. Zevon has provided.

Activity Restrictions
Most liposuction patients may return to full activities other than sports within 4 days. More vigorous activity is resumed gradually after the first week. Do not smoke for 48 hours after your liposuction surgery to prevent coughing and bleeding. Do not drink alcohol for 5 days after surgery or while you are taking the pain medication. Alcohol dilates the blood vessels and could cause bleeding, and mixing pain medication and alcohol is dangerous. You may drive a car with power steering after one week, if you are no longer taking pain medication.

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Sleeping & Prolonged Sitting
If your liposuction surgery areas are around the mid-section and below, sleeping with your legs elevated during the first week after surgery should help minimize swelling in the lower legs. Prolonged sitting may increase the swelling of the lower legs. During the first week after liposuction surgery, if you have to sit for long periods of time during the day, get up every half-hour and walk around a bit.

Approximately 10 days after liposuction surgery, you may begin to massage the surgery areas if it feels comfortable to you. This may hasten the resolution of swelling, lumpy areas and/or hardness. You can massage with your hands and/or with a rolling pin, you can use a massage oil, moisturizing lotion or cream, or you may visit a massage therapist. We can provide you with the name of a massage therapist experienced with liposuction patients. Areas benefiting most from massage include the lower abdominal area and the medial and lateral thighs.

Post-Operative Appointments
It is important to see Dr. Zevon as scheduled after liposuction surgery. Dr. Zevon will see you approximately one week after surgery. Follow-up visits will continue for several weeks, and then after several months. Check your post-operative instructions for your first appointment. If you don’t have an appointment, call (212) 496-6600. Tell the receptionist the date you had liposuction surgery, and she will schedule your post-operative appointment. At each post-operative appointment, Dr. Zevon will advise you how soon the next one should be scheduled.

Liposuction Recovery Time
INITIAL: 3 to 4 weeks. You should expect maximum swelling from 3 to 5 days after liposuction surgery. Bruising should begin to resolve in 3 weeks, and most of the swelling resolves in 3 to 4 weeks.

SUBSTANTIAL: 3 months. The treated areas may remain hard for 6 to 8 weeks. 50% of the expected contour reduction occurs within the first month, another 25% at 2 months and most of the final 25% by 3 months.

FINAL: Occasional patients, especially those who undergo calf and ankle liposuction, have significant additional diminution in contour up to 6 months after liposuction surgery.

Resuming Normal Activities
Work: Follow the plan you and Dr. Zevon have agreed upon. Most of our patients are able to return to work within 4 days after liposuction surgery. By one week, all liposuction patients are back at work if they want to be.

Avoid vigorous activity, including strenuous sexual activity, and contact sports for at least four weeks. During this time, walking is fine and is recommended, but use common sense. If you have been sedentary for a while after your liposuction surgery, gradually increase the time you spend walking. Dr. Zevon will give you permission to increase your activities according to the progress of your recovery and your overall fitness level. Sports are resumed gradually. A patient’s motivation is the most important factor in determining when to return to full activity.

Changing exercise and diet habits is hard for many people. However, now that you have had liposuction you may find new motivation to maintain your new shape. We encourage you to become involved in a regular aerobic exercise program to sustain the changes in body contour. We recommend brisk walking on an inclined treadmill for 30 minutes, at least 3 days a week if possible. Additionally, we recommend maintaining healthy eating habits by eating regular meals of low-fat, high fiber, varied foods. If you like, we can refer you to experts in nutrition and exercise.

Exposure To Sunlight
You should wait a minimum of six weeks before exposure to sun and heat or sunbathing because of the possibility of swelling.

Dr. Zevon has performed over 2,000 successful breast surgeries since 1986 click to read patient reviews

How to Improve Healing After Liposuction (Part 2)

Dr Ali

12 Steps to Faster Healing & Less Downtime After Liposuction

With more than 250,000 liposuction surgeries performed in the United States every year, it is a safe and effective way to get the body you’ve always wanted.

But while the downtime associated with liposuction is shorter than many surgeries – and the pain is relatively minimal – lipo is still a surgical procedure that will require time for healing and recovery. As with any surgery there will be some bruising and discomfort for a number of days or a few weeks afterward. And, liposuction swelling can last from 6 weeks to 6 months before fully absorbed.

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In this two part article article, board-certified Troy, MI area plastic surgeon Dr. Ali shares 12 steps you can take to help minimize discomfort and speed up the healing of bruising and swelling after liposuction.


#7. Topical Creams Reduce Pain, Bruising & Scarring

Applying Arnica Cream is recommended by many plastic surgeons after liposuction to reduce bruising and promote healing.

Emu Oil, though more expensive, is also touted as a natural healing compound that can reduce pain, improve circulation, facilitate healing, and especially reduce any scarring. Clinical studies have determined that post-operative skin care treatment with Emu Oil can accelerate healing due to its ability to reduce inflammation and redness of scars.

Ask your liposuction team when it is safe after surgery for you to use these creams and oils.

#8. Stay Hydrated After Liposuction

We may be stating the obvious, but hydration is a key component of successful liposuction recovery. Fluids help the body eliminate anesthetic and dead fat cells from one’s system. Hydration is also essential to reduce swelling and promote healing.

#9. Get Plenty of Rest After Liposuction

Getting plenty of sleep and not overdoing activity in the first few weeks following your liposuction is one of the best ways to help your body heal. Get at least 8 hours of sleep every night, and take a nap, chill out, or medicate midday if you are fatigued.

#10. Walk Every Day After Liposuction

Exercise is not recommended during at least the first 6 weeks of liposuction recovery, but light movement multiple times a day can help to speed the body’s healing. Taking short walks a few times per day is a great way to get moving without straining your body or exhausting yourself.

After two or three weeks milder activities such as yoga or swimming can often be resumed as well, if incisions are fully healed. Ask your liposuction team when you mave resume these activities. But sooner is usually better, to keep the body active!

#11. Ask for Help When You Need It After Liposuction

Some daily activities are best left to others while you recovery – so don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it after lipo. Activities such as lifting small children, carrying laundry up the stairs, or unloading groceries from the car can put too much strain on your treatment area. So, ask a family member or friend for help when necessary – especially during the first few weeks after lipo!

Your liposuction team can advise you when you resume normal daily activities such as lifting, carrying, exercising and other strenuous activities.

#12, Massage After Liposuction

Finally, both self-massage and lymphatic drainage massage performed by a professional can help eliminate fluid buildup, hard stops and “lumps & bumps” after liposuction. Manual lymphatic drainage (MLD) massage is a specialized form of massage that is believed to decrease recovery time and improve results by reducing post-surgical swelling and minimizing fibrosis (scar tissue formation). Three to five lymphatic massage treatments are typically recommended for optimal results, but patients may experience benefits from as few as one or two treatments. Your surgical team may be able to recommend a Certified Lymphatic Massage therapist in your area.

Gentle self-massage using a cream (like arnica or Emu Oil) or a body butter can also help your treated areas heal smoothly as well as reduce swelling, tightness, and discomfort after liposuction. Your liposuction team can advise you when and how often self-massage or professional massage should be started.

Liposuction | Troy, MI Area

Liposuction permanent fat removal can be truly life-changing for patients. And our Troy, MI area liposuction patients universally agree that the discomfort and limitations of recovery from lipo surgery are more than worth it to get the body they have always wanted.

Following these twelve simple steps can help you minimize discomfort and accelerate healing so that you see a slimmer, more contoured body as soon as possible after lipo.

If you live in the greater Troy, MI area and would like to get the body you have always wanted, schedule a liposuction consultation at AMAE Plastic Surgery today!

Liposuction | Troy, MI Area: 248-335-7200

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