Liposuction Recovery Timeline: What to Expect By Michael A. Devlin, MD on November 05, 2020

woman's slender abdomen Many men and women have fatty trouble spots that won't go away through diet or exercise. Liposuction can target stubborn areas to create a smoother, sleeker, more contoured appearance. 

When considering liposuction, Dr. Michael A. Devlin believes it's important to have an understanding of what to expect during recovery and to be aware that recoveries will vary based on the extent of liposuction and personal healing times. 

Here, we discuss the general liposuction recovery timeline for our patients in Little Rock, AR, Conway, AR, Hot Springs, AR, and surrounding areas so they know what to expect during liposuction recovery.  

The First Few Days of Recovery 

The first few days of recovery after liposuction tend to be when patients feel the most uncomfortable and need the most rest. 

Patients should expect some swelling, bruising, and may experience pain and discomfort. Pain medication is often prescribed to help alleviate discomfort.  

Applying ice packs around the treatment area during the first few days of recovery can help reduce swelling and ease discomfort. Compression garments are recommended to further help with swelling and to support the tissues as they heal.

The First Week of Recovery

Although patients will need to rest immediately after liposuction, they should take light walks early on to reduce the risk of developing blood clots and to promote healing by encouraging the blood to circulate. Strenuous activity should be avoided at this time and patients should plan to take some time off from work.  

Compression garments should still to be worn to continue to support the tissues and help the skin adjust to its new contours. 

The Second and Third Week of Recovery 

After the second week, patients may be recovered enough to return to work provided they are not required to do heavy lifting or other strenuous activity. Patients should continue to avoid strenuous activity until cleared by the doctor. 

Swelling, bruising, and pain will subside as the liposuction sites heal, however swelling can take several weeks to diminish. As a result, patients may not see the full results of their liposuction during the early stages of recovery. 

Four Weeks and Beyond

Most patients are fully recovered after four weeks and may be cleared for strenuous activity. By this time, patients can generally stop wearing compression garments and should notice swelling and bruising are mostly, if not fully, gone. 

Although treated areas should begin to look closer to their final results, it may take three to six months to see the final results. This is because it can take some time for the skin to adjust to the body's new contours. 

Patients can expect to see long term results after liposuction provided they maintain a healthy weight. 

Find Out if Liposuction Is Right for You

If you have stubborn areas fat, like in the inner thighs, neck, or flanks that you can't get rid of despite dieting and exercising, liposuction may be right for you. To find out if you're a candidate, call (501) 227-8811 to schedule a consultation

Related to This

Plastic surgeon Michael Devlin, M.D.

Devlin Cosmetic Surgery: Michael Devlin, M.D.

Dr. Devlin is a cosmetic surgeon who provides each of his patients with personalized care and a compassionate approach. He offers a range of procedures in an environment where patients feel safe, comfortable, and heard. He is affiliated with organizations such as the:

  • American Academy of Cosmetic Surgery (Fellow)
  • American Society of Cosmetic Breast Surgery
  • American Medical Association
  • Arkansas Medical Society
  • Pulaski County Medical Society

To get started on your plastic surgery journey, fill out our form or call (501) 227-8811.


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