Liposuction Recovery Timeline
Liposuction is a great way to get rid of stubborn fat that won’t go away no matter how much you exercise or how well you eat. You may feel excited to experience the confidence a newly contoured body can give you, but know that the recovery period plays a significant role in your final liposuction results. It’s critical to follow your plastic surgeon’s post-op instructions to make sure you get the results you desire. The following liposuction recovery timeline will give you a good idea of what to expect post-surgery.
The First Day
The day of your liposuction procedure, you will wake up from surgery with bandages covering any incisions your surgeon made. These incisions may have drainage tubes coming out of them to make sure fluid doesn’t collect at the surgical site. You will also be wearing or quickly put into a compression garment. Although you may feel a little stiff and sore, you’ll be mostly groggy and tired.
You will need someone to drive you home from your liposuction and stay with you the rest of the day. This person may, however, step out briefly to pick up any prescribed medications. You will likely spend most of the day napping.
The First Week
Your discomfort may increase slightly the night of or the day after your surgery as the pain medicine we give you at the clinic begins to wear off. The pain medication we prescribe will ease this discomfort significantly, so please take your medication as directed. You can shower 48 hours after surgery, but pat your incisions dry rather than rubbing them and do not take a bath.
While your movement will be limited and your energy levels lower than usual, it’s essential to take short, slow walks when you feel ready to reduce the risk of blood clots. Ideally, you should try to get up and move every 2 to 3 hours. Your Mia Aesthetics surgeon may wish to schedule a follow-up appointment with you this week or next week to check on your recovery. He will likely remove your drain tubes at that appointment.
Patients typically take a week off work to recuperate, but some choose to take two weeks to have more time to recover from surgery.
Two to Three Weeks After Surgery
At the two-week mark, the pain and soreness should be fading, and most patients can return to work with the approval of their surgeon. During this time period, your incisions will have healed and your discomfort subsided. Mild bruising and swelling may remain but will continue to improve. At the third- and fourth-week mark, you likely can begin light to moderate exercise depending on how you’re feeling.
If your surgeon allows it, two weeks after surgery you can take your first bath. Avoid soaking in the bath, hot tubs, pools, or other bodies of water until you get the nod from your doctor. This is also about when you can have your stitches removed, unless your doctor used dissolvable sutures.
One to Three Months After Surgery
At the one-month mark, you will no longer be experiencing any pain or soreness. You may still have minimal swelling, but you will have a very clear picture of your liposuction surgery results at this point. Your surgeon will let you know exactly when you can stop wearing your compression garments soon but be patient. That can take 6 weeks or more.