What Patients Should Know About Liposuction Recovery

Most patients can successfully lose weight with the combination of a proper diet and an effective exercise routine. Getting rid of the residual body fat can be much more difficult, however. Even after the pounds have dropped, excess fat can remain in areas such as the abdomen, hips, and thighs. Often, a surgical procedure known as liposuction is necessary to eliminate it. Dr. Ramon Robles of Robles Plastic Surgery in Phoenix, AZ, routinely performs this procedure. Because it is a form of surgery, those preparing to undergo it should understand a few basic facts regarding liposuction recovery.

What Can Patients Expect After Liposuction?

Liposuction is not a weight-reduction procedure, but rather body contouring procedure designed to help enhance a patient's appearance. It is usually accomplished under general anesthesia as an outpatient procedure and can be performed by itself or in combination with other procedures, such as abdominoplasty or the Brazilian butt lift. The areas where it is typically most effective include the abdomen, arms, thighs, back, and hips. Sometimes the fat that is removed can be transferred to the breasts or buttocks to increase their size.

Most patients tolerate this procedure exceedingly well and find that the post-operative effects are relatively mild.

The liposuction procedure itself can take from one to several hours, depending on the type and extent of the surgery. Because it is an outpatient procedure, patients will need to bring a friend or family member on the day of surgery to drive them home after the surgery is completed. Patients should plan on missing up to three days of work after a more minor form of the procedure. However, if the surgery is more extensive or involves multiple sites, they can expect to remain at home for up to a week.

Immediately After Surgery

Like virtually any surgery, liposuction can cause moderate amounts of bleeding, bruising, swelling, and discomfort. However, most patients tolerate this procedure exceedingly well and find that the post-operative effects are relatively mild. The post-surgical recovery time and severity vary according to the number of sites treated, amount of fat removed, types of procedures performed, and length of time needed to complete the surgery.

Patients will likely notice soreness and bruising at the surgical site(s) immediately following surgery. Compression bandages covering the surgical area will help control bleeding and swelling, so these are usually not serious concerns. Likewise, post-operative discomfort is typically not severe, although patients may find relief in pain medication prescribed by Dr. Robles.

It is important to note that patients should get on their feet and start walking around the house as soon as possible. Post-surgery, walking helps prevent dangerous blood clots (deep vein thromboses or DVTs) from forming inside the veins. On the day after surgery, patients can begin to walk outside for longer distances.

woman walking around the house
After treatment, you should take slow and gentle walks around the house to encourage blood flow and healing.

In the Weeks to Follow

Typically, liposuction patients should expect to limit their activities for up to two weeks and wait approximately four weeks to return to normal activities. By this time, they should notice that the bruising has started to subside. The swelling, however, can remain for up to three months. Patients should be aware that it can take up to six weeks before they start to see the positive results of the surgery.

Learn More about Liposuction Recovery

Dr. Robles schedules his patients for regular post-operative appointments, but those with questions or concerns about any aspect of their recovery should not wait until the next appointment; instead, they are advised to call Robles Plastic Surgery at (602) 737-0323, or they can contact the office online at Robles Plastic Surgery.

Dr. Ramon Robles

Robles Plastic Surgery

Dr. Ramon Robles is a highly reviewed, board-certified plastic surgeon who has helped patients from Glendale, Mesa, Scottsdale, Avondale, and all over the Valley achieve life-changing results for almost 20 years. He is affiliated with leading professional medical organizations including:

  • American Society of Plastic Surgeons
  • American Board of Plastic Surgery

To schedule your one-on-one consultation with Dr. Robles, request an appointment online or call (602) 266-5100.

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"Dr. Robles is an amazing surgeon, and I cannot thank him enough for the results he was able to give me. His bedside manner was great and appropriate for a surgeon. He was very informative and forthcoming." RealSelf User

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