Recovery From Liposuction

Body Contouring Weight Loss
Dr. Phillip Chang

Dr. Phillip Chang

Board Certified By The American Board of Plastic Surgeons.
Voted Top Plastic Surgeon in Loudoun, Virginia
Offices in Leesburg, Virginia.

Best of Loudoun 2019
real self top doctor virginia

With over 250,000 procedures performed in 2018, liposuction has become one of the most common procedures performed second only to breast augmentation. If you have stubborn pockets of fat that will not disappear with diet and exercise, then liposuction might be a great option for you! If you decide liposuction is for you, you need to know what to expect from the recovery process.

Even though liposuction is a very safe procedure when performed by a board-certified plastic surgeon, it is still a surgical procedure that requires recovery. The length of recovery really depends on several factors including but not limited to: age, health, and areas addressed. A consultation with a certified physician will be able to give you a better idea of what your specific recovery process will look like.

The Liposuction Recovery Process

Liposuction is typically an outpatient procedure, meaning you will come in and leave the medical facility the same day. On occasion, if you are having a significant amount of fat removed, you may be required to stay overnight for observation. 

During the procedure, you will be put under general anesthesia. Afterwards, you will be offered pain medication to help control your pain during recovery. Because of the anesthesia and pain medications, you will need someone to drive you home, regardless of how long you stay.

The First Three Days After Liposuction

After performing the procedure, your surgeon will give you compression garments specifically designed for the areas worked on. It is important to wear these to reduce pain and swelling at the surgical site. They also help to contour the body to its new shape. There may also be drains at the site that your surgeon will explain how to care for. Plan on significant soreness for the first few days after surgery. Your surgeon will give you pain medication, and it is important that you follow the instructions on how to take it to get the most relief.

Plan on limited activity during these first few days as well. The compression garments should help limit mobility, but it is important to stay away from any strenuous activity and movement. It is encouraged that you enlist help, especially if you have young children.

Liposuction Before And After

Female body before and after treatment

Weeks 1-2 Of Liposuction Recovery

After the first few days, you should notice a significant reduction in pain. Many people can return to work at this point unless they have a job that requires strenuous activities. If you do have a job that is physically demanding, you may want to schedule additional time off. You will still be required to wear your compression garments.

Weeks 3-5 Of Liposuction Recovery

Swelling can take months to completely subside, but typically around the one month mark is when most patients no longer experience pain. At this point, you will also begin to notice the physical results you have been looking for. The results will continue to improve as the swelling and bruising heal. Although you should still avoid heavy lifting, most people return to light to moderate exercise around 4 weeks. 

Play Video

Week 6 And Beyond

You should no longer notice any significant bruising or swelling by week 6. On occasion, there may be some residual swelling that lasts for several months. At this point, you will no longer need your compression garments and will be able to return to full exercise. Consult your physician before you fully return to your regular daily activities. The best part is, you should now be able to see the full results of your liposuction procedure.

Other Ways To Speed Along The Recovery Process

Even though you shouldn’t try and rush the recovery process, there are several ways to make sure that you body is recovering at optimum level:

  • Eat Well: Fresh fruits and veggies will help limit swelling and encourage healing
  • Stay Hydrated: Being well hydrated will help reduce swelling
  • Take It Easy: Getting plenty of sleep gives the body time to recuperate
  • Light Walking: Even though exercise is a no-no, keeping your body moving helps to encourage blood flow which helps the healing process
  • Ask for Help: Do not try to accomplish too much. Ask a family member or friend to do the heavy lifting

FAQs About Liposuction

Costs are dependent on a number of things:

  • Experience of surgeon
  • Geographical location
  • Hospital Costs
  • Area of body to be liposuctioned

When you book your free consultation with your surgeon, they will discuss what procedure could be performed and give you a break-down of costs.

CoolSculpting is a non-surgical procedure that can reduce fat through freezing. It won’t have the same dramatic results as liposuction.

Liposuction only gets rid of fat. Cellulite can be treated with non-surgical procedures like VASER or Venus Freeze. Ask about it at your consultation.

No, but if loose skin is an issue you can combine liposuction with a skin tightening surgery.

 As it is an invasive surgery there will be scars. Your surgeon will try to place them in non-visible areas of the body.


For those wondering whether liposuction might be the best cosmetic solution for you, we invite you to simply come in for a complimentary consultation with Dr. Chang or one of the cosmetic laser and injection nurses to explore whether you would make a good candidate. To find out more whether Aesthetica can help you, contact us online or at 703-729-5553 to arrange an appointment. Dr. Phillip Chang is a board-certified plastic surgeon in Northern Virginia near Leesburg, Virginia and an expert in a wide variety of cosmetic treatments.

Let Us Help You!

Our office can provide you with helpful information, schedule a free consultation, and walk you through the many procedures and services Aesthetica offers.

Contact Dr. Chang's Office:

More Articles For You

Acne Treatment at Aesthetica

Do you want to resolve your acne problem? BBL and Microneedling may be just what you are looking for for your acne treatment at Aesthetica. Learn more about these amazing treatments in today’s blog.

Read More »


Refer a friend and you will BOTH receive $50 in Dollar Discounts.