Liposuction and Swelling: What to Expect


Losing weight and improving body shape looks different today than just a decade ago. Many women and men are turning to fat-reducing treatments to shed inches without surgery. While there are great advantages to these procedures, there are also limitations. These limitations are why liposuction continues to be the most popular cosmetic surgery today.

Liposuction is an effective treatment which keeps evolving with gentler and safer techniques than years past. With this said, patients should still expect to experience swelling after the procedure.

Yes, It Takes Time

While it may take at least six months for swelling to completely resolve after surgery, more than half of the swelling will abate after a few weeks. Most of the swelling associated with the procedure will diminish in six weeks, not months. The results will be subtle and satisfactory, and you can continue to see a vast improvement for the upcoming months.

Swelling Will Vary During Recovery

When thinking about recovery from surgery, you probably imagine a straightforward process. Meaning, you experience some bruising and swelling, and with time these effects will fade more and more until swelling is fully resolved. Unfortunately, with liposuction, this isn’t how it always happens.

You should prepare for swelling to at times seems more pronounced than previous days on your path to a shapely contour. This occurrence is normal mostly because of your activity and body motions. What your doing is not wrong unless you’re pushing exercise too quickly; it’s just natural for swelling to return from time to time during recovery. This sudden increase in swelling can diminish by elevating the treatment site.

Support is Key

After surgery, we will fit you with a compression garment to support incisions and underlying tissue. This garment will also support sutures and any drains which may be in place.

This compression will also limit any disruption in the healing process which may cause swelling. It will help reduce swelling quickly and effectively.


Anticipating your results can be stressful, and most patients want to know how they will look after their procedure. Unfortunately, this is impossible to predict. When and how you heal varies from patient to patient. Every patient’s body has different healing potential and limitations. Although some results can be predicted by an educated guess, others are tougher to evaluate.

An important component of any successful cosmetic procedure is realistic expectations. Our board-certified plastic surgeon will be quite clear during consultation on what you can expect during recovery. One thing any patient should remember about their results is that the main goal is an improvement, not perfection. Patients who display realistic expectations tend to be happier with their results.

To learn more about liposuction or another procedure we offer, call us at (615) 467-6777 or contact us today.