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What to Expect Throughout the Stages of Liposuction Recovery

By Brian Kobienia, MD, FACS on July 02, 2014


The toned midsection and slim thighs of a female patientLiposuction is one of the most frequently performed plastic surgery procedures at the practice of Dr. Brian J. Kobienia. This is such a popular procedure because excess deposits of fat are a problem for such a large number of people. Even those people who are physically active and careful about their diet can be plagued by stubborn pockets of fat that cannot be eliminated by controlling their diet and exercise routine. What can be effective is liposuction, which breaks down and removes excess fat to leave the body more toned with improved contour definition. In order to ensure optimal results from surgery, patients should be prepared to rest and allow for adequate time to recover following a liposuction procedure. Following is a brief description of our Edina patient’s typical liposuction recovery timeline.

The Day of the Procedure

Liposuction is an outpatient procedure so patients should be prepared to return home shortly after the procedure has been completed. It is ideal to have a friend or family member around for the first 24 hours of recovery, as it is very important to rest as much as possible during this initial stage of recovery. It is likely that the patient will experience fatigue, discomfort, and swelling on this first day of recovery. If general anesthesia was used, nausea and dizziness may be additional side effects.

Week One of Recovery

The first week of liposuction recovery is when side effects are likely to be the strongest. There are several liposuction techniques offered by Dr. Kobienia, each of which is aimed to increase the accuracy and safety of the liposuction procedure, as well as minimize discomfort and side effects during recovery. Even so, patients can expect to experience some degree of discomfort and a significant amount of swelling (and likely bruising) during the first week of healing. The skin may also feel tight or itchy and will likely be somewhat discolored. These are all normal side effects that will gradually dissipate on their own. Physical activities should be limited during this first week. While light walking is encouraged, more strenuous activities should be avoided.

Week Two of Recovery

Within the second week following a liposuction procedure, most patients are ready to return to work or other routine activities. Swelling, bruising, and discomfort should show significant improvement at this time. While light activities are still encouraged, patients are advised to continue to refrain from exercise or strenuous physical activities, such as heavy lifting.

Weeks Four to Six of Recovery

Between four and six weeks after the liposuction procedure, healing is essentially complete. At this point patients should be free from using any compression garments that were used during the initial stages of recovery. Side effects should also be gone by this point. While there still may be minimal swelling, the final results of the procedure should be pretty apparent. At this time patients should be free to resume exercise. With proper diet and exercise, the results of surgery can last a lifetime.

Schedule an Appointment

A liposuction procedure can be successful in toning areas of the body that have been resistant to diet and exercise. If you have some problem areas that you would like to improve, schedule an appointment with Dr. Brian J. Kobienia to find out if liposuction is right for you. We look forward to hearing from you!

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