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How long is liposuction recovery?

Liposuction recovery is relatively swift due to the relatively straightforward nature of the surgery.

Tagged: Recovery & Aftercare

Liposuction recovery is relatively swift due to the relatively straightforward nature of the surgery.

Liposuction recovery starts the moment you come around from sedation. We use advanced TIVA anaesthetic techniques to ensure that you wake up quicker and with less nausea, and your liposuction recovery can start immediately.

We recommend taking a week off work to allow for slight bruising and swelling to subside. Pain should be fairly minimal and you can usually resume normal daily activities and exercise within a few weeks. Strenuous activities are discouraged during this period. Light walking before your procedure prevents blood clotting and minimizes swelling.

Liposuction recovery involves minimal pain, but any excess pain can be managed with over the counter painkillers. You will be issued with a compression garment to reduce the swelling, and this should be worn for 6 weeks.

Liposuction recovery is finally complete from around 6 weeks when results should start to be visible. Full results will take between  6 – 12 months. 

What does the Cadogan Clinic recommend for liposuction recovery?

It doesn't take long to fully recover from liposuction. The Cadogan Clinic recommends total rest for several days as part of the healing process. It is paramount that the patient wears a compression garment to support healing and comfort levels, as well as the redistribution of the remaining fat cells in the area affected.

A number of side effects should be expected following liposuction. It is common to experience one or more of the following:

  • bruising and swelling, which may last up to six months
  • numbness, which should go away in 6 to 8 weeks
  • scars
  • inflammation of the treated area, or the veins underneath
  • fluid coming from the cuts
  • swollen ankles (if the legs or ankles are treated)

Anyone who has undergone liposuction should avoid UV light for 2-4 weeks.

Patients should come in for a follow up with the nursing team one week after surgery to ensure the incision sites have been properly reviewed.

All patients will have a final check-up with their surgeon six weeks after the procedure.

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What is the fastest way to recover from liposuction?

The fastest way to recover from liposuction is to follow all the instructions on post-procedure care given by the surgeon and nursing team.

A friend or relative must accompany the patient from the clinic after the procedure. The patient must not drive for 24 hours because of the general anaesthetic. Some patients may be asked to take antibiotics immediately after treatment to reduce the risk of infection.

A compression garment, such as a corset or compression bandages, must be worn for several weeks after undergoing liposuction to aid the recovery process. Wearing this helps to reduce swelling and bruising. The bandages or corset may be taken off when the patient has a shower.

A patient must avoid strenuous activity for four to six weeks after undergoing liposuction.

Once home following the procedure, patients have access to the Cadogan Clinic's dedicated on-call nursing team 24 hours a day, seven days a week. This team of specialists are dedicated to patient comfort and pain control and are there to field any questions in the immediate post-operative phase.

The results of the procedure are not always noticeable until the swelling has gone down. In some cases, this can take up to six months.

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How long should I take off work after liposuction?

We recommend that a patient takes at least a week off work following a liposuction procedure.

Exactly when a patient returns to work will depend on a number of factors, such as the type of job they do and how much of the body was treated.

This will also affect when a person is allowed to drive following liposuction. The surgeon will discuss this with the patient.

How long does liposuction pain last?

Any residual pain should disappear within a few days. Most patients take mild painkillers after liposuction to help with any pain.

Any patient who needs advice or guidance on pain relief can contact the Cadogan Clinic's 24-hour on-call nursing team.


Treatments mentioned in this article

Liposuction can provide an efficient solution for the removal of unwanted fat from specific areas of the body, leaving a more defined shape.

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