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What Is It Like to Recover From Liposuction?

Written by Dr. Sean Maguire on August 14, 2021

Liposuction in Louisville, KY

Liposuction gets rid of stubborn fat permanently and provides the contours you always wanted. However, you will need time to recuperate from the procedure. Expect to take at least two weeks off work. Top plastic surgeon Dr. Sean Maguire of Physician’s Center for Beauty in Louisville discusses what you should know about liposuction recovery.

First Three Days  

Keep wearing the compression garments or bandages provided by your surgeon. Not only do they reduce swelling, but they assist in adjusting the body to its new shape.

The surgical incisions contain small drains. These are in place to prevent fluid buildup. The doctor will instruct you on how to care for them. Always keep incisions clean and dry.

Expect some discomfort during the first few days. You should receive pain medication to relieve pain and soreness.

Rest as much as possible during this time.  Arrange to have meals available beforehand. If possible, get someone to help around the house. Eat healthy foods and keep yourself well-hydrated.

Call the doctor immediately if you develop a fever, extreme swelling or redness or severe pain.

First Two Weeks

After the first few days, most patients experience much less pain. They must continue wearing the compression garments. Bruising, soreness, numbness and swelling may remain for several weeks.

Depending upon the nature of their job, most people can return to work after two weeks. Someone with a sedentary job or who works remotely might go back to work within a week. Those with a physically demanding job may have to take off more time.

One Month Later

By this point, most aspects of your life have probably returned to normal, though some limitations still exist.

Do not engage in strenuous exercise. Ask the doctor about the types of light exercise in which you may participate. Going to the gym is generally not recommended until 6 weeks post-op. Light cardio is encouraged.


The results start becoming evident between weeks six and eight post-procedure. Bruising and swelling are diminished by then, and most patients can resume normal activities. Compression garments are no longer necessary.

It can take several months, even as long as a year, before all swelling is resolved and final results are apparent.


Every patient is different. The recovery process varies depending on factors such as age, overall health and fitness level.

Ask your doctor about when you can return to normal activities, such as driving.

Contact Us

Liposuction can sculpt your physique in ways you cannot achieve with diet and exercise alone. If you would like more information about liposuction and whether you are a candidate for this procedure, contact the Physician’s Center for Beauty today to arrange a consultation with Dr. Sean Maguire.

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