Post-Op Recovery

1. How soon after surgery do I have to return for a post-operative check-up?

It depends on the surgeon and what technique he used during liposuction. Some surgeons request that patients return 1-2 days after surgery and again one week after surgery. If stitches were used, the patient must come back to get the stitches removed about a week later. When tiny incisions are not closed, the patient may not be required to come into the office. The surgeon can follow up by telephone. While the patient can request a follow up visit, it is not necessary unless there is a problem or concern.

2. How long will I remain in the surgical facility after tumescent liposuction?

If tumescent liposuction is performed totally with local anesthesia, the patient can be discharged from the surgery center within a half hour of completion of surgery. When general anesthesia is used, the patient has to be observed for one to three hours after coming out of anesthesia before being discharged.

3. How soon can a patient go home after liposuction?

It depends on what type of anesthesia is used. When general anesthesia is used during liposuction, patients must be observed in a recovery room for one to three hours to ensure that blood pressure is normal and there are no side effects, like dizziness or nausea and vomiting. Tumescent liposuction performed under local anesthesia usually does not result in nausea and there is virtually no blood loss. Patients of tumescent liposuction can usually go home 30 minutes after surgery.

4. How long until I see results?

If the surgeon leaves incisions open to drain, then swelling in most patients resolves in about 4 weeks. If the surgeon closes the incisions, swelling may not resolve for 8 to 10 weeks. Results will become apparent after the swelling goes down.

5. How long will the bruising and swelling last?

The tumescent liposuction technique and open drainage of incisions reduce the amount of bruising and swelling after liposuction. Bruising will disappear in most patients within one to two weeks. Open incisions encourage draining, which further reduces swelling and bruising.

Most swelling will resolve in four weeks after liposuction provided that the incisions are left open to drain and compression garments are worn. When incisions are closed with stitches, tumescent fluid is trapped under the skin and swelling persists for 8 to 12 weeks. If ultrasonic assisted liposuction is used, significant swelling can persist for several months.