When you’ve been dieting, exercising regularly and are close to your ideal weight, things can start to feel really good!  But for a lot of people, there may be one or two trouble spots where the fat just doesn’t seem to budge; like on the thighs, abdomen and arms. For those areas, liposuction is definitely an option. But before going through any medical procedure its important to know what kind of recovery process is involved so you can make an informed decision about what you are about to go through how much off-time you are going to need.

Immediately after surgery

Liposuction-Recovery-Everything-You-Need-To-Know-2Though some patients will be discharged soon after undergoing liposuction, there will be others who will stay in a facility overnight.  The post op pain, downtime required and time spent in the facility depend on the size of the area that has been worked on as well as the personal preference of the patient.

Outpatients, will be discharged within a few hours after the procedure.  All patients must have someone to drive them home, as driving may not be permitted for at least two to five days after having the procedure. Your doctor will be able to assist you in figuring out the safest day to start driving again.

Liposuction is a procedure that definitely hurts.  Immediately after the surgery you will probably feel a lot of pain when you are going from a stationary position to undertake a movement of some sort.

One to two weeks after surgery

The first week after surgery is when the pain and soreness is at its height. The local anesthesia will take approximately 24 hours to leave your system. If you opted for a general anesthetic it could take up to five to seven days for it to fully leave your system.

Expect your muscles to feel sore, as though you have worked out really hard the day before.  Your skin will be visibly red and the area affected will be swollen.

When the affects of the local and general anesthetic have worn off, and you are aware of the level of the pain, your doctor will be able to help you choose the type of pain medication you’ll need.


You will be wearing compression garments suggested by your doctor. Some doctors choose not to stitch closed the incisions where the cannula suctions the fat.  If that is the case, the incision will be used as a drainage source, so that the extra fluid, blood and anesthetic can naturally drain out. This also helps alleviate some of the pain you will be experiencing.

In the first two to five days you will most possibly not be allowed to drive a car and by the fourth or fifth day you could possible start working again. A lot of doctors suggest taking a full week off from work, and then if you are able to go back sooner, you could consider that a bonus. It is important to remember that each patient is different and some patients have had to take two weeks off of work.  But those cases tend to be the exception rather than the norm.

If you had liposuction under local anesthesia you will experience much less pain than if you had undergone a general anesthetic. Make sure you ask your doctor which approach will be better for you.

Four weeks after surgery

Your pain levels will have subsided a lot by this stage. However, you may still be experiencing some discomfort and soreness for up to 8 weeks after the date of your surgery.  Keep in mind though, that the soreness will decrease each week so by the 8th week the tenderness will be minimal and hopefully mostly gone.