Patient Resource

Liposuction Recovery – What You Need To Know


Liposuction is a highly sought-after surgical procedure making it into the top five cosmetic procedures performed in the US and Australia for 2014.  The process which involves removing excess fat from targeted areas of the body, has the ability to create a slimmer body shape by contouring to achieve a more desirable figure.  It is a great option to be rid of unwanted fat where a healthy diet and regular exercise alone can’t eliminate it.

While having an experienced surgeon carrying out the procedure is extremely important, to achieve the best results and for a faster recovery it is essential patients follow the do’s and don’ts of liposuction recovery.  At Cosmos Clinic we are particularly focused on aftercare as we feel it is imperative for our client’s healing and long-term outcome.

Depending on the type of liposuction procedure and the amount of fat being removed, patients will most likely be able to return home soon after surgery. It is therefore integral to your wellbeing that you follow instructions and be aware of any possible complications you may experience while you recover so as you can contact your doctor right away.


Do wear your liposuction compression garments

Patients receiving liposuction will be fitted with compression garments that will reduce the swelling in the short-term and also help to improve the contour.  Wearing the compression garment post-surgery is one of the most important things recipients can do to ensure they recover well from the cosmetic procedure.

The compression garment helps apply pressure to the areas where fluid accumulates as a result of the extracted fat.  This pressure disperses the fluid build-up between the skin and muscle reducing the swelling as well as increasing circulation.

It is important when having the compression garment fitted it applies consistent pressure and is shaped to the patient’s ideal figure to facilitate proper healing.  Although the garment is not going to feel as good as wearing lounge clothing, it should be comfortable enough for the patient to wear for up to 23 hours a day only being removed for bathing and washing.  A poorly fitted compression garment can increase the risk of lymphedema, uneven skin composition or even red scarring.

Do maintain a healthy diet

Liposuction removes unwanted subcutaneous fat, but does not give recipients the green light to devour unhealthy foods at their leisure.  For optimal results, adjusting to a healthy diet before patients undergo liposuction is ideal.  This way, after the surgery patients will not be as challenged to eating whole, real produce and eliminating the foods that are known to cause weight gain.

Maintaining a healthy diet doesn’t mean you need to necessarily eat less or feel deprived from your favourite foods.  It simply means upping intake of whole foods including fruits and vegetables while reducing your sugar, carbohydrate and saturated fats in the form of fast and junk foods.

The results of liposuction are permanent and the new contoured body shape will remain, however weight gain will increase the patient’s overall size.  Aging, pregnancy and other lifestyle factors may also contribute to a change in results, so maintaining a healthy lifestyle is key to optimal results long term.

Do listen to your body

You know your body best and how well it heals.  Some patient’s recovery from cosmetic surgeries such as liposuction is relatively quick, while others need more time to allow their body to rest and heal properly.  The doctors at Cosmos Clinic provide patients with detailed post-surgery instructions on how best to recovery from certain procedures.  It is important to take these in account, but we do encourage those patients to listen to their own body too.

Do take care of your surgical sites

On average, it takes about two weeks for the wounds to heal after liposuction surgery.  Post-surgery, the doctor discusses with the patient how to best care for their surgical sites and avoid any infection.  As well as helping healing and swelling, the compression garments do protect any wounds and stiches from moving or being overly exposed.  Keeping them dry, well dressed and avoiding soaking the wounds will also maintain the health of any incisions.

A lymphatic drainage massage and or heat massage may be arranged one-five days after the procedure with an onsite massage therapist or nurse.  This specialised massage is designed to treat any swelling and lumpiness by moving the lymphatic fluid from the surgical area.

The doctor will remove any stitches and drains from the patient after the area has healed.  It is important to contact the doctor in the event the wounds are red, swollen, bleeding, starting to open or draining excess fluid.

Do attend post-surgical check-ups

At Cosmos Clinic will we not procedure with any cosmetic surgery treatments for those patients who are not committed to the aftercare regime arranged.   It is vital for the healing process and for optimal long-term results that the recovery recommendations are followed.

On average, patients will undergo 3-6 post op treatments from 1 day after the liposuction procedure.  This includes wound assessment, body shape assessment and lymphatic, heat or ultrasound massage depending on the type of liposuction surgery.



Don’t believe results happen overnight

It is important recipients remain patient as the body recovers from liposuction surgery and the new look is revealed.  Unfortunately results aren’t going to happen overnight, in fact it can take up to several months for the full effects for liposuction to realise.  Patients may express swelling and perhaps even bruising and the amount of time it takes for the body to recover will depend on the individual as well as the type of liposuction procedure undertaken.

Don’t take a bath

Patients will eventually be able to take a bath, soak in a hot tub or swim in a pool, but it is important to avoid exposing the wounds and getting them wet initially.  The doctor will discuss wound treatment and showering post-surgery, however to avoid infection patients are advised to remain out of the bath until the doctors have given the all clear.

Don’t take over the counter medication

There will be some amount of pain experienced for several days following liposuction surgery.  Treating the pain with appropriate medication is an integral component of the patient’s recovery.  However, it extremely important they steer clear of any non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications including aspirin and ibuprofen after liposuction.  These medications can increase the risk of bleeding complications and may also decrease the body’s immune system ability, hindering the recovery.

Don’t do strenuous exercise 

We encourage recipients of cosmetic surgery, including liposuction to resume normal activities after the day of surgery if they feel comfortable.  Light exercise such as walking is advised over the more strenuous activities such as running or weight training.  It is best to increase the intensity of exercise little by little and resume light cardio and more vigorous training after 3 weeks of recovery.  Again, it is important patients listen to their body and speak with their surgeon before pushing and testing your limits.

Don’t smoke or drink alcohol

During the liposuction recovery period, cigarette smoking and alcohol consumption is not advised.  Nicotine products can speed up the healing of skin which can lead to permanent and unsightly scaring. Smoking may effect patient’s respiratory system causing them to cough and in some cases this can lead to unwanted bleeding.  Consuming alcohol during the recovery period may cause problems with the prescribed medication and has also the possibility of resulting in bleeding.

As cosmetic surgeons we want you to get the optimal results and keep looking great your whole life.  We will take care of the surgery, but we require our clients to be fully committed to following our post op instructions and taking the time to allow the body to recover.  This will help prevent any complications and work towards achieving the best results of the liposuction treatment.


  1. Hello
    ive already made an enquiry regarding the laser liposuction on my stomach and abdomen area. I’m just reading all the recovery info and would like to know the following.
    I am planning a trip away end of October so would like to know if I want the surgery before that what is the latest I should get it done in order for it not to effect my trip, re going in the water etc & wearing a bikini

    thanks Belinda

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *