What to Expect During Liposuction Recovery: Pain (Part 1)

How Much Pain Is There After Liposuction Surgery?

Liposuction is the second most popular cosmetic surgery in the U.S. for a reason – it can truly transform your body in a single procedure with minimal pain and downtime. Every year surgeons perform more than a quarter million liposuction procedures in the United States every year.

For, many people the only thing holding them back from getting liposuction is concerns about recovery: from worries about downtime and missing work to apprehensions about post-operative pain.

Board-certified Birmingham, MI plastic surgeon Dr. Ali has performed more than 1000 liposuction procedures. In this article the lipo experts at AMAE Plastic Surgery in Birmingham, MI explain what to expect during the recovery process – so you can decide if liposuction is right for you.

Liposuction Recovery in General

To begin with, remember that ANY surgical recovery varies from one individual to the next. Your age, overall health, skin condition, medical history all play a role in determining your recover speed and comfort.

Additionally, the location and amount of fat that is removed will play a role in your recovery. It’s common sense that more extensive fat removal will require a longer recovery.

And, perhaps most importantly, how well you follow post-operative care instructions can be the biggest factor in ensuring a shorter and more comfortable recovery. For example, smoking and alcohol use during recovery can lead to delays and complications.

Pain During Liposuction Surgery

Patients may feel pressure, but will not feel any pain during their liposuction surgery. This is because will we administer an oral sedative, as well as local anesthetic. The fluid that is introduced to the body during liposuction has lidocaine (numbing agent) right in it, so the treatment area is completely numbed on the inside, as well.

Additionally, thanks to the oral sedative, many patients sleep through the entire lipo procedure and aren’t even aware of what is going on!

Liposuction Recovery: Pain Management

As with any surgery, during the first week or two of recovery, you can expect moderate pain and soreness. The amount and location of the fat removal will affect this to some extent.

We will give you a prescription for a pain medication that should be filled before the surgery and kept at home for use (if needed) during your recovery to make this discomfort manageable. Many patients only need pain medication for 24 hours after surgery – while others may opt to treat the discomfort with Extra Strength Tylenol rather than narcotics.

Limit your activity during this time and wear your compression garment as directed. The compression garment will help prevent swelling and make you much more comfortable – even though it may restrict your movements somewhat.

Normal activities like bending, sitting for a long time, climbing stairs, rolling over in bed, etc. may still cause discomfort for the first two weeks. Most patients find this very tolerable with Extra Strength Tylenol. And our Birmingham, MI patients universally say the discomfort was 100% worth getting a new body that they love!

By the end of the second week there will be a significant reduction in pain and soreness. Around the one-month mark is when most patients no longer feel any pain or soreness. There will still be swelling, which can take several weeks or months to completely subside.

Around the fourth week, most people are cleared to resume light exercise – however heavy or strenuous activity should still be avoided for the full 6 week recovery period. By the six-week mark the majority of bruising and swelling should have subsided, and patients’ activity levels is no longer be restricted (unless otherwise ordered by your surgeon). And your new body contours should be becoming very visible by this point.

CLICK HERE to read about Downtime After Liposuction

Liposuction | Birmingham, MI

If you are considering liposuction and have more questions about recovery, downtime, returning to work, or anything else, schedule a consultation with board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Ali. He will answer your questions, address your concerns and help you decide if liposuction is right for you.

Dr. Ali has helped more than 1000 men and women in the Birmingham, MI area get the body they’ve always wanted with liposuction, so call us today.

Liposuction | Birmingham, MI: 248-335-7200