As a Royal College-certified plastic surgeon, one of the most common questions I hear from liposuction patients is about the recovery process. Although our SAFElipo procedure is gentle and minimally invasive, it is still a surgical operation with downtime and unique considerations based on the areas treated.
To help you understand what to expect after your procedure, I break down the liposuction recovery time for some of the most common treatment areas.
Abdominal Liposuction Recovery
Abdominal liposuction is one of the most popular procedures for achieving a slimmer waistline and flatter tummy. After surgery, you will need to wear a compression garment to reduce swelling and support the healing process.
Most patients can return to light activities within a few days, but it may take a few weeks before you can engage in more strenuous exercise. While notable improvements in your body contour will be visible soon after surgery, it can take several months for residual swelling to dissipate in full and for your tissues to heal and settle into your final results.
Back Liposuction Recovery
Back liposuction targets the upper and lower back, eliminating unwanted fat—especially around the bra line and flanks—to create a smooth, sculpted appearance. Recovery from this procedure is similar to that of abdominal liposuction.
You can expect some bruising and swelling, which will gradually subside over a few weeks. Your compression garment will help control swelling and ensure a consistent, even result. Most patients are back to work and their normal routines within 1 to 2 weeks, though it may take upward of a month to be cleared for more strenuous activities.
Thigh Liposuction Recovery
Liposuction on the inner and outer thighs creates trimmer, more shapely legs. However, the recovery process may take a bit longer than for other areas. Inner thigh liposuction recovery usually requires several weeks before the patient is back at full capacity, with bruising, swelling, and tenderness present throughout. Like other forms of liposuction, you will need to wear a compression garment.
We will encourage you to start taking slow, gentle walks as soon as you feel up to it. By increasing your mobility, you reduce the risk of developing blood clots and enhance your overall recovery outcomes.
Arm Liposuction Recovery
Liposuction can sculpt your arms and better define the musculature. The recovery time is relatively quick, with most patients back at work and their daily activities within a week. You’ll still need to wait a few weeks to resume strenuous exercise, including upper body workouts.
As with other liposuction treatment areas, you’ll need to wear a compression garment and will see your results develop over time as swelling resolves.
Chin Liposuction Recovery
Also known as submental liposuction, chin liposuction targets the double chin and upper neck area. The initial recovery period lasts only a few days, with most people free of activity restrictions after around 2 weeks. We will give you a chin strap to wear, which firmly compresses the skin and prevents fluid accumulation. As swelling abates, your defined jawline will be revealed.
Your liposuction recovery time will vary with the treatment area—and whether you choose to have multiple areas treated at once—as well as individual patient factors and the amount of fat removed. Keep in mind that liposuction is not intended as a weight loss procedure and is appropriate for patients who are at or near their ideal weight with stubborn deposits of fat.
Some patients also choose to combine their liposuction procedure with Renuvion® skin tightening or add it as an enhancement to another surgery. To find out more about treating loose skin after liposuction, please read our related blog post. Repurposing your unwanted fat to add volume to another part of the body is another option. We offer autologous fat transfer to patients seeking a natural, long-lasting alternative to dermal fillers.
By eating well, easing into exercise, getting plenty of rest, and following all postoperative instructions closely, you help set yourself up for the smoothest recovery possible and the best aesthetic outcomes.
Take the Next Step
If you are considering liposuction or have further questions about the recovery process, I invite you to request a consultation online or call us at (416) 925-7337 to schedule an appointment. My team and I are here to provide personalized guidance and honest treatment recommendations to help you achieve your unique aesthetic goals.