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Recovery After Liposuction: What to Expect

The benefits of liposuction don’t happen overnight. Here's what to plan for after surgery.
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How do I prepare for my liposuction? 

You are an important member of your own healthcare team. The steps you take before surgery can improve your comfort and outcome. You can prepare for liposuction by:

  • Answering all questions about your medical history and medications you take. This includes prescriptions, over-the-counter drugs, herbal treatments, and vitamins. It is a good idea to carry a current list of your medical conditions, medications, and allergies at all times.

  • Getting preoperative testing as directed. Testing will vary depending on your age, health, and specific procedure. Preoperative testing may include a chest X-ray, EKG (electrocardiogram), blood tests, and other tests as needed.

  • Losing weight before surgery through a healthy diet and exercise plan.

  • Not eating or drinking just prior to surgery as directed. Your doctor may cancel your surgery if you eat or drink too close to the start of the procedure because you can choke on stomach contents during general anesthesia.

  • Stopping smoking as soon as possible. Even quitting for just a few days can be beneficial and help the healing process.

  • Taking or stopping medications exactly as directed. This may include not taking aspirin, ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), and blood thinners.

Questions to ask your doctor

Facing surgery can be stressful. It is common for patients to forget some of their questions during a doctor’s office visit. You may also think of other questions after your appointment. Contact your doctor with any concerns or questions before surgery and between appointments. 

It is also a good idea to bring a list of questions to your appointments. Questions can include:

  • What kind of training and experience do you have in performing liposuction?

  • Am I good candidate for liposuction? Are there any other options for treating my condition?

  • What type of liposuction procedure will I need?

  • How long will the procedure take? When can I go home?

  • What kind of restrictions will I have after the surgery? When can I return to work and other activities?

  • How should I care for my incisions? When can I shower?

  • How will I look after the surgery?

  • What kind of assistance will I need at home?

  • What medications will I need before and after the surgery? How do I take my usual medications?

  • How will you manage my pain?

  • When should I follow up with you?
     
  • How should I contact you? Ask for numbers to call during and after regular office hours.

Medical Reviewers: William C. Lloyd III, MD, FACS Last Review Date: Sep 4, 2016

© 2016 Healthgrades Operating Company, Inc. All rights reserved. May not be reproduced or reprinted without permission from Healthgrades Operating Company, Inc. Use of this information is governed by the Healthgrades User Agreement.

View Sources

Medical References

  1. Continuous peripheral nerve blocks in acute pain management. British Journal of Anaesthesia. http://bja.oxfordjournals.org/content/105/suppl_1/i86.abstract.
  2. Laser and Ultrasound Assisted Liposuction. American Society of Plastic Surgeons. http://www.plasticsurgery.org/Cosmetic-Procedures/Laser-and-Ultrasound-Assisted-Liposuction.html.
  3. Laser-assisted liposuction (SmartLipo). American Society of Plastic Surgeons. http://www.plasticsurgery.org/news-and-resources/technology-briefs/laser-assisted-liposuction-%28sma....
  4. Lipoma. Healthgrades. http://www.healthgrades.com/conditions/lipoma.
  5. Liposuction Information. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. http://www.fda.gov/MedicalDevices/ProductsandMedicalProcedures/SurgeryandLifeSupport/Liposuction/def....
  6. Liposuction Procedure. American Society of Plastic Surgeons. http://www.plasticsurgery.org/Cosmetic-Procedures/Liposuction.html.

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