This Article Has Been Medically Approved By

Dr. George H. Sanders

shutterstock 249439468The recovery from liposuction at Dr. George Sanders’ Los Angeles-area plastic surgery practice varies by patient. Everyone recovers at his or her own pace, depending on the extent of their treatment, their health status and how well they follow the doctor’s instructions.

If you have questions about the recovery period after liposuction, Dr. Sanders has you covered. Read on to learn more about what to expect and how to make the process as quick and comfortable as possible.

Immediate Post-Operative Side Effects

Bruising and swelling are normal post-operative side effects and subside with time. The bruising can change color and the bruised area may be sore or tender to the touch as well.

General Length of Recovery

The length of liposuction recovery depends on the specific patient and the procedure performed. Post-operative symptoms and discomfort vary by patient. However, most patients can return to work within two weeks, at which point most of the noticeable side effects have improved.

Support Garments

One of the best ways to expedite healing is to wear a supportive compression garment that puts gentle pressure on the area treated by liposuction. This garment helps reduce swelling, accelerates healing and improves the contours of the treated area. Typically, compression garments should be worn for six to eight weeks, but Dr. Sanders gives every patient specific instructions.

Resuming Exercise

Exercise is important for the prevention of blood clots and other post-surgical complications; but it should be resumed slowly and at Dr. Sanders’ discretion. He discusses specific individual timelines for resuming exercise with each patient.

In general, patients should start taking short, slow walks as soon as they feel ready (usually about three days after surgery). The length of the walks can gradually be increased. If there is any pain or discomfort, the level of activity should immediately be reduced. More strenuous exercise should be avoided until Dr. Sanders approves it.


At first, liposuction results may seem negligible because of swelling and bruising. But wearing the compression garment and following Dr. Sanders’ instructions will help expedite how quickly results appear. The earliest results can be seen around the 10- to 14-day mark, with outcomes continuing to improve for four to six months. At that point, the treated area should look slimmer and more youthful, and the muscles may look more defined.

To maintain results, Dr. Sanders recommends continuing to exercise regularly and eat a well-balanced diet full of lean protein, produce and whole grains. Eliminating processed foods and drinking more water is also helpful.

Contact Our Liposuction Surgeon

For more information about liposuction surgery or recovery, please call 818.981.3333 or email Dr. Sanders today.