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Recovering At Home After Liposuction

Recovering At Home After Liposuction

Liposuction is a cosmetic surgical procedure that targets stubborn and unwanted deposits of fat that will not respond to diet or exercise. By permanently removing the fat cells in the target area, your surgeon will be able to sculpt your body and restore a more natural contour. Liposuction is one of the most requested cosmetic surgeries in North America and if you are considering this treatment it is important to make sure you have all the insight necessary to make an informed decision. As you explore your options for body contouring through liposuction, you should consider the recovery process. Here is what you need to know.

Recovery After Liposuction

Liposuction is typically performed as an outpatient procedure under general anaesthesia, but treatment on smaller areas may be performed under local anaesthetic. Accessing the target areas through small, discreet incisions, your surgeon will infuse a sterile solution to reduce post-operative pain and bleeding. A thin tube is inserted to dislodge excess fatty deposits which are then gently suctioned out. The length of the procedure is dependent on the size of the treatment area and the amount of fat removed, but typically will last between one and three hours. 

Stages of Recovery

Immediately following surgery: After surgery, your doctor will use a compression garment or elastic bandages to apply pressure to the treatment area. This will help reduce swelling and provide support as your tissues heal. You will be required to remain at your surgical centre until the effects of the anaesthesia wear off. You will most likely not be experiencing pain at this time due to the local freezing solution your surgeon infused through your incisions. After a brief period of post-surgical observation, you will be cleared to leave, and given specific instruction for aftercare. You will need to ensure that you have someone to drive you home and assist you for the first day or so.

24 hours following surgery: As the effects of your general anaesthesia and the local anaesthesia used for your surgery wear off, you will likely experience some moderate pain or discomfort. If you feel up to it, you should get up and walk around slowly and with support. This will reduce swelling and aid in your recovery. Follow your doctor’s recommendations for prescription or over-the-counter pain relief.

First week following surgery: Usually 2-3 days after your procedure, you will return to your surgeon’s office for a post-surgical assessment. Your doctor will ensure that your incisions are healing and that there are no signs of infection. Your doctor will clear you to shower if everything is okay. Remove your compression garment when showering and make sure to gently pat your incisions to dry. Your doctor will make recommendations for continued use of the compression garment at this time.

Beyond week one following surgery: After one week, depending on the scope of your liposuction treatment, you may feel mostly healed and ready to resume work. Some people may take longer to feel like they are ready to get back to normal. You will continue to wear your pressure garment for 3-6 weeks at your surgeon’s discretion. Continue with light exercise and movement until your doctor clears you to return to your normal workout regime. As your swelling subsides, your new contours will become more apparent.

Signs Of Complications

As you recover, be aware of the signs of surgical complications including:

  • Fever
  • Sharp pains
  • Trouble breathing
  • Signs of infection such as redness, warmth, or pain at the treatment site
  • Pus draining from the incision

If you experience any of these symptoms, contact your plastic surgeon for further instructions.

See Results

You have made it through the recovery period and you are feeling better and looking great. You likely noticed an improvement in the contouring of your treatment area immediately following surgery, but as your body heals and swelling subsides your results will be more dramatically revealed. Each patient’s recovery journey is different, but typically you will be able to enjoy the tighter, smoother curves resulting from your liposuction procedure between 6 weeks and 3 months after surgery. The fat cells that were removed during your surgery are permanently gone and will never come back, but it is important to maintain a program of good nutrition and regular exercise to prevent fat accumulation in nearby areas.

Exceptional Results With Liposuction In Kelowna

To explore your options for liposuction or other body contouring treatments in the Okanagan, contact our clinic in downtown Kelowna by calling 1-250-868-9099 or by filling out our online contact form. Dr. Peterson and the team at Peterson MD are the Okanagan’s choice for surgical cosmetic procedures including liposuction, breast surgery, tummy tuck, and mommy makeovers. We specialize in transformative cosmetic surgical producers with exceptional and lasting results. We are committed to a high standard of patient education and care and to providing surgical and non-surgical treatments to help patients look and feel their very best.


Q: What is ultrasonic assisted liposuction?
A: The preferred liposuction technique at Peterson MD is UAL, or ultrasonic assisted liposuction. This technique leverages ultrasonic wave technology to provide more effective and dramatic results.

Q: Should liposuction be used to lose weight?
A: No, liposuction is not designed for dramatic weight loss. It is instead, a form of body contouring used to remove areas of fat deposits that are difficult to target with healthy eating and exercise. It is actually recommended that you be within 10 lbs of your target weight prior to liposuction surgery for optimal results.

Q: Does liposuction remove stretch marks or cellulite?
A: No. Liposuction does not remove stretch marks or cellulite but there are complementary treatments that can address concerns with stretch marks and cellulite available. Book in for your complimentary consultation to explore which treatments can help you get the results you want.

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I recently had liposuction done by Dr. Peterson to fix Coolsculpt I had had done that left me uneven. He was very professional, caring and compassionate and assured me everything could be fixed. I can't express my gratitude to Dr. Peterson for what an amazing job he did and how well he took care of me. I would highly recommend him to anyone looking for a plastic surgeon, in fact I have recommended him to many friends and they have all been very happy. My experience at the clinic was amazing, right from the beginning talking with Cynthia and the amazing care I got from all the nurses, I felt very special.

T. G.

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