Liposuction Results

Initial Liposuction Results

The initial liposuction results will be minimal and may probably be not as dramatic as you would like it to be, because the swelling somewhat makes up for the missing fat for a while. Besides the swelling, tenderness and bruising will still be evident before you can actually appreciate its full effects. Of course, the swelling won't be as enlarged compared to before your surgery. However, you will be able to feel that the fat has definitely been removed from the area. Depending on the liposuction technique used, recovery and the effect of the procedure will vary. For instance, with wet technique, complete draining of the injected fluids will take a couple of days to be processed out of the body. Liposuction results vary from patient to patient; type of anaesthetic used, amount of fat tissue removed, skill of the surgeon and the health of the patient itself all determine the successful outcome of the surgery.

How Long Do I Have To Wait To See Optimal Results?

The swelling will start to subside within a few weeks; that's when the most definite results will become visible. The first thing you will notice is that your old clothes may no longer fit - now is the time to invest in new clothes! In some cases, however, swelling can take up to a month to fully subside. The loosened skin may take up to three months to adjust to the new, reduced shape.

The final and finished lipo results settle in after about six months. Difficult areas like the face and ankles can only provide minimal changes; while places like the arm, abdomen, breast, thighs, buttocks and calves produce the most prominent results.

Are The Results Long-Lasting Or Permanent?

Unfortunately, Liposuction isn't a permanent cure for fatty deposits. It is worth noting that liposuction doesn't prevent deposits of fat either at the original liposuction site nor on other areas of the body. In fact, you may find you are now more prone to gaining weight in areas where you did not have the procedure, since those areas now contain proportionately more fat cells. The bottom line is - as acknowledged by the plastic surgeons, Lipo surely does not give you the license to eat-whatever-you-want. In order to maintain a positive long-term result from liposuction, exercise and eating a healthy diet are the only ways of going about it.

How Long Will The Results Last?

Watch Mr David Floyd, Consultant Plastic Surgeon at the Royal Free Hospital, discuss how long the results of your liposuction treatment should last:


Video Transcript

"Patients often ask how long the effects of liposuction will last. Now because liposuction is permanently removing fat cells in theory the results should be permanent, but if you go and put on a load of weight obviously it’s going to upset the balance that we’ve achieved with liposuction. But actually it should be the fat distribution should remain more evenly balanced than it was before surgery.

That has an impact on how I ask patients to prepare for liposuction, too. I ask them not to crash diet, I want them to get themselves to a natural body weight where they think they can stay so at that body weight I can then re-contour them into a more pleasing shape and then expect them to stay there."

Mr David Floyd, Consultant Plastic Surgeon at the Royal Free Hospital


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The Procedure

liposuction results can be masked with swelling for a few weeks

Ahead of your liposuction procedure, you will have a pre-operative consultation with your surgeon.

During this consultation, you’ll be advised about how the procedure will be performed, what sort of anaesthetic will be used, and what your expected recovery time will be. You may also undergo evaluations to ensure that you’re not only a suitable candidate for liposuction, but that you are a healthy enough to withstand the surgery.

To prep, the surgeon will mark out the area that needs to be treated with pen. They may also take pre-operative photos so that you can compare the results following surgery. A general, local or epidural anaesthetic may be administered depending on where the procedure is targeting. Liposuction typically takes anywhere between one and three hours to complete, during which time the surgeon will make small incisions through which they will insert a cannula. This cannula will be used to remove that fat, once it has been broken down. To reduce blood loss, swelling and bruising, your surgeon will inject a solution that is a mixture of anaesthetic, saline and epinephrine. To break down the fat cells, your surgeon can move the cannula manually, or use a high-pressure water jet, high-frequency vibrations, or a weak laser pulse to assist. Using the cannula attached to a special vacuum, the broken down fat will then be extracted.

One the extraction is finished, the surgeon will drain any excess fluid before closing the incisions. If there is ample fluid, it may be necessary to fit drains that will remove this excess in the days following your surgery. Once the area has been cleaned, you will be fitted with a compression garment to aid with healing, and moved to a specialist room for recovery.


The recovery time associated with liposuction will depend on the type of procedure you have.

If you have minor liposuction on a localized area, this is usually carried out as an outpatient procedure, meaning you can be discharged shortly afterwards without having to remain in hospital. However, if you have had a larger procedure such as full body liposuction and a general anaesthetic is used, you may be required to stay in overnight. Regardless of the type of anaesthetic administered, you will not be able to drive home from the hospital, and so should arrange to be picked up so that you can focus on your recovery.

You will be fitted with a compression garment following your liposuction, as this can help with the healing process by reducing swelling and bruising. Your surgeon will advise you as to how long you will need to wear the garment for. It is normal to feel tenderness and discomfort after your procedure, and so you may be prescribed painkillers, or you can manage with over-the-counter products as necessary. If there is risk of infection, you may be prescribed antibiotics as a precautionary measure. As your stitches will not dissolve, you will need to return about a week after your liposuction to have them removed.

It is normal for the area that has been treated to swell and bruise after liposuction. If you have had large-scale lipo with lots of fat removed, this bruising could run deep and potentially last up to six months. You may also experience numbness, which should subside between six to eight weeks after surgery. It can take up to two weeks to make a full recovery from liposuction, but you can expect to get back to normal activities after just a couple of days depending on the type of procedure you have had.

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