How Long Does It Take For The Swelling To Go Away After Liposuction?

Q:  Dr. Eppley, I had liposuction of my stomach done three weeks ago. A total of nearly 1500cc of fat was removed. The very next day I looked great and my stomach was flat. But by the next few days, my stomach got bloated and bigger. Then I got my period and got even more bloated. For now my belly pouch is back although it is smaller. Is this normal and will it ever go flat again?

A:  What you are describing is a very typical sequence of events after liposuction. When you see yourself the next day due to the compression applied by the garment and with no real swelling yet present, the amount of improvement created by the fat removal is seen. Then the swelling and the temporary impairment of lymphatic outflow occurs and some of the improvement appears to be lost. What I tell my patients is that what they see the next day will eventually return but it will take at least 4 to 6 weeks to get back to that. This is the time needed for all swelling to go away and much of the normal lymphatic circulation to return. So you will get to where you want to be but it requires more time and patience. This is a normal part of the recovery process from liposuction.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana