Why Is My Recovery After Liposuction Taking Longer Than A Week?

Q: Dr. Eppley, how long does it take to completely recover from liposuction? I had stomach, back, thigh and knee liposuction one week ago. I had a lot of initial swell and bruising and still do. I had lot of pain in first week, and my doctor told me I would be normal after one week but I am far from that. I still have pain, my body is sore, its hard to sit and sleep and I need to take pain medications to get any sleep. Certain areas of my stomach, leg and knees are numb. I can not go back to my work and I am very worried that I might not be able to do so even after 2 weeks from surgery?

A: While liposuction can produce some really significant body changes, the recovery is also equally significant for most patients. The concept that you would be fine in a week after almost any liposuction procedure sounds great in a marketing advertisement but is not based in reality. Everything that you have mentioned sounds exactly like what I would have predicted for just one week after surgery. While the next week will make some great strides in improvement and you will likely be able to go back to your work in another week, the true recovery from most liposuction procedures is closer to 3 weeks for being active again and up to 3 months to see the final contouring results.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana