Liposuction Post-Op Instructions


  • You will see your physician approximately five to seven days following your surgery.
  • You will experience some discomfort after liposuction, however, it should be relieved by pain medication. It is common to experience a moderate amount of bloody drainage from incision sites the first few days. The drainage may soil your garment, so take steps to protect your car seats for the ride home and your bed linens as well. The pads/compression garment will compress your skin, help minimize bruising, and control drainage.
  • You should expect some bruising/discoloration and swelling in the surgery area. You might find that due to swelling, the sites appear larger than before. Don’t panic. Shrinkage and skin tightening begin in about three weeks, continuing slowly over six months.
  • You should be ready to return to work when you no longer need to take narcotic pain medication – generally in a couple days. You may return to regular exercise in three weeks.
  • You may become constipated due to the pain medications and should begin a stool softener (i.e. Colace) after surgery. In addition, you may want to add a fiber supplement (Metamucil, Citrucel, etc.) after tolerating a diet to decrease straining. If you have gone several days without a bowel movement and are feeling uncomfortable, you may want to consider using a glycerin suppository or Fleet’s enema (available at all drug stores).


  • Take frequent short walks to help your circulation and to decrease the risk of blood clot formation in the legs. Walking also helps your breathing. Get up slowly as you may feel lightheaded. Take frequent deep breaths. Drink abundant clear fluids. You may eat solids if you are hungry – light fare at first.
  • Keep your legs elevated when sitting. Foot and calf massage with the use of compression stockings are beneficial to promote circulation and to decrease the risk of blood clot formation.
  • After surgery, you may sleep and rest in any comfortable position.
  • You should wear your pads/compression garment until your first postop office visit unless you have been given specific instructions to do otherwise. Some form of compression is necessary for about six weeks (i.e. body shaper, underarmour, spanx).
  • Do not drive or operate machinery while you are taking your narcotic pain medication. If you are still taking narcotics by the time of your first postop appointment, then have someone drive you to your appointment.


  • No heavy lifting (>25 lbs), vigorous activity, or straining for three weeks.
  • No tub bathing until cleared by your physician
  • No use of heating pads.
  • Do not apply ice directly to skin, as you may still have numbness to areas.


  • If you develop severe shortness of breath or chest pain – call 911, then notify your physician
  • If you run a fever, or have chills – call our office.
  • If you have markedly increased pain, bruising, swelling or bloody drainage– call our office.
  • If you develop leg swelling or pain – call our office.
  • If you have persistent nausea or vomiting – call our office.
  • If you are uncertain about a medication or treatment – call our office.
  • If you are experiencing any adverse symptoms or changes that you do not understand – call our office.