What happens after liposuction? – a look at the post-operative stage

Written by: Top Doctors®
Edited by: Top Doctors®


The technique of liposuction is cosmetic surgery to extract superficial and deep fat by introducing a cannula connected to a suction system. The fat is removed from areas of the body where exercise and diet have been unsuccessful in removing the excess fat. The postoperative stage is important to get the best results for the patient.



Why is postoperative recovery needed?


The movement of the cannula ruptures blood and lymphatic vessels causing haematoma and oedema. In addition, fibrous tissue is produced along the cannula path below the skin, forming tunnels of hard consistency, called internal scars.

During the liposuction procedure, the skin is separated from the subcutaneous tissue by the extraction of fat. Then the skin needs to adapt to the decrease in volume in the area treated. Collagen fibres begin to be created to attach the skin to the subcutaneous tissue and regenerate the blood vessels and lymphatic vessels broken during the surgery.


Postoperative care following liposuction


To keep the skin in place while it adapts to the new body shape, the patient is recommended to wear a compression stocking or girdle specific to this type of surgery. It should be worn day and night for approximately one month, only being removed for manual lymphatic drainage, after consultation with the surgeon, and when going to the toilet.

It is important that the garment fits very well and without any folds or creases. The physiotherapist will also advise the patient on postural hygiene and for sitting correctly.


Liposuction recovery


The haematoma (bruising) that appears after liposuction usually lasts about 2-3 weeks, depending on the volume of fat removed.

The oedema (swelling) will disappear, although it can persist for up to 2-3 months. Manual lymphatic drainage significantly accelerates this process by helping the lymphatic system to reabsorb the fluid. It also helps decrease the feeling of cramping in some areas, restoring sensitivity and providing relief.

The postoperative treatment performed in our consultation is adapted to the different states of the skin after liposuction.

The physiotherapist begins treatment with manual lymphatic drainage for reabsorption of oedema and haematoma in 50-minute sessions, twice a week.

The treatment is then adapted to the state of the tissue, combining manual lymphatic drainage with somewhat more intense massages, which act in the deepest layers, modelling the tissue and dissolving fibrosis that may have been generated.

Treatment is also combined with the application of neuromuscular bandages, either to relieve muscle tension, treat the scar, reabsorb the haematoma or help drain the fluid.


By Topdoctors
Plastic surgery

This website uses its own and third-party cookies to collect information in order to improve our services, to show you advertising related to your preferences, as well as to analyse your browsing habits..