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Liposuction Recovery Time

Liposuction is a surgical technique which removes pockets of excess fat around the body to create a smoother, more shapely silhouette.

Liposuction involves inserting a “cannula” which is a hollow metal tube through 3 to 4 mm cuts in the skin around the area where the fat will be removed. Using current technology, the cannula breaks up the fat tissue by a “jackhammer” action. The fat is then suctioned out through the cannula, by the vacuum action of the suction pump.

Improved Safety

New technology and techniques have significantly improved the safety and recovery time after liposuction in the last two decades. The invention of 'wet' liposuction in 1985, where a 'wetting solution' is injected at the treatment site before the fat is removed, was probably the most important advance since liposuction became a popular procedure in the 1970s. The 'wet' method controls bleeding at the treatment site and helps reduce the amount of bruising and swelling experienced.

Other more recent advances in technique relate to how easily the fat is removed. The main aim is to loosen the fat away from the connective tissue so that it is easier to remove. The easier it is to remove, the less damage done to the surrounding tissues, resulting in a quicker recovery.

After Liposuction Surgery

Even with improved liposuction methods, you will be bruised and sore after your surgery and for a few days after. You will need to wear elastic compression garments over the treated areas to control the bruising and swelling and to help your skin to shrink back smoothly over your new body contour. You might be asked to get up and walking soon after your surgery to decrease the risk of developing blood clots.


How much time you need to recover will depend on how many areas of the body have been treated, what volume of fat has been removed, and your own body’s individual healing response. Your surgeon will give you instructions on how to look after yourself post-surgery, but as a guide:

  • You can go back to normal activity levels within 3 to 5 days, although you may need to take a few days off work to rest;
  • Avoid strenuous activity (heavy lifting, intense exercise) for about a month;
  • You should continue to wear the compression garment for 4-6 weeks to minimise swelling, bruising and scarring;
  • The swelling may take a few months to disappear completely before the final results of your surgery are realised, so be patient.

The results of liposuction are considered to be permanent in the areas that have been treated. If you gain weight, you may develop pockets of excess fat elsewhere. Maintaining your weight through a healthy lifestyle will ensure you keep your new shapely silhouette into the future.

Next Step

If you are considering liposuction and have questions you would like to ask or if you would like to book a confidential consultation at a cost of $140, click below or call (03) 9088 5000 for the Melbourne practice or (07) 3180 3400 for the Brisbane practice. The Cosmetic Surgery Co-ordinators of NorthEast Plastic Surgery will organise a consultation with Mr Tansley or Dr Seneviratne who are highly qualified and experienced surgeons. They will assess your individual requirements and discuss your preferences in regard to liposuction surgery.



Northeast Plastic Surgery has been designed to offer a bespoke a cosmetic specialist plastic surgical service of superlative standard and quality.

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T: (03) 9088 5000
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P 0411865055
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53 Fletcher Street
Vic 3040

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5 Studley Avenue,
Vic 3101

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