Reza Nabavian MD: Plastic Surgeon Santa Monica California

How painful is a liposuction?

How painful is a liposuction?

Anyone considering liposuction is likely curious about the healing process and how much swelling and pain they can expect during the treatment and recuperation. Liposuction is becoming increasingly popular, with more Americans opting for this quick and painless procedure every year. Liposuction methods remove body fat by cutting and contouring troublesome regions of the body that have resisted adjustment in diet and exercise.

It’s a simple, minimally invasive surgical technique with a quick recovery time. If you’re considering liposuction, here’s everything you need to know about the recovery process, including what you can do to reduce pain and have a better experience.

What Is Liposuction and How Does It Work?

Lipoplasty, liposculpture, suction lipectomy, and lipo are all terms for liposuction. It sculpts the body’s contour and eliminates fat cells, mainly for cosmetic purposes. Liposuction can be utilized on various parts of the body, but the stomach, thighs, arms, buttocks, back, and under-chin are the most prevalent.

The operation may be conducted while the patient is asleep under full anesthesia, depending on the location of the liposuction and other considerations. The patient is awake in some cases, and the area is just numbed locally. You won’t feel anything during the procedure in any instance. Procedures usually last one to five hours, and your doctor or anesthesiologist will make sure you are comfortable and pain-free throughout.

Pain from Liposuction Recovery

You may suffer some pain and discomfort after a liposuction operation, but it is tolerable, and your doctor will give you specific instructions on how to manage the pain during recovery. The recovery and outcomes will differ depending on the procedure’s location and the type of anaesthetic employed. People’s recovery experiences can also vary depending on their pain tolerances, body types, underlying health issues, and other factors.


For the first two to four days following liposuction, you might expect some pain and discomfort. The level of pain will steadily diminish after this time. The region around the surgery site may be uncomfortable and sore at first, but it will improve quickly. The effects of local anesthetics last for 12 to 24 hours following the treatment and continue to lower pain levels during that time. Even with general anesthesia, some local anesthetic should be administered to help with post-procedure comfort.

Pain levels should be quite low during the initial recovery period, while the local anesthetic is still working. Many individuals describe their discomfort as more of a soreness or tenderness throughout this time. Pain and discomfort levels should remain modest as recovery proceeds and the local anesthetic wears off. Clients compare their pain to a sunburn or muscle stiffness after a particularly strenuous workout.

Some doctors may prescribe pain medication for use during recovery, particularly if the surgery is performed under general anesthesia with no local anesthetics. For many liposuction patients, however, a little acetaminophen after surgery is more than enough to alleviate any pain. Some people may not even require pain medication following liposuction since their discomfort is so low.

How to Get Rid of Post-Liposuction Pain

There is no single solution to the question of what is the fastest way to recover from liposuction. You can reduce the pain and suffering associated with liposuction surgery and recovery by doing a few things. Here are some of our favorite liposuction recovery techniques.


Your doctor will most likely give you a compression garment to wear while you recover. These garments are custom-made for the area of the body where liposuction was performed, and they give support, minimize swelling, and aid in the management of pain and discomfort. For the best outcomes in your recuperation, follow your doctor’s recommendations for when and how long you should wear these garments.


Weekly lymphatic drainage system massages provide relief and relaxation for many people. These specialist massages target toxins that have accumulated in the lymph nodes. After core liposuction and abdominoplasty, lymphatic massages reduced edema more than typical compression garments in 20 post-surgery patients, according to one study.

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