Liposuction Post-Operative Care: What Everyone Needs to Know

How you care for your body after your liposuction procedure plays a significant role in your final aesthetic results. When the procedure is over, you should have a pre-arranged way to get yourself home that does not involve you driving. While a special diet is not required post-procedure, it is imperative to stay hydrated. Try to avoid highly salted and fatty foods for the first month following lipo. By getting a lot of fluids and watching your salt intake, you’ll help your body flush out any liposuction post procedural swelling.

The first day after liposuction, quiet rest is suggested. You should avoid operating machinery or a vehicle for a minimum of 18 hours. When you first stand up (and remove any compression-wear) to shower or bathe, you might feel a brief period of dizziness. This lightheadedness can be prevented or lessened by removing your compression binder ten minutes prior to standing up.

You may begin very light exercise a few days after your liposuction procedure (like walking). Dr. Stephanie Teotia recommends that you don’t participate in any activities that raise your blood pressure for at least a week. When Dr. Teotia gives you the all-clear to commence exercising, start slowly and gradually build up to your (pre-procedure) workout level.

You can return to work within a day or two after liposuction, as long as you don’t have a physically demanding job. 

Since the skin layer is traumatized during a liposuction procedure, swelling, bruising, and pain are to be expected. Though swelling and bruising can be unsightly, they are a normal part of the body’s natural healing process. Typically, the swelling will slowly diminish over the next several months. Bruising usually takes approximately two weeks to completely resolve.

In order to control pain and swelling and reduce the risk of infection, Dr. Teotia may prescribe antibiotics or other medications.


It is crucial that the skin retracts smoothly after liposuction. Gravity, uneven compression from clothing, and certain sleeping positions can all affect skin retraction. To work against these factors, a compression garment that is designed for the specific part of the body where you had liposuction should be worn as you heal. This garment will be provided to you by Dr. Teotia’s staff.

For the first week after your liposuction procedure, you should wear your compression garment(s) 23 hours a day. They may only be removed to bathe or shower (or as specifically directed by Dr. Teotia). During the second week, you may elect to wear your garment at night only. After the two week mark, it’s advised that you purchase Spanx or a similar compression garment, which should be worn for an additional four to six weeks.

As you begin to spend more time on your feet, some swelling is likely to occur, even if it had previously subsided. Compliance with wearing your compression garment(s)/Spanx will help to limit this swelling, which will lead to better final liposuction results. Failure to wear your garment(s) properly and for the recommended amount of time can cause prolonged drainage and uneven healing.

Your healing process will be evaluated at your follow-up appointment to determine if the garment is working effectively, and if any necessary adjustments need to be made.

If you have a tumescent liposuction procedure done, you should expect drainage to occur for the first 24 to 48 hours following surgery. This drainage is simply anesthetic fluid mixed with a small amount of blood. For the first 24 to 48 hours after surgery, absorbent pads can be worn under your compression garment. Although drainage may seem unpleasant, remember that your swelling and bruising will be reduced when all of the fluid is allowed to properly drain.

What NOT to do immediately after your liposuction procedure:

  • Do not apply ice or heat to the skin surrounding the treated area(s).
  • Do not use plastic Band-Aids on incision wounds.
  • Do not apply hydrogen peroxide to incision sites.
  • Do not soak in a bath, Jacuzzi, pool, hot tub, or swim in the ocean for at least seven days following surgery to prevent infection.