Post-Liposuction Pain

When making the decision to undergo liposuction, many people are concerned about the amount of post-operative pain that may be experienced. Fortunately, post liposuction pain is something that you shouldn’t worry about; here is some more information to settle your fears!

Liposuction Surgery Areas Infographic

How Long Will Liposuction Pain Last?

Generally, during the two days immediately after liposuction, the amount of pain experienced will depend on the type of anesthesia used for liposuction. Local anesthesia used for tumescent liposuction can last up to 24 hours after surgery, for a less painful post-op experience.

After tumescent liposuction procedures, the local anesthesia used will last for 12 to 24 hours, with the discomfort being described as tenderness or soreness. The day after the procedure, the pain is often described as being similar to muscle soreness or that of a sunburn. Mild to moderate pain generally lasts for 7 – 10 days and rarely requires any medication stronger than an over-the-counter pain reliever.

What is the Pain Level After a Liposuction Procedure?

When liposuction is performed by a skilled surgeon, most patients experience far less discomfort. The level of pain after liposuction, however, is somewhat dependent on size of the procedure area. For instance, after a small liposuction procedure, pain is actually considered quite mild. The pain level experienced after a larger procedure is considered to be moderate for about 7 – 10 days. Patient’s rarely require more than an over-the-counter pain reliever.

What Can Be Done to Minimize Soreness After the Procedure?

Most often, the swelling and soreness experienced by patients is a result of some of the anesthetic solution being trapped under the skin. Blood cells and small bits of fat that may have not been suctioned away can remain and cause some inflammation that can result in pain and swelling. To ensure complete drainage, the incision sites may be left open and the patient will be asked to wear compression garments.

Much of the soreness of the liposuction surgery is related to the swelling and healing of the skin.​​

After liposuction, the skin undergoes three periods of healing, over which you will experience different symptoms. For the first seven to ten days, you may notice swelling in the treatment area, as the skin is attempting to remove the tumescent fluid. Next is the longest healing phase, lasting from six weeks all the way up to three months. During this inflammatory phase, proteins and immune cells flood the treatment area to repair and rebuild; the skin may still seem swollen, but it should feel firmer and tighter to the touch. Finally, the skin begins to soften during the remodeling phase. All in all, this process can take anywhere from three to six months in length.

What is the Recovery Period Like?

You will be encouraged to walk and be active almost immediately after surgery. Most patients can return to their regular schedules within 24 to 72 hours.

post liposuction pain

Is Liposuction Using Local Anesthetic Less Painful Than Under General Anesthesia?

The majority of patients who have undergone liposuction under general anesthesia and local anesthesia indicate that the tumescent technique is far less painful. This is probably due to the fact that the local anesthetic covers three stages of the procedure: the initial injection of the fluid, during the procedure, and postoperatively.

Dr. Wright will discuss any potential post liposuction pain that may occur during your liposuction procedure to ensure that your experience is as pain-free as possible. Visit today to learn more about lipo surgery within St. Louis MO, as well as post liposuction pain!