Post-Op Recovery from Liposuction


While liposuction may not seem like a serious operation, sometimes the recovery period takes longer than you would expect. And in some cases there are – if not exactly problems – unwanted side-effects. This usually depends on the type of liposuction you have and how much you have. For instance, if you have a large area done, or if it is done using ultrasonic assisted technology you could develop seromas.

What is a seroma?

A seroma is a collection of serum, otherwise known as lymph fluid. It is derived from the blood but is not the same colour as blood, being more of a yellowish colour because there are no red or white blood cells left in it. They are usually caused by the use of a wide diameter cannula or aggressive suction during the Perth liposuction procedure where there is a lump of fat that needs to be removed.  Seromas are common after using ultrasonic assisted liposuction. These all destroy the lymphatic vessels that would otherwise be able to siphon off this fluid and remove it.

Preventing seromas after liposuction

Seromas can be prevented in several ways.

  • By using a microcannula to remove the fatty tissue so that less damage occurs to the lymphatic vessels that can then drain the fluid away like they are supposed to.
  • Not using the ultrasonic assisted liposuction technique will also prevent seromas forming because there will be less destruction of the tissues containing the lymphatic vessels.
  • Another way to prevent seromas is to leave the incisions open to drain naturally rather than closing them with stitches, which traps a large amount of fluid under the skin.
  • Wearing compression garments also helps to prevent seromas from forming as the compression closes the empty tunnels formed in the fatty tissue where seromas tend to form. The compression also works to squeeze the fluid out through the incisions so it is drained away rather than left in the tissues.

How to recover more quickly

There are many things you can do to aid recovery after a liposuction procedure.

  • Always follow the doctor’s orders.
  • Don’t stay in bed like an invalid; get up and walk about. Movement is good for drainage and will help to prevent blood clots forming.
  • Don’t start exercising for a few days, but after than you can get back to gentle exercise. Be guided by the doctor as to when you can do more.
  • It is highly likely that you will be able to return to work within a few days, but it depends on how many areas were treated. The more areas treated, the more time you require to recover because it will increase the soreness. But for one or two areas, you may be able to get back to work after 24 hours.