Liposuction is one of the UK’s most popular cosmetic surgery procedures and is typically a very safe and highly effective method for permanently removing stubborn pockets of fat to produce a more contoured, aesthetic body shape.

Although lipo requires smaller incisions than many other procedures, it’s still a surgical procedure that involves downtime. Knowing what to expect post-surgery can mean a smoother lipo recovery process.

Our lipo recovery timeline

Lipo recovery varies from one patient to the next, depending on your age, your health and wellbeing pre-procedure, any other medical conditions and how quickly your body heals.

The first 24 hours: your immediate recovery period can depend on the extent of the procedure and whether it was performed under a general or a local anaesthetic with sedation. Most patients return home the same day, but if you have had a significant amount of fat removed, you may stay overnight for observation.

You will be wearing a specially designed compression garment which will help to control swelling and bleeding and support your new contours.

The first week: you will have some bruising and even some lumpiness or unevenness in the treatment area and also significant swelling and we advise you continue to wear your compression garments at all times. You typically experience mild to moderate discomfort which is usually well controlled by painkillers.

The first month: bruising should all have disappeared by the end of the first month, but there may still be some subtle swelling that can last up to six weeks. The area may feel hard as scar tissue forms and we recommend you massage regularly. Most patients return to work and normal activities after a week or two.

Full recovery: you may experience a change in skin sensation after lipo, but this should be temporary and resolve itself after a few months. You should be able to see full results of you liposuction procedure by three months.

Lipo recovery FAQs

Here are the answers to some of our most frequently asked questions about the lipo recovery process:


Pain varies from person to person. There will be some discomfort after a lipo but most patients find the pain is less than they had expected. The treatment area can feel like a giant bruise, but it shouldn’t stop you concentrating on other things.


Liposuction can cause significant swelling depending on the approach that is used. For example, laser lipo causes less swelling than tumescent liposuction which involves inserting large volumes of dilute local anaesthetic before the fat is suctioned. Swelling after lipo can increase in the first week or so and then take up to six weeks to fully dissipate. We advise wearing a compression garment day and night during this period to minimise swelling.

We have recently relaunched the Karidis Clinic App, which supports you throughout your patient journey. A successful cosmetic surgery procedure goes beyond the operating room and the app provide invaluable advice on how to optimise your recovery process as well as sending you alerts for all your post-op check-ups.

At Karidis Clinic, all liposuction procedures are carried out by one of the best known body contouring surgeons in London, Mr Alex Karidis. If you’re interested in liposuction, whether that be for large areas of the body or to target a specific area such as knee liposuction or chin liposuction, speak to us today.

For UK-leading aftercare, get in touch today.