Text Us Text to Contact Us
Schedule a Consultation
Sieber Plastic Surgery San Francisco

The 3 Most Common Liposuction Side Effects


Liposuction is a widely recognized and highly effective method for targeting stubborn fat deposits in various areas of the body, including the abdomen, flanks, buttocks, upper arms, chin, and neck. It is among the most commonly performed procedures in the country due to several reasons.

Firstly, liposuction has demonstrated remarkable effectiveness in reducing body fat. Even if you maintain a regular exercise routine and follow a healthy diet, there may be pockets of excess fat that are resistant to these efforts. In such cases, liposuction can provide a solution to eliminate those persistent fat deposits.

Body Contouring with Liposuction is also popular because the recovery experience is generally fairly easy. It’s relatively quick, and most patients don’t experience severe Liposuction side effects.

With that said, there are certainly side effects associated with liposuction. In this article, we will outline the top three most common liposuction side effects so that you can know exactly what to expect if you’re planning liposuction surgery soon.



Swelling is certainly the most notable side effects of liposuction. Not only will your incision sites have swelling, but all over the treated area, you’ll notice swelling as well.

This is perfectly normal, and most of the swelling should go down within one to two weeks after your procedure. Throughout this time, you’ll notice your figure becoming progressively slimmer, and slowly, you’ll begin to see a more contoured silhouette reveal itself as the swelling goes down.

For the most part, swelling after liposuction is caused by inflammation — your body’s natural immune response — and fluid retention. As inflammation goes down and your fluid retention reduces, swelling will go down in tandem.

Still, you may have some residual swelling for several more months. At about the six-month mark, all of your swelling should be gone.


Your loose skin is going to go through a lot of color changes after liposuction. Most notably, you’ll notice redness and bruising.

The redness will largely be due to inflammation. During any invasive production (and especially during liposuction), the skin, the fat cells, muscles, and all other bodily tissues will be agitated to a great degree.

This will naturally cause inflammation, which is your body weak immune system’s normal response to any “invader” or disruption. We want your body to respond in this way because it’s a sign of a healthy immune system.

With that said, only a certain amount of redness after liposuction is good. We don’t want to see severe redness radiating around your incision sites and not going away. The redness should not be persistently painful to a great degree, nor should it be particularly warm to the touch.

These symptoms together could signify an skin infections

. In some cases, redness that won’t go away and is accompanied by lumps may also be a sign of fibrosis.

In either of these situations — or whenever you are unsure of something your cosmetic procedure — be sure to contact your plastic surgeon right away to follow-up.

In addition to some healthy redness after surgery, you’re going to have some significant bruising after liposuction as will. Bruises will be the normal blue, purple, and even greenish/gray colors. They will slowly disappear with time. Again, this is perfectly normal.


The most severe pain and discomfort after liposuction is going to occur in the first two to three days post-surgery. With that said, discomfort shouldn’t be too bad after liposuction. Pain is more commonly associated with traditional liposuction than with tummy tuck recovery or recovery from breast lift surgery, for example.

Of course, you will also have pain management tools prescribed medications and techniques at your disposal. Unless contraindicated, Dr. Sieber will provide you with a prescription for pain medication. He will also advise you on several things you can do at home to help reduce your discomfort and speed up your liposuction recovery.

For example, it can help to wear larger, looser clothing in the weeks after surgery. Just be sure that you are also still wearing your compression garments as directed.

Also, some patients may benefit from lymphatic massages. And finally, it is recommended that patients keep moving after surgery. When you can, go for a walk, even if it’s just a short jaunt around your bedroom or walking back and forth in front of your house for a few minutes.


Right after surgery, you will be outfitted with a foam vest and compression suit. These garments will help to maintain your body’s new contours. They will also help reduce fluid retention (which will help reduce swelling).

In addition, you’ll have two drainage tubes in your dressing — one in front and one in back. These will be removed approximately one week to 10 days into your recovery.

Because tumescent liposuction is almost always an outpatient procedure, you’ll be allowed to go home on the same day in most cases. Just be sure to have a friend or family member come to take you home.

At home, in addition to the three side effects of liposuction outlined above, you may be slightly tired, especially at first. You’ll need to refrain from any overexertion, including exercise. Eat a healthy diet. Drink plenty of water. And get lots of quality sleep.

Dr. Sieber will tell you when you’re able to start moving and exercising again. He will also inform you when you can go back to work and start integrating more of your regular activities into your routine.

With time, you’ll be able to stop wearing your compression garments altogether and completely go back to your normal lifestyle — now with a beautiful new figure you can be proud of.

Questions and Answers about Liposuction Side effects

How safe is liposuction?

Liposuction carries several potential risks, including but not limited to:

Post-surgical infection, prolonged healing process, fat or blood clotting, shock, fluid accumulation excessive swelling, burns, perforations, lidocaine toxicity, fat embolism, visible blood vessels and adverse reactions to drugs or general anesthesia.

It is important to note that these risks can vary in severity and occurrence, and it is crucial to discuss them thoroughly with a qualified board certified plastic surgeons before considering liposuction.

What happens years after liposuction?

Liposuction permanently eliminates fat cells from the targeted areas, resulting in an improved body contour and better proportions. However, it is essential to understand that a certain number of fat cells will always remain in the treated areas following liposuction.

How long do lipo side effects last?

Typically, the main side effects of liposuction will persist for approximately two weeks. These side effects encompass significant discomfort, bruising, and swelling and bumpy or wavy skin associated with the surgical procedure. However, within this time frame, these side effects gradually diminish, allowing patients to resume their work activities.


Are you ready for a slimmer, leaner you? Take the next step and get in touch with us at Sieber Plastic Surgery.

You can learn more about common liposuction side effects, liposuction recovery, liposuction techniques for poor skin elasticity and what to expect during the days, weeks, and months after ultrasound assisted liposuction surgery, by booking a consultation appointment with San Francisco plastic surgeons Dr. David Sieber. We look forward to hearing from you!


Liposuction side effects: https://www.plasticsurgery.org/news/blog/what-to-expect-after-liposuction

Dr. Dave Sieber and his staff are so awesome! Dr. Sieber is personable yet professional, his work is impeccable. He listens to his patient and works with them to achieve what they want. He’s like my hair dresser, a magician, you just want to do a happy dance with the results, only these results are lasting. Ok, but seriously, the procedure was very smooth, the staff and the doctors (Dr Sieber and the anesthesiologist) had great communication and made sure I was comfortable with very clear and concise pre op and post op directions. The healing process was very easy and the results are FABULOUS. Side note, Dr. Sieber has really awesome skin, I feel like this is impressive and important because really, would you trust a dentist with bad teeth? I am so elated and satisfied with the results, the size is perfect and they look and feel very natural. They are exactly what I wanted.*

SF Scientist

Dr. Sieber is a doctor who is not only extremely knowledgeable about the latest in cosmetic procedures, but a doctor who truly cares about his patients. I highly recommend him!*


Dr. Sieber is a doctor who is not only extremely knowledgeable about the latest in cosmetic procedures, but a doctor who truly cares about his patients. I highly recommend him!*


Dr. Sieber is attentive, responsive, and well trained. I had seen him for Botox and filler and he had done both without any pain or bruising and more importantly the results were fabulous. He has met with me on time at each appointment. He communicates what to expect, made sure I was comfortable throughout the procedure, checked on my healing every day post procedure. He couldn’t be more delightful not more talented. I had seen other plastic surgeons for in office treatments over the past decade and Dr. Sieber is at the top of the list in terms of delivering the desired outcome and high quality care.*

Facing 50 Feeling Fabulous
Call Gallery Contact Location
Skip to content