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Liposuction Pain Management

How to Handle Pain During Liposuction Recovery


Updated August 05, 2012

Written or reviewed by a board-certified physician. See About.com's Medical Review Board.

Managing Pain After Liposuction

Liposuction -- also known as suction-assisted lipectomy -- is used to remove small-to-moderate localized deposits of fat. While it's important to follow your surgeon's instructions, here are some general expectations for pain management after liposuction.

  • You will experience some pain after your surgery that can be controlled by pain medications prescribed for you.

  • You should avoid aspirin, Motrin, Ibuprofen, Advil, and Aleve for the first week or two, as these drugs can increase drainage and bruising.

  • The compression garment you will be given will help ease some of the pain by offering support. Compression also helps to reduce swelling of your liposuctioned areas.

  • Because you will experience some loss of sensation or feeling in the liposuctioned area, avoid making any compression dressings too tight, as this will reduce blood flow to the area.

  • Do not use hot or cold water bottles or compresses. Since you will experience some loss of sensation or feeling in the areas that have been liposuctioned, you will not be able to feel if an area is too hot or too cold, which could result in burns or frostbite, respectively.
Want to learn more about recovery after liposuction?
  • How to Care for Your Liposuctioned Areas and Incisions
  • Returning to Activities After Liposuction

  • Recovery After Other Plastic Surgery Procedures
  • Recovery After Plastic Surgery - All Procedures
  • Sources:

    American Society of Plastic Surgeons. Liposuction Recovery. Accessed May 22, 2011.

    Gingrass MK. Liposuction. In Thorne CHM, Beasely RW, Aston SJ, Bartlett SP, Gurtner GC, Spear S, eds. Grabb and Smith’s Plastic Surgery, 6th ed. Philadelphia: Lippincott, 2007.

    Hunstad JP. Liposuction of the Hips and Thighs. In Evans GRD, ed. Operative Plastic Surgery. New York: McGraw Hill, 2000.

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