Patients are generally able to return to work between two days and two weeks, depending on the extent of the liposuction. A compression garment which can easily be removed by the patient is worn for two to four weeks. This garment must have elasticity and allow for use of bandages. If non-absorbable sutures are placed, they will be removed after five to ten days.
Any pain is controlled by a prescription or over-the-counter medication, and may last as long as two weeks, depending on the particular procedure. Bruising will fade after a few days or two weeks. Swelling will subside within two weeks to two months, while numbness may last for several weeks. Normal activity can be resumed from three to five weeks depending on the procedure. The final result will be evident within one to six months after surgery, although the patient will be able to notice the difference within days or weeks, once the swelling subsides.
The suctioned fat cells are permanently gone. However, if the patient does not maintain a proper diet and exercise regimen, the remaining fat cell neighbors could still enlarge, creating irregularities.