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Why do you swell after Liposuction?

Swelling is universal after liposuction. Without a doubt, it is the most common lingering side effect of the procedure. So why do you swell much?

Well, the swelling is a totally natural process. When we do liposuction, be it laser lipo, ultrasonic or standard liposuction, we cause a fair amount of soft tissue trauma. Yes it is done in the OR, everything is sterile, you have antibiotics, you are under anesthesia, everything is as safe and controlled as possible. But, at the end of the day, we do beat up those fat cells pretty thoroughly and your body is responding.

There are three phases of wound healing, the lag phase, the proliferative phase, and the resolution phase. During the lag and proliferative phases, the blood vessels become more porous in areas of trauma. This allows the cells that are responsible for  healing to leak from your bloodstream into the the area to do their work. Well, when the cells escape into your tissues, they attract water to follow them…and you swell. Compounding the problem is the fact that some of the tiny blood and lymphatic vessels that are responsible for returning the water back to your blood stream are distrupted as well…more reason to swell.

The swelling WILL GO AWAY! Don’t despair. But also, be patient, the swelling can last from 3 to 6 months before you see your final result after Liposuction.

Lee Corbett, MD


All posts on this blog are presented by Kentucky Liposuction surgeon, Dr. Lee Corbett

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