how much does liposuction hurt

‚ÄčIf you have decided that liposuction is the procedure for you, you’re probably asking yourself “how much does liposuction hurt?” and “how long does liposuction pain last?”. In order to prepare for your procedure, it is important to set realistic expectations.

Learning about the liposuction recovery process, different pain medications, and preparing for your after-care all help take the fear out of recovery.

Here at the ICCM Clinic, our experts have perfected all lipo procedures to ensure you are given the most personalized and specific treatment for you.

How long does the pain last for various types of liposuction?

Liposuction is a minimally invasive surgical procedure that is typically carried out by a cosmetic surgeon. Liposuction is used to remove excess deposits of fat from targeted areas.

Prior to your cosmetic surgery, your surgeon will give you a brief overview of what to expect. The type of anesthesia used during your surgery plays a significant part in determining the amount of pain felt after your surgery.

If your liposuction procedure is performed using intravenous sedation, you will likely experience fewer side effects than if you were to go under general anesthesia. Some things you should expect with regards to pain from liposuction are:

  • The most painful period is during the first 2-4 days after your procedure.
  • You may be tender and bruised at the site for a few weeks.
  • Pain should be completely alleviated after 4 weeks.
  • You will be given a compression garment after your surgery in order to reduce swelling and pain.
  • You may feel numbness at the site of treatment.
how long does liposuction pain last
Liposuction allows our cosmetic experts to target fat accurately in any area you wish to have fat removed. Our results speak for themselves!

Pain for back and love handle liposuction

Liposuction for your back and love handles (flank liposuction) is very safe, with most patients coming to our clinic feeling happy and confident. Pain associated with flank or back liposuction typically lasts from 1 to 2 weeks, with minor discomfort and tenderness lasting for up to a month.

Following your cosmetic expert’s post-op care instructions and applying a compression garment can help reduce your recovery time. Additionally, you can try using over-the-counter painkillers, or be prescribed a course of stronger narcotic pain killers depending on the level of pain you are in to alleviate discomfort.

Pain for stomach liposuction

In general, you can expect the most intense pain to subside after 4 days. This is because it takes around 24 hours for the anesthetic to wear off, leaving you in pain. As recovery progresses, pain and discomfort will start to ease.

Pain for liposuction on the stomach or during a “tummy tuck” can vary from person to person. Although you will inevitably feel some pain and discomfort, this can be alleviated by using compression garments, maintaining adequate hydration, and using painkillers.

Pain for chest liposuction

Pain associated with chest liposuction should last around 3-4 days, and you should be able to return to normal daily activities within 2 weeks with minimal pain.

Chest liposuction is commonly used for the removal of gynecomastia. This liposuction surgery is minimally invasive and has a relatively gentle recovery process. Most patients experience minimal pain that can be alleviated using over-the-counter pain medication.

Pain for leg liposuction

Generally, some people may feel slight pain and discomfort for the first 2-4 days. Noticeable bruising will be present for the next 1-2 weeks and you may feel some tenderness when you remove your compression garment.

Leg liposuction is very common and is typically performed on areas of the thighs and calves. This procedure is not as intense as the areas of the legs are not as sensitive as the stomach and chest. This generally means that pain will be less, and most people can move their legs almost immediately.

Pain for liquid liposuction

Liquid liposuction is a relatively new buzzword that’s been going around the cosmetic block. It is used as an alternative to plastic surgery. Liquid liposuction is a clinically approved topical gel that works rapidly to produce visible results within 5 days.

Liquid liposuction is not surgery, and so there is zero downtime. It is a cream or gel that is applied to the areas of your body in need of treatment. The procedure of application is carried out under mild sedation, and you should feel little to no pain after treatment is complete.

Why is liposuction so painful?

As with any other surgical procedure that requires the use of incisions or insertions of tubes, you should expect a certain degree of pain and discomfort with liposuction. The pain depends on two factors:

  1. Your pain threshold
  2. Type of sedation used – general anesthesia causes much more pain during recovery and often warrants narcotic painkillers. This is because local anesthesia is not used which usually numbs the area, and so when you wake up you feel the full extent of the incisions. Additionally, local anesthesia lasts for 12-24 hours which assists with numbing the area for a prolonged time.

Does liposuction hurt while the fat is being sucked out?

As you will be sedated during the procedure, either by general or local anesthesia, you should feel very little to no pain while the fat is being sucked out.

what helps with pain after liposuction
Liposuction can be carried out on all areas of the body. Chest liposuction is most commonly used in men who have excess fat around their breast areas – otherwise known as gynecomastia.

How ICCM will help you with your post-liposuction pain management

At ICCM, we strive to provide the most comprehensive treatment plans for each and every individual. We pride ourselves on going above and beyond in order to ensure that we can provide assistance from the moment you step foot in our clinic until the day you have completely recovered from treatment.

Our network of cosmetic specialists in Sydney carries out outstanding procedures using only the most innovative techniques to minimize pain and discomfort. Additionally, our rehabilitation staff provides recovery plans for each individual to ensure that recovery can be sped up for you.

Following your procedure, we will provide you with pain relief medications, compression garments, and a series of exercises for you to follow in order to ensure that you can recover as quickly as possible.


If you still have any worries or questions regarding your liposuction procedure, why not check out the section below and see if we can help?

What can be done to minimize the soreness and swelling after liposuction?

The majority of soreness, swelling, and tenderness occurs due to residual anesthetic solution and blood that gets trapped underneath the skin after your procedure. These end up getting inflamed, causing pain and swelling.

By leaving the incision sites open, and using your compression garment appropriately as directed by your cosmetic expert, you can reduce pain and swelling by allowing the excess solution to drain.

How long does it take to recover from the pain of liposuction?

Pain varies from person to person. Generally speaking, the majority of people will notice complete pain reduction 7-10 days after their procedure. All discomfort, minor pain, and tenderness should gradually reduce over the course of 8 weeks.

What is the intensity of the pain after liposuction?

Here at ICCM, we only have the most skilled cosmetic experts who pride themselves on their surgical artistry to ensure reduced pain. However, the intensity of pain immediately after liposuction is mild when local anesthesia is used as it lasts for 12-24 hours. If general anesthesia is used, the main is significantly more intense after recovery and may require pain killers.

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About The Author - Dr Tony Prochazka

MBBS, FFMACCS/Cosmetic Surgeon

Dr Tony was the Inaugural Dean of the Faculty of Medicine at the Australasian College of Cosmetic Surgery, and a former vice-president of the Cosmetic Physicians Society of Australasia. He is a regular presenter and teacher at international conferences, with invitations to meetings in Australia, China, New Zealand and South America.

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