Normal to Gain Weight After Tumescent Lipo? (photo)

Q:I had lipo of U/L abs, flanks, bra line and abdominal skin excision 5 days ago via tumescent. I weighed 140 the am of surgery, today I weigh 152. I expected a few pounds fluctuation but I am tremendously swollen. Is a weight gain of 10 lbs or so typical ? If so, when can I start to feel some relief/ see a difference in the swelling ? I can’t fit into anything pre op at all.

A:  What a great question and common concern.  I am repeatedly asked how much weight I expect my patients to lose with liposuction and they usually seem appalled when I answer, “none.”  Liposuction is NOT a weight loss tool.  It is a great way to permanently remove stubborn fat stores, but it does not typically result in significant weight loss.  The weight gain you are seeing is likely “water weight” and will go away over the upcoming weeks.  During liposuction you receive intravenous fluid.  Also, tumescent fluid is injected into the treatment areas by your surgeon.  Additionally, your body responds to the surgery with inflammation and swelling.  Elevate the swollen areas above your heart as much as possible – this uses gravity to enhance drainage.  Talk to your surgeon about getting an appropriate sized compression garment – this is an invaluable tool to deal with post-operative swelling.  At about 2 weeks post-op, some plastic surgeons recommend lymphatic massage to encourage swelling to subside, but definitely speak to your plastic surgeon first.  Be encouraged, this is a common post-operative problem and is generally short-lived.