Treatment guide

Liposuction: Overview, Recovery Time, Cost, Before and After Photos

Plan your trip properly. Check the latest COVID-19 travel rules before your medical journey and follow Bookimed safety recommendations.

Аrticle author
Anna Leonova

Medically reviewed by
Fahad Mawlood

Updated: 02.09.2021
Minutes to read: 21 minutes

What Is Liposuction?

Liposuction is a cosmetic surgery to remove excess fat from one or several parts of the body. This operation is a perfect option for healthy men and women who want to improve their bodies fast without exhausting dieting and physical exercises. That is why liposuction is so popular worldwide: doctors carry out about 1,700,000 procedures each year. This number really impresses: it is about like all citizens of Philadelphia have improved their bodies with liposuction.

In 82% of cases, the most popular age for a procedure ranges within 19-50 years old. Typically, people who have elastic skin and are non-smokers obtain the most successful result.

NOTE! Liposuction is not an option to treat obesity. People with this disorder should consider bariatric surgery to correct their body weight. Lipo is helpful for those people who have some excess fat on particular body parts: buttocks, arms, abdomen, etc. The maximum body mass index (BMI) allowed to have liposuction is no higher than 30.

Short Details


  • A person who has some excess fat but not is obese
  • A person with a body index no higher than 30
  • Non-smokers 
  • People without severe diseases
  • Recommended age is 18-50 y.o., but older people with elastic skin can also get lipo.


  • A procedure usually takes 1-2 hours
  • A patient should stay in the hospital overnight to monitor the health condition.


  • It is possible to return to work and daily routine in 1 week
  • Visible swelling and bruising fade within 1-2 weeks
  • It is possible to return to sports activities in 4-6 weeks, depending on a case
  • It takes a month to stop feeling pain and about 3 months for fading swelling completely.


The outcome’s success significantly depends on the doctors’ skills, skin elasticity level, how the healing process goes, and whether a person adheres to dieting recommendations.


  • Contour imperfection due to uneven fat suction
  • Fluid formation under the skin
  • Infection
  • Partial loss of sensation
  • Anesthesia intolerance
  • Punctures of the internal organs by a cannula due to inaccurate plastic surgeon’s movements.




Some patients who postpone having surgical lipo, may try its alternative — CoolSculpting, a non-invasive option. You may see the difference between these two procedures below.

Invasive fat removal procedure managed under anesthesia Non-invasive fat destruction procedure with the cold processed without anesthesia
Surgical procedureNon-surgical procedure
May cause more side effectsFewer or absent side effects
Result after 1 session Result after several sessions, so the final cost may be higher than for traditional lipo
Permanent predictable result due to even and asymmetrical fat removal Permanent result, but the body contouring may be asymmetrical in advance
Lipo can be performed simultaneously with liposculpting (a procedure to give you more muscle tone and shape)This option is not available
3-months recovery periodNo recovery process
Overnight admission No admission needed

Reasons to Have Liposuction

The primary motivations that force people to decide getting lipo are:

  • Improve your body contour

People who experience discomfort every time looking in the mirror and observing voluminous belly or arms may get liposuction to solve these issues. After a procedure, a person becomes confident and start wearing the clothes they like, not those for hiding body imperfections.

  • Slow down fat cells production 

Fat production reduces after lipo. A person should maintain the result with physical exercising and proper dieting. 

  • Resume self-confidence

Some excess body fat can significantly impact our self-esteem: many people stop feeling attractive and sexual; body imperfections can even lead to depression. If a person experiences at least one of these unpleasant feelings, it is obviously a time for change.

  • Improve health condition

Liposuction can reduce the amount of fat cells in the blood, so it positively influences the cardiovascular system.

Every patient should remember that liposuction does not solve such issues as loose skin or stretch marks. A procedure only removes fat from particular areas of the body. A patient should follow doctors’ recommendations regarding diet and exercise to maintain the result.

What Areas Can Be Corrected by Lipo?

Doctors perform liposuction to correct one or several patients’ problem areas. This procedure can be an effective solution for almost every zone. Check the list of the most common areas that can be improved by this way:



upper arms


lower and upper abdomen



neck, chin, and cheeks.

Liposuction can be performed as a single procedure or be combined with other operations such as tummy tuck, Brazilian butt lift, facelift, or breast lift. For instance, liposuction+Brazilian butt lift mix allows eliminating fat and making the buttocks rounded.

Am I a Good Candidate?

There are not many restrictions to having lipo. Generally, liposuction is proper for you if:


  • You are not obese; your body mass index (BMI) does not exceed 30. Body Mass Index (BMI) is a person’s weight (m) in kilograms divided by the square of height in meters (h2). 
  • You have elastic skin and a good muscle tone.
  • You are generally healthy and do not suffer from any severe diseases.
  • You are a non-smoker or ready to stop smoking during pre-op preparation and post-op recovery.
  • Your age ranges within 18-50 y.o. In some cases, the age limit may be changed.

If you have some excess fat deposits in any part of your body, and they are not managed by physical exercising, you are probably a good candidate to have liposuction.

Liposuction Surgery Process Overview

How to Prepare for Liposuction?

You should go through these steps to get ready for an operation:

Pick a doctor. First, find a doctor to consult regarding the liposuction process and determine whether you are a good candidate. If lipo is an appropriate option for you, a plastic surgeon will provide info regarding all further steps. The outcome of the procedure significantly depends on the level of quality skills. So, do not limit yourself by options available only in your country; provide searching in foreign clinics as well. Choose only certified medical facilities.

Discuss your expectations.

You should discuss with a doctor which outcome you can count on after the procedure. A plastic surgeon will determine what areas will be corrected during the lipo process.


Schedule the procedure.

When you have selected a doctor to manage your liposuction, it is time to schedule the date of the procedure. Think over when it is more convenient for you to take 1-2 weeks off and plan your trip. 


Stop taking some medications.

Your doctor will provide a list of medications you should stop taking for at least 3 weeks before liposuction surgery. Typically, they are blood-thinners, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, and herbs. They can increase the risk of bleeding.


Correct your nutrition.

It is essential to increase skin elasticity before liposuction surgery for a fast healing process. Add to your diet products rich in antioxidants, protein, and water.


Refuse smoking.

Nicotine may significantly complicate the healing process and recovery. The vessels of smokers provide a decreased blood flow in the body. So the recovery goes slowly, and the risk of clotting gets higher. Give up smoking as soon as you have scheduled a procedure.


Order your home.

After liposuction, you will feel weakness and pain for several days, so it is important to prepare everything at home: 

  • comfortable clothes 
  • full your fridge with food
  • buy water
  • ask someone to help you with pets or children.

If possible, it would be great if a relative or a friend stayed with you during the first 2 weeks after intervention. 

What Should I Expect During the Procedure?

When you arrive at the clinic, you will undergo medical tests and get a consultation with a doctor. A plastic surgeon will discuss procedure details and mark the operated places. 

Typically, liposuction operation involves such steps:

Anesthesia infusing

Together with an anesthesiologist, you pick the most proper anesthesia type according to the intervention complexity and individual tolerance: sedation, local or general anesthesia.

Incisions making

When anesthesia starts working, a plastic surgeon makes an incision in the targeted area. The size of an incision is pretty small: a third or a quarter of an inch. A number of these incisions depends on the operated zone location and its size.


Suction processing

A plastic surgeon puts a thin tube called a cannula under the skin. Then a doctor manages a tube to dislodge fat with its further suction out of the body by a vacuum. 



When fat is sucked out, a plastic surgeon closes the incision with absorbable sutures and places firm bandages.


Hospital stay

A patient can return home just several hours after the procedure. In some cases, a doctor recommends staying overnight to monitor a patient’s health condition. 

Liposuction Types

Nowadays, plastic surgery clinics can offer a wide range of lipo types. Each of them has its pros and cons. Below you can find the list of the most common lipo surgeries applied. Check them to discuss the most appropriate for you with a doctor. 

Tumescent liposuction

Tumescent liposuction is one of the most sought-after interventions for fat deposits. A doctor uses the same thin tube called cannula as during a traditional operation. The main difference between tumescent and traditional liposuction is an anesthesia type applied. For tumescent lipo, a plastic surgeon infuses an anesthetic solution containing lidocaine, epinephrine, and vasoconstrictor to reduce blood loss during surgery. The application of this anesthetic solution makes liposuction much safer and sparing for a patient’s health.

Laser-assisted liposuction

It is a non-surgical fat destruction procedure with a laser. During a procedure, a laser targets fat deposits and destroys them. It is possible to get rid of 500 ml of fat during one course. No admission or recovery is needed.

Super-wet liposuction

Super-wet liposuction is a surgical procedure to remove excess fat. It is less traumatic compared to traditional one as a plastic surgeon infuses some amount of fluid to make fat suction easier.

Ultrasound-assisted liposuction

During an ultrasound-assisted liposuction (also referred as VASER), the ultrasonic waves destroy fat cells first. Then, a plastic surgeon aspirates them. The main advantage of the procedure is that ultrasound is sparing to nerves and vessels, so they are not damaged during liposuction processing. As a result, a patient recovers faster compared to tumescent or traditional surgery, the risks of bleeding reduce. You can check out the best deals for VASER lipo on the Bookimed website.

Liposuction 360°

Liposuction 360° is not the name of any particular technique. This term describes the size of the body area involved for a procedure. It supposes the fat removal from the front and back sides of the body. Lipo 360 allows you to achieve more accurate results and make your body maximum perfect per one procedure.

Liposuction Recovery Process

The whole recovery after liposuction lasts up to 3 months, depending on the surgery complexity and a patient’s health condition. Below you can check the step-by-step route for the lipo recovery process.

What to Expect After the Liposuction?

After Lipo

Just after an operation, a doctor puts special compression garments on the operated areas to pressure them. Anesthesia still works, so a patient will not feel some discomfort.

Several hours after lipo the anesthesia stops working, so a patient starts feeling some soreness in the operated areas. Typically, a patient stays overnight in the hospital for a follow-up.

Days 3-5

You visit a plastic surgeon to check incisions and the healing process. You continue wearing garments. In some cases, a plastic surgeon can put drainage to withdraw the fluid. You still cannot estimate the result due to manifest swelling and bruising. 

You will feel weakness and pain, so give yourself some rest to accumulate strength for recovery and limit your everyday activity. If necessary, take painkillers prescribed by your doctor.

Weeks 1-2

In the 1st-2nd weeks of the recovery, you will feel relief from pain and swelling. If the healing process goes without complications, you can return to work. If it requires some physical activity, take some extra days off. You continue wearing a compression garment.

Weeks 3-5
Swelling still takes place, but it is considered as a normal condition. Pain is reduced or completely shrinks. The first visible results and improved contouring take place. You will observe the improvement of your body in the process of the swelling fading away. If a doctor allows, you can go back to light physical activity.
6 Weeks+

Bruising and swelling become almost invisible in many cases. A patient can return to everyday routine and previous sport activity. If a patient does not have any concerns, and the healing process is not complicated, it is allowed to take off the compression garment. In some cases, the wearing of compression garments can be prolonged.

NOTE! Due to the lasting wearing of the compression garment after lipo, plan the date of your surgery properly. Avoid dates at the end of spring or summer. It is extremely uncomfortable to wear the compression garment when it is hot outside. You will be permanently sweating, and the recovery can be prolonged. The best seasons are the middle of fall and winter.

Postoperative Instructions

Returning Home

Ask someone to accompany you during your coming back from a hospital to a hotel. It can be your friend/relative or a clinic’s representative. Take a note that you will feel some pain and weakness, so you will not be able to drive yourself or carry some luggage.


If your recovery goes well, you can resume your daily diet in 2-3 days after surgery. Drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration, eat more vegetables and fruit.

Get Rest

It is essential to rest a lot for fast recovery, avoid stress, and strenuous exercising.

Physical Activity

Walking and driving are allowed in several days after an operation. Short walkings in 2-3 days after the intervention even boost the recovery and reduce soreness.

Wear Compression Garments

Typically, doctors recommend wearing garments for up to 6 weeks. It speeds up the healing and reduces swelling. In some cases, the wearing of garments can be prolonged.

Do a Massage

It is important to make a light massage of the operated areas to break the accumulated fluids. A patient should do this in a week after liposuction.

Recommendations from Bookimed Patients​

Any recommendation must be approved by your doctor.

The above-mentioned tips for liposuction recovery are general. However, each case is individual. And only a person who has already experienced liposuction can tell more about the healing and some unforeseen issues. Below you can find summarized advice given by Bookimed patients who have already undergone the recovery after lipo. 

Risks and Complications

Despite liposuction being a cosmetic operation to make your body slimmer and more perfect, it is still surgery. So, some risks and complications can take place. Any of your concerns must be discussed with a plastic surgeon to minimize negative consequences.

Check the list of possible side effects to know what questions to address to the doctor before liposuction surgery.






Anesthesia intolerance




Damage of nerves and vessels during a procedure


Blood clots


Asymmetry or uneven contouring


Complicated healing of incisions


Long-lasting swelling.

How Much Does Liposuction Cost?

The liposuction cost significantly depends on many factors:

  • A number of areas corrected by lipo. The more zones you want to improve, the higher price you will pay. 
  • A plastic surgeon’s experience. The board-certified specialists may ask for a higher fee than their less experienced colleagues. However, it is better to entrust liposuction processing to a highly-skilled doctor.
  • The country where you will have surgery. The liposuction cost may differ from country to country by 2-5 times. Despite such a difference, the quality of the procedure can be the same, provided you get liposuction in a licensed and internationally certified clinic. 

Below you can find some prices of lipo. They are approximate and may be changed, depending on the case. 

Lipo areaTurkeyMexicoThailandUSA
Abdominal from $700from $1,800from $4,800$5,500
Thighsfrom $1,100from $1,800from $5,600$4,500
Buttocksfrom $1,100from $1,800upon the request$3,500
Armsfrom $1,000from $1,800from $1,700$4,000
Neckfrom $1,100from $1,200upon the request$3,000
VASER lipofrom $1,400$2,500-3,000from $1,100$5,000-$8,000
Body Jet lipofrom $2,500upon the requestupon the requestfrom $3,500

According to Bookimed data, the best destinations to have cheap liposuction are Turkey and Mexico. Here, you can have the same qualitative procedure as in the USA but up to 4 times cheaper. However, you need to opt for a clinic and a doctor carefully to obtain a desirable result.

Below you can learn more about the most sought-after destinations for cheap lipo:

Liposuction at Any Budget

Wanna get liposuction without wasting all money, but don’t know where to go? Keep reading how and where to get qualitative but affordable lipo. Compare the prices and choose the best option for you.

Top 5 Clinics to Have Cheap Liposuction

Consider the best deals for lipo. Choose the most suitable package for you and book a clinic right now.

If you want to get the individual full body liposuction cost, submit a request on Bookimed. We will provide the direct bills from the best clinics.

Liposuction: Before and After Photos

Procedure: Liposuction
Hospital: Estetik International
Procedure: Liposuction
Hospital: Estetik International

Is Liposuction Worth It?

Liposuction is supposed to eliminate excess fat deposits. Just after a procedure, a patient experiences pain, bruising, and swelling. However, these unpleasant feelings will disappear soon, and a patient will see a perfect reflection in the mirror. According to the Realself data, 86% of people consider liposuction as worth it to perform.  If you want to learn more about real patients’ experience who have experienced lipo, check the verified reviews on the Bookimed website. 

Liposuction Surgery: At Home or Abroad?

While planning liposuction, the first issue you should solve is where you want to get this procedure: abroad or at home. 

The primary reasons why people prefer traveling overseas for plastic surgery are:

How to Arrange My Lipo Abroad?

It may seem difficult to arrange a medical trip, especially for newbies. A person often does not know:

  • what country, clinic, and a doctor to choose
  • what documents are required
  • how to schedule the procedure
  • how to overcome the language barrier
  • how to avoid frauds and get plastic surgery successfully.

The best way is to ask for assistance from medical tourism agencies. Bookimed, a no.1 medical tourism platform in the world, arranges medical trips to any corner of the globe. 


Our team knows all specifics of healthcare and visa requirements in any country; we know where the best plastic surgeons work, and what clinics provide high-quality medical assistance. With us, you will feel safe and comfortable during the whole trip.

Submit a request on Bookimed, and we will:

FAQs about Lipo Surgery Abroad

The staff of the clinics that focus on international patients usually speak English. The option of an interpreter services speaking your language is also available.

The plastic surgery clinics provide their customers with a transfer. This option may be free or paid additionally.

It takes about 5-7 days to recover. It will be uncomfortable for you to return home earlier. So take at least a week off work.

Liposuction during COVID: Rules and Safety

The COVID pandemic has made adjudgements to the functioning of medical facilities and serving patients. International clinics do their best to make customers’ stay safe. So, they provide all measurements to protect clients and stop infection spread: control social distance, update ventilation devices, process advanced disinfection.


Nowadays, not every country is open for medical tourists. Currently, the choice of available options is limited. However, some of the top destinations for cosmetic medicine, such as Turkey and Mexico, are open. All you need is to provide a negative PCR test or vaccination certificate to cross the borders.


Having liposuction during a pandemic has its advantages: due to quarantine restrictions and the ability to work remotely, a patient can completely recover at home and then surprise everyone with a perfect look.

Best Surgeons for Liposuction

Derya Bingol
Derya Bingol
Plastic surgeon at Db'est Clinic
Read More
Dr. Derya Bingöl is an award-winning Turkish plastic surgeon with over 15 years of practice. Has the European Board of Plastic Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgery Certificate. Performs 150-200 aesthetic operations annually.
Agustin Granado Tiagonce
Agustin Granado Tiagonce
Plastic surgeon at Clinica Granado Tiagonce, Spain
Read More
Dr. Agustín Granado Tiagonce is an experienced plastic, aesthetic, and reconstructive surgeon from Spain. Specialist in facial and body cosmetic surgery with over 25 years of practice. Director and founder of the Granado Tiagonce Clinic.
Selçuk Aytaç
Selçuk Aytaç
Plastic surgeon at Estetik International, Turkey
Read More
Dr. Aytaç is a top specialist in plastic and aesthetic surgery, an expert in cosmetic reconstruction after obesity operations. He is a member of the Turkish Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery.
Jose Cortes
Jose Cortes
Plastic surgeon at Jose Cortes Aesthetic Clinic, Mexico
Read More
Jose Cortes MD is the Mexico's most valued plastic surgeon according Doctoralia Awards 2018, 2019, 2020. Top Plastic surgeon Mexico - Lideres Magazine 2019 and 2020. Expert and pioneer of Ultrasonic Rhinoplasty in Mexico.
Ergin Er
Ergin Er
Plastic Surgeon at Istanbul Aesthetic Plastic Surgery Center, Turkey
Read More
Dr. Er is a specialist in facial and body plastic & aesthetic procedures with 27 years of experience. The doctor is a member of the American Academy of Cosmetic Surgery.

What Should You Ask Your Plastic Surgeon Before Liposuction?

During a consultation with a plastic doctor, feel free to ask any question you bother about liposuction and its result. Check the list of the most common questions:


What liposuction type is more proper for me?


How will liposuction be processed?


What result can I expect? Will my skin become loose?


Should I take any medications before surgery for better results?


What difficulties may I face during the recovery?


Will the scars remain after lipo surgery?


Can a plastic surgeon demonstrate the photos of their patients before and after liposuction?


When can I return to social and sports activities?


What anesthesia type will be used?


What can I expect during the first days after surgery? Will I need someone to help, or will I be able to help myself?


How long should I wear compression garments?


How can I contact a doctor in the case of some difficulties or questions?

How To Pay for a Procedure?


Some Turkish plastic surgery clinics may inquire to pay a deposit (usually about 10%) as a confirmation and booking your arrival day.

However, some plastic surgery clinics in Turkey do not require any deposit. You can pay for a liposuction procedure just at a clinic’s desk.

You can use any convenient option to pay for veneers installation:


Credit cards


When you book the date of your arrival to a Turkish clinic for getting liposuction, always specify whether it is necessary to pay a deposit and what way of payment is preferable.

Note, the reputable clinics in Turkey do not have any hidden costs.


However, always ask how much you will pay in total and whether some extra paid services can occur in the end.

How Can Bookimed Help You?

Bookimed is a no.1 medical tourism platform in the world. What does it mean for a patient?

  • Bookimed cooperates with over 750 leading clinics and hospitals worldwide. So, we can pick the best option in any country for almost any budget. 
  • Bookimed has assisted over 650,000 patients. So, we have collected vast experience regarding patients’ needs and know which particular clinic and a doctor will help in your case.
  • Bookimed provides 24/7 assistance. We understand that a person may feel stressed staying in another country for treatment, so we are ready to provide support and solve unforeseen problems.
  • Bookimed services are free. We arrange the whole medical trip absolutely for free. It includes picking a clinic and a doctor, scheduling the arrival date, booking tickets and flights, supervision of documents and visa.

Have any questions or want to schedule a liposuction procedure now? Just submit a request.


Lipo is considered a pretty safe procedure, provided a board-certified doctor manages an operation. Be prepared to undergo post-op recovery: you will experience bruising, swelling, and fluid accumulation. As long as these unpleasant feelings are reduced, you will observe the result. In some cases, the skin of the operated areas can become loose and less elastic, so some lifting procedure may be required in advance.

The best way to lose extra weight is a healthy diet and exercising. But if you cannot manage the gained pounds yourself, liposuction may be a great solution to improve your body contouring.

You can get rid of up to 10 pounds at once. For eliminating more fat cells, you may require one more extra operation.

Sure, lipo can significantly improve the abdomen area. However, it can be difficult to suck fat cells located deep and near vital organs in some cases. 

Liposuction recovery is painful. However, soreness reduces in 5-7 days after the intervention. You need to be prepared that the first 1-2 weeks after lipo can be hard. But when pain and swelling reduce, you will observe the improved reflection of yourself in the mirror.
86% of patients consider lipo as a procedure that is worth the money. Note that you always can find cheaper options outside your country of residence and make your dream of a perfect body come true.
In most cases, skin restores and tightens. However, sometimes it does not happen, so a patient needs to perform additional surgery to lift the skin. Every case is individual, and only a doctor can give a more accurate prognosis.
You can lose up to 10 pounds during lipo. It can be dangerous to eliminate more fat cells. So, discuss your case with a doctor: a proper diet, exercise, or bariatric surgery may be more helpful.
Hardly visible scars can remain on the places of incisions. However, they typically fade in 12 months or beyond after an operation. The outcome significantly depends on genetics and skin features.
It is recommended to undergo liposuction at the age of 18-50 years old. But if a patient’s skin is well elastic, it is possible to carry out an operation for older people.
A doctor sucks out the fat cells during lipo surgery, so a patient’s volume reduces. However, if a person continues consuming uncontrollably, the weight will be gained again. Liposuction is not a panacea. It is just an option to improve your body contouring, and the result duration depends on your efforts exceptionally.


  • International Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery. (2019).  ISAPS International Survey on Aesthetic/Cosmetic Procedures Performed in 2019.

  • Realself. (2020). Liposuction: What You Need to Know.

  • National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. Calculate Your Body Mass Index. 

  • NCBI. (2008). Tumescent Liposuction: A Review. 

  • PubMed. (2009). Laser-Assisted Liposuction.

  • Healthline. (2018). How Effective Is Ultrasonic Liposuction?