Once you’ve invested so much time and effort into the research, consultation, and preparation for your surgery, it’s normal to be eagerly anticipating your results. It’s so important, however, to remember that the transformation won’t be immediate—after your surgery day, your body will need time and proper care to heal. In this blog series, we’re outlining some of the common post-operative concerns we encounter to help you feel as prepared as possible for a smooth surgical journey; beginning with body surgeries like tummy tucks (abdominoplasty), liposuction, fat transfer, and BBLs. We know it’s hard, but remember…good things take time!

Swelling & Bruising after Body Surgery

While advancements in the field have made surgical recovery much more manageable in recent years, cosmetic body surgery is still a major event that your body will be working hard to heal from. You will likely experience swelling and bruising, and there is great variation in how much of these responses each individual will experience. Post-surgical bruising can present as any of the typical colours—red, blue, purple, black—and may appear to be spreading as it fades and changes colour; this is normal. Bruising after surgery typically subsides after two to three weeks. You can also expect moderate swelling after your procedure. This will often be related to how much liposuction, if any, is performed. Although your new contours will still be quite visible, this swelling will hide the final contours until it has subsided. Both swelling and bruising may not appear evenly across the treatment area—it is normal to have more on one side than the other. Some tummy tuck patients also experience swelling and bruising of the genitals. Swelling will subside over time, but keep in mind that the timeline may not be linear. For example, while 80% of swelling will be gone three weeks after a tummy tuck, it may take 9-12 months for the remaining 20% to fully subside—still a drop in the bucket compared to the many years you’ll enjoy your final results for! In rare cases, a hematoma may form, most commonly within the first 24 to 48 hours after surgery. This is a pooling of blood beneath the skin and can require urgent care. Whereas bruising will be flat compared to unaffected skin and tender to the touch, a hematoma will typically present as raised, firm, and painful. You should contact your surgeon’s office if you suspect you may have a hematoma.

  • apply even pressure over the treatment area
  • allow your skin to redrape over your new contours
  • reduce bruising and swelling
  • help your body absorb fluid
  • prevent excessive fluid buildup