Recovery From Liposuction

Liposuction Surgery Recovery

Liposuction’s degree of invasiveness truly depends on how much fat was extracted and where in the body the procedure took place. Post-surgery, the body part(s) that were treated get wrapped firmly to reduce swelling, pain and visible signs of bruising. Your plastic surgeon may recommend wraps, girdles, compression garments or other healing treatments to expedite your recovery. Bandages and tape are usually left on the body for several post-op checkups. The garments or wraps can be worn for several weeks after surgery.

You will find the most swollen and bruised time of all is right after your surgery, about 7-10 days post-op. Within these first ten days, your stiches will either dissolve or be removed by your plastic surgeon and his/her staff. Some patients report drainage from the incision sites. Many times, your plastic surgeon may recommend antibiotics to reduce the risk of infection at the incision sites. The dressings will have to be changed frequently, sometimes within the first several days.

Some side-effects you may experience are:

  • Swelling - usually subsides within a few months.
  • Bruising - painful at first, but quickly resides post operatively.
  • Scars - varying in size, and dependent on skin type, insertion type and location as well as the size of cannula used, patients’ scars are usually gone within a year after liposuction surgery, if not sooner.
  • Pain - this is only temporary and controlled with medication.
  • Numbness - some patients experience numbness and sensation loss, which if experienced, usually goes away within a few weeks.
  • Limited Movement/Mobility - depending again on the size, type and location of incisions, patients may find themselves in recovery longer than others.

Keep in mind:

  • You should not drive home from surgery if you were administered general anesthesia. Discuss the routine with your plastic surgeon and make sure you arrange a ride home and for post-op support at home.
  • Prepare your home/family/friends for your post-op situation. Let the appropriate people know you are going for surgery and make sure you have housecleaning, prescriptions filled and pets walked ahead of time.
  • Wear compression garments! Get recommendations from your plastic surgeon if need be, but make sure you take care of the treated areas with a fair amount of compression.
  • Keep your head elevated post-op. Don’t do any headstands!
  • Temporary swelling and pain may affect how you view your surgery’s results. So make sure you give it some time, and be patient with your body.
  • You can always call your plastic surgeon. Make sure you get an emergency number to phone him/her at if need be during your recovery.

Even though most people return to normal activities as soon as the treatment is finished, it may take several days or weeks for you to return to your situation. Work can be considered a few days after, but depending on how larger the treated area is, you may have to take a longer time off to recover properly. The final results may be visible anywhere from 1-6 months post-op and continues to improve with time as swelling slowly begins to lessen.

Although you still may be swollen within a few months of your liposuction surgery, most swelling after your body contouring procedure will lessen within a few weeks post operatively.It is recommended you start walking around as much as possible to reduce swelling and prevent blood clots. Though the suctioned fat cells are permanently gone, liposuction itself is NOT permanent. You must still maintain a healthy diet and manage to exercise so that your remaining fat cells and fatty tissues do not enlarge.

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