Achieving Liposuction Recovery
When you have medical or cosmetic surgery, how you take care of yourself after the procedure is just as important—if not more so—than how the surgery itself turns out. Surgeons are able to make you feel and look better, but only to a certain extent. What happens after your surgery is up to you.
To achieve full liposuction recovery, it's extremely important that you take proper care of the treatment area after having liposuction. Post-Surgical care helps ensure complication-free healing, and helps keep your treated areas from going right back to the way they looked before surgery. That would be a waste of time and money, so it's important that you make the effort to take proper care of yourself after the procedure, and always.
Liposuction Healing ProcessIt's essential that you take good care of yourself during the healing process to avoid complications, and achieve optimal results.
Immediately following your surgery, you'll receive liposuction compression garments to wear for the following two to three weeks. These garments help contain the fluids in the treatment area to diminish swelling, and maintain proper shape.
Compression garments also protect the treatment area from daily movement, and potential bumping or bruising. Though you should wear your compression garments all the time, it's important to remove them to change your dressings.
You'll need to take a few days to one week off from work, and avoid any heavy lifting or vigorous exercising for four to six weeks. During this time, drink plenty of fluids, rest, and listen to your body.
Your incisions will take two to three weeks to heal, but how soon you see the final results will depend on factors such as the area you had treated, your individual anatomy and healing rate, and how well you take care of yourself during the recovery period.
Neglecting proper aftercare can lead to liposuction risks and complications. Your surgeon will provide you with detailed instructions for your post-surgical care. Be sure to follow them carefully.
For additional information, you can also watch these liposuction post-surgical instruction videos.
Liposuction Recovery: Pain
As is normal with any surgery, you'll likely experience some pain and discomfort following your liposuction procedure. The amount and severity of pain will also depend on what area you had treated, and whether it required local or general anesthesia.
For smaller procedures—neck and face liposuction, arm liposuction—a local anesthetic may be used. Its effects can last for a few hours—and up to 24 hours—after the procedure. Your surgeon may prescribe pain medication, but in most cases, acetaminophen (Tylenol) should be enough to ease any discomfort.
For larger procedures—abdominal liposuction, buttock liposuction—you'll receive general anesthesia. Once it's worn off, you may experience a great deal of pain in the treated area, and your surgeon will likely prescribe a narcotic pain reliever to address it. You may experience side effects of the pain medication, including, but not limited to nausea and chills.
In either case, you'll feel the most pain and discomfort in the first couple of days after your procedure. After that, you'll have soreness in your muscles and skin for about two weeks, possibly longer if you had multiple areas treated at once.
Liposuction Recovery: Swelling and Drainage
Any liposuction procedure performed on any area of your body will result in some degree of swelling. It can be especially prominent if you have tumescent liposuction, which involves injecting a solution into the fat layer to make it easier to extract. Some of this solution will remain trapped under your skin for a time, until your body can absorb and expel it.
In an effort to help your body heal more quickly, and to help reduce this swelling, rather than completely closing the incisions, your surgeon will leave them open and cover them with absorptive pads. This will allow the treatment sites to drain naturally, which means they won't be as swollen as they would be if the incisions were closed.
You can expect fluid to drain from your incisions for at least the first 24 to 48 hours following your liposuction procedure. It will have a thin consistency, and may look pink or even reddish due to the presence of a small amount of blood, but this is normal and no reason to worry. However, if the fluid is dark red, and has a thicker consistency more like blood, contact us immediately.
Liposuction Recovery: Garments
In addition to allowing natural drainage, post-surgical swelling can also be reduced by wearing liposuction compression garments. You'll need to wear your garments for about two weeks, removing them only to change your dressings, bathe, or wash the garments.