Liposuction, also referred to as body contouring, is among the popular plastic surgery procedures done worldwide. In this procedure, a plastic surgeon removes excess fat from the body by suction using special surgical tools and equipments. Some areas where liposuction is commonly done are hips, thighs, arms, buttocks, breasts and abdomen. If you already had the procedure or are going to have it in future, you should be aware of the fact that recovery can take some time and is usually painful. However, the results of this procedure can be enjoyed if you follow certain recovery guidelines.
Schedule Sufficient Time to Rest
You will generally need at least some days of rest after the surgery. Usually, you can go back to work within a few days. Discuss with your physician the time you need to rest after the surgery. The time to recover depends on the amount of fat removed and the size of the area treated. If a large area is treated, you may require more time for recovery. Prepare your bedroom and home before you go for the procedure. A comfortable home environment such as cozy mattress, bedding and pillows may help you recover more effectively.
Wear Appropriate Compression Garments
After surgery, your physician may apply bandages and provide compression garments. These are required to help stop bleeding, maintain pressure on the treated area, and maintain the contours formed from the procedure. If your physician has not provided with compression garments, you can purchase them from local medical supply stores and pharmacies.
It is very important that you wear your compression garments post surgery. They give support post surgery and also reduce bruising and swelling and improve blood circulation, thereby promoting healing. You may have to buy compression garments that are designed specifically for the area where you had surgery. For instance, if you had the procedure on your thighs, you need two compression garments that may fit around each thigh. You may be required to wear post-surgical bandages for 2 weeks and compression garments for at least a few weeks for liposuction recovery.
Take Antibiotics for Preventing Post-Op Infection
Your physician may prescribe antibiotics to prevent infections. It is important that you complete the whole course of medicines prescribed. According to recent studies, antibiotic drugs may not be necessarily required after liposuction; hence, talk to your physician. You may be suffering from an illness such as herpes, which requires that you take medicine to prevent outbreaks or infection.
Manage Swelling and Pain with Medicine
You may develop some amount of pain, swelling and numbness post surgery. These symptoms can be eased by taking an OTC pain reliever or a prescription pain reliever. The symptoms of pain, tingling, numbness, bruising and swelling may last for a few weeks. You may begin to feel better after one to two weeks post surgery and may need to take pain relievers for this much time or may be longer.
You can take OTC painkillers such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen. Ibuprofen may also relieve some swelling along with pain. If your pain is not relieved by OTC painkillers, then your physician may prescribe a pain killer for you.
Walk As Early As Possible
It is very important to begin moving gently as early as you are able to do so. Walking may prevent the formation of blood clots in your legs, which may prove fatal. You may also heal faster by gentle movement. Although physicians recommend performing gentle movement or walking as early as possible, you should return to doing more strenuous activities only one month post surgery.
Take Care of Your Incision
Some stitches may be applied to your surgical incision. Cover your incision and change the bandages according to the instructions of your physician. A drainage tube may be inserted by your physician to drain the fluid from your wound. You can take shower after 48 hours; however, you should not soak in a tub until your physician removes your stitches.
Be Aware of the Signs and Symptoms of Complications
There are certain inherent risks associated with surgery; hence, watch your body for any signs and symptoms of complications during liposuction recovery. This will help minimize the risk of developing severe complications including death. Visit your physician immediately if you have the following:
Do Not Take Alcohol or Caffeinated Drinks and Avoid Intake of Sodium
It is very important to remain hydrated during the recovery period. Drink at least six to eight glasses of water every day. Avoid caffeinated drinks such as tea or coffee as caffeine causes dehydration. Avoid alcohol as it lowers immunity and makes your body vulnerable to develop infections. Avoid excessive intake of sodium as it also has a dehydrating effect. Eat a balanced diet that is low in sodium.
How Much Time Does Recovery from Liposuction Takes?
Week One to Two Post Liposuction
Immediately post surgery once the effects of anesthesia worn off you will feel sore and painful. Though pain is manageable and tolerable at this time; however, you may be prescribed pain killers if pain becomes debilitating. You may have limited movements at this time.
Week Two to Four Post Liposuction
By this time, the swelling due to surgery will subside and your incisions would have already healed. You can return to do your usual daily activities immediately post surgery; however, at third week, you can start doing exercises ranging from light to moderate. If you feel discomfort or pain, you should decrease your activity level.
Week Four and Beyond
You will not notice any bruising after one month post surgery and you will start noticing your new shape. You can return to do your daily activities fully if you are already doing them. You will begin seeing results around sixth week post surgery, though the swelling may take three months to disappear completely.
Are Liposuction Results Permanent?
During liposuction, permanent removal of fat cells is done; hence, if you gain weight post surgery, it will not be in the treated area. However, you should be aware of the fact that you can regain weight after liposuction. You should follow a proper exercise and diet plan to maintain your new weight and shape post liposuction.