5 Things to Expect During Liposuction Recovery

You have decided to have liposuction surgery. You are committed to looking great and feeling better around yourself. That’s fantastic news! Liposuction is the second most popular form of plastic surgery.

It isn’t as serious as some surgeries, but there are still things you need to be aware of. You probably have questions about the recovery process and what happens in the days and weeks afterward.

Here are 5 things to expect during liposuction recovery.

1. Localized Swelling

Liposuction is performed through tiny incisions at the site being treated. The area around the incision will most likely swell and even possibly bruise. This is nothing to be alarmed about.

The amount of swelling and how long it lasts is different for each individual. The number of incisions also varies and depends on how much is being removed.

You will either be provided with or can purchase, compression garments to wear to reduce the swelling. These also help minimize any bruising.

The garments, or bandages, are typically worn for a few weeks post-liposuction, but if needed longer, that’s not a problem.  Wearing the compression garment(s) is vital to getting excellent results.

2. Pain After Surgery

The question most people ask is whether liposuction is painful. The answer to that is yes. It is a surgery, and as such, there will be some pain afterward.

This is usually treated with over-the-counter pain relievers. If you had a larger procedure done, or highly sensitive to the pain, you can request a temporary prescription of something stronger.

Liposuction pain generally only lasts a few days. If it does not go away or gets worse, you need to contact your doctor as this may be a sign that something has gone wrong.

Body contouring is another procedure that is gaining in popularity and can help achieve your weight loss goals.

3. Care for the Incision Sites

After liposuction, the incision sites are tiny wounds that need to be taken care of. They will be closed using surgical tape or strips.

It is possible that some fluid with a bit of blood will ooze out. This is normal and you don’t need to panic. You should cover the area with small absorbent pads for a couple of days until it dries up.

The area should be cleaned with warm water and mild soap. Then new pads can be applied. Do not use any topical pain killers or antibiotics. (If your doctor thinks it is necessary, they will prescribe an antibiotic for you to take.)

You should not use a heating pad or ice pack on the incision sites. Avoid showers for up to 48 hours or per the doctor’s instructions, but then they should be fine. Do not take a bath or go swimming until approved by your doctor.

4. The Need for Exercise and Good Nutrition

Your body is designed to heal itself. It just needs a little help. You do not need to perform vigorous exercises but it is good to get up and moving. Walking is highly recommended.

A balanced and healthy diet is also part of the recovery process. Vegetables, lean meats, and fruit is a great place to start. If you need help, here is a healthy diet plan.

Keep in mind that your body also needs plenty of rest. Listen to what it is telling you, and slow down or nap when tired. It is also important to stay hydrated.

Did you know that breast reduction surgery has many added health benefits as well? It can ease neck and back pain while allowing you to be more active and have more endurance.

5. Look Out for These Side Effects

Some pain and discomfort are expected after surgery. However, there are a few lingering side effects that you need to be on the lookout for.

  • Fever
  • Increased Pain
  • Persistent Swelling
  • Chest Pain
  • Shortness of Breath
  • Leg pain

If you experience any of these, call your doctor right away.

How Long Does It Take To Recover From a Liposuction Procedure

There are no hard rules for the length of recovery. So much depends on the individual, their overall health, and the scope of the surgery.

Most people return to their normal lives in a few weeks. For others, it is even less time. The key is to listen to your body and your doctor.

You should wear loose clothing even after the compression garments come off to allow for the area to breathe and continue to heal.

As with many life-changing events, it is normal to feel some anxiety or even depression. You need a good support system around you during the recovery process. If you continue to feel overwhelmed, try these self-care tips.

The Journey Continues

The goal of liposuction is not purely weight loss. It is a targeted approach to get rid of excess fat cells in certain problem areas on the body. It is not a cure-all for a good diet and exercise program.

You will still need to maintain or adopt, a healthy lifestyle in order to continue to reap the benefits of the surgery. While the specific fat cells are removed, there are still others that can increase in size.

Some people also want to know what happens with the excess skin around the areas that are treated. Liposuction does not remove skin, just the fat cells. So the skin is still there.

If the skin is healthy with good elasticity, it will conform and adjust and appear smooth. However, if the skin is thin, it may be loose. The removal of this extra skin is a separate procedure.

It is also worth noting that liposuction does not remove stretch marks or treat dimpling of the skin.

Liposuction Recovery: Keep Your Eye on the Prize

Feeling good about yourself and having a positive self-image is something everyone desires. There are many ways to achieve this, but being proud of one’s body is certainly an important one.

Liposuction is not a replacement for a healthy lifestyle, but it will provide a boost and motivation in the right direction. With the proper care during your liposuction recovery, you can be back to your normal routine in no time.

For more information on this surgery or other cosmetic procedures, please let us know how we can help you.

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Dr. Jeff Church