Liposuction is a major procedure that takes out unnecessary fat in certain areas of the body. Your doctor will sculpt and contour areas like the abdomen, buttocks, hips and thighs to remove fat cells permanently.
Surgeons follow guidelines for liposuction surgery, and have set a limit to the maximum amount of fat that can be safely removed (5,000 ml) regardless of body fat status or weight.
Here’s what you need to know about the recovery process of this kind of surgery, how long it will take, as well as some tips for faster recovery.
What Happens After Liposuction Surgery?
Recovery from a lipo surgery can be divided into two categories:
Whether your body will be able to recover quickly would depend on which areas the surgery was performed on, and which surgical technique is used. Immediate recovery should take between 5 to 7 days, after which you can resume to your usual routine including exercise.
2. Long Term
Long term recovery may be required if there’s swelling. This can take up to 3 months.
Following your surgery, a compression garment will be used to put pressure on the areas that were operated on. Once the anesthesia wears off you may experience some moderate discomfort, depending on which part of the body received liposuction. Your doctor will advise you to stay overnight at the hospital to observe any fluid changes that may occur, as well as check you for possible dehydration.
In about 3-5 days, you will need to see your doctor so the compression garments can be removed. The incisions will also be checked.
After about a week, you’ll be instructed to do a gentle massage in the areas that were liposuctioned in order to move around any accumulated fluid. After a few weeks you’ll notice gradual decrease in swelling.
Tips for Faster Recovery
To help your body heal faster following liposuction, keep in mind these tips:
1. Wear a compression garment to promote healing and keep you comfortable. The first 3 days after liposuction is critical in the drainage of fluid and speed up the recovery process. Wearing compression garments can reduce pain, swelling, and bruising.
2. Get your blood flowing a few hours after surgery by doing some light walking.
3. Put ice on the areas of liposuction to help reduce discomfort.
4. Ask your doctor if you can take anti-inflammatory meds to reduce pain.
5. After a week from surgery, you can do a gentle lymphatic massage to decrease swelling.
Things You Shouldn’t Do Post-Surgery
First off, don’t push yourself too hard during the recovery period. You need to rest particularly in the first 3 days because the incision site is still open in order to drain any anesthetic fluid.
Don’t bathe until the incisions are completely closed. This can last up to 10 days.
Don’t do any strenuous physical activities during the recovery period. You can walk in short distances to get your blood flowing.
Are There Liposuction Complications?
Just like any cosmetic surgery, there’s also a possibility for complications to occur. You may notice the following:
- redness or discoloration
- sharp pain, including in your nerves
- skin irregularities and contour deformity
- skin necrosis
- allergic reactions to anesthesia
If you notice these, be sure to inform your doctor about it as soon as possible. Liposuction is a plastic surgery procedure and there are steps that must be taken to ensure a smooth and fast recovery. If you are looking for less invasive alternatives, Smart Lipo which uses laser technology to remove fat, seems to be a great choice.