Liposuction: lipo Recovery
Recovering after lipo surgery, what's involved
EXPECTATIONS FOLLOWING LIPOSUCTION
Once your liposuction surgery is complete and you are sent home to begin recovery, it is advised that you have someone drive you home rather than driving yourself home. You will feel groggy, so it is advisable to have someone to watch over you for 12 to 24 hours after the surgery. An assistant to bring the medicines and look after your general welfare is a good idea. It is also advised that your medications, drinks and other important items are in close proximity during this period for easy reach, preferably at the side of the bed. Drinking adequate amounts of water is also highly recommended, as you may be dehydrated by the liposuction. Alcoholic beverages are an absolute no-no before the liposuction surgery, or afterwards during liposuction recovery.
You should have some quiet time immediately following the procedure. You must also take into consideration not to make any personal important decisions in the time immediately following the procedure since you will be groggy. You should definitely avoid driving or operating any hazardous equipment.
You may also feel nausea approximately 24-48 hours after the procedure. Nausea and vomiting are normal side effects after a procedure. Patients are often nauseated by antibiotics or local anesthesia. This feeling is usually felt 24-48 hours after the procedure. To help with this, it is recommended that you take the nausea pill before taking the pain medications and antibiotics. Patients should also stay away from plain water or from acidic fruit juices as they can cause more nauseated, bottled water would be the best way to stay hydrated during the liposuction recovery process.
Another effect of the procedure is that the incision areas may have some tumescent fluid that is blood stained. That happening is a regular result of the procedure and mostly it will stop within 12 hours. It is advised that towels or any stain catching garment be used to prevent the stains on the bed. These small incisions are left to allow the liquid to seep out. This technique greatly reduces any bruising.
BRUISING, SWELLING & HEALING
Depending on the kind of liposuction that you have undergone, the swelling will usually subside within four weeks to a few months. Open-drainage procedure would usually take four weeks for the bruising and swelling to disappear. For incisions with closed stitches, the liposuction recovery time is between eight to twelve weeks, while patients who have utilized the ultrasonic assisted liposuction, the recovery could take a few months.
Modern advances in science has allowed a faster liposuction recovery time with reduced swelling and reduced bruising. The newer open-drainage technique generally heals in four weeks over the closed stitch technique which takes a longer time to heal. This is achieved using the open-drainage technique, in which the surgeon allows these small incisions to remain open for the liquid to seep out. Thus, using advanced absorbent pads and elastic compression garments, the healing time for bruises and swelling is much faster than before.
It is also advised that although you may be smaller after the procedure, you should still wait for the swelling and bruising to heal before thinking of getting new clothes. Most patients will wear the special garments for a period of about a week, for some with a specific procedure it could be a bit longer. Still, other patients may choose to wear these special garments longer because they are very comfortable.
All the treated areas need to be covered in special garments after the procedure. These garments are engineered to provide support, firm compression and pads that are designed to absorb the liquid that the healing process is bringing out. These special garments should be worn unless the doctor advices you to stop wearing them. The normal time to stop wearing these special garments after the procedure is two days. You may then take a shower, but you may feel nauseous after removing the garment. This is a normal occurrence but it is advised that someone be present to assist the patient in this time. The application of lotion or Vaseline to the liposuction areas is also advised as it can be itchy because of the liposuction’s skin drying effect.
MASSAGING THE SKIN
You must also remember that it is important to massage the areas where the liposuction has been done. This should be repeated at least three times every day during the healing period, or about seven weeks. Massages can assist in healing the skin that has become wrinkled because of the liposuction procedure. The area where liposuction was performed could feel numb after the procedure, usually lasting about five to nine weeks. This is the reason why massaging is very important to aid in the healing process, in healing the skin and for it to avoid any instance of irritation to the skin. A massage will also assist in returning the feeling of sensation to the treated area. Gentle massaging will also help in diminishing the skin dimpling by moving around the remaining fat in the areas where the injections were done.
After a few days’ rest, it is recommended that you slowly get moving, as this action hastens blood circulation and greatly aids in the healing process. This could be difficult for some, but you must push yourself to get moving. You can start by simply walking as soon as they can. Walking also helps reduce the possibility of blood clots. Also, the areas where the procedures have been done are recommended to be elevated, pillows can help in this area.
You should also strictly stick to taking your medicines during your liposuction recovery as directed. The bruises and swelling can cause some discomfort, and the cosmetic surgeon will provide the corresponding prescriptions. To avoid any infection, antibiotics are also prescribed, and you must always remember to take the antibiotics with food.
FREQUENTLY ASKED POST-OPERATIVE QUESTIONS
After surgery, when should I go for a checkup?
This would totally depend on the cosmetic surgeon and the procedure done. You could be asked to return in a few days, or in a week or two. If the procedure was finished using the closed-stitch method, you will need to go back about a week for the sutures to be removed. If the procedure was completed using the open-drainage method, the cosmetic surgeon may simply call to check on your recovery. It is usually up to you to visit the clinic again, but most only do if any issues arise.
Is liposuction painful?
Even with the use of a local anesthetic, the most you can feel after the procedure is like you’ve got a bad bruise. This is because liposuction removes only the fat under the skin, and it so is not involve any incision to the muscles or any other cavity. Some would relate it to the feeling after a 40 minute game of basketball. Most patients feel it is better than going through major surgery.
When can I get out of bed? And when can I start walking?
You should actually never be stuck in bed as this action can cause the formation of blood clots either in the arms or in the lungs. It is recommended that after a short rest, the patient start walking about 12 hours after the procedure. This will ensure that there is enough circulation to aid in the healing process.
When can I go back to work?
Majority of the patients who have undergone liposuction go back to work and their normal routine in between one to three days after the procedure. There can be soreness and a bit of swelling still, and this could limit the amount of action the patient may go through, but it is recommended that you return to normal activities as soon as possible. Most should be able to work behind the desk although getting to the desk may be at first a bit uncomfortable.
How long before I can have sex?
This is a common question asked by patients, and the answer is that there are no restrictions on sexual activity after the procedure. The only limitation is the soreness and swelling of the treated area. Aside from that, you can be as creative as possible in having gentle sexual relations. As long as you are comfortable doing it, there are no restrictions. It is up to the patient to decide the right time.
How long before I can exercise?
The majority of patients will be able to go back to their routine exercises within a few days after the procedure, and this is highly recommended. At the onset, the patient can provide a small amount of their usual effort in the exercises, about a quarter, and then slowly build it up from there. It is still up to the patient to determine based on how they feel that they can be sure to be 100%. You should though be careful in lifting and pushing in the days immediately following the procedure.
When can I resume my normal diet?
If you have undergone the liposuction procedure using local anesthesia, you will be able to go back to your normal diet as soon as possible. You must drink enough fluids to avoid dehydration, but must also remember to stay away from alcohol in the days immediately following the procedure as this will hinder the liposuction recovery process.
Back to Plastic Surgery