Do you find yourself staring into a mirror at stubborn areas of fat that won’t go away no matter how much you exercise? Have you pinched fat rolls, wishing they would just vanish into thin air? What if we told you there’s a way you can get rid of that stubborn fat and have the body you’ve always wanted? Liposuction can be an amazing way to get results you can’t achieve with dieting and exercise alone. Knowing more about what to expect from liposuction recovery can help you get the best possible results.
Read on to learn more about what to expect after your procedure and how to see amazing results from it.
1. What is Liposuction?
Before we dive into what you can expect from your liposuction recovery, let’s review what liposuction is and how it works. Liposuction is a cosmetic procedure that removes unwanted fat from specific areas of the body. This procedure only removes fat and is not designed to eliminate cellulite or tighten loose skin.
During a Vaser liposuction procedure, your surgeon will insert a thin, hollow tube through tiny incisions in the area you’re getting treated. As it moves around under the skin, suction is applied to pull fat out of the area, much like a tiny vacuum cleaner. This can be used to remove fat on almost any area of the body, including the thighs, abdomen, arms, back, hips, chest, face, and more.
2. Right After Surgery
After your procedure is done, you’ll be transferred to a recovery room, where you can come out of anesthesia. You’ll be placed in a compression garment designed to keep your incisions closed and make movement easier. In general, you’ll only be in the recovery room for about an hour after your procedure.
While you’re in the recovery room, nurses will keep an eye on your vital signs, including your blood pressure and oxygen levels. They’ll also watch for any signs of nausea or dizziness as you recover. When you go to the outpatient clinic, bring comfortable, loose-fitting clothing, dark towels to place on your car seats, pillows, water, soda crackers, and any pain medication you’ve been prescribed.
3. The First 48 Hours
Liposuction is a fairly easy procedure to recover from, but you will still be in mild to moderate pain for the first forty-eight hours after the surgery. Your doctor may prescribe medications like codeine to manage your pain, and you can also take acetaminophen. If your pain does not start to improve within the first two days, contact your doctor.
The first day after your surgery, you’ll likely see some fluid coming from your incisions. This is completely normal and nothing to worry about. You’ll probably also see bruising around the incision sites; these should clear up within a week or two of the procedure.
4. The First Two Weeks
You’ll need to be the most careful for the first two weeks after your procedure. It’s important to wear your compression garment around the clock and get up and move around every couple of hours. This will help reduce swelling and prevent you from developing blood clots.
You’ll also need to avoid bathing or showering during this time, but you can give yourself a sponge bath and have a loved one help you wash your hair over a sink. After five days or so, you’ll have a follow-up visit with your doctor; if things have gone well, you will be able to remove your compression garment to shower. However, for the next week and a half, you’ll need to wear the compression garment any time you’re not in the shower.
5. The First Month
After the first two weeks of recovery, you can mostly get back to normal life. If they haven’t already, your doctor will clear you to return to work at this time, although you should still plan on wearing your compression garment for about twelve hours a day during this first month. You should start on a light exercise program during this time, including walking and stretching as your doctor recommends.
The first month after surgery, you’ll be able to get back to your usual activities. It’s possible to still see swelling for several months after the procedure, and your results will not be fully visible until that swelling subsides. In the meantime, make sure you’re keeping up with a healthy lifestyle that will help you maintain your ideal body image.
6. Take Your Meds
One of the best things you can do to improve your recovery from liposuction is to take your medications. Controlling your pain is important because when you’re in pain, you aren’t resting, recovering, or increasing your activities as effectively. Make sure to take your prescribed pain meds according to your doctor’s schedule, even if you’re not in severe pain when it comes time to take more medications.
While some pain is to be expected with any procedure, you should not be in extreme amounts of pain. If the medications you’re taking don’t seem to be working or you’re in significant pain, contact your doctor. It could be a sign that something isn’t right with your recovery.
7. Wear the Proper Bandages and Clothing
Wearing a compression garment all the time during the first few days after your recovery can be inconvenient. We understand that, but it is crucial that you wear the garment exactly as your doctor recommended. Remember, these garments will help to reduce swelling and bruising as well as improve your recovery.
You may also have elastic bandages around your incision area. Make sure to follow your doctor’s orders for wearing and changing these, too. Your doctor will let you know when it’s safe to stop wearing these bandages and clothing, so don’t try to rush things.
8. Take Your Time
On the subject of not rushing, it’s important that you give yourself time to recover from this procedure. Although it is a relatively minor cosmetic operation, liposuction is still a surgical procedure and you need to give your body time to heal before you jump back into the daily grind. Plan to take a few days off work, and prepare for someone else to handle your other daily obligations, including household tasks and even driving.
Your doctor will let you know when they think it’s safe for you to go back to work and return to an exercise routine. They should also give you a date when you may resume other normal activities, including driving and sex. Follow these guidelines and don’t try to rush your recovery.
9. Care for Your Incisions
During the time you’re resting and recovering, be sure to take care of your incisions. Any surgical incision can become a site of potential infection, and it’s important you avoid this. Infection can turn into a very dangerous complication, so be sure to use any antibiotic your doctor prescribes as ordered.
You may have drains in your incisions for the first few days after surgery to allow any fluids to drain off. Follow your doctor’s instructions for how to clean, dress, and protect the wound and the drains. If your incisions become red, swollen, or warm, or if they start to bleed, open, or drain a lot of fluid, call your doctor immediately.
10. Watch for Complications
There are a number of potential complications that can occur after liposuction. The riskiest of these include an infection that could turn into sepsis and a blood clot that could become a pulmonary embolism. These complications are rare but serious, so call your doctor if you notice any of the following symptoms:
A fever, pain that only gets worse over time, and more swelling than expected can all indicate a possible infection. Shortness of breath, chest pain, leg pain, and redness or swelling in your legs can all be signs of a blood clot or a pulmonary embolism. If these occur, seek medical attention immediately.
Since liposuction involves incisions, many people wonder if they’ll have scars. After all, is it worth having the procedure done if you’re going to be covered in scars afterward? While there is a small risk of scarring, liposuction scars are usually hard to find.
The incisions your doctor will make during the procedure will be about as long as your pinky fingernail is wide. They’re usually hidden in a natural fold of the skin to make them less noticeable. If you follow the wound care instructions your doctor gives you after the procedure, you should recover with minimal scarring.
12. When Results Will Show
Once your procedure is done, you’ll likely be anxious to see your new, slimmer body. But as we mentioned, it can take several months for the swelling from your procedure to subside completely. Don’t be discouraged if you don’t see miraculous results as soon as you wake up from the procedure.
The majority of your swelling should go down within the first month or so after liposuction, especially if you follow your doctor’s orders for wearing compression garments. You’ll start to see some of your results during this time, but you may not see the full effect yet. You should see your final results about three months after your procedure.
13. How Much Fat Will Be Removed
How much fat is removed during your liposuction procedure will depend on your specific circumstance. The procedure can remove up to ten pounds of fat in an area, but whether your doctor removes that much will depend on what happens during the surgery. Some people who look relatively slim may be able to get a full ten pounds removed, while some more heavyset people may only be able to get a couple of pounds removed.
In part, the amount of fat that’s removed will depend on the area you’re having treated. If you’re getting liposuction on your face, for instance, it’s very unlikely that you’ll remove ten pounds of fat there. And your doctor will also have to see during the procedure how easily your fat moves; if you start to bleed during the procedure, they will have to stop in that area.
14. Avoid Smoking & Drinking
As with any medical procedure, it’s advised to avoid smoking and drinking both before and after your liposuction treatment. For best results, it’s recommended to stop smoking 4-6 weeks before your procedure and stay smoke-free at least four weeks post-procedure. This will help improve the rate and quality of healing, and reduce your chance of complications. Smoking increases the chance of infection because it decreases blood flow.
Alcohol can dry out your skin, which means the surgeon will have a more difficult time stitching your skin back together. This can result in a larger scar than anticipated because your skin isn’t as flexible. Alcohol also changes your blood chemistry. If you’re being sedated for a major cosmetic procedure, the doctor may have a difficult time estimating the correct dosage to put you under. Depending on the surgeon, they may even refuse to operate on you, which can mean lost time and money.
Staying away from alcohol and smoking for a few weeks before and after your procedure will not only help with your recovery, but your overall health and wellbeing.
15. Avoid Soaking in a Bath or Other Still Water
After surgery, you’re probably eager to get back to normal life, especially if the weather is nice. While you can shower after a few days, it’s important to stay away from soaking in a bath or other still water. Even though the incisions are small and close quickly, they can still become infected. Allowing your incisions to close and fully heal before submerging yourself in water is going to both help the incisions heal quicker and ensure minimal scarring.
Remember – after care is just as important as the procedure itself. You’ve already invested a lot of time and energy into your procedure and this is the home stretch! Putting a little bit of attention into your after care program is going to help you get the best results you’re going to be happy with for years to come.
Learn More About Liposuction Recovery
Liposuction can be an excellent option for getting rid of fatty areas that don’t respond to diet and exercise. In order to make your recovery as effective as possible, it’s important that you follow all your doctor’s orders. Take your time with recovery, and make sure to maintain a healthy lifestyle after the procedure.
If you’d like to learn more about liposuction recovery, check out the rest of our site at Premier Liposuction. We offer the best Vaser liposuction, body contouring, fat transfers, and body sculpting so you can achieve the physical results you’ve been working towards. Schedule a free consultation to start living in a body you love today.