Liposuction is a popular cosmetic procedure that can help individuals achieve their desired body contours by removing excess fat.
Generally, this procedure is considered safe but, like any other surgical procedure, liposuction requires a certain level of post-operative care and attention to ensure a smooth recovery process and long-lasting results.
So, if you have recently undergone liposuction or are considering it in the future, it is crucial to be well-informed about the recovery process.
In this post, we will explore essential information for safeguarding your shape during the recovery period after liposuction.
What to Do BEFORE Your Liposuction Procedure
To ensure a safe recovery, you need to prepare. As such, here are important steps to take:
- Schedule a consultation with a qualified plastic surgeon to discuss your goals and expectations.
- Follow your surgeon’s preoperative instructions.
- Arrange for a responsible adult to accompany you and provide assistance during the initial recovery period.
- Make lifestyle adjustments including maintaining a healthy diet, engaging in regular exercise, quitting smoking (if you are a smoker), and limiting alcohol consumption.
- Prepare your home for a comfortable recovery by stocking up on necessary supplies. Important items needed for your post-liposuction care kit will be listed below.
- Maintain open communication with your surgeon and their team.
Right After the Procedure
After your procedure, you will be placed in a compression garment that was custom fitted for you. Then you will be placed in the recovery room. The primary purpose of the recovery room is to closely monitor your initial recovery from anaesthesia and ensure your overall well-being before you are discharged.
Here’s what typically happens in the recovery room after a liposuction procedure:
- Monitor your vital signs: In the recovery room, healthcare professionals will closely monitor your vital signs, including your heart rate, blood pressure, and oxygen levels. This monitoring helps ensure your body is stabilising after the surgery and that there are no immediate complications.
- Pain management: If you are experiencing any pain or discomfort, the recovery room staff will provide appropriate pain management medication to help alleviate your discomfort.
- Wound care: The recovery room staff will assess the incision sites and apply sterile dressings or bandages as necessary. They will also check for any bleeding or signs of infection.
- Observation and recovery: This monitoring period allows healthcare professionals to assess your recovery progress and ensure you are stable before being discharged.
- Fluids and hydration: If needed, intravenous fluids may be administered to maintain hydration levels.
- Gradual awakening: As the effects of anaesthesia wear off, you will gradually awaken in the recovery room. Some individuals may experience grogginess, disorientation, or nausea during this period. The recovery room staff will provide assistance and support to ensure your comfort.
- Communication and instructions: Once you are awake and stable, the recovery room staff will provide you with important instructions for your post-operative care.
The First 72 Hours
- It is important to prioritise rest and allow your body to recuperate. With this, plan to have someone accompany you for the first 24 to 48 hours to assist you with daily activities.
- Avoid any strenuous activities or heavy lifting during this time. Resting will help minimise swelling and promote proper healing.
- Swelling and bruising are common during this time. Also, you can expect to see some discharge of fluid from the incisions. This is normal so do not panic if this happens to you.
- You will experience mild to moderate pain during the first few days. This should easily be controlled with oral medications. The pain should decrease within 48 hours.
- As for your wounds, the surgeon may have placed dressings or compression garments on the incision sites to aid in healing and reduce swelling. It’s crucial to follow their instructions regarding these dressings and garments.
- Move every two hours to prevent the formation of blood clots. This will also help to keep fluids moving in the body and reduce swelling.
- While some surgeons may allow patients to shower after 24 hours, this is not the case for everyone. Check with your surgeon as they may want to keep your initial compression garments on for 2–3 days.
The First Month
You need at least two weeks of rest to ensure your recovery. During the third and fourth weeks after the procedure, the compression garment should be worn for 12 hours a day.
Caring for Your Incisions
- When you first shower, you can run soap and water over your wounds but make sure to NOT scrub them.
- Avoid still waters such as baths, swimming pools, and hot tubs two weeks after surgery.
- Ask your doctor when you can remove the outer dressings of your incisions.
- If you have tapes over your incisions, leave them be. They will either fall off on their own or will be taken out by your surgeon.
- Apart from the initial compression garments you wore after the surgery, make sure you wear loose clothing to prevent irritation of your incisions.
When to Call Your Surgeon?
Call your healthcare provider when you experience the following:
- Spreading redness
- Increased swelling
- Excessive drainage or pus
- Increased pain
- Temperature of over 100 degrees Fahrenheit or 37.8 degrees Celsius
5 Tips to Speed Up Your Healing
- Reduce your salt consumption. Salt increases water retention and promotes swelling.
- Eat more protein. Protein aids in healing and maintains lean muscle mass.
- Make sure you move. Moving promotes the delivery of oxygen and essential nutrients to the healing tissues. Likewise, it can help prevent blot clots and swelling.
- Drink water. Proper hydration supports the body’s natural healing mechanisms as it helps transport nutrients to the healing tissues and facilitates the removal of waste products.
- Avoid tight waistbands. Tight waistbands and belts slow the drainage of fluids.
Post-Liposuction Care Kit
As mentioned above, it is important to prepare a post-liposuction care kit. This kit ensures that you have all the necessary supplies and information to support your recovery journey.
While the care kits would vary depending on various factors such as the number of areas being treated, the volume of fat to be removed, and the complexity of the procedure, the following items are usual regulars to post-liposuction care kits:
- Comfortable, loose clothing
- Towels (You can use this to sit on to absorb any leaking fluids)
- Bottled water
- Pain medication
- Recovery guide
Proper post-liposuction care is essential for a smooth recovery and achieving your desired results.
By following the guidelines provided by your surgeon, taking care of your incisions, prioritising rest, staying hydrated, moving regularly, and having a well-prepared post-liposuction care kit, you can support your body’s healing process and safeguard your shape.
Remember, patience and consistency are key during the recovery period.
Embrace the journey and trust that with proper care, you’re one step closer to the body contour you’ve always desired. Your new shape awaits!