Undergoing any surgical procedure is a daunting task, and Liposuction is also not out of the loop. The results of this cosmetic procedure not only depend on how precisely the surgery is accomplished but also how well you take care of yourself during the post-treatment phase. If you do not follow the dos and don’ts for a faster and safer recovery, the treatment will prove to be nothing but a sheer waste of money and effort. So, here is a comprehensive guide to Liposuction recovery that will come in handy if you are planning to give it a try.
Prepare Yourself For The Liposuction Recovery
Before digging into the dos and don’ts of liposuction recovery, it is essential to acquire proper knowledge about the procedure itself and the most effective aftercare methods available. So, here are the ways to prepare yourself: (1) (2) (3)
1. Know About Your Liposuction Technique
There are different liposuction techniques, such as ultrasonic, laser, sound wave, tumescent, etc. Each of these follows different ways to break down the fat tissues, which result in various aftereffects. So, the first thing you need to do is know the details of the type of Liposuction you have been through or will be undergoing soon. This will help you understand different aftereffects and follow the aftercare instructions accordingly.
‘Tumescent’ is the most common Liposuction technique in which a dilute solution combining lidocaine (for local anesthesia) and epinephrine (for shrinking capillaries) is used in a large volume. Unlike older techniques, this method eliminates the issue of surgical bleeding which makes it ‘the worldwide standard of care for liposuction’.
2. Understand The Possible Aftereffects
The real results of Liposuction are generally not noticeable until the post-operative effects come down ultimately. However, some common aftereffects that you may experience during the healing phase include swelling, bruising, tenderness, numbness, etc. These are caused by the blood-tinged anesthetic solution trapped under the skin and the temporary injury to subcutaneous lymphatic capillaries. While the first one can be prevented, the second one is unavoidable. For example, if the incisions are closed with stitches, swelling may take 8-10 weeks to decrease, while almost 90% of the swelling subsides in just 4 weeks if the incisions are left open. On the other hand, bruising or numbness may take 6-8 weeks to go away.
3. Learn Contemporary Aftercare Methods
The contemporary methods for taking care of Liposuction patients typically involve ‘Open Drainage’ and ‘Bimodal Compression’, which ensure a speedy recovery, better comfort, and a lesser number of follow-ups. The open drainage technique uses ‘micro-adits’ (tiny circular holes made by the skin-biopsy punch) for facilitating the gravity-assisted drainage of the residual blood-tinged tumescent solution. Conversely, bimodal compression is about the sequential use of a high degree of compression (up to 24 hours after the drainage ceases) and a comparatively mild degree of compression (starts 24 hours after the drainage ceases). An ideal Liposuction compression garment for contemporary aftercare is typically a comfortable, easy to apply, and functional combination of an absorptive sponge and a compression pad.
Dos And Don’ts Of Liposuction Recovery
Dos Of Post-Surgery Recovery
1. Observation Time:
Stay in the surgical facility until your body does not show significant post-operative issues (low blood pressure, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, etc.) anymore and your surgeon approves your discharge. The observation time can be as less as 30 minutes (for entirely local anesthesia) or anywhere between 1 hour and 3 hours (for general anesthesia) after the completion of the surgery.
Make sure that you do not miss any of your post-operative check-ups, which typically vary from surgeon to surgeon.
3. Stitch Care:
Take special care of your stitches until they are removed. Then, follow all instructions given by your surgeon religiously to avoid infections.
4. Wound Care:
Take proper care of your incisions by cleaning them with soap and water. Always wash your hands before handling your wounds and carefully apply new absorbent pads.
5. Compression Garment:
You may develop ‘seroma’ after undergoing Liposuction, accumulated lymph fluid, or serum (the yellowish liquid portion of blood obtained after eliminating the white and red blood cells) within a cavity inside the body. Consult your surgeon about using compression garments to reduce it both in size and number.
A ‘Seroma’ occurs when the lymphatic vessels within the targeted fat tissues are injured or destroyed due to the use of large diamete liposuction cannules or aggressive liposuction in a localized area of fat. This is not a serious complication and gradually subsides in a few weeks to a few months.
Finish the course of antibiotics as prescribed by your surgeon to avoid all kinds of infection. You may also need to take mild painkillers based on your pain tolerance level.
Follow a healthy diet that includes lots of protein. Keep yourself hydrated by consuming plenty of water, fruit juices, or soft drinks. Reduce your intake of salt and sugar as much as possible.
8. Physical Activity:
Take quiet rest for the first few hours right after the surgery and take a short walk, if desired, later in the day. Then, resume mild to moderate physical activities or desk jobs within 2 days. Also, begin with a light workout after 4-5 days of the surgery.
Don’ts Of Post-Surgery Recovery
- Avoid taking Aspirin, ibuprofen, or any similar kind of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) for about 3 days after surgery as it can induce bleeding by impairing platelet function.
- Do not apply hot or cold compression to the skin overlying the area treated by the surgery.
- Do not drink alcoholic beverages for at least 48 hours before and after the surgery.
- Avoid applying any topical ointment on the incision site unless the surgeon advises.
- Stay away from using hydrogen peroxide or commercial plastic Band-Aids on incision sites at any cost.
- Neither opt for heavy workouts nor stay inactive as both can increase risk factors.
- Steer clear of swimming, soaking in a bath, etc., for at least a week after surgery.
- Do not travel or take long flights immediately after the Liposuction, as a long journey can increase the risk of blood clots in your legs.
- Do not drive yourself home immediately after surgery as you will not be in your best condition.
The results of Liposuction can last forever if the recovery guidelines are followed strictly, and a healthy weight is maintained. In short, it is worth all the effort.