Liposuction is a cosmetic surgery procedure that removes fat from a specific area of the body. It is typically performed by a surgeon, who makes an incision in the skin and then injects a strong saline solution into fat cells to break them down. The liquid dissolves the fat, which can then be suctioned out of your body through a tube.
Liposuction is a cosmetic procedure that helps individuals who are not happy with the shape or size of their body parts. The most common areas that people want to improve through liposuction are the stomach, inner thighs, hips and buttocks.
The procedure itself is relatively short and recovery is usually short as well, but you may experience some soreness and swelling for several days after your surgery.
If you’re considering liposuction, it’s important to know what to expect during recovery. The process requires planning and preparation so that you can be as comfortable as possible during recovery.
Here are some tips to help you stay healthy during your recovery period:
1. Take it easy during your first few days of recovery.
Your body needs time to heal after surgery, so don’t rush back into your normal routine too soon. Take it easy for a few days and get plenty of rest. If you’re up for it, light exercise such as walking is OK — but avoid strenuous activities like running or heavy lifting for at least two weeks after the procedure.
2. Wear compression garments.
After having liposuction, your surgeon will likely recommend that you wear compression garments 24 hours a day for several weeks after surgery. Compression garments help reduce swelling by preventing blood from pooling in certain areas of your body. They also prevent blood clots from forming in your legs (deep vein thrombosis). Compression garments come in many different styles including pantyhose-like briefs or leggings with straps around the ankles and calves; both types offer good levels of compression.
3. Take your medications as directed.
Your doctor may prescribe pain relievers such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen to help manage any discomfort you experience during liposuction recovery. Be sure to take these medications as directed by your doctor — don’t exceed the recommended dosage or stop taking them without first consulting your physician.
4. Drink plenty of water.
Your surgeon will probably recommend that you drink plenty of water following your surgery. This will help flush out any remaining blood or fluid from inside your body that may be causing swelling and discomfort. Water also helps prevent constipation by keeping waste moving through your intestines so they do not become backed up with waste material and cause cramping pains that could last for days or weeks after surgery. If you begin feeling constipated, try adding more fiber to your diet by eating fruits and vegetables or drinking prune juice during your recovery period.
5. Sleep well.
Sleep is essential for healing and recovery, so make sure that you get plenty of sleep during this time. Six hours is recommended per night, but anywhere between four and eight hours is acceptable. Avoid staying up late at night or sleeping in too late, as both can delay healing and make you feel sluggish during the day.
6. Eat a healthy diet, rich in protein and vitamins.
Eating healthy foods can help boost your immune system and keep you in good shape during recovery from liposuction. Your surgeon may recommend that you eat certain foods prior to surgery, such as those high in protein or calcium, for example. When it comes to post-operative meals, avoid greasy foods such as fried chicken or hamburgers because they may cause nausea or vomiting after surgery. Also, try not to eat too much fiber or fiber-rich foods such as vegetables until your bowels return back to normal after surgery because this can cause intestinal blockage which increases the risk of infection during recovery from liposuction (don’t worry — there are plenty of other food options available!).
7. Avoid strenuous activity during recovery.
You should avoid strenuous physical activity during the first week following your procedure. This includes driving and operating heavy machinery, as well as climbing stairs or ladders. You can resume normal activities after two weeks, but it may take up to three months before you notice your final results.
8. Start moving slowly
Your doctor will give you specific instructions about how much activity is OK after liposuction. But if you feel up to it, start moving as soon as possible to keep your blood flowing and prevent blood clots from forming in your legs and feet. You may try walking around your house or doing light stretches for a few minutes every hour on days two through seven after surgery. On day eight, try standing up for five minutes at a time with help from someone else if needed. By day 10, try going for walks around the block without help or using crutches if necessary.
9. Quit smoking
If you smoke cigarettes, then it is essential for your health that you quit. Smoking has been shown to slow down the healing process of wounds and can cause additional complications during recovery. If you smoke, then it is important that you stop immediately before having liposuction done.
10. Wear the right clothes.
After your surgery, you’ll want to wear loose-fitting clothes while you recover. Tight clothing can irritate your skin and cause unnecessary discomfort.
11. Get Light Exercise
You should start light exercise as soon as possible after your surgery. This will help your body recover faster and reduce swelling and pain. Your surgeon may recommend specific exercises or activities that are safe for you to do while still healing from the procedure. If he or she did not give specific instructions on what type of exercise to pursue, try yoga or swimming at a low intensity level. You can also try walking as long as it does not cause any discomfort in your stomach area or chest.
12. Limit Bending, Twisting and Moving Side-to-Side
During your first week of recovery, it’s important that you limit bending, twisting and moving side-to-side as much as possible. This will help reduce the risk of infection and prevent blood clots from forming in your legs or arms. If you have had liposuction on both sides of your body (for example, inner thighs), it may be difficult to avoid moving side-to-side at first. However, after about two weeks of recovery, most patients find that their mobility has improved significantly and they can move freely without worrying about injuring themselves again.
13. Follow your doctor’s instructions carefully.
Your doctor will give you specific guidelines on how long to wait before you can exercise, how long to rest after each meal, and what kind of physical activity is acceptable. Make sure to follow these instructions because they will help prevent complications and ensure a speedy recovery.
14. Take time off from work.
You may need several days off from work after liposuction surgery. If you have a desk job where you sit for long periods of time every day, it’s especially important for you to take time off from work after liposuction to aid in healing and reduce swelling. Your doctor can help you decide how much time off is appropriate for your procedure and recovery needs.
15. Keep your incisions clean.
Keep your incisions clean by washing them with soap and water regularly for at least two weeks after surgery. This will help prevent infections from forming around your incisions. Use warm water to cleanse the area gently with your fingers instead of harsh rubbing motions that could cause irritation or bleeding. Also, avoid using any type of lotions or ointments on your incisions because they may cause irritation or lead to infection.
16. Avoid alcohol during recovery as it causes damage to your health.
Alcohol can interfere with the healing process and slow down your progress. It also affects your judgement and makes it more likely that you will make mistakes while recovering from surgery.
17. Keep Your Blood Circulation Flowing
One of the most important things you can do to stay healthy during your recovery period is to keep your blood circulation flowing well. This helps prevent blood clots from forming in your legs or arms which can lead to serious health problems like heart attack or stroke if left untreated. The best way to keep your circulation flowing well is by doing regular exercise such as walking or jogging every day after your surgery. You should also avoid sitting still for long periods of time as this could reduce the amount of oxygen in your body which could lead to fatigue and dizziness.
18. Be gentle with yourself
One thing that people often do after having liposuction surgery is overdo it. They want to get back into their regular routines as soon as possible and put themselves under too much stress or strain. This can result in more bruising, swelling and other complications than necessary.
19. Stay positive
Liposuction is an elective procedure that you chose to undergo because you wanted to improve your appearance and make yourself feel better about your body. Don’t let the pain or swelling get you down or interfere with your mental state. You’ll likely see results fairly quickly, which will help you keep perspective on the whole process.
20. Be prepared for pain
Liposuction itself isn’t painful, but there are other aspects of recovery that can be painful — especially if your surgeon uses tumescent local anesthesia (a combination of local anesthetic and a solution that causes swelling). If you experience any severe pain during surgery or after surgery when the anesthesia wears off, contact your doctor immediately; she may prescribe medication to relieve it.
21. Avoid caffeine
Coffee, tea and soda have all been shown to increase heart rate and blood pressure, which can cause complications during surgery. Caffeine also increases anxiety levels, which can also lead to problems with anesthesia during surgery. If you must drink coffee before surgery, limit yourself to one cup per day or less. Try decaffeinated versions or herbal teas instead for a healthier option.
22. Arrange for help at home after surgery.
Arrange for help at home after surgery if needed — don’t rush back to work too soon! You’ll need someone else to drive you around during recovery and help with daily tasks like cooking, cleaning, washing dishes and laundry until you’re fully recovered from anesthesia effects (about three days).
23. Use ice packs.
Applying cold packs — made from gel or reusable cloth — can help reduce swelling and limit the amount of bruising that occurs after surgery. Apply them for 20 minutes every hour for the first two days after surgery, then three times per day for several more days afterward.