Liposuction Recovery: What to Expect

liposuction recovery patient

Liposuction is frequently requested by men and women for body contouring, due to its efficiency in removing isolated areas of stubborn subcutaneous fat that do not respond to calorie-counting and exercise. While the procedure is routinely performed, many do not have a full understanding of what they should expect during and after the surgery. It is essential to know what the liposuction procedure and recovery process are like, so you can prepare appropriately. Dr Morris Ritz has laid out the basics of liposuction recovery to help you get ready for your body contouring procedure.

The First Two Days

Dr Ritz performs liposuction as day surgery, which means you will go home within hours of your procedure. Immediately after your surgery, you will be moved to a comfortable recovery room, where you will be carefully monitored by medical staff as you awaken from the anaesthesia. At this time, there should be no discomfort, as the anaesthetic used in the tumescent fluid during the treatment will likely still be working. If you are given general anaesthesia or sedation, you will need someone to drive you home and remain with you for the first couple of days as your recovery process begins. Dr Ritz will provide you with a compression garment that minimises swelling and promotes healthy blood flow and healing.

Tips for a Healthy Start to Your Recovery:

  • Plan your recovery before surgery by lining up help for the house (and children if any) so you can have ample time for rest and recuperation
  • Take all medications as prescribed by Dr Ritz to manage pain and prevent infection
  • Follow all post-operative instructions carefully, particularly those that explain how to care for your incisions
  • While some slow walking is useful in those first few days after liposuction, be careful not to overdo your activity level since too much of a good thing could lead to complications. Do not engage in anything strenuous for at least 6 weeks.

The First Two Weeks

Pain is most intense during those early days after liposuction surgery. Medication will be prescribed for the first two weeks to keep you comfortable. Due to their sedative effects, you will not be able to drive or operate machinery while you are taking them. The compression garment will also help you maintain a comfortable level that allows you to get plenty of rest, which will help you to heal well.

Recovery Tips for First Two Weeks:

  • Take your pain medication as necessary to keep pain at bay
  • Wear your compression garment as directed to minimise swelling and ensure your skin conforms smoothly to the new body contour
  • Follow your daily care of your incisions to reduce your risk for infection and poor scarring
  • Avoid excessive activity that could increase your blood pressure and your risk for post-operative bleeding
  • Watch for signs of infection such as new swelling, pain or drainage from the incision sites

The First Month

Patients usually resume their work schedules within a week or two after liposuction, depending on how quickly they recover and how much strenuous activity their job entails. You will also be able to start some light exercising, but vigorous activity will continue to be restricted for a few weeks to give your body plenty of time to heal fully. Pain will subside considerably, and as the swelling goes down, you should get the first glimpse of what your results are going to look like over the long term. Incisions should also be healed, although it is essential to avoid exposing them to direct sunlight for many months to prevent discoloration.

Tips for Maintaining a Positive Recovery:

  • If you feel pain or other symptoms during exercise, cut back on your activity level until your body is ready
  • Protect your incisions from direct sunlight and apply recommended topical solutions to minimise scarring
  • Practice patience – while you will begin to see the results of your procedure, it may be up to six months before swelling subsides completely and skin conforms to the new body contour

Looking Ahead

Once the results of your liposuction procedure are fully evident, they should be long-lasting. During the surgery, fat cells will be removed from the body. Since you are born with a set number of these cells, the ones that are eliminated will not return. However, if you put on weight after your procedure, remaining cells could enlarge and disrupt your positive results. You will need to adhere to a healthy diet and exercise program to maintain your new body contour.

Liposuction is one of the best ways to sculpt your body when you can’t get the results you want through dieting or exercise. Knowing what to expect from the recovery process is an essential component in a safe and successful procedure. If you would like to learn more about the benefits of liposuction or find out if it’s the right treatment for you, contact Dr Ritz’s office today on 03 9508 9508.