After liposuction, the area will be wrapped to help reduce swelling, bruising, and pain. The wrap helps make the area a smooth shape and prevent blood from filling the area where fat was removed. Elastic bandages and tape, support hose, a special girdle, or another type of firm-fitting clothing may be used. You may have to keep this wrap on for 3 to 4 weeks. If fat was removed from your calves or ankles, you may need to wear support hose for about 6 weeks.
Fluid may drain from the cuts (incisions) for several days. The fluid will be bloody at first, but will turn clear in a few days.
The area will probably be bruised and swollen for at least 10 to 14 days.
You will be able to return to your normal activities as soon as you feel comfortable. This may take several days to a few weeks. Most people can return to light work within a few days. It may take longer to get back to normal if a lot of fat was removed.
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Instead of merely lying around and waiting for time to heal your surgical wounds, engage in some simple proactive tools to help the recovery process:
. Reduce salt. Salt encourages our body to retain water, so get rid of unwanted swelling by eating foods that are low in sodium.
. No Gatorade. It may seem counterintuitive, but the sports drink is filled with sodium encouraging water retention.
. Increase protein. Protein is essential with wound healing, muscle and skin re-growth and repair and prevention of hair loss. Make sure that every meal or snack includes a good source of protein.
. Decrease Sugar. The intake of sugar can suppress the immune system, upset the body’s mineral balance, and increase fasting levels of blood glucose.
. Eat small amounts many times throughout the day. – Especially to avoid nausea and bloating.
. Wine works as a diuretic, so consuming a glass of wine 2-3 weeks post-operatively may be helpful for post-surgical swelling. Do not mix alcohol with any prescription drugs and consult with your physician first.
. Consume a quality probiotic. Antibiotics and other prescription drugs will destroy good bacterial in our gut. We recommend Inner-Eco – a fresh coconut water probiotic.
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. Lymph Drainage. Reduces unwanted and unneeded post-surgical swelling.
. Fascial Reorganization. Reduces lumps, bumps, tightened connective tissue and muscle.
. Facilitated Stretching. Aids and guides patients back to proper mobility and function.
. Scar Manipulation. Combats scar thickening and normalizes soft tissue.
. Stress Reduction. Calms the nervous system and alleviates post-op depression and ‘buyer’s remorse’.
. Itching. Consider using a men’s basic tank top underneath your compression garment for itching issues. These t-shirts are nice and snug and conform to the body, unlike a regular t-shirt would. Don’t hesitate to cut to size.
. Drain Holders. Consider attaching shoe strings to your drains to help in the shower.
. No Tight Waistbands. Avoid wearing anything that’s binding in the midsection following a lipo procedure. That includes elastic waistbands and belts.
. Compression Garments. If you’ve been directed to wear one, be sure to purchase two, so that you can wash one while wearing the other. When garments become loose remember that they’re not working anymore. After your physician says you can stop wearing a compression garment, some patients still choose to wear it for support and comfort.
The following day you will have your compression garment checked. We want to ensure it isn’t too tight now that you have had a day for your body to adjust. We also check that it is placed correctly. The garment will ensure the swelling is distributed evenly over the area so there will be no asymmetry or pockets of fluid which have built up. The garment giving you smooth, even compression is a very important part to achieving a great result with no complications.
Avoid high impact activities for 4 weeks. Walking is highly recommended, but other strenuous sports are to be avoided. Liposuction causes the body to produce fluid as part of the healing process. Walking as much as possible will help the body rid itself of this excess fluid and will reduce swelling.
You can return to a desk job within a few days following your surgery. If your work is strenuous, we can advise you on when to return to work. If you have small children, it is advised to have help for a few days following your procedure.
It can take up to 6 weeks for all bruising to resolve because some of the bruises will not surface for a few weeks. The bruising will follow the path of least resistance and will migrate down. You may find bruising and swelling in an area that wasn’t treated. For example, your ankles may swell even though your liposuction was on your thighs. This will all resolve.
Most patients will only need their pain medication for a few days and can then switch to an anti-inflammatory medication. This will assist with swelling and bruising. Patients are advised not to drive while taking prescribed pain medication.
You may experience strange sensations in the area treated due to the nerves being disrupted. This can show up as itching, numbness or very brief pinpoints of pain. The nerves will settle back down over the next few weeks.