Recovery Process for Liposuction

Liposuction is a popular cosmetic procedure that is used to remove unwanted fat from specific areas of your body where diet and exercise have been unable to. It is most often requested to target those areas of the body where fatty deposits are more likely to collect – such as the abdomen, hips, thighs, and buttocks. The goal of liposuction is to permanently alter the patient’s body shape, giving them a silhouette that they can feel confident in. This is done by breaking up the fat cells and sucking them directly out of your body using a long thin tube attached to a vacuum.

Provided that you maintain a healthy weight after your liposuction procedure, there is no reason why the results cannot be maintained long term. However, it is important that patients realize that it is not a weight-loss tool and is instead most effective in patients who are already a healthy weight and on areas where the skin is tight and can mold to the patient’s new shape.

Liposuction is classed as minimally invasive since the procedure is performed through a series of very small incisions rather than a single larger entry point. However, the process itself is still fairly involved and as such, patients do need to be certain to allow themselves enough time to recover in order to minimize their risk of complications and obtain the best possible result from their treatment. Here is what you need to know about the recovery process for liposuction.

Coming Around From the Anesthetic

Liposuction can be performed using a general anesthetic or using a combination of a spinal block and sedation. Whichever anesthetic you are given, you may feel disorientated, confused and potentially nauseous when you first come around after your procedure. It is important to keep in mind that the effects of general anesthetic can take up to 24 hours to wear off. Once you have fully regained consciousness, you will probably be offered a drink and perhaps something to eat.

Managing Your Pain

It is normal to be in some discomfort following a liposuction procedure. Many people liken the feeling to being severely bruised in the area where they have had treatment. This discomfort can usually be treated with over the counter pain relief, but if this isn’t enough, you may be given prescription painkillers. Be sure that you take any pain medication as directed so that you are as comfortable as possible during your recovery since being in unnecessary pain doesn’t achieve anything. You should also be certain to take any antibiotics that you are prescribed and finish the course as directed. This will reduce your risk of post-surgical infection.

Bandages and Dressings

After the procedure, you will be fitted with compression bandages over the affected area. These are designed to help reduce any swelling or bruising and should be worn exactly as directed. You can expect to have to wear your compression garments for at least two to three weeks following your procedure. You will also be shown how to care for the sites through which the liposuction was performed.

Returning Home After Liposuction

Most patients will need to stay overnight after their liposuction procedure but will be allowed home the next day. You will be unable to drive until given the express permission of your surgeon, so you should arrange for someone else to drive you home. You should expect to have to avoid any strenuous exercise or contact sports for at least 6 weeks whilst you recover. However, when you can return to work will depend on the type of work you do and should be discussed with your surgeon. Whilst you are in recovery, eat healthily, drink plenty of water, get enough rest, and don’t smoke. Following these instructions will help to speed up the recovery process and minimize the likelihood that you will experience complications with healing.

If you are considering liposuction and would like to learn more about what to expect from the recovery process, our knowledgeable team of cosmetic surgery professionals is on hand to discuss this with you. Please don’t hesitate to contact our offices to speak to us or to schedule a consultation.