A Basic Guideline
Liposuction recovery depends on various factors such as liposuction method, anesthesia selection, the amount of fat removed, post-operative care and individual healing. Liposuction recovery can be easier or more difficult than expected, and while the process will vary for each patient the following is a basic guideline to help you prepare.
If surgery is performed under local anesthesia, patients can be discharged from the hospital or surgical facility within thirty minutes to an hour upon completion of surgery.
If general anesthesia was employed, patients are transferred to a recovery room for post-anesthesia observation for one to three hours before they can be released. Make sure you have a responsible family member, friend or adult to drive you home from the hospital as well as assist you at home for the first evening following your surgery.
Swelling and bruising will vary considerably between each patient based upon surgical technique. Patients with open drainage incisions require compression garments and HK surgical super absorbent pads for three to six days to control swelling and bruising.
The open drainage technique allows for accelerated drainage, resulting in less overall swelling and bruising than the closed incision technique. Patients with closed sutures must wear surgical compression garments for about two to three weeks in order to reduce swelling. Sutures will be removed in your doctor’s office approximately one week post-operation.
Your doctor will give you detailed at-home care instructions to follow until your next scheduled visit. It is also important to keep your incisions clean and dry. Your incisions should be gently washed once or twice per day during the recovery period. Liposuction surgeons recommend light walking shortly after surgery or by the evening of surgery.
Inactivity can increase the risk of developing a blood clot in the legs or lungs. Remember to gently pat dry with a clean towel before reapplying absorbent pads. Most patients can return to work and resume light physical activity one to two days post operation. Moderate exercise should be avoided until three to four days post surgery. If liposuction is performed in four or more areas of the body, then quiet rest at home for one week is advised.
Patients recovering from open drainage incisions can see results within four to six weeks. Patients recovering from closed-sutured incisions can see results within three to four months as residual swelling beneath the skin naturally takes longer to subside. Maintaining a healthy diet and exercise regimen will help preserve the liposuction benefits and new body contour.
The Basic Don’ts
- Do not operate hazardous machinery for at least 18 hours following liposuction surgery.
- Do not take ibuprofen, aspirin or other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) for at least three days after surgery, as NSAIDS can promote bleeding complications. Tylenol can be taken and/or your surgeon will provide you with a safe pain control regimen
- Do not apply topical antibiotics to your incision sites, unless otherwise directed by your surgeon.
- Do not apply cold or hot compresses to the treated liposuction areas.
- Do not go swimming in a pool/ocean or soak in a bath for at least seven days after surgery or you may risk infection.
- Do not drink alcoholic beverages within 48 hours after liposuction surgery.
- Do not book flight arrangements immediately following your operation, unless your doctor confirms that it is safe. Generally, most patients can fly within 24 to 48 hours after liposuction surgery. However, prolonged car and/or airplane travel should be avoided to prevent the risk of blood clots in the legs.
Board Certified Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon Dr. Douglas S. Steinbrech, M.D., F.A.C.S. brings world-renowned liposuction to Manhattan, New York. Dr. Steinbrech offers patients highly skilled experience and expertise in liposuction, providing personalized care throughout every preoperative liposuction consultation.
To determine eligibility and/or discuss cosmetic liposuction goals and the most appropriate technique, please contact Dr. Steinbrech of Gotham Plastic Surgery in New York at (212) 750-0070.