Liposuction is the second most popular plastic surgery procedure, with 250,000 performed in 2018 alone. So if you’re thinking about liposuction to contour and shape your body, you have plenty of company!
Liposuction is a proven and safe procedure to sculpt the abdomen, flanks, hips, and thighs, but there are things you can do to ensure you have the best results. Please continue reading to learn more.
According to Houston plastic surgeon Dr.Steinberg, “There are several types of liposuction, but the gold standard today is tumescent liposuction. During tumescent liposuction, I inject lidocaine and epinephrine into the fatty area to reduce swelling and bleeding. The fat hardens when this solution is injected into the tissue, which makes it easier to remove.”
Then, Dr. Steinberg inserts a narrow cannula and sucks out the fat and fluid.
Depending on your needs, the surgeon can remove up to four or five pounds of fat during the procedure.
Your recovery time will vary based on the amount of fat removed and your overall health. But this is what you can expect:
- Two days after surgery: You will likely have mild pain and soreness for the first two or three days after liposuction. Your plastic surgeon will give you prescription pain medication to keep you comfortable. Wear your compression garment except when bathing and get plenty of rest.
- One to two weeks after surgery: Most patients can return to work, but you still may have mild pain. You should continue to wear your compression garment to reduce swelling.
- Three to five weeks after surgery: You shouldn’t have pain anymore and should be able to see some of your results. Most patients can go back to their workout routine after three or four weeks.
- Six weeks after surgery: Most swelling and bruising should fade, and you can see most of your results.
You can get the most out of your liposuction session if you remember the following tips:
Listen To Your Surgeon
Below are general recovery guidelines, but remember to listen to your surgeon’s specific instructions after your procedure. Some of the information your surgeon will cover includes:
- When you can bathe or take a shower
- When you can drive
- How long you need to stay off work
- When you can go back to working out
You also need to have someone drive you home after your procedure because you’ll be coming out of anesthesia. Surgeons also recommend having someone stay with you for the first 24 hours after liposuction.
Don’t Push Too Hard
Some patients may get impatient after liposuction and rush their recovery, but this can cause problems.
Remember, liposuction is surgery and your body needs time to heal. Therefore, it’s generally recommended to take about two weeks off work and everyday activities.
It’s essential to rest and take it easy for the first two or three days. After that, if you push yourself too hard, it can prolong the healing process.
Eat A Healthy Diet
Eating healthy foods will ensure that you have a quick recovery from liposuction. Also, you will have less swelling if you eat plenty of fruits and vegetables; giving your body essential nutrients and antioxidants helps the body heal faster.
Also, you can speed up your recovery with these diet tips:
- Lower your intake of sodium. Salt intake can make you retain water and worsen post-surgical swelling.
- Boost your protein intake to help with incision healing and muscle and skin regrowth.
- Reduce sugar consumption, so you don’t suppress your immune system.
- Eat five or six small meals per day to reduce bloating and nausea after surgery.
- Eat foods with plenty of antioxidants, including strawberries, watermelon, and grapefruit.
Go For Walks
You shouldn’t engage in strenuous exercise for three or four weeks after liposuction. But after resting for a day post-surgery, you should go for a short walk every day to speed your healing process.
However, don’t overdo exercise in the first few weeks, or it can complicate your recovery and irritate the incisions.
Wear Your Compression Garment
After you have liposuction, your surgery will give you a compression garment to wear for four to six weeks.
It’s critical to wear the garment at all times during this period, except when you bathe. The garment will help the skin to adhere to your slimmer contours and ensure the best result.
Staying hydrated is vital to avoid dehydration as you recover from liposuction. You should drink about eight glasses of water usually but increase this to 10 to 12 after surgery.
You also can drink low-calorie beverages, tea, and watered-down fruit juice, but avoid anything high in sodium.
Don’t Soak In The Tub
Soaking in warm or hot water after liposuction can slow the healing process and even cause an incision infection. Therefore, you shouldn’t soak in a bathtub or hot tub until your body is completely healed from liposuction.
Your surgeon will have advised you not to smoke before or after surgery. Nicotine reduces circulation, which can make the healing process take longer. You also should not chew nicotine gum or vape with anything containing nicotine.
Some smokers who have liposuction take the opportunity to quit the habit. If you want help to stop smoking, talk to your doctor about smoking cessation programs.
Keep Incisions Clean
One of the most common problems after liposuction is infection. You can reduce this risk by changing your bandages as your surgeon recommends. And keep your incisions clean and dry.
Wear Comfortable Clothes
Wearing loose-fitting clothing will keep you comfortable during the early healing process and will make you heal faster.
Clothes that are too snug may irritate the skin and slow blood circulation and healing.
Liposuction can be life-changing for many patients because it eliminates stubborn fat pockets that resist diet and exercise. Knowing how to get the most from your procedure will help you make a better decision and enjoy the best possible result.