Liposuction recovery is essentially one of the most important aspects of my patient’s liposuction journey. More importantly, it is the cornerstone to enjoying the results our patients have been provided. It is also important to understand that liposuction recovery truly embodies the significance of your patient-doctor relationship. To achieve the best liposuction recovery, we must work together as a team. As the surgeon, my team and I will guide you and educate you on the tasks that you need to do, complete, and adhere to. Yet, it is just as important for you as the patient to keep up with these expectations and to ask questions when they arise.
When it comes to liposuction recovery, your surgeon will see you during your post-op appointment dates. These dates are tailored in a time frame to optimize your healing. You will be seen as early as the next day and every day or every other day after the first day for the first 1 to 2 weeks. After post-op 1 to 2 weeks, you will be seen at post months 1, 3, 6, and post-op year 1. When you are not seen at the office, we expect you to comply with all postoperative directions on your own, working and achieving the goals that we’ve set forth. That is why it is crucial to understand that we must work together as a team. It is more than just showing up to the appointments, it’s a trust and bond that you create with your surgeon, massage therapist, and the doctor’s assistant.
There are a lot of steps that need to be addressed when it comes to liposuction recovery. The best way to address them by breaking them down day-by-day so that we can manage the goals that we need to achieve.
Day 0 will be designated as the operation day. Liposuction recovery starts on day 0! Your surgical team will tailor a custom-made garment that is placed on your body while you are still on the operating table.
This garment acts as an insulation to help reduce your post-op swelling, distribute the residual fat left behind evenly, and help drain the excess fluid from your body. It is important to understand that this garment cannot come off until your body has settled into its new figure. Usually, this takes about two weeks. As the patient, you must be ready to keep the garments on as long as possible to achieve the best liposuction recovery results. You must be prepared to take these garments off, clean them, and dry them before wearing them. This is why you are given two garments so that you can wash and have the second ready to be worn following your postoperative appointment and message. We will also place drains in you to help drain out the excess fluid from your procedure. These drains are kept until there is no more fluid production, typically for a week or two. It is your responsibility to keep these drains in place and not to inadvertently pull them out. During your first two weeks, you will complete serial lymphatic massages totaling 8-14 massages, and you will be coming into our office daily or every other day. My team and I will help you manage and remove your drains, address any questions you may have, and help adjust your garment and replace your dressings.
For patients traveling from out of town, patients with more extensive surgeries, or those that ask for assistance, we offer a one-night stay at a local cottage with a full-time nurse to observe you throughout your entire first night. Afterward, it is up to you to have a responsible adult to help you navigate through the first week. By week 1 you should be able to start moving around and doing light activities. By week 2 you should be able to operate a motor vehicle when you have successfully come off of your pain medication. By 1 month you will be expected to resume all physical activity. It is important to stay well hydrated, eat a high protein diet, and stay away from smoking! Having a healthy lifestyle will only help you recover faster and achieve the best liposuction recovery. As you can see, a lot of these responsibilities are on you.
Throughout your recovery, it is important to take the appropriate medications we prescribe. For example, you will be on antibiotic therapy until your drains come out. Please be ready to inform us if you have any allergies to known medications and provide us any pertinent history that might interfere with your prescribed medications. Other medications that we prescribe are a water pill to help with your swelling, pain medication, and medication for nausea or vomiting. . Do not take aspirin or NSAIDs (Ibuprofen, Motrin, naproxen) after your surgery as they are known to promote bleeding.
Finally, it is important to understand how to manage your incision. Do not apply any medication therapy to your incision sites such as plastic band-aids or hydrogen peroxide. It is important for us to change the dressings ourselves and for you to keep the steri-strips until they fall off on their own. Do not apply icepacks or heating pads to your skin where liposuction was performed. Do not soak in a bath, pool, hot tub, ocean, etc. for about one month after your procedure
In summary, we will have a detailed list of things you must achieve in a timely fashion. If you are well prepared and follow everything that we have provided you, then your liposuction recovery will be easy to navigate ensuring you achieve the results you have dreamed of.