What needs to be known about recovery time after liposuction?
Even though it is considered to be a minimally invasive surgery procedure, liposuction also requires certain time for recovery. How much time will be needed for an individual recovery depends on several factors, but one of the most influential ones is definitely the size of the area that was treated during the procedure. In the greatest majority of cases the patient will be able to go back to normal life and everyday activities after only a few days, while a few months will have to pass before the patient is fully recovered. After the first few weeks are over, the person will feel minimal discomfort, but there will be no need for pain relievers anymore.
Many patients also feel good enough to quit wearing the compression garment, which is also needed for at least a week after the procedure. Wearing the compression garment speeds up the recovery time and prevents one of the complications that might occur after liposuction - seromas, and this is why it should be taken seriously.
What should be expected after the procedure?
The person needs to be well informed about the procedure, as well as about the things that follow. Since this procedure is usually done on an outpatient basis and it is done under local anesthesia, the patient will be allowed to leave the hospital approximately an hour after the procedure is over. In cases in which general anesthesia is used, the patient can leave hospital a few hours later. However, it is recommended to make sure that somebody is there to drive the patient home, because it is not advised to drive right after.
However, since there is a risk of developing blood clots in legs or lungs, the surgeons recommend that the patient walks the very same evening. Bruising and swelling will be present for a few days or even a week, but the amount of bruising can be minimized if the incision sites are not closed with stitches. As for swelling, it will be practically gone after four weeks in cases of open-drainage, while in cases in which incisions are closed with stitches, swelling will be present much longer, sometimes even for 12 weeks.
What a person can do in order to speed up the recovery consists of the following:
- It is necessary to prevent dehydration, which means that sufficient amounts of fluid need to be taken in on a daily basis.
- Ice packs or heating pads should not be applied to the treated areas
- Soaking in a bath, swimming pool, ocean or even Jacuzzi should be avoided for at least a week after the surgery in order to minimize the chances of developing some infection.
- Wearing compression garments is obligatory, and incision sites should never be covered with plastic band-aids.