What to Expect during Liposuction Recovery

Of all the different types of cosmetic surgical procedures, liposuction is perhaps the easiest to recover from. However easy the recovery process may be when compared to other cosmetic surgical procedures, you will neither be able to recover from a liposuction procedure overnight nor will you be able to realize the full effects of your liposuction right away.

Almost all liposuction procedures these days will not require the use of general anesthesia as was needed in the past, just local anesthesia and a mild sedative. The fact that local anesthesia can be used to successfully perform a liposuction procedure means that liposuction procedures can easily be performed on an outpatient basis, meaning that patients will be able to return to their own homes the same day as their liposuction procedure, after a short stay in the recovery room for post-op observation.

You will need to secure a reliable method of transportation home as you will be unable to drive after your liposuction procedure due to the effects of the anesthesia. Before releasing you so that you can go home, your cosmetic surgeon will provide you with prescriptions for antibiotics to prevent post-op infections from occurring and pain medication to help manage any discomfort or pain experienced after your liposuction procedure.

After returning home, there are several things you can do as a patient to ensure that your liposuction recovery goes as by as smoothly and quickly as possible:

  • Wear your compression garment as directed by your cosmetic surgeon
    • Making sure that your compression garment fits tightly but comfortably will help keep any post-op swelling to a minimum as well as speeding along the recovery process
  • Walk around as much as you comfortably can after your procedure
    • While you should of course take it easy, you should try to walk around as much as possible when you return home in order to prevent the formation of any post-op blood clots
  • Stay hydrated
    • It is recommended that you take care to drink at least 8 glasses of water a day in order to stay sufficiently hydrated during your liposuction recovery
    • Avoid caffeinated beverages- such as coffee, overly-sugary drinks- such as soda, as well as alcoholic beverages of any kind
  • Do not apply ice packs or heating pads
    • Ice packs can constrict the flow of blood, increasing the risk of post-op blood clots, and heating pads can agitate surgical sites and affect the results of the liposuction procedure

Most patients will be able to return to their jobs and their normal routines in about a week after their liposuction procedures. It is recommended that patients refrain from strenuous exercises and activities for at least a month after a liposuction procedure. Full results are typically realized about six months after the completion of a liposuction procedure.

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