Plastic & Cosmetic Surgery Blog

Postoperative Guidelines For Liposuction

Posted on February 21, 2019 by

Call (214) 363-4444 if you have:

  • Severe pain which doesn’t respond to medication.

  • Significant swelling and/or unrelenting pain which occurs more on one side than the other.

  • Any other problems or questions, not answered on this instruction sheet.

Activity: You should “take it easy” the day of your operation and the following days

Increase activity slowly over the next few weeks. You are encouraged to walk around the day of surgery. Because of the medications, you may need assistance getting to and from the bathroom the first day.

Pain: The period of greatest discomfort usually lasts about 24 to 48 hours. Thereafter, you should have less discomfort and less need for medication. Occasionally, it lasts a little longer, as different people have different pain tolerances. DO NOT apply heating pads or ice to affected areas.

Bleeding: It is normal to have a small amount of blood oozing from the incision sites for the first several days. The saline which was injected into the fat to facilitate the suction also leaks out through the suture line and will stain your garment- DON’T WORRY THIS IS NORMAL.

Alcohol: Do not drink alcohol for five days after surgery or when taking pain medication.

Driving: You may drive when you feel up to it, starting 48 hours after surgery. Never drive under the influence of pain medication or sedatives.

Diet: Start with liquids the first few hours and then progress to your regular diet as you desire. It is important to drink fluids such as juice, water, or Gatorade in the first 48 hours.

Garment: Wear your binder/compression garment continuously for the first 48 hours after surgery. You may then remove the garment to shower once a day. A clean garment can then be alternated daily or as you desire. You are provided one garment with your surgery, but most patients buy another garment as a backup. The garments are worn from 3 to 6 weeks, depending on the elasticity of your skin and the amount of fat removed.

Band-Aids: After surgery, band-aids are placed over most incisions around the hips, thighs, knees etc. Leave them on as long as possible, but they should be changed when they fall off or become soiled. Use heavy-duty band-aids, such as “Coverlet” brand for 3-4 weeks. The constant rubbing or friction caused by the garment can cause poor healing of the small incisions if they aren’t protected.

Bathing: You may shower two days after your surgery. Do not use very hot water.

Avoid baths or hot tubs, as your band-aids will fall off.

Sun: Do not sit in the sun at all for three weeks after surgery. You may then gradually increase sunbathing. If the incisions are exposed, apply sunscreen for six months.

Sports: Strenuous sports such as golf, tennis, swimming, jogging, aerobics, or bicycling may be resumed three weeks after surgery. Your compression garment makes exercise difficult.

Work: Depending on the kind of work you do, you may return to your job as soon as you are comfortable. If liposuction is performed on your torso or legs, and your work is fairly sedentary, you can return to work after three to five days, although you must get up to stretch and move around throughout the day. If your work involves physical activity, you may want to wait one to two weeks before resuming your job.

Postoperative visits: You will be seen in our office 3-6 days following surgery. You will be examined at this time-to make sure that you are healing well and have the normal amount of swelling and bruising. Subsequent visits: They will be determined by your progress, but usually you’ll be seen in 2-3 weeks to determine the need to wear your garment and start Endermologie.

Endermologie: This is a therapeutic massage which combines suction and rollers to smooth your skin after surgery. Endermologie not only helps smooth out irregularities from surgery but also improves cellulite. These twice a week treatments usually begin 2 or 3 weeks following liposuction surgery and last for 4-8 weeks, depending on the quality of your skin and the improvement you see. Some patients will continue Endermologie for years as maintenance.

PLEASE FEEL FREE TO CALL US AT ANY TIME DURING YOUR HEALING PERIOD. THE OUTCOME OF YOUR SURGERY IS IN YOUR HANDS AS WELL AS THE DOCTOR’S. IT IS YOUR RESPONSIBILITY TO FOLLOW ALL INSTRUCTIONS GIVEN TO YOU.

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