What To Expect After Liposuction
You may not remember your surgery, or at least as the days go by you may forget the details as well as lose track of time. This is because of the amnesiac properties of the anesthesia which is covered in the All About Anesthesia Section
A drain is sometimes inserted to allow the fluids an exit from the incision sites or from the bottom most portion of the treatment area. You will be swollen and possibly bruised and may be asked to wear a compression garment. If you are bruised, don't panic. We've all had bruises before -- it will subside. Hopefully you will have begun taking arnica montana. This truly works for most people.
You will feel tender, stiff and sore for a few says and will more than likely not want to move too much. Besides, sitting around all day increases your risks of blood clots which is very dangerous. Even though you may not feel like it, your surgeon will more than likely advise you to walk and move around as soon as you are able. If you do not and lie around for a days you can develop clots within your legs and retain fluid (swell) a lot more. If you have stitches they are removed within the first 7 - 10 days. Be sure to take your required medications and follow the precise instructions provided to you by your surgeon.
You may also experience sharp pains, burning sensations, heat, tingling, prickling, etc. This is from nerve damage and the sensations of the returning function of the nerves will result in the physical descriptions above. And do not be alarmed if you hear gurgling in the first few days followed by wound seepage.
Asymmetry may be a fact of life for you until you are fully healed. The body does not heal equally on each side of the body so one leg, arm, side of the abdomen, etc. may seem larger than the other. Be patient and wait it out before looking into revision surgery. Swelling can alter the appearance of your body and mask the true results, This goes both ways - a good result or a bad (lumps). Patience is the only remedy until you are able to make a true judgment. And this judgment cannot be made until you are healed. Prep rare yourself beforehand and know what to expect lest you hurl yourself into a depression.
You will be instructed not to exercise or engage in strenuous activities for at least 2 to 4 weeks. You may be swollen for up to 6 months, although this could be very slight and only noticed by you. Drinking plenty of water can significantly help with edema and help flush your system clean of medications.
Almost 85% of the population is dehydrated - drink more water! Please know that diets high in sodium will assist in prolonging swelling and general fluid retention. Drinking caffeine may seem like a good idea for a diuretic effect but if your body is balanced naturally and you are drinking enough water your body will expel the excess.
Overall Improvement will be appreciated after about four to six weeks. The majority of the swelling will have subsided by this time and the results will be apparent. It takes about 3 months for the rest of the swelling to subside, although it can remain up to 6 months.
Persistent arm and calf swelling are more common than persistent swelling of the legs. Please prepare yourself for this and try not to become depressed if you are healing slowly. If arm swelling persists for 10 months or more you may choose to be examined and ask about lymphedema. Lymphedema is a condition which affects the lymph and general edema removal system. Please discuss this with your surgeon.
Erwin J. Bulan, MD
Bulan Plastic Surgery
75 Main Street
Millburn, NJ 07041
Joshua A. Greenwald, MD, FACS
Cosmetic Surgery Associates of New York
166 5th Avenue
New York, NY 10010
Nikesh K. Patel, MD
New Reflections Plastic Surgery
1001 West Main Street
Freehold, NJ 07728