Liposuction is an effective solution to help a person feel confident and happy in their appearance again.
We should all feel comfortable and confident in our own skin. So if you’ve been considering liposuction for a while now, the next step is to do your research and understand the recovery process in full.
What is liposuction?
Liposuction is a cosmetic procedure that sees unwanted fat safely removed from parts of the body.
Most commonly, liposuction can be performed on the cheeks, chin, upper arms, neck, breasts, abdomen, buttocks, hips, thighs, knees, calves and ankles.
The procedure is completed by the surgeon creating a tiny incision into the area that the fat is being removed from.
A tube, or cannula, is inserted into the incision, and this suctions the fat layer underneath the skin.
The cannula is then pushed and pulled through this layer of fat which breaks up the fat cells, and these are then removed by suctioning the cells through a vacuum pump.
The procedure itself can last from anything between two to five hours, depending on the size of the area that is being operated on.
For those patients that choose to undergo liposuction, the procedure is relatively low risk and can help them to achieve their dream body shape.
But, of course, with every cosmetic procedure, there are side effects that may appear as a result of the surgery, alongside a set time for recovery.
What can I expect during liposuction recovery?
As with all cosmetic procedures, the recovery time needed for each patient can differ drastically.
When undergoing liposuction, it’s usual for the patient to feel groggy for up to 12 hours post-op, as the procedure is completed under local anaesthetic.
This is a vital period of recovery, and it’s important for the patient to rest whilst the anaesthetic wears off.
Immediately after the surgery, the patient will be placed in a compression garment, covering the treated areas.
In most cases, these compression garments will need to be worn for around two days after the surgery, but the doctor may decide otherwise depending on the patient.
Once the patient has been discharged, usually one week post-surgery, the stitches will need to be removed, unless the surgeon has used dissolvable stitches.
These will dissolve between one week and 19 days following the operation.
As liposuction is a low-risk surgical procedure, around a week to 10 days post-operation, most patients will feel ready enough to return to work.
This all depends on the type of work you do.
If, as part of your job, you are expected to do heavy lifting or strenuous activity, you will be required to take further time off work, as this should be avoided as part of the healing process.
What are the side effects of liposuction surgery?
Alongside the need for a full recovery process, liposuction operations can also come with side effects. These consist of:
Bruising and swelling
As your body has gone through a ‘trauma’, via the incision and cannula being inserted under the skin, you should expect some significant bruising and swelling to the area that has been operated on.
In some cases, this bruising can last for up to six months post-op, but it is typically on a much smaller scale than other more invasive procedures.
It is not uncommon for the area to become numb, but this should only last for the maximum of six to eight weeks post-operation.
The area may become inflamed due to the healing process, and veins may appear more prominent.
Fluids around the affected area
When the wound is healing, the patient may also notice fluids appearing around the area, which is normal for this type of surgery.
In the long term, the treated area may be prone to scarring, but this is expected to heal over time.
Top tips to dealing with the liposuction recovery process
With any cosmetic surgery procedure, there are ways in which you can promote a smoother recovery process, and you should always take the advice of your surgeon or doctor.
Avoid strenuous activity
For liposuction recovery, a doctor will recommend avoiding any form of strenuous activity for at least four to six weeks after surgery.
This will, of course, depend on the speed of your recovery, and will be highlighted to you by your doctor.
A patient is recommended to follow a gentle exercise regime of short walks, as this helps to improve the swelling to the affected area.
Eat a well balanced diet
The food you use to fuel your body after recovery will help to increase your chances of a swift recovery.
Foods that are rich in vitamins and nutrients will help to give your body strength, and avoiding salt is also key in helping to reduce swelling.
With swelling being the most common side effect, eating smaller meals, little and often, will help to avoid bloating and the feeling of nausea, as this can be particularly painful for a patient.
Keeping the affected area clean
As the wounds are prone to fluid leakage, it’s important that the patient keeps on top of changing bandages.
Initially, a doctor will suggest when it is best for a patient to remove their bandages for the first time, but after this, it’s important for the patient to keep the affected area clean to prevent the risk of infection.
Wear suitable clothing
For the first few weeks after the procedure, a doctor will recommend avoiding tight-fitting, clingy clothing, as this can cause unnecessary irritation to the skin.
This can become uncomfortable for the patient, and can easily be avoided by choosing to wear loose-fitting clothes as the wound heals.
Listening to the suggestions of your doctor
As simple as it sounds, your doctor will recommend personalised suggestions to you to help you on the right track to a smooth recovery.
Attending follow-up appointments and following the requests of your doctor is vital to ensure any wounds heal quickly, and you can get back to your normal routine as soon as possible.
If you are considering liposuction and would like more information on the process and recovery, our trained representatives can help advise you on any concerns.
If you’d like to discuss your options with a member of the MedicoTrips team, please call +44 (0) 121 288 4552.