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What to Expect After Liposuction

Liposuction is a type of surgery that is done to get rid of fat from specific areas of the body. The most common spots where liposuction is used to remove fat include the abdomen, buttocks, hips, arms, calves/knees and the inner and outer thighs.

Liposuction is also called lipoplasty.

How quickly you are able to recover after the procedure depends on how many areas of the body liposuction was performed on. It is highly recommended that the patient get up and walk around as soon as possible after the surgery in order to decrease the chance of swelling. Some patients may experience a small amount of fluid leaking out of the incisions after the procedure has been completed. If this happens a small drainage tube will be inserted under the skin for a couple of days to collect the seepage.

The amount of pain a patient suffers will range from mild to moderate to severe and it will depend on how extensive the liposuction procedure was. Patients are generally given anywhere from 3 to 14 days worth of medication for pain. Swelling is common after the surgery and the amount will vary from patient to patient. Expect swelling to last anywhere from two weeks to two months and in some cases even longer. Bruising is likely after liposuction and expect it to take two days to two weeks to go away. Numbness is also common after this surgical procedure and could take a number of weeks to go away. The bandages from surgery will need to be changed in one to two days time while the drains and sutures will be removed anywhere from the fifth to the tenth day following the procedure.

Swelling can be decreased by wearing an elastic compression garment over the areas that have been operated on for a period of a few weeks and it is essential to take your antibiotics as prescribed to reduce your chance of developing an infection. It is important to rest for anywhere from one to three days following the surgery as you may experience a certain level of pain, numbness and/or burning but you should be able to return to week from 7 to 10 days after the procedure. Within the first or second week the stitches from the surgery will dissolve and/or be taken out and after this happens the swelling should begin to dissipate.

It is recommended that all strenuous exercise and activity be avoided for at least a month, and in some cases, even more. In order to relieve swelling and itchy skin consider visiting a massage therapist in order to receive a lymphatic drainage massage.

Recovering from liposuction can be painful and it is slower for some individuals than it is for others. Try to keep your spirits up by realizing that what you are experiencing is a common and very normal response to surgery. Healing in many cases is slow and gradual and it is important to always bear in mind the reasons you decided to undergo the surgery in the first place.

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