Plastic Surgery Blog
San francisco - East bay
Liposuction remains one of the most popular types of cosmetic surgery procedures and a very successful method for improving the appearance of those areas of your body that you feel require a little tightening, toning, and definition. While the surgery is minimally-invasive, patients will still require anesthetic and they will still need to prepare for their recovery in order to get the best possible results from their procedure.
We have put together the following important information that you need to know so that you are prepared for what to expect following your liposuction.
Your anesthetic recovery
Before you can recover from your liposuction procedure, you will first need to come around from the anesthetic. You may have had local anesthesia, a nerve block, sedation, or a general anesthetic, but in either event, the effects of the medication can take a little time to wear off. As a result, you may feel a little confused, disorientated, dizzy and even nauseous for a few hours or more. In some instances, the effects of a general anesthetic can last up to 24 hours and you may be asked to stay in the hospital for this time, or at least until you have both eaten and had something to drink.
Dealing with discomfort
The incisions used to carry out your procedure may be very small, but the process of moving the cannula back and forth during the procedure will cause some internal bruising that means that you should expect to be in some discomfort for some time following your surgery. You may be prescribed pain relief, or you may find that over the counter varieties are sufficient to keep you comfortable. Just be sure to take them exactly as directed.
You may also be given antibiotics to take following your liposuction. The purpose of this is to minimize your risk of developing a post-operative infection. Again, these should be taken exactly as prescribed and you should be sure to finish the course.
Dressings and compression
When you come around from your procedure, you will notice that you have tight bandages placed over the area that you have had treated. These are compression bandages and help to reduce swelling and inflammation at the site of your treatment, as well as supporting your body as it heals. You should continue to wear your compression garments exactly as directed, which could be for up to 6 weeks following your liposuction. In addition to this, you may have some dressings placed over the incision sites and these will need to be changed as per your instructions from your surgical team.
Rest and recuperation
You will need to have someone drive you home following your liposuction, and you won’t be allowed to get behind the wheel yourself until your surgeon gives their approval. However, this doesn’t matter too much since the best thing that you can do is to rest and recuperate once you get home. Stay mobile – getting up to visit the bathroom, make drinks, etc – to reduce your risk of complications, but make sure you get plenty of downtime. During your recovery, you should make sure to follow a healthy, balanced diet, stay hydrated and don’t be tempted to smoke or drink alcohol. You will need to avoid significant physical activity for up to 6 weeks, and your surgeon will advise you when you can reasonably return to work.
Two rare complications of surgery are developing blood clots in your legs or areas of lung collapse from being in bed for too long. For this reason, a very important part of your recuperation is to not stay in bed for prolonged periods. While you should certainly rest and avoid any type of strenuous activities, you should also try to keep the circulation moving in your body, particularly your legs.
Applying ice or cold compresses to the areas of liposuction can be very helpful in reducing pain, swelling, and bruising, and we highly recommend this. But you should never ice any area of your body for longer than 30 minutes for every hour and never more than 20 minutes at a time.
If you are interested in finding out more about liposuction, or if you would like to schedule a consultation to discuss the procedure, please get in touch with our cosmetic surgery office.