After undergoing an outpatient liposuction procedure, patients are moved to a recovery room where they can be monitored for several hours. Once a patient is cleared to be discharged, post-operative instructions will be provided. Patients are recommended to rest at home for the first few days following the liposuction. A follow-up appointment should be scheduled for some time within a day or two after the surgery in order for the doctor to evaluate the initial progress of the healing.
Patients may experience mild to moderate swelling, bruising and discomfort in the treated area. Any discomfort is usually resolved within three days and responds well to over-the-counter pain relievers and the application of cold compresses. Most of the swelling will generally subside within three weeks. Compression garments or elastic bandages may be used to help reduce these symptoms while the area heals. They are also important because they can assist in initiating some contraction of the skin into the altered contour of the area. Compression garments are typically worn for a period of two to four weeks following a liposuction procedure.
Drinking adequate amounts of water after a liposuction procedure can be very beneficial as well. This will keep the patient well hydrated and restore the balance of fluids in the body. In addition, water consumption can help eliminate any fluids the body has been retaining and decrease the occurrence of swelling.
If sutures were used to close incisions during the surgery, they will be removed within one week. Patients can return to work and other regular activities as soon as they feel comfortable, which is usually after a few days. Exercise and other strenuous activities should be avoided for a period of three to four weeks.
The length of the total recovery process is unique to each individual. It will vary depending on a patient’s personal rate of healing, the extent of the liposuction performed, the liposuction techniques employed and several other factors.
Results of Liposuction
The doctor will provide patients with detailed instructions on how to care for the treated area and reduce any complications after the procedure. The results of the liposuction procedure may not be visible until after swelling and bruising subside. A noticeable difference is usually evident after approximately three weeks. However, the final result may take several months to become apparent, with the improvements appearing gradually throughout this time.
The scars that may be formed from the incisions are typically small and inconspicuous and will eventually fade. Other irregularities in appearance are possible, such as asymmetric or “baggy” skin, numbness and pigmentation changes, but these are frequently temporary if they do occur at all.
The results of liposuction can be permanent in many cases, as long as patients maintain a healthy and active lifestyle. If substantial weight is gained after this procedure, the results may be altered.
Risks of Liposuction
Although liposuction is considered a safe procedure, there are certain risks associated with any type of surgery. Some of the risks of liposuction may include infection, scarring, allergic reactions, bleeding or unsatisfactory results. However, liposuction is one of the most commonly performed cosmetic procedures and is almost always performed with no serious complications arising.
Patients can further minimize potential risks by choosing an experienced doctor and by following all instructions before and after the procedure. To learn more about the liposuction procedure, patients are encouraged to schedule an appointment for a consultation.