Liposuction recovery and aftercare
The aftercare and recovery from a liposuction differs depending on which method of liposuction you have been treated with.
With traditional liposuction the after cycle is generally more troublesome than with laser liposuction, radio frequency liposuction or water assisted liposuction. Therefore the descriptions of the after cycles are divided.
After cycle for traditional liposuction
As previously mentioned the after cycle for a traditional liposuction is more troublesome than with laser liposuction or radio frequency liposuction.
Pus and drainage
Following liposuction there will probably leak fluid through the incisions. In some cases a small drainage tube is inserted under the skin in order to prevent fluid accumulations. This is normally removed after one to a few days.
A tip is to have extra protection in bed during the nights following lipo. If fluid does leak it is not so pleasant to have it stain the mattress.
A girdle or pressure bandage is placed around the treated area with the purpose of decreasing swelling and adjusting the skin to its new shape.
Compression garments are to be worn during 2-3 months in order to minimise the risk of unevenness and hasten the healing process.
Unevenness is the greatest issue following liposuction; the more extensive the liposuction the greater the risk. One’s body weight (BMI) has been mentioned as an important factor, compressor garments another.
Massage of the surgical area is also important. The best technique is Endermology (LPG). This is a type of massage that increases the blood flow to the tissue.
The Endermology treatment also decreases the risk of deep scar formation, hastens the healing and also feels very pleasant. One usually recommends 6-8 treatments beginning six weeks after liposuction. There can also be benefits of performing 2-3 such treatments in order to improve blood circulation before surgery.
Preventive antibiotic treatment
It is not unusual to be treated with antibiotics in order to avoid infection.
Pain and discomfort
You cannot plan on feeling or looking particularly well immediately after surgery. Even though the new methods that are used limit the discomfort after surgery you will experience pain, tenderness, swelling, bleeding and temporary loss of sensitivity. The pain is restricted by pain relieving medication but you will be stiff and tender for several days.
It is completely normal to feel slightly anxious and down for a few days after surgery but these feelings will subside once your appearance and health improves.
Returning to work and normal activities
You will gradually begin to feel better. After a week of sick leave you can generally return to work. Your sutures will be removed within 10 days after surgery.
More strenuous activities should be avoided for at least a month while the body gradually recuperates and the healing process is under way.
Normally the most extensive swelling and bruising disappears after the first month. The entire healing process does however last longer and the final result appears after 6-8 months.
After laser liposuction
The after cycle for laser lipolysis (SmartLipo) is considerably milder than traditional liposuction. You can in some cases return to work immediately after your procedure, but sometimes it can require one to a few days sick leave.
In order to avoid swelling you are to wear a compression garment or an elasticated bandage which fixates the surgical area 24/7 for approximately 2-3 weeks after surgery. It is also good to continue with this during the day for another 2 weeks.
Pain, swelling and discomfort
It is normal to experience some pain, tenderness and swelling of the surgical area during the first two weeks. The pain is generally treated with Panodol or Aspirin. In some cases, often when larger areas have been liposuctioned, a prescriptive pain killer or a preventive antibiotic treatment is given for the first days following surgery.
Post operative restrictions
It is good to begin with a lighter massage of the area after approx. 2 weeks, one should wait for 5 weeks before undergoing more intense massage treatments, such as LPG Endermologie.
One should avoid physically strenuous activity and exercise during the first two weeks and make sure one drinks vast amounts of water. Also one should not bath for the first two days.
After radio frequency liposuction
The time following radio frequency liposuction (BodyTite) is milder than that of a traditional liposuction, but is slightly more troublesome than with laser liposuction.
Immediately after radio frequency liposuction the patient is fitted with a so called compression garment with the purpose of minimising swelling of the surgical area. The compression garment is to be worn around the clock for the first three weeks and thereafter at night for the following three weeks.
Pain and discomfort
The pain is generally very limited following radio frequency liposuction remaining for 1-2 days. During this period it can be minimised by taking Panadol or in some cases a prescription painkiller like Citodon can be prescribed.
Swelling which is limited due to the compression garment does in general not hinder the patient, who can often return to normal activity after 24 hours. After 7-10 days the swelling has disappeared and the patient can see results of the procedure even though it takes 3-4 months before one can assess the final result.
Some parts of the treated area may feel slightly hard. This is however normal and will pass after approx. 3 months.
Sutures and drainage
The surgical incisions are closed with tape or sutures and compresses. In those cases where sutures are used an absorbable thread is used which will dissolve by itself after a day or two.
In some cases and especially when greater amounts of fat have been removed a small drainage is placed under the skin in order to minimise swelling. This will be removed after a day.
Restrictions following radio frequency liposuction
Three days following your radio frequency liposuction you will be able to shower as usual but you must remove your compression garment. This must be done while lying in bed since there is a risk that your blood pressure will descend temporarily which can result in dizziness.
Also limit physically strenuous activities during the first week.
To minimise the risk of unevenness you should massage the surgical area by kneading it a few times a day for 10-15 minutes a time. Also harder massage such as LPG Endermologie has a positive effect on the results. These treatments are however not to be done before 3 weeks after your radio frequency liposuction.